"I Heart New York." Top 5 Page for this destination New York City by shutterlust

New York City Travel Guide: 15,768 reviews and 31,642 photos

Ooh give me a home, where the 6 train does roam...

"I LOVE NEW YORK” is the oldest one in the book, conventional wisdom in all caps. And yet, it still somehow retains its potency, and why is that? Because only a fool would think otherwise. Consider the evidence that we have amassed (for the second year running) in the pages that follow. We are a city that rains prosperity down on the whole country, exporting everything from war heroes to canny socialites to great filmmakers rediscovering their top form. We offer hot dates, hot waiters, hot bands, and hot neighbors. We are the base of more political mojo than any state in the nation and of an angry guy who is single-handedly holding up one of the biggest real-estate projects in the city’s history. Plus we hold fast to the faith that our drinking water tastes better than everyone else’s, even though that is almost certainly not true. But if all that is just a little too hard-core for you, wake up early tomorrow morning and walk the streets at dawn. At that hour, the city belongs neither to the corporate machers who run the town nor even to the hardworking millions who sustain it. It belongs simply to you."
-New York Magazine, 25 December 2006

I'm a born and bred New Yorker and I'm proud of it. This is my home. And I love it. It's real. It has it's ups and downs, it's harsh realities and fantasy moments. It's beautiful, in all its facets, even the ugly. It teaches you independence, self-reliance. It's true when they say, "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere." I adore the people, the places, the restaurants, the tiny $1200(edit, make that $1500) studios, the potholes, the scaffolding, the delivery men on their bikes, the models strutting in Choos, the familiar faces in my local grocery or corner bodega, the smells of bakeries and Chinese dives, the neighborhoods, the parks... I adore this city and I hope you learn to love it too.

I am shameless.

I'm a restaurant/food photographer for NY Magazine and disclaimer!: many of my restaurant recommendations actually started out as job assignments. Which explains why I quote NY magazine in some of my restaurant tips, because our writers are the best in the business and no one can better encapsulate the true sense of these restaurants. But fear not! You'll still get my opinions. Don't worry about that. :-)

My tips are from a local's point of view. A local who enjoys fine cuisine! So you will notice that most of my tips are for restaurants, bars, lounges, cafes, coffeeshops, etc. I love food. It's amazing. It satisfies all human emotion through one bite. Why do you think we have 'comfort food'?! and there IS a reason why God made us prefer chocolate and cheese over celery.

While most of my tips are about places to wine, dine, dance and listen to music simultaneously, you'll find that my other tips are mostly on transportation and NY culture/customs. You'll also notice that my NY culture/customs tips may sound a bit like ranting, but I love and adore my city and I only wish other can love and adore it to the point of respecting it and its inhabitants.

What These Tips Are All About

While most of my tips are on restaurants and bars, please check out my Off-The-Beaten Track/Things to Do tips. Ask me personally where I think you should go and I will almost certainly recommend the TV/Radio museum and the Sony Wonder Center, both listed in my tips. I will insist you go to the Comedy Cellar. And I would hope you pass by Chelsea Market, if only to try the lobster bisque and stick your hand in the waterfall!

Ask me What-To-Wear-While-In-New York and I will direct you to my General Tips, which give you an overview of everything 'New York' from HopStop (an excellent tool for learning which trains/buses take from one address to another) or OverHeardinNewYork for hilarious New Yorker quotes. My General Tips and Local Customs tips will give you some important insight into everything from local behavior (things such as No Staring or how to tip properly) to suggestions on what to bring and common NY stereotypes (in my "Actual New Yorkers" Pt 1 and 2 tips).

Oh, and ignore those hotel tips. They're absolutely useless. (I'm actually being really serious. They're rubbish.)

So if you're coming to Manhattan, need some extra help with itineraries, specific places to go, asking about certain restaurants (I'll gladly check out a restaurant for you! Any excuse to try some place new!), please let me know! I'm glad to help anyone who wants to love NY as much as I do!

and with that, Welcome to Manhattan!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:If you can't take the cons along with the pros, don't bother.
  • In a nutshell:I Heart New York. 'Nuff said.
  • Intro Updated Jan 26, 2007
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Comments (74)

  • akkipaa's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Extremely nice pages about NYC, I come later with better time and definitely I make a Travel Guide based on your reviews when I next time visit there. Thank you for sharing.

  • TaylorP's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    My husband and I have been planning a trip to Penticton and right now we are looking into all of the different restraunts that we can eat at while we're there. My husband is a chef by profession, and he always wants to go out to eat so that he can try new dishes, and critic them for his own special taste. What are some really good penticton restaurants that we can research? Are there any really good restraunts that serve good pasta dishes?

  • Feb 5, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Thanks for all of your advice! I am visiting in a few weeks with a few friends of mine and this information is very helpful! What do you think about the restaurant 'TAO'?

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2010 at 12:32 AM

    Can't work out whether you're in England or New York. Still, your enthusiasm shines through and I'm finally heading towards the Big Apple. Hope it's as good as you suggest. Cheers.

  • packat's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    Great suggestions Shutterlust! My 13 yo daughter and I will be in NYC this week for her 1st visit. We'll be checking out Chelsea Market and CUB. Looking for good vintage stores...can you recommend a neighborhood? Thanks!

  • artbybec's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Thanks Shuterlust, we will plan on going to the Comedy Cellar.

  • Dec 21, 2008 at 2:55 PM

    """Don't wear all white sneakers. It bothers me so much when tourists wear those.""" Bothers "me"? I don't think tourists are looking for ways to please you but to have a general filling about how the city behaves.

  • brewjohnson's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2008 at 2:14 PM

    Running away from home to a Marriott? Your poor parents. You must have been a handful.

  • Nov 16, 2008 at 8:50 PM

    youre partially wrong on this. while im sure some are scams, plenty of reputable salons do this. bumble and bumble (a very upscale expensive salon) has free cuts/colors if you model your hair - the tend to approach people on the street.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Great insider tips for our return visit after 26 years (in just 3 weeks - whoopee!) Your "keep moving" tip reminded me so much of London and my "how to behave on the tube" one ;-)) Will be back for your restaurant tips!

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