New York City Guide
You don't have to be a native New Yorker to act like one—not if you use our New York City Guide
. Want to seamlessly travel between neighborhoods, find the city's best pizza or learn insider tips on hotels or permanent housing? Our New York City Web Guide points you to the Big Apple’s vast array of fun activities: Visit New York’s most famous attractions, see a show, catch the big game, attend a gallery opening, spot a celebrity and much more. We also offer a Spanish-language version of the Guide
New York covers 12,000 square acres of land, has more than 8 million residents and hosts more than 40 million visitors per year. Taking on the city yourself may seem daunting. But the links below make exploring New York City's neighborhoods and its tourist sites a breeze, right from the comfort of your home, so you can plan your trip in advance.
- Neighborhood identities in New York are very strong. It’s not uncommon for a neighborhood to have a message board or forum for those who live there. For example, enter “Williamsburg forum” into a search engine, and you’ll find Williamsboard.com, a site for people who reside in the popular Brooklyn neighborhood.
- There are lots of multiborough events that can give you a great excuse to experience new parts of the city. Being a spectator of (or participant in) the New York City Marathon and the Five Boro Bike Tour helps you explore all five of the city’s boroughs in one day.
For an overview …
is a daily blog that covers anything, and almost everything, happening in New York. Peruse entries to get a taste of the varied, eccentric and intricate New York culture.
On the Inside
is an insider’s guide to activities in New York with content that is generated and donated by influential New Yorkers. Discover bars, restaurants, stores and hang-out spots that are favored by New York’s creative types.
NYC & Company
is the official tourism site of New York City. The site touches on all the basic aspects of a visit to the Big Apple. Find information about activities and attractions, and get help planning your visit.
Virtual New York City
is a Web site produced by the City University of New York that puts the rich history of New York City at your fingertips. The site provides a vast amount of multimedia and primary source documents from all eras of New York City history.
For images …
Museum of the City of New York
shares the Byron Company Collection online. The collection consists of more than 22,000 black-and-white photographs of New York taken between 1890 and 1942.
posts and categorizes pictures of places that might not make it into your average guidebook as well as elements of the city that have become “extinct” or outdated.
To explore by neighborhood …
Virtual NYC Tour
lets you explore a neighborhood online using both panoramic photographs and an accompanying map. Select a neighborhood from the list on the left or from the map. Once the tour has loaded, be sure to check “Side Hints” to get little tips about what stores, attractions, or spots of historical importance are on the surrounding streets.
Big Apple Greeter
has a bunch of resources to help you explore and find things to do throughout each of the five boroughs.
To hire a tour guide ...
The Guides Association of New York (GANYC)
provides a database of tour guides licensed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, searchable by the types of tours they offer (for example, architectural, culinary or neighborhood-specific).
is an option for people who want something a little classier than the Circle Line, a sightseeing tour boat company. Visit the site to learn how you can circle Manhattan in a sailboat.
Planning and implementing your New York City travel to and from the hectic regional airports and train stations can be a smooth ride. Find the help you need from the New York City travel sites below.
- Several shuttle buses travel every 15 to 30 minutes from the big airports to either Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Don’t worry about reserving a spot for the trip, but if you need a ride from your hotel back to the airport, you’ll have to call in advance.
- If you dont have a lot of luggage, the subway might be your most convenient and least expensive option. If you do have tons of luggage, you might have a hard time squeezing onto the usually crowded subway.
For New York City travel to and from airports …
explains in detail how to get to Manhattan from all four nearby airports (JFK, LaGuardia, Newark and even Islip). The author doesn’t recommend the subway (though some New Yorkers might disagree) and instead provides several alternative modes of transport, such as private buses and car services.
For New York City travel via train …
trains arrive in New York’s Pennsylvania Station from as far away as California. You’ll find reservation information as well as schedules, routes, stations, and fares on the Amtrak site.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
is the home of the MTA Metro-North Railroad. Metro-North travels into Manhattan’s Grand Central Station from numerous locations in upstate New York, Connecticut and (in conjunction with New Jersey transit) some parts of New Jersey. Consult this site for more information and to reserve tickets.
For New York City travel via bus …
helps you find bus information and tickets for routes between New York and multiple East Coast destinations, including Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Choose from a few different carriers traveling each route, some of which are known as “Chinatown buses.”
If you’re unclear about how New York is laid out, don’t worry: Many residents of the city really only know a select few neighborhoods. We’ve picked some sites with New York City maps to help you get familiar with the layout of the city's neighborhoods and boroughs.
- It’s not always easy to determine your destination’s neighborhood from the street address alone; look it up on Google Maps or Yahoo Maps before venturing out.
- If you have to pull out a map in New York, imagine that the sidewalk is a highway and you’re a car. In other words, pull over to the side before you start reading it. In other words, pull over to the side of the sidewalk so you don't impede the flow of foot traffic.
The New York City Department of City Planning
has a map of all the neighborhoods in New York City. Choose one from the pull-down list of names or click on an area of the map to get a closer look. Once you're on a close-up view, click on the number of the neighborhood below the map to get more detailed information (available in PDF format).
can help you get from any address or intersection in New York to any other. Enter your starting point and destination to get train, bus or walking directions. Choose certain preferences for your trip (for example, less walking or subway only) and get oriented once you leave the subway: HopStop has 360-degree photos of a number of subway exits that indicate which way you need to go.
lists all of New York City’s classical music venues. A short descriptive blurb accompanies each listing; choose one to view the venue’s Web site and find information about events and tickets.
Yellow taxis are about as symbolic of New York as the Statue of Liberty, and if you’re in Manhattan you’ll no doubt see a few hundred New York City taxis meandering in and out of traffic. To help you understand the rules, regulations and courtesies of hiring a driver, take a look at the following sites.
- Although some taxis are starting to accept credit cards, it's generally a good idea to have enough cash on hand to pay for your cab ride. Call-in car services can usually accept credit cards (they’ll take your information beforehand).
- You may see black, grey, silver, or white town cars around town, usually in areas with fewer yellow cabs. Most of these "gypsy cabs" must be called ahead of time for service but some people hail them from the street, even though this is not generally safe or legal. If you want to ride in a “luxury” vehicle, we advise calling a car service.
- You can tell whether a cab is full by looking at the sign on the roof of the car: If it’s not lit, it’s occupied; if it’s completely lit, it’s off duty; if the middle section is lit, it’s available, and you can try to hail it.
- If you're traveling outside Manhattan, the driver may have to pay a highway, tunnel or bridge toll, which will be added to your cab fare. To avoid any confusion, ask your driver before you get going whether you’ll pass through any tolls and how much they’ll be. Sometimes you can ask your driver to find a way around a toll but often this will make your ride longer and your fare higher.
For New York City taxi rules and regulations …
For calculating your New York City cab fare …
has a taxi fare finder that estimates your taxi fare to and from a point in New York City. Click on your starting point and destination on the map, or enter your address or landmark on the left.
New York City has a fantastic public transportation system, run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). Millions of people use the subways, buses and ferries to get to work each day. In addition, tourists find public New York City transit a quick and cheap way to navigate New York's many sites. The sites in this section help make your New York City public transportation experience easy, interesting and as odor-free as possible.
- The MTA often does most of its maintenance and repair late at night or on weekends, which means that some subway lines may skip stops or not be running at all. Check mta.info for service changes.
- If you are going to be riding New York City public transportation twice a day or more (such as to and from work) buying an unlimited MetroCard is an economical way to go. MetroCards can be purchased at almost any subway station.
- Buses only take exact (coin) change or a swipe from your MetroCard.
- Traveling late at night? Be prepared to wait for New York City public transportation. Subways run less frequently and with different routes late at night. If you take the bus, however, you can ask the driver to let you off at any point along the route (not just at designated stops), if that will make your walk home easier.
- New York City has a number of express buses that run between boroughs. These buses are a speedier alternative to a regular bus but are operated by a party other than the MTA and won’t take your MetroCard.
- The Staten Island ferry is free. This is a fantastic way to get a great view of the city (including the Statue of Liberty), visit Staten Island, or catch a Staten Island Yankees game. Visit the New York City Department of Transportation for more information and schedules.
- Only a handful of subway stations are wheelchair accessible but the buses are all “kneeling” (meaning they get lower to the ground to let passengers enter with ease) and have wheelchair lifts. Access-A-Ride provides transportation for people with disabilities; visit the Web site to learn more.
For a subway or bus map …
For information about individual subway lines …
The NYPIRG Straphangers’ Campaign
was founded by the New York Public Interest Research Group in the late 1970s to serve as a voice for subway and bus riders. The group presents a yearly report card on the state of the subways, including ratings for all trains and best and worst lines.
For the hungry or thirsty subway rider …
New York On Tap
is a map of the New York City bar scene overlaid onto a subway map. That makes planning a pub crawl and getting home safely a cinch. Double click the map on an area of interest to see what it offers.
For history and info about the MTA …
Web site is home to the New York Transit Museum, located in an abandoned subway stop. Learn how and when to visit the museum—or even have a birthday party here.
published an article in December 2008 covering the New York Transit Museum. The article describes the many family-friendly exhibits, as well as the history of this interesting museum.
is devoted to all things subway/train. Whether you’re navigating the subway system in New York or just a train buff, this site has all sorts of links to subway and train sites with lots of pictures, history and even subway models and merchandise.
has compiled all of the unusual (and unpleasant) smells of each subway stop and put them together in this handy smell map.
With the combination of bad traffic and public transit that isn’t always door-to-door, many believe walking in New York is a better alternative. To get the most out of those miles in your shoes, visit the following sites.
- Walking in New York may be slower than using public transportation but it allows you to see lots more of the city. You can even walk over the Brooklyn Bridge! This can be a great way to get a spectacular view of the city, especially around sunset. New York Magazine offers details for how to get there and what to do at either end of the bridge.
- There are certain areas where walking can be extremely dangerous, such as the so-called “Boulevard of Death” (Queens Blvd.), where many pedestrians have been killed because of a quick-change traffic light. For some safe walking ideas, consult this feature article from Time Out New York.
- If you prefer two wheels to two feet, visit the “Bike Riding in NYC” section of this Web Guide.
For “learning to walk” in New York City …
The New York Times
has an article titled “Think You Own the Sidewalk?; Etiquette by New York Pedestrians Is Showing a Strain” that provides seven tips for navigating the streets of New York. Tip number one? “[W]alking rules are like driving rules.”
The Morning News
presents an article called “How to Walk in New York” that provides tips not only for the casual sidewalk walker, but rules for those on escalators, on subway stairs and even jaywalkers.
For walking and eavesdropping …
Overheard in New York
compiles the weird and wacky comments that its readers hear when they are out and about in the city. With so many people around you all the time, you're bound to catch a few random bits of weird, occasionally rude and obscene, or overly personal conversation, and this site gives you a place to tell someone about it.
took a selection of some old conversations from Overheard in New York and put them on an Google map making for a pretty interesting mashup of Web applications.
New York City Walk
is a labor of love from a guy who walked every street in Manhattan. See pictures, along with the history of some of his favorite places. Especially cool is this picture sequence
of a day when the sunset lines up with the Manhattan street grid.
You can drive your car around New York City; whether you’ll want to is another story. If you should choose to do it, use these sites to help you avoid getting lost, and steer clear of some potential pitfalls that can make driving in New York City a nightmare.
- Manhattan is probably the most difficult borough to drive in. You’re likely to encounter heavy traffic downtown, and parking is especially daunting. Often you’ll have to move your car to alternate sides of the street each day to accommodate the street cleaners. If street parking isn’t for you, be prepared to pay as much a month for a parking garage as you might pay for rent in a less expensive city.
For figuring out how bad the traffic is …
For alternate-side-of-street parking information …
has a calendar of alternate-side-of-street parking schedules that can help you plan your parking accordingly (and avoid getting towed and ticketed).
For garages and public parking lots ...
The New York City Department of City Planning
provides information and maps of licensed parking facilities in each of the five boroughs, including those near museums, sports facilities, colleges, hospitals and government offices.
maintains orderly listings of parking garages in New York; maps of daily and monthly parking options are available with pricing and contact information. Choose daily or monthly parking and then search by neighborhood, address, or cross street to locate garages near you.
For shortcuts and more …
is a legendary character in New York City and has a column in the New York Daily News. He posts driving shortcuts to Yankee Stadium, discusses parking rules and parking tickets, and even answers reader questions about New York City driving.
Bike riding in New York City draws many to the streets en masse for its efficiency, excercise and excitement. This section equips the cyclist with all he or she needs to master the New York City streets on a bike. Look for the rules of the road, bike riding safety tips for New York City riding, cycling maps of the five boroughs and more.
- If you're taking your bike through the subway, you'll need to be sure that the station you plan to exit has a service/emergency door to get your bike through (if it's light enough, you could haul it over a turnstile but that's a last resort). Don't be alarmed if opening the door triggers an alarm; you won't be penalized.
For maps of bike routes ...
has loads of maps covering the city and routes beyond, including links to the New York City Department of City Planning maps, Brooklyn and Manhattan waterfront greenway maps, suburban New York City cycling maps and more.
NYC Bike Maps
has a map plotting New York City bike lanes. Although it isn't as extensive as the Department of City Planning maps, it's easier to use, being a Google Map instead of a PDF. Along the right side of the page are links to other sites with useful resources for the New York cycling community (just be mindful of the sponsored Google links).
For laws, rules and safety tips ...
The MTA New York City Transit
Web site has a piece on bicycle safety for beneath the roads, not on them. If you need to take your bike on the subway, use these tips and guidelines to make it as painless as possible.
The New York Times
article, "Cars and Bikes Can Mix, When the Rules of the Road Are Clear," offers advice for both motorists and cyclists on how to ride in harmony. Tips include riding five feet away from parked cars to avoid being "doored," and making yourself visible to drivers.
For your legal rights as a cyclist ...
has legal advice for anyone riding in the city. Look for advice on what to do if you get doored, how to avoid light and bell tickets, and much more.
The New York Bike Messenger Association
has a "Know Your Rights Manual" that offers tips on how to handle accidents, what the laws are, how to handle injuries and messengers' rights as employees.
For events ...
is the online home of Critical Mass, the leaderless, route-less group bike ride that was founded in San Francisco in 1992, and has since spread to cities around the country. Held on the last Friday of every month, this reclamation of the streets is part celebration, and part assertion of cyclists' right to the road. Find information on the what, when and where of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Critical Mass events.
The Kissena Cycling Club
operates the Kissena Velodrome, a track racing facility located in Queens, near the Main Street stop on the 7 Train. The track hosts a regular race series in the summer, and has free riding for those who want to get a feel for the track. Visit the site for mor information.
lead singer of the Talking Heads, has been riding his bike in New York City for more than 30 years. As part of the 2007 New Yorker Festival, he hosted an event called "How New Yorkers Ride Bikes," which celebrated this practice. Check out this narrated video
of one of his rides through Times Square.
New York is an expensive place to live, and it can be an even more expensive place to visit unless you can find a New York City hotel that's affordable. In order to make your stay as comfortable and inexpensive as possible, you’ll want to do some online shopping around for a hotel that allows you to enjoy your visit to the Big Apple in the best way possible.
- In the outer boroughs, you’ll pay less for hotels, enjoy more quiet surroundings, and possibly uncover hidden New York gems. (And don’t forget your options in New Jersey, either!)
- Look on craigslist.org to see if subletting someone’s house or apartment is a viable option for you, especially during the holidays. This can often be cheaper, and more comfortable, than a hotel.
For general hotel information and search tools …
I Love New York
is the state’s official tourism site and has info not only on where to stay in the city, but in other parts of the state as well.
has “Tips For Saving On Your Hotel Room” that will prove handy for the traveler on a budget.
For choosing a hotel by neighborhood …
has an interactive map that can help you locate a hotel based on the neighborhood in which you’d like to stay. Choose from the neighborhoods on the left, and then watch as you get a list of hotels along with their locations charted on the map.
For some “best of” hotel lists …
has a list of the “Top 10 New York hotels,” arranged according to the type of guest (for example, “For cheapskates who’d rather spend money shopping” or “For aspiring writers”).
Condé Nast Traveller
offers some recommendations on places to stay in New York City. This detailed list includes the advantages of each hotel’s location as well as common (and not-so-common) amenities. Note that the list really isn’t meant for the budget traveler—some of these hotels run on the spendy side.
For the traveler on a budget …
New York Magazine
has a list of the “Best Hotels at $150 or Less” that includes cheap sleeps in Manhattan and a few in Brooklyn.
is much like other social networking sites in that you create a profile and can make friends on the site. It differs, however, in its purpose—to connect travelers with couches and new friends. Offer your couch to other travelers, or look for a couch to sleep on. Still have questions? Read the FAQ
is an international network of hosts and travelers who want to experience different cultures and meet new people. For a moderate fee, travelers can spend two nights with a host in the United States, getting to know both host and city.
An apartment search in New York City can be a hassle, but the sites below can help you every step of the way. Get acquainted with New York's diverse neighborhoods, learn where to search for an apartment, find general moving tips and much more.
- Classified ads are a great way to find an apartment but use your judgment. For example, if an ad tells you to bring a cash deposit when you come to look, it’s most likely a scam.
- Most neighborhoods in New York have forums or message boards. If you’re considering moving to a particular spot, get a truthful picture of what it’s like by visiting those sites. You can find them by entering the neighborhood name + forum into a search engine.
- If you’re using classified ads to look for apartments with brokers, you may catch a break by calling the broker that represents an apartment and asking her to tell you about other apartments that are unlisted.
- It’s not impossible to find an apartment without a broker but it’s not easy. You’ll save money on the broker’s fee but you may have to settle on a less desirable place.
For general tips on moving and finding an apartment …
's head editor Ben Popken moved from Denver to New York City, and now sheds light on “HOW TO: Move To New York City Sane And Not Broke.” Aside from some crass language and humor, you’ll find useful tips on how to prepare, how to find a place, how to save money and how to adjust to life in a new city.
's “Renter’s Guide” encourages you to hire one of the company’s brokers but also has some useful free information about renting an apartment. Don’t miss the glossary for an introduction to some of the lingo you may encounter when looking for an apartment in New York City.
For neighborhood overviews …
New York Magazine
presents comprehensive evaluations of 25 neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. You’ll find a basic overview, tips on bargains and restaurants, some real estate analysis and related magazine features. Remember that some information may be dated as the original article was written in 2003.
is a blog that covers Brooklyn, “inside and out.” People looking to rent or buy in Brooklyn will find the site particularly useful, as it provides thorough coverage of various neighborhoods in Brooklyn and their real estate markets.
The New York Police Department
provides crime statistics for the entire city divided up by borough and precinct. The information isn’t meant to scare you; in fact, sometimes just being aware of your surroundings and what to expect helps to keep you safe.
For finding an apartment to rent or buy …
is the amateur housing authority for New York City. You’ll find ads for rentals, sublets, shared rooms, and more. Select your desired borough and search for apartments with or without a broker. Craigslist is completely free to use.
allows you to search for apartments to rent or buy by neighborhood, price. Registering for a free account allows you to keep your searches.
NYC Rent Guidelines Board
provides on- and off-line resources for finding an apartment in New York. Especially note the classified ads link
, page for all the local daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and community press publications that advertise rental opportunities.
New York Habitat
is an online real estate broker that locates temporary housing for as little as two nights and as long as “indefinitely.” Whether you’re looking for vacation housing, a furnished sublet or a roommate to share a home with, the site has an extensive selection to meet your needs. There is a fee for the service, although you can get information about a rental free of charge.
For apartment hunting on a budget …
The NYC Affordable Housing Resource Center
offers (not surprisingly) tips on how to find an affordable apartment in New York City. You’ll also learn how to impress a landlord, and find information on current lotteries and public housing.
For following the real estate market …
is a blog by a self-described “soldier in the trenches of the Manhattan real estate war.” He reports on the real estate market but also shares stories about apartment hunting, New York life and general financial issues.
is a magazine geared toward the co-op and condo community. Articles cover management, finance, maintenance and other legal matters, as well as tips for prospective buyers on getting into a co-op. Take a look at the “NYC Living” section on the right for an overview of buildings, neighborhoods, trends and buying and selling.
For renter and tenant information …
comes to your aid when you’re about to sign a lease and wondering if the rent is too high. Enter your address, the number of bedrooms you have, and the number of units in the building, and the site compares your rent with other rents in your neighborhood.
The city that never sleeps, or the city that always eats? Although New York has its mainstays—the pizza, deli sandwiches and bagels that have made it famous among food lovers—the city offers more than a few surprises when it comes to food and dining out. In this section we’ll help you narrow your New York City restaurant options and find exactly what you crave. Look for reviews by critics and fellow diners, top-notch delivery services, the lowdown on the biggest food events in the city and more.
- Often, the personality of a neighborhood is a good indicator of the personality of the cuisine you’ll find there. Upscale areas have fancier restaurants. Office-heavy neighborhoods like Midtown and Wall Street lack innovative fare but are full of mid-price lunch places and chains like Cosi and Guy & Gallard types of eateries, which are usually closed on the weekends.
- If you’re new in town and feeling overwhelmed by the countless restaurants, trendy dishes and foodie culture, don’t forget the classics. New York is still a great place to grab a slice of pizza or a hot dog from a street vendor. In most cases, you can fill up for less than $5.
- Many New York City restaurants don’t take reservations, in which case you should be ready to wait for a table. But a growing number of eateries are allowing online reservations, according to The New York Times.
- The outer boroughs offer an outstanding array of ethnic foods and trendier upscale cuisines (especially in Park Slope and Cobble Hill in Brooklyn). Eating In Translation is a blog with sections about each borough.
For an introduction to New York City food and dining …
New York Magazine
has a comprehensive guide to the best New York food of 2008. Beginning with the hottest new restaurants, this savvy rundown offers an A-to-Z list of topnotch noshes. Everything is covered: burgers, brunches, meatballs and neighborhood bagel shops and pizzerias, to name a few. Scour this site for an overview of the scene.
For iconic New York City foods …
Time Out New York
tips you off to the best hotdogs, cheesecake, burgers, and knishes in the city. In this quick, entertaining feature, four New Yorkers compare their favorite to a challenger’s offering, with some surprising results. The magazine also weighs in on its favorite pizza
is a blog about food and eating written by down-to-earth author Ed Levine. Get Ed’s take on the best Jewish delis around the city, and commentary on those that don’t measure up. Ed also shares some preferred city coffee shops
, conveniently plotted on a map.
is consistently praised by Zagat Survey and is arguably the best pizza in New York; the trick is the coal-fired oven, says founder Patsy Grimaldi. There are three locations: the original under the Brooklyn Bridge, one in Garden City on Long Island, and one in Hoboken, New Jersey. Bring cash, be prepared to wait in line and know that you’ll have to purchase a whole pie—Grimaldi’s doesn’t do slices.
New York Magazine
provides the details on DiFara’s pizza in Midwood, Brooklyn. DiFara’s rivals Grimaldi’s for being the most popular pizza in New York, with each pie handmade—slowly—by owner Domenico DeMarco. Be prepared to wait for your pizza, and treasure the Italian-imported ingredients. For an inside look before you go, visit YouTube
for a selection of short videos taken inside DiFara’s.
is a timeless favorite among New Yorkers, and got its start at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues in Brooklyn in 1950. Visit the original shop or head to Junior’s
, at Grand Central Station or Times Square for a creamy slice.
For restaurant listings and reviews …
grants would-be diners access to menus of Manhattan and Brooklyn establishments. Search for eateries by neighborhood and type of cuisine or use the interactive map to pinpoint a location. There are also alternative search options (“Open 24 Hours,”
for example) and a “Hot Menus” section featuring the most clicked-on restaurants of the past 24 hours (scroll down to find it).
has a search tool that organizes restaurants according to cuisine, such as Greek, ice cream and fusion. Chow’s “Boards” are what set it apart, however, with numerous entries from food fanatics in Manhattan
and the outer boroughs
to help you find a place to eat that’s perfectly suited to your tastes.
covers restaurants in a number of U.S. cities, including New York. This is a great one-stop site for comparing reviews from several different sources, including New York Magazine and The Village Voice. To access reviews and “best” lists, click on a neighborhood or type of food.
is the site of the famous restaurant survey, and has a section covering New York City. Join for $2.08 per month to have access to Zagat
ratings of eateries in all five boroughs, or peruse member reviews on the site for free. Other free online features include “New Restaurants” and “Top Lists” of various categories, such as barbeque and prix fixe lunch.
The New Yorker
compiled its “Tables for Two” restaurant reviews from January of 2006 through the current issue, searchable by author and date or keyword. For additional archived results check off “Tables for Two” in the search tool. Reviews are often humorous, and just long enough to establish a restaurant’s character.
For reservations …
is an online reservation service for hundreds of restaurants in New York. Enter the date and time you wish to eat, neighborhood and/or cuisine, and a list of restaurants fitting your criteria is displayed. You can then make a selection and reservation for free after a completing a quick sign-up.
For eating outside of Manhattan …
The Brooklyn Paper
has an online dining section that helps locals and visitors discover new hot spots and trusted standbys throughout the borough. Search the listings by neighborhood, cuisine or keyword; results include detailed summaries of each restaurant, as well as contact information, average entrée price and the credit cards accepted. Below the search tool, read restaurant reviews and feature articles.
The Porkchop Express
is a fun blog devoted to eating in Brooklyn; scroll down on the right side of the page to link to sections on specific ethnic cuisines.
I Love The Bronx
is the Web site of the Bronx Tourism Council. The site advises where to eat in the borough and offers insider tips like where to dine al fresco in the warmer months. Some eateries are Zagat rated and others are local favorites.
is a blog that covers Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, a legendary Italian food haven. Learn which establishments to visit and link to the official sites of top pasta shops, bakeries and more. The site also has a guide to eating on Staten Island
. Though Staten Island isn't typically considered a gastronome's paradise, you can find great ethnic Sri Lankan cuisine and pizza.
The New York Times
writer Seth Kugel discusses why he moved to Jackson Heights, Queens: for the food! Learn which diners, street carts, taco stands and pizza places make the neighborhood unique, or join Kugel on a video tour of his favorite establishments.
reveals the best places to try ethnic foods in Astoria, Queens. Whether you want to go Greek, Colombian or Thai, you’ll find information here. Listings of Astoria spots
to eat in or grab a quick bite are also included.
For diners on a budget …
New York Magazine
offers its annual list of the best cheap eats in the city, including new cheap eateries and chef’s favorites. Each pick includes contact info, a profile and reviews, and a link to the restaurant’s official site.
The Street Vendor Project
is an advocacy group working to protect the legal rights of street vendors. The group sponsors the annual Vendy Awards
, a “cook-off between the best sidewalk chefs” in New York. Take a look at the winners and finalists of the Vendy Awards to discover new favorite cheap eating options at street carts around New York.
is a favorite for inexpensive burgers, hot dogs and frozen custard. Centrally located in Madison Square Park, the Shack provides menus and a custard calendar online.
For special dietary requirements in New York City …
makes it easy to find vegan and vegetarian options with its “NYC Vegan Restaurant Guide.” Search or browse by cuisine, neighborhood, level of veganism, and special features, such as free Wi-Fi and BYOB. Listings include star ratings and customer reviews, and you can link to restaurant Web sites.
lists kosher restaurants in New York State, and has divided its New York City listings by borough and Manhattan neighborhood. Some restaurants can be linked to from this site, and you’ll find contact and price information for all.
provides listings of Halal restaurants in each of the five boroughs along with links to each site, payment information, and menu descriptions. This site is cluttered but the content is thorough and helpful.
For tourists …
offers a list of New York restaurants led by celebrity chefs. There are more than 100 hot spots on the list, and you’ll find information about price and cuisine at each. However, only some listings include the name of the chef; for others, you’ll have to visit official restaurant Web sites, which have links from this site.
Accent on Dining
is a consulting firm that finds restaurants suiting the needs of groups traveling in unfamiliar cities, sometimes at discounted rates. If you’re planning a trip to see a Broadway show with your friends and family, or your New York–based company is hosting a group of out-of-town visitors, AOD can help you plan where to dine out based on your tastes and budget.
For dining in …
is an online delivery service connecting you to restaurants all over New York. By entering an address, you’ll be presented with listings of nearby eateries with food ratings, prices, estimated delivery time, occasional discount offers and photos of food. The site also makes it easy to reorder your favorite dishes.
is a free delivery service that connects you with groceries, restaurant meals and more. Enter your address (hint: for best results, enter street name/number and zip code only) for a list of participating merchants throughout New York, complete with essential info like minimum order amount, delivery hours and ratings of quality, value and speed.
The Council on the Environment of New York City
promotes regional agriculture by bringing fresh, local produce to Greenmarket farmers markets throughout the city. Greenmarket has managed farmers’ markets in the city since 1976. Look for a chart of the produce available each month, as well as a map of Greenmarket locations.
Not Eating Out in NY
is a blog written by a young woman that's committed to cooking her own meals and not dining out in the city. She profiles a few prominent foodies, reveals her reasons for eating local food and shares tricks for saving money by not eating out.
For food events …
Time Out New York
has a weekly updated section of “Eat outings.”
Options are kept to a minimum and vary in price and subject matter; you may find a literary wine event and a brewery festival listed during the same week.
New York Magazine's
“Grub Street” blog has an archive of “Foodievents.” Entries offer insight into trendy food happenings with photos and embedded links to restaurants. If you want an entertaining read, love entering quirky eating contests or want to know what happened at last night’s hot event, this is a helpful site; however, you won’t find listings of upcoming events.
For food tours …
Famous Fat Dave
can chauffeur you and a few friends in his yellow cab on an eating tour of 13 (or more) neighborhoods. A few of the quirkier options are the The Pickle Tickle Tour, The Boot Of The Bronx Tour and The Midnight Munchies Tour. Famous Fat Dave’s tours are not cheap, but they do include food, drinks and gas.
A Slice of Brooklyn Tours
has a “Pizza Tour” of the borough. Board a bus in Manhattan to embark on a journey to Brooklyn’s best pizzerias, including Grimaldi’s, mentioned in the iconic foods section of this guide.
New York City shopping is like shopping in paradise, regardless of your budget. Whether you’re in search of designer threads or aching to score a perfectly faded vintage t-shirt, you can find it on a New York City shopping spree. In this section, we’ll show you where to find stores suiting your style and wallet, including New York City sample sales, flea markets, thrifts stores and a few surprises mixed in.
- You can find anything in New York, even a shoe store with its very own zip code, but you can’t do it all at once. Before you begin browsing the Web or the racks, it helps to establish a focus: what style are you going for? What is your price range? How far off the beaten path are you willing to tread? Once you’ve nailed down these essentials, finding stores, neighborhoods, and specific items is a piece of cake.
- For smaller boutiques, try smaller neighborhoods (for example, SoHo and various neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn).
- Becoming familiar with the layout of New York can ease your shopping exploits. Consult the transportation section of this guide if you don’t know Cobble Hill from Chelsea.
- New York City flea market shopping has long been a favorite pursuit New Yorkers but according to New York Magazine, flea markets’ heyday might have passed as real estate threatens the landscape. Get out there before it’s too late!
- If you’re short on cash and need a makeover, head over to a department store makeup counter. If you’re polite and ask the right questions, there’s a good chance the salesperson will try out a few products on you.
For shopping maps …
is an online shopping guide to independent shops in New York. View stores by neighborhood or tag, or choose a location on the map to see stores in the area. You’ll get quick but detailed summaries of each store, pricing and location info, and links to store Web sites.
sells maps of Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods dotted with stores and restaurants for $20. The PDF superguide is 32 pages long and includes area maps with recommendations on shopping, restaurants, accommodations, bars and more.
For store listings …
The New York Times
Travel section features a guide to New York, including a section on shopping with brief listings of stores spanning the boroughs. Some shops have reader ratings.
The Village Voice
displays insider knowledge in its ”Best Of” list featuring the best shops and services that New York City has to offer.
is a style site with its own distinct look and content, covering eye-catching fashion, music and video. The “Local Shopping Guide” to New York is on the small side but that is precisely why it shines; each shop on the interactive map has been chosen for a reason, whether for touting artisanal crafts, vintage gems or an unrivaled store design. Click on a store name for detailed descriptions, some of which include quotes from designers and proprietors.
For shopping by neighborhood …
is devoted entirely to shopping, staffing a team of experts that know the ins and outs of fashion trends and shopping happenings. Lucky’s guide to New York City lists and describes recommended stores in specific hot neighborhoods.
may take up a lot of time once you discover its seemingly endless coverage of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods. Each guide includes a thorough section on shopping with links to numerous shops and markets.
For thrift shops, vintage items, and flea markets …
New York Magazine
includes thrift and consignment shop listings in its ever-savvy coverage of the city. Save your scouring skills for the shops—you’ll have an easy time finding information on this well-organized site, sortable by product and neighborhood.
offers a detailed look into flea markets around Manhattan, with extras like recommended eateries where you can refuel between markets. Addresses, contact information, and specifics about the items you’ll find at each market are also included.
comes through again with great flea market coverage, complete with links to official sites and additional features like videos of markets on Citysearch and feature articles from The New York Times and New York Magazine. The site also has a map showing where each market sets up shop.
For sample sales and events …
runs sales and promotions on its site for designer showrooms, boutiques, and online merchants, and lists upcoming sample sales and events in New York. To access locations of sales, you must register for free. As a member, you’ll also have access to store openings and insider events.
is a whimsical blog about New York fashion and shopping. Simple illustrations and a lighthearted design make this site especially calming to browse compared to its flashy competitors. Click on “Shopping” for sample sale listings; “Boutiques” for featured store openings; and “Services” for tailors, personal shoppers, and more.
For free haircuts and makeup to match the clothes you just bought …
The Bumble and bumble University Model Project
trains stylists on people like you who want a free haircut. The best part of the project is that novices are not cutting your hair; the university is for experienced stylists seeking further education. Plus, a Bumble and bumble stylist oversees your whole haircut.
is your savior if you’re out and having a makeup emergency that you’d like to fix yourself. Scoot into your nearest store and try on all the makeup you like there. No one will stop you.
a high-end health and beauty product store, happily hands over as many free samples as you’d like, even when you don’t buy anything. Simply approach the counter and make your request.
Bond No. 9
’s entire line of perfume is designed as an homage to New York City. View the catalogue of products based on New York neighborhoods and themes.
Why come to New York if you plan to stay in your room all day? Since you’re here, take advantage of the copious cultural opportunities available. Use the sites below as your guide to New York City entertainment. You’ll find general information about entertainment in New York, as well as specific information about theater, music, movies and museums.
- The arts and entertainment section of a local New York newspaper is always a good place to search for activities. Chances are, the more popular ones will be highlighted.
- New York, as you’ve probably figured out, is full of people anxious to have a good time, and space at those good times often sells out quickly. If there’s an event you’d like to attend, call for tickets as soon as you learn about it.
Time Out New York
is the entertainment listings bible. If you’re looking for something to do, head here first. Search by zip code or keyword, or browse through categories of events.
Metromix New York
is a site devoted to New York entertainment. Find news, reviews, and features about music, movies, theater and events, as well as restaurant and nightlife information.
The earliest documented performance of a play in New York was on Dec. 6, 1732. Since then, there have been plenty of opportunities to see all levels of New York City theater. Use the sites below to research and book Broadway shows and underground productions, and to find comedy clubs, dance troupes and more.
- There are plenty of sites out there that will try to scam you on the price of a Broadway ticket. If you’re buying a ticket to a Broadway show, whatever site you’re on will redirect to Telecharge or Ticketmaster when you elect to purchase tickets. (Smaller online vendors may service off or off-off Broadway shows.) If you need last-minute tickets and understand that you’ll pay more, purchase from a reputable third party.
For New York City theater listings and tickets…
is a comprehensive resource for Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Check out their features, such as the “Week in Review” or “Broadway Grosses,” or view listings and buy tickets. Consider becoming a Playbill member and get special discounts, as well as e-mail updates on promotions.
is essentially the homepage for off-Broadway theater. You’ll find listings, news, and reviews; better still, drop by the virtual coupon
page to get discount codes for various shows. And don’t miss an entire page of outer-borough listings
OOBR (Off-Off-Broadway Review)
provides listings and reviews for off-off-Broadway shows. The site isn’t too fancy, and you should adjust your standards appropriately when you choose a show. But if you’re looking for theater that’s fun, cheap and sincere, start here.
For discounts …
makes it possible to purchase tickets for up to 50 percent off. Producers offer a discount and promotional codes for many shows, and they’re all listed for free. When you purchase your tickets—either online, via phone or at the box office—present the code to get your discount.
(Theatre Development Fund) allows members to buy tickets to Broadway shows for up to 70 percent off. Visit the membership page to find out if you qualify to join. If you don’t qualify, try the TDF-sponsored TKTS Discount Booths, where you can pick up same-day, half-price tickets.
highlights opportunities to see off-Broadway and Broadway shows. Sign up for a membership, and whenever shows are undersold, you'll have the chance to get tickets for just a few dollars. Proceeds provide cash grants to nonprofit theaters.
For last minute tickets …
is the place to go if you absolutely must have tickets to the hottest show on Broadway and money is no object. Ticketsboxusa provides tickets to otherwise sold-out shows and will FedEx the tickets to you so you have them quickly. The downside? Expect to pay twice the face value of the ticket.
is a service that allows users to list tickets they already have for any price they choose. If you find the right show at the right price, it’s a good spot to purchase tickets last minute, or to search for sold-out shows.
For reviews …
The New York Times
Theater page reviews most major on- and off-Broadway shows. Back in days of yore, producers rushed to the Times
building at 1:00 a.m. on opening night to read the review that would make or break them. Now the authority on theater is right at your fingertips.
The New York Post
theater page rivals the Times
’ for relevance in the New York theater community. As an added bonus, the Post
lists past reviews
, so if you missed something, it’s not hard to find. On Thursdays, learn about the dirt backstage with Michael Riedel’s gossip column.
For dance …
, one of the colleges of the City University of New York, lists all of New York’s dance companies categorized by genre and provides links to official company sites as well as street addresses.
Time Out New York
, a resource for any kind of entertainment, also excels in the dance department. Check what’s current or search for upcoming shows.
For improvisational comedy theater and stand-up …
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
offers weekly improv and sketch comedy shows. Not only can you find performance information on the site, but opportunities for improv classes also may catch your eye. Make it to Level 600, and you’ll be in the show instead of watching.
lists the 10 best stand-up comedy clubs in New York. For each club, you’ll find a brief bio, address and contact information, and a link to the club’s site.
For readings …
in the East Village hosts frequent readings and author talks. It’s also home to the Kraine Theater, where many small New York troupes put on shows.
calls itself “The Ultimate Online NYC Poetry Calendar” and has listings for poetry readings happening all over the five boroughs. Be willing to explore a little, as sometimes you’ll find just a name of a venue and other times the name of the event. Click for more information.
To coordinate theater-themed travel …
helps you book trips to New York that include hotel accommodations, theater tickets, prepaid reservations at theater-district restaurants, and even tickets to museums and other New York attractions. In addition to online services, BroadwayGetaways has an 800 number to call if you have questions.
We all know how to get to Carnegie Hall: Practice, practice, practice. But there are hundreds of New York City music venues and an abundance of shows happening every night. Below you’ll find music-specific listings, New York music blogs and information about special New York music events.
- New York is always attracting new artists, and sometimes it needs new places to show them off. New York Magazine offers this article about New York’s up-and-coming music venues.
For news …
shares daily updates on the music world that include MP3s, pictures, gossip and most important, information about upcoming shows. The focus is on the indie music scene, but the blog covers most major New York City music events.
For listings and venues …
Time Out New York
has listings for music performances and events in all genres, including ones that are free. Based on the sheer magnitude of information, sifting through the site requires some patience and focus, but it’s worth your effort.
Oh My Rockness
bills itself as “New York City’s indie rock show list.” On the homepage you’ll find recommended shows and bands, as well as complete listings in chronological order. If seeing lots of rock shows is impeding your memory and you can’t remember to visit the page for updates, sign up for the weekly show list e-mail.
Big Apple Jazz
presents the New York City Jazz Club Bible: comprehensive information about New York’s jazz clubs broken down by borough and neighborhood (and yes, you saw correctly—New Jersey is included, too).
For classical performances …
is a nonprofit site that provides listings for New York City classical music venues. Browse the site using the links on the right. You’ll find an alphabetical list of concert halls and venues, as well as a list of venues arranged by musical genre.
lists all of New York City’s classical music venues. A short descriptive blurb accompanies each listing; when you click on one, you’ll view the venue’s Web site and find information about events and tickets.
For opera …
The Metropolitan Opera
is not just New York’s most famous opera house, it is also one of the most prominent companies in the world. Look into special events like “Connect at the Met
,” which combines mingling and opera for singles.
New York City Opera
like the Metropolitan Opera, is run out of Lincoln Center. However, the New York City Opera was founded in 1943 as “the people’s opera company.” In general, the company offers less pricey tickets than the Met. The site includes resources for those who are new to opera, plus preview sound bites for most shows.
is a small East Village company that’s both a starting ground for young performers and a way to bring opera to a wider audience. “Opera-in-Brief” branches out to schools, and offers special performances for families and children.
Regina Opera Company
in Brooklyn produces a season of full classical operas and showcases. General admission is just $20, and kids under 12 go free.
Not only is New York City the backdrop for some of the greatest movies ever made, it’s also full of opportunities to see those movies. No matter where you are, you’re almost guaranteed to find a New York City movie theater within walking distance. And there’s easy access to top independent and foreign films, New York City movie screenings of old classics and plenty of free flicks.
- Movie screenings can often be found at places you might not expect, such as museums or libraries. For example, movie screenings at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, are free with the $10 admission to the museum.
- In this section, we’ve listed unconventional movie spots and places to see movies for free. If you just want to see the latest summer blockbuster, try Fandango and search for movies in your zip code.
For free New York City movies …
Sony Wonder Technology Lab,
a free technology museum, offers free Saturday movies. Check the schedule and learn when and how to call to make a reservation.
shows free movies on Monday nights all summer. Visit the site for the schedule, and remember that although movies start at sundown, if you haven’t got your spot reserved by 6 p.m., you may not get one. Most viewers bring blankets to sit on and picnics to enjoy while they wait.
run by The L Magazine, shows free movies on Tuesday nights during the summer at the abandoned outdoor pool at McCarren Park in Williamsburg. Check the site for a flashy promotional video and a schedule.
Socrates Sculpture Park
in Long Island City, Queens, has a cultural festival that includes outdoor movies in the summertime. Check the site for activities and information about screenings.
For independent film …
is one of New York’s primary houses for independent film premieres. In addition to information about new movies, you’ll also find repertory programming, revivals, and special events such as Q&As. Check the schedule, and then buy your tickets directly from the site.
The Angelika Film Center
in SoHo shows a broad mix of independent films, and as New York’s most well-known art house, it’s a fun place to hang out before or after a film. Subscribe to the free newsletter
to get information about upcoming films as well as tickets to free screenings and other discount offers.
The IFC Center
also shows independent films. The theater has a bar and restaurant, and filmmakers occasionally speak at events. IFC also allows you to purchase tickets from the site.
the Brooklyn Academy of Music, offers new films, cinema classics and frequent guest speakers. Constructed in 1998, its four theaters have stadium seating and an excellent sound system.
For film festivals …
The Tribeca Film Festival
, although relatively young, has grown to be quite popular and equally trendy. Check the site for news, features, information on how to submit a film, and a schedule.
If a trip to Africa isn’t in the cards for you, perhaps you’d like to visit an Egyptian temple that looks out on Central Park. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to the Temple of Dendur, and that’s just one of New York City’s museums. And of course, New York is home to many working artists as well, and you can see their work for free at galleries throughout the city.
- Some New York City museums are free, or pay-what-you-will, on Friday nights, when they often serve as a popular dating scene for young professionals.
- Suggested admission means what it says. Don’t feel bad about paying a dollar—or a few cents—and heading in.
Fordham University Libraries
provides links to the Web sites of New York’s major museums and offers an alphabetized list of smaller museums, libraries and historical societies.
has news, reviews and listings for New York galleries. Read about top picks, search by neighborhood. If you’re hankering for a free glass of wine, check the daily openings.
is a blog devoted to fine art photography events and galleries in New York. You’ll find updates on openings, talks and classes in the New York area and beyond.
New York Gallery Tours
offers two-hour walking tours of current shows in Chelsea, Soho and Lower East Side galleries. Tours usually encompass a mix of painting, photography, sculpture, video and large installations.
They call New York “the city that never sleeps,” and it’s not because everyone is lying in bed counting sheep. The New York City nightlife is notorious for some of the country’s most famous bars and clubs, as well as a cascade of local dive bars. Use the sites below to get the lay of the New York City nightlife land or search for specific spots.
- If safety is a concern for you, visit the NYPD page of NYC.gov for information about new “best practices” for a safer nightlife.
- Depending on what sort of nightlife you’re interested in, you might find more useful information in the “New York City Art Museums and Galleries” section of this guide.
- New York is expensive. You might find yourself paying $10 for a drink at a so-called dive bar and more than $20 at a place that’s considered trendy. But don’t despair; the sites below also direct you to a $2 beer.
For a nightlife overview …
Shecky’s New York Nightlife
guide creates lists of recommended bars and clubs and provides reviews of many others. Search for bars by category or by neighborhood.
keeps you up to date on every aspect of an event in New York City’s robust nightlife. Get on lists and buy tickets for events, read about upcoming parties, check the nightlife blog, and even browse through pictures of past events.
For lists of clubs, bars and events …
Time Out New York
's “Clubs” section lets you search for a club, event, or article. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, simply select a borough or date and hit search, then browse through the long listings. Or take a chance on one of the “Most viewed” clubs or the “Events”
tab for daily listings.
New York Magazine's
guide for visitors lists its selection of the top 25 bars in New York. Choices include all types of institutions. And if you’re looking to save some cash, check out the magazine's compilation of New York’s best happy hour deals
. Also note the “always cheap” list (scroll down to find it).
The Village Voice
boasts a list of more than 1,200 bars and clubs in New York City. Choose whether to sort by Voice picks, price or letter of the alphabet.
For free and/or cheap drinks …
gives you a weekly schedule of all the city’s open bar events. Often the events are completely free, although sometimes there’s a small cover.
Hang around in New York long enough and you’re bound to see someone famous doing something quite ordinary. New York City celebrity sightings are quite common. In fact, most people who live here have seen celebs buying coffee, taking their kids to school or even riding public transportation. But if you don’t want to leave your brush with celebrity to chance, there are a few ways you can increase your celebrity spotting odds. Seek out trendy hot spots, sit in a live audience or hang around the set of a movie in production. Maybe you’ll be inspired to take a shot at being in a movie yourself.
- There’s been a recent trend of popular movie and television stars trying their hand at live theater. Although some harsh critics say the quality of Broadway performances has gone down, your chance of getting a glimpse of your favorite star has gone up. Hang out near the stage door of the theater after a performance, and actors will walk by as they exit. Some are even willing to stop for autographs.
- Remember to be respectful. In New York, there’s a good chance you’ll see a famous person on the street. While it’s exciting to see him or her, try to admire from a distance.
For celebrity sightings …
is a user-generated blog that keeps track of celebrity sightings in New York. Find out where the famous people went, read a blurb about what they did there and check the map to locate clusters. Readers of the popular gossip blog can e-mail or text in sightings. Of course, not everyone is a fan of the site; Jimmy Kimmel
criticized Gawker editor Emily Gould for violating celebs’ privacy and even putting them in danger.
The New York Post
's infamous Page Six is a gossip column that tirelessly exposes secrets of the rich and famous. It also has a celebrity sightings map of Manhattan. Like Gawker, it relies on user submissions, and different readers mean different stars on each list.
For celebrity hot spots …
lists restaurants and bars where you’re likely to see a celebrity. Getting in may be tough but if you succeed, you might glimpse a VIP or at least experience life the way stars do.
For information about film and TV show locations …
Before the Trailer
lists daily film locations for TV shows and movies that are currently being filmed in New York. Visit the site to find locations, times and dates of shoots, and to get a dose of movie news, reviews, trailers, fan photos and more.
On Location Tours
has a number of TV- and movie-oriented tours that let you see the parts of New York that have appeared on the big and small screens. Take the "Sex and the City" tour or "The Sopranos" tour and visit favorite spots from the two TV shows. Or stop by all the Central Park spots where movies have been filmed.
the authority on entertainment for insiders and fans alike, has a list of all movies that are in production. Check for movies being made in New York, do a bit of research and you may be able to take a peek at the set on a particular day of filming.
's "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" blog provides insider information about the filming of the show, which is all done in the New York area. Although it’s hard to predict where to find the film crew, the area around Centre Street—where Manhattan’s courthouses are located—is often a good guess.
To be in show audiences …
NYC & Company,
the official Web site of New York City tourism, has information on all the shows that are taped in New York and how to get tickets. Not only does the site have information on how to send away for live audience tickets, you’ll also find insight on where to go if you want to be part of the audience for a show like "The Today Show."
has information on how to get tickets to be in the audience for shows that tape in New York. Depending on the time of year, there may not be any shows on the site, but the phone number to call for information and tickets is provided.
To become a celebrity yourself …
has “Breakdowns” for projects that are casting in the New York area. Anyone can see the list, but to get more information, you’ll need to register for a free account. You’ll find plenty of nonunion projects and student films ideal for the amateur actor, as well more serious stuff (for which you may need an agent). If you don’t have an agent, set up an account with your headshot and resume and submit electronically through the site.
Casting Networks New York
has a direct casting notices page where you can find information about both principal and extra work in New York.
is exclusively focused on finding and placing “background” talent. Download registration
information from the site or take a look at the “FAQs”
for more information.
The Naked Cowboy
, New York's own celebrity, can usually be spotted playing his guitar around the vicinity of Times Square, clad in nothing but a white cowboy hat and a pair of bikini briefs. Or you can catch up with him online on Naked Cowboy TV
For all of the sophistication and culture available in New York City, you’ll also be able to track down plenty of fun family events to please you and your children. If your whole family will be coming with you to New York, take some time to explore the Web for New York City family events and activities everyone can enjoy.
- Exhibits for many of the attractions highlighted in this section change frequently. Check the Web sites often for a calendar of events or a “Plan Your Visit” page to see if anything interests your family.
- Children’s museums are abundant in New York City. The sites listed in the “for general event listings” subsection offer some recommendations and insight into the best museums the city offers. We’ve also provided Web addresses for some other popular museums.
- If you’re among the people who feel that New York is too expensive for your family to enjoy, take some time to thoroughly explore the sites we’ve recommended here. Some events are pricey, but we’ve also found sites that recommend free or low-cost activities for families.
For general event listings …
New York Magazine
dedicates a section of its publication strictly to New York kids. To navigate this page quickly, scan the menu on the left of the page for kid-friendly dining, shopping hotspots and the top attractions in New York City.
offers a list of great places to take kids in New York, including museums, parks, zoos and gardens, and dance studios. There’s also a section on events for families. Site content is updated frequently, so check back often for new events and activities.
is a site by parents and for parents that aims to provide shortcuts to the best activities and places to entertain kids in New York City. Browse the site to find classes, indoor and outdoor activities, tourist stops and more.
New York CityPass
gets you major discounts on six of the most popular New York attractions. Find out what they are, what else there is to do and whether this is a good way for you to see the sights.
For parent-recommended events and activities …
is a blog dedicated to adults that want to make living in or visiting New York a great experience for their children. Posts are written by a New York City parent that enjoys seeking out undiscovered gems in the city.
For cultural and educational events …
calls itself “New York City’s cultural guide for kids.” Parents can search out places for their children to visit in all five boroughs or browse the “Things to Do” section, which makes it easy to plan your schedule.
details the many educational and fun events kids can enjoy in New York City. This site is primarily tourist oriented and meant for people looking for a more personalized way to plan their New York experience. The staff of inSight NYC
is personally familiar with the attractions and accommodations they recommend.
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Web site features information about the exhibits you can expect to find during a visit to this facility, along with a helpful “Visitor Information” section that helps you choose the best time to see the attractions.
The New York City Fire Museum
houses an array of firefighting equipment from the 18th century to the present. Learn about the history of the museum online, or plan your visit using the “Visitor Information” page. A great feature of this site is the “Area Attractions”
page, which directs you to other points of interest in the vicinity of the museum.
For a visit to the zoo …
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
highlights some of the best zoos in New York City, as well as the New York Aquarium, and provides links to WCS parks in New York. Learn more about the mission of the WCS or read news updates from the organization.
The Staten Island Zoo
allows you to explore animal life online in preparation for an actual visit to the zoo. Browse through the “Animal Info” page to learn about some of the attractions the zoo has to offer, or find coloring pages and interactive games at the “Just for Kids!” page. Admission rates and zoo activities are also available on the site.
For family-friendly Broadway plays …
The New Victory Theater
is dedicated to providing high-quality performances for children, with international offerings of theater, music, puppetry, dance, circus and more.
Disney on Broadway
provides show times and play information for productions taking place in the city. Watch videos of the productions, visit the show sites or purchase tickets online.
If you’re a sports fan, following New York sports teams can certainly keep you busy. The New York metropolitan area is home to more major professional sports teams than anywhere else in the country. A total of 10 teams in MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and MLS are scattered around New York, New Jersey and Long Island, and that doesn’t include the many amateur and minor pro sport teams in the area. This section shows you what sports teams are right in New York City, where to find them and how to get tickets.
- Online ticket brokers like StubHub, BuySellTix and Vivid Seats, all of which can be searched on the Ninja Tickets search engine, often offer cheap tickets, but their service and reliability leave something to be desired. If you absolutely need a ticket, pay a little extra and use team sites or Ticketmaster.
For baseball …
The New York Yankees
are the most successful sports franchise in North America. They’ll move to their new stadium for the 2009 season. Most games (especially those against the Red Sox or Mets) sell out quickly, so buy tickets ahead of time.
The New York Mets
are New York’s National League team, winners of two of the most memorable World Series ever. They will open the 2009 season at Citi Field
. The Mets offer tickets
for sale online; with the exception of Subway Series games with the Yankees, there are usually seats available.
The Brooklyn Cyclones
are a popular minor league team who, in 2001, became Brooklyn’s first professional team since the Dodgers left in 1957. The Cyclones routinely sell out the 7,500-seat KeySpan Park on Coney Island. Tickets are sold online, and there is a “Ticket Marketplace”
where you can buy individual game tickets from season holders. Or try going to the KeySpan Park box office at 10 a.m. on game day, when several hundred tickets are made available.
The Staten Island Yankees
are a minor league class A affiliate of the New York Yankees who often play against the Cyclones. Their home turf is the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George; it’s a recently built, state-of-the-art ballpark that’s accessible via the Staten Island Ferry and it has a great view of the Manhattan skyline. Tickets are available online.
For football …
The New York Giants
are one of the oldest teams in the NFL, and the winner of three Super Bowls. Giants tickets are in great demand; try their online “TicketExchange” through Ticketmaster, which offers single game tickets to other season ticket holders and those on the waiting list.
The New York Jets
haven’t seen success since winning Super Bowl III, but they have a loyal following who flock to Giants Stadium for every game. You can’t buy single game tickets
from the Jets unless you are a season ticket holder or on the waiting list.
For basketball …
The New York Knicks
hosts several college tournaments during the season, earning it the nickname “Mecca of College Hoops.” These include the Big East Conference Tournament and the NIT Final Four. An easy way to find cheap tickets for college games is to wait outside the Garden after a game and buy tickets for the next session of games from the losing team’s fans; they’re usually willing to hand off their tickets as soon as possible.
Madison Square Garden
hosts several college tournaments during the season, earning it the nickname “Mecca of College Hoops.” These include the Big East Conference Tournament and the NIT Final Four
. An easy way to find cheap tickets for college games is to wait outside the Garden after a game and buy tickets for the next session of games from the losing team’s fans—who are usually willing to hand off their tickets as soon as possible.
For soccer …
The New York Red Bulls
of Major League Soccer play 15 to 20 games each season in Giants Stadium. They average fewer than 20,000 fans a game in the 80,000-seat stadium, so tickets are easy to get, either through the club site
or at the Izod Center box office before the game.
If New York only conjures up images of models in stilettos and stockbrokers chain smoking, then a large part of its active and athletic population has been ignored. The parks are filled with New York City sports leagues, buildings boast New York City fitness centers and the streets are filled with runners, cyclists and joggers. The sites below cover the full spectrum of New York’s sports community.
- The sites here can help you find teams and pick-up games, but you might also consider posting an ad on Craigslist to find an activity partner.
- Employees of sporting goods shops may have insider information and advice about a particular sports community.
For a do-it-all sports facility …
is Manhattan’s most comprehensive sports facility. With state-of-the-art gym facilities, a golf club, skating rink, batting cage, bowling alley, personal training program and myriad sports teams, the Piers can slake most New Yorkers’ thirst for athletic activity. The catch is that it’s not cheap.
The YMCA of Greater New York
has information about all the facilities at their five Manhattan locations. Each has a fitness club as well as other sport offerings. Prices are likely to be more reasonable than at other health clubs.
To join a league or organization …
is the umbrella organization for several charity sports leagues aimed at young professionals in New York, donating a portion of membership fees to charity. Choose from touch football, outdoor and indoor soccer, volleyball, kickball, softball, dodgeball, and basketball. Teams compete all season and can elect to play for a cause to raise money. ZogSports also spearheads trips, social events, and other volunteer opportunities.
The New York City Social Sports Club
is for folks who miss playground sports and are looking for a way to meet others in a casual but enthusiastic coed environment. Check the site for information about offerings and a calendar of upcoming events.
The New York City Sports Commission
provides links to sports organizations for people with disabilities. Visit the “Adaptive”
page for a calendar of events, a list of adaptive sports organizations and information on New York City sports venue accessibility for people with disabilities.
is a loose league of players and leagues based out of McCarren Park in Williamsburg. Individuals can join the team or sign up to play for a day; you and at least nine friends can even show up on game day and pay to play.
For finding pick-up games …
can help you find pick-up basketball games wherever you are. It also has links to sites for finding pick-up softball and soccer games.
For running resources and clubs …
Nike Central Park Track Club
is a team for competitive runners of all abilities. There are team workouts at varying locations throughout the city.
For tennis …
has a list of private tennis clubs in New York with contact information and links to their Web sites, where available.
For golf courses …
is the official site for the city’s public golf courses. Find out about golfing in New York, learn about courses, and even book tee times.
NYC Tee Times
allows you to set tee times for all New York City golf courses run by the American Golf Corporation. If you want to look beyond the municipal options above, head here.
For skateboarding in the city …
Official New York
provides a more comprehensive list of New York City skate parks than those listed by the municipal site. Search by neighborhood in Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn.
For ice skating ...
and its giant Christmas tree offer the quintessential New York winter experience. Get information on admission and private lessons.
may not be as famous as Rockefeller Center but it’s a lovely and slightly less expensive alternative—particularly if you own ice skates. Admission is free; visit the site for information on skate rental.
For bowling …
Leisure Time Bowl
is a bowling lounge in Midtown. Come to seriously bowl, have a party or enjoy some food and drink and bowl not so seriously.
is the perfect venue for those who like to combine bowling and partying. While traditional bowling reigns during the day, the evening is for those 21 and older only, with a well-stocked bar, a live DJ and glow-in-the-dark play.
For kayaking and canoeing …
The New York City Downtown Boathouse
runs a program for free kayaking on the Hudson. Take a 20-minute paddle, take a three-hour trip, or take a class. The site has details about when to arrive and what to bring.
The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club
offers free canoe trips on the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. The club is closed during the winter, but reservations can be made online beginning in the spring.
The Long Island City Community Boathouse
offers free programs in kayaking, canoeing, and education on the East River. The Boathouse is in Long Island City, Queens, and offers programs for groups and individuals of all levels.
For rock climbing and bouldering …
provides listings and evaluations for gyms and climbing sites in New York.
The City Climbers Club
is a nonprofit organization for climbers in New York. Become a member or purchase a day pass to go climbing at the 59th Street Rec Center.
a bar in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, supplements its wide selection of food and drink with two quite popular bocce ball courts.
New York City’s skyline is its thumbprint and, in many ways, its identity. But at ground level you’ll find that amid this urban landscape are New York City parks and green spaces that rival its most notable monoliths for their aesthetic beauty, ingenuity and architectural significance. Find the great outdoors within the city limits: Use the Web to guide you through New York City parks, community gardens and hidden gems.
- In addition to parks, New York City has a multitude of public gardens. Most notable are its botanical gardens, which can be found in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. If you were wondering, a botanical garden is different from a regular garden because special emphasis is placed upon categorizing and documenting the plants.
- One way to get involved in community improvement (and meet like-minded people) is to become a citizen pruner, parks volunteer or tree steward. See the “To play a role in maintaining New York’s parks and trees” subsection below for more information.
- "New York City Trees" by Edward S. Barnard is a field guide to the trees of New York City and its environs. Produced with the assistance of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the New York Tree Trust, this book shows you the best places to see trees, how to find the city’s greatest trees, and more.
- For those who think that the bird population of New York consists solely of pigeons (which most New Yorkers call “flying rats”), "Red-Tails in Love" by Marie Winn recounts the romance between a pair of hawks who made their home on the ledge of a luxury apartment building on the edge of Central Park.
For general information about parks ...
The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
has the largest body of information about New York City’s parks on the Web. Ideas for things to do and extensive details on the amenities and locations of the city’s parks are two of this site’s most interesting features.
The National Park Service
(NPS) has information on New York City metro area parks maintained by the NPS, rather than the Department of Parks and Recreation. The links on the left side of the page relay you to further information on each of the park sites.
Central Park Conservancy
(CPC) hosts the official Web site for Central Park. Central Park is the labyrinthine, 843-acre park that runs from 59th Street to 110th Street in Manhattan. Navigating the park can be a challenge, and keeping on top of all the events hosted there and the activities available can be nearly impossible. The CPC’s Web site is your first step to figuring it all out. The “Events,” “Activities/Programs,” and “Virtual Park” sections provide useful overviews.
For news on New York City’s parks ...
has a section called “Parks Links In The News,” where it aggregates the latest stories that cover issues related to or affecting New York City parks. The site provides brief summaries of the articles and links to the full texts at their original sources.
For outdoor concerts …
is an annual tradition in Central Park. Held in Rumsey Playfield (at 70th Street, approximately) from June to September, SummerStage is a weekly concert series featuring some widely renowned musicians and artists, such as the Beastie Boys, Common, Television and Neko Case. Best of all, it’s free.
For bird watching in New York City ...
To play a role in maintaining New York’s parks and trees ...
New Yorkers For Parks
is the city’s oldest independent organization working to “ensure greener, safer, cleaner parks.” Learn about their initiatives and, more important, how to get involved.
Trees New York’s “Citizen Pruner"
program trains area residents to become licensed volunteer tree pruners. With roughly 2.5 million trees in the parks and along the streets of the city, citizen pruners play an important role in caring for and protecting neighborhood trees. Learn more about this program, taught at various locations in the five boroughs.
For community gardens ...
New York Restoration Project
is a nonprofit group that works to revitalize disused and derelict park and garden spaces throughout the city. Get inspired to become involved by taking virtual tours of gardens around the five boroughs.
Sometimes, the best medicine for dealing with New York’s cutthroat, dog-eat-dog atmosphere is a dog … or a cat, bird, turtle or chinchilla. Use the Web to discover New York City pet care resources, ways to connect with other pet owners and other valuable information for pet care in the big city.
- Because there are so many Web sites out there dedicated to dogs, we have included a few more dog links than cat links here. No offense to cat owners, of course.
- Many of the sites below list dog walkers and pet hotels but naturally it’s the places that advertise that get the most exposure. Try to do more research on a specific place before you make a decision, either by word of mouth or by typing the name into a search engine.
- For more information on pets, consult the findingDulcinea Pets Web Guide.
For general information …
City Pet Guide
is the online version of the yearly publication that compiles tons of suggestions, listings and facts about owning a pet in New York City. Use the guide to search through all the categories, like pet stores and aquariums.
is brilliant, to say the least. Not only can you find a “date” or a friend for your pet but you can also find a date for yourself, or a little of both. Make a joint profile for yourself and your pet (any kind of pet), type in your zip code and explore the pet dating community. If you only date guys with canaries from Brooklyn, this is where you’ll find those feather-adoring gentlemen.
For pet care …
indexes a variety of vets throughout New York City. Vets are listed by type (for example, cat vets or dog vets) and by borough. Contact information for each business is provided.
Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group
offers guaranteed 24-hour service for animals in critical condition. Located in Brooklyn, the clinic accepts animals when other veterinarians or animal hospitals are closed.
For dogs …
should be your Bible if you have a dog in the city. This enlightening, witty online magazine covers as much ground as a racing whippet. The database allows you to search for vets, daycare centers, walkers and other services according to location. Also look for information on health and behavioral issues, and local dog laws.
The NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
has all the information you need about your dog and New York City parks. The “NYC Pet Owners Guide”
(a PDF document) explicitly details the rules for bringing a dog to the park, and offers tips to keep in mind. The site also has a list of dog runs available by borough, links to groups that specialize in caring for a dog in New York City and more helpful tidbits.
isn’t a pretty site but it certainly gets the job done. Find a long list of dog-friendly places including hotels, attractions, beaches, stores and forms of transportation, as well as dog-friendly parks and off-leash parks. All the listings have links to more information about that particular location.
For cats …
New Cat City
is a blog for those New Yorkers who can’t read enough about cats. This blog is about the life of Avram and more particularly, his two cats Arthur and Beowulf.
is a national organization based in New York City that advocates the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) approach to alleviating the overpopulation of feral cats. Visit the site for sporadic news reports and event listings.
It has been said that New York is the city that never sleeps. That’s bad when you’re trying to get some pillow time in your hotel overlooking Times Square, but good when you’ve found yourself in a bind. Few cities in the world offer such a wealth of assistance around the clock. The resources below make it simple to find a New York City doctor, locksmith, plumber or public restroom anytime.
- The directory sites listed below also offer valuable information on other topics. Use them to find restaurants, shopping locations, car services and transportation, gyms, travel services and more.
- Many of the businesses you’ll find in the directories are also reviewed on editorial sites like Citysearch and Yelp. If you have time, run a search on a business or clinic you might visit to get customer reviews.
For general 24-hour directories …
NFT (Not For Tourists)
offers a list of many 24-hour services, including 24-hour delivery/messengers, 24-hour laundromats, 24-hour newsstands, 24-hour private investigators and more. Select the service you need and the neighborhood you’re in (or search by zip code) for results.
For help finding a 24-hour pharmacy or medical facility …
provides a directory of 24-hour pharmacies across Manhattan that includes the pharmacy name, address and phone number. You’ll also find urgent care, integrated medicine and house call options.
helps you search for emergency care across New York. Look for links to urgent care centers, emergency care, 24-hour pharmacies, and other important health and safety information. Visit “Travelers’ Wellness Center
” for same-day appointments.
For help finding a locksmith …
finds locksmiths who can deal with home locks, car locks, commercial locks, and more. The site explains what each service entails and allows you to enter your contact information and need via the Internet, or call a toll-free number to get a locksmith immediately.
For help finding a plumber …
allows you to search for plumbers by zip code. Results include a description of the business, contact information and links to the company Web site when available.
searches for local plumbers based on your zip code and the type of service you need (including heating and air conditioning). Once you’ve searched, you can get free quotes by entering basic project information. The company you’ve selected will then contact you with more information.
The Bathroom Diaries
reviews public restrooms throughout New York State. Select the location you’re visiting (for the New York City area, the options are Manhattan, the Bronx, and Long Island City) and you’ll find bathroom reviews arranged by neighborhood. Reviews include factors like “hours,” “gender,” “fee,” “details” and “style.”
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