50 Reasons You Love New York City
Our "25 Reasons" stories pinpoint the details that make a place unique. But when you're talking about the greatest city in the world, 25 just won't cut it.
27 Crash pod
Rooms at The Pod Hotel come with iPod docking stations and individual TVs for the bunk beds. (Larger rooms have double or queen beds and private baths.) When my daughter and I stayed there, we called ourselves "two peas in a Pod." Information: 230 E. 51st St., 800/742-5945, thepodhotel.com, from $89. Gina Clark, Charlotte, N.C.
28 Winter wonderland
I love the holiday season, from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to New Year's Eve in Times Square. I love seeing the balloons get inflated on Thanksgiving Eve and then going to the parade in the morning. I love the big Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and the department stores' windows. I love the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. I love watching the ball drop in Times Square. Information: 1260 Sixth Ave., 212/307-7171, radiocity.com, from $42. Julie Kasenow, Los Angeles, Calif.
29 Hepcat's cradle
Founded by Bob Holman, one of the deans of modern poetry, The Bowery Poetry Club is a refuge for intellectuals and artists. The club has poetry slams, creative music, and even comedy. Information: 308 Bowery, 212/614-0505, bowerypoetry.com, $5–$10. Michaela Lola Abrera, Manila, Philippines
30 A club supreme
Smalls offers jazz until 4 a.m., with low lights, brick walls, and comfortable seats. It's like you've stepped back in time. Information: 183 W. 10th St., 212/252-5091, smallsjazzclub.com, $20. Dana Bertotti, Philadelphia, Pa.
31 Local hero
My husband and I signed up with Big Apple Greeter, a free service in which locals give private tours. We were interested in the NYU and Gramercy areas, and our guide was a native New Yorker and NYU grad (back in the '50s) who shared his stories. Information: 212/669-8159, bigapplegreeter.org. Jane Whittington, Grand Rapids, Mich.
32 One in eight million
I love the feeling of being anonymous. Emily Wright, Anthem, Ariz.
"Regular" flavors at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory include ginger, green tea, and red bean, while the "exotic" ones are vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Information: 65 Bayard St., 212/608-4170, chinatownicecreamfactory.com. Laura Nixon, Alexandria, Va.
34 Perfect circle
When I bite into a bagel from H&H Bagels, my whole face feels like it's smiling. Last time, we brought back three dozen. Information: 2239 Broadway, 212/595-8003, hhbagels.com. Melissa Vanefsky, Deerfield Beach, Fla.
35 Hole nother story
Ess-a-Bagel. Game, set, and match. Information: 359 First Ave., 212/260-2252, ess-a-bagel.com. Gary Gleckman, Chula Vista, Calif.
36 Walk-in movie
The Bryant Park Summer Film Festival screens classic movies under the stars. You're surrounded by 1,000 other cinephiles and glowing skyscrapers. Just don't forget bug spray. Information: 212/768-4242, bryantpark.org, Mondays June 16–August 18, free. Tiffany Sun, New York, N.Y.
37 The way we were
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum shows how immigrants shaped the city. It's unbelievable to see how they lived, crammed into small, windowless apartments with 11 other people. Information: 108 Orchard St., 212/431-0233, tenement.org, $17, closed Mon. Gina Knorr, Glenside, Pa.
38 It's a shoe-in
New York is the only place where there's a department store, Saks Fifth Avenue, with a shoe floor that has express elevators and its own zip code (10022-SHOE). Information: 611 Fifth Ave., 212/753-4000, saksfifthavenue.com. Vincent Poole, Richmond, Va.
39 Mac dandy
S'MAC serves variations on macaroni and cheese—mozzarella, manchego, and so on. Kids love it. Information: 345 E. 12th St., 212/358-7912, smacnyc.com, from $4. V. Bhatt, Edison, N.J.
40 Spice of life
I always go to Sahadi's, a Middle Eastern food store in Cobble Hill. It embodies what I love most about New York: Local businesses are supported in a way that you wouldn't expect in such a large city. Information: 187 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, 718/624-4550, sahadis.com. Emily Day, Boston, Mass.