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.
1 Carrying a torch
No city gives a better welcome than New York. The Statue of Liberty leaves the light on for you, no matter who you are, no matter where you've come from, no matter how long you've been away. Information: statueofliberty.org, ferry $12. Catherine Wilson, Thornwood, N.Y.
2 Hustle that bustle
Every corner in Midtown is packed with people waiting to cross the street. Everyone is rushing to get to the meeting, the java fix, the subway. No stopping to smell the roses here—just grab a bunch of flowers from one of the many vendors and smell them as you hurry on to your next destination. Karen Ganz, Aurora, Colo.
3 Chip off the old block
As soon as I get to New York, as well as on my way back to the airport, I visit Levain Bakery—because all my friends expect the sinful chocolate-chip cookies as souvenirs. We've even ordered them by mail. Information: 167 W. 74th St., 212/874-6080, levainbakery.com, $3.75. Rhonda Gillette, Olathe, Kans.
4 Curb enthusiasm
If the energy of New York doesn't fire a person up, that person may already be dead. Kaymaria Daskarolis, Oakland, Calif.
5 Icing on the cake
It's one of the only places where a pink cupcake, covered in sprinkles, is actually cool. My favorites: Billy's Bakery (184 Ninth Ave., 212/647-9956,billysbakerynyc.com, $2) and Cupcake Café (18 W. 18th St., 212/465-1530,cupcakecafe.com, $2.50). Hannah Stahmer, Gainesville, Fla.
6 Your kind of town
No matter where you're from, there's a neighborhood that'll make you feel at home. Eric Vazquez, Rapid City, S.D.
7 Show 'em how
Broadway is better when it's discounted. In addition to TKTS in Times Square (W. 46th St., tdf.org), there's a booth at the South Street Seaport where you can buy next-day matinee tickets. Another great source is the Playbill Club (playbill.com). Cindy Kilkenny, Brookfield, Wis.
8 The global village
Within a few East Village blocks you can find world-class falafel at Chickpea (210 E. 14th St., 212/228-3445, getchickpea.com, $4.50); pizza at Una Pizza Napoletana (349 E. 12th St., 212/477-9950, unapizza.com, from $21, closed Mon.–Wed.); Asian fusion at Momofuku Noodle Bar (171 First Ave., 212/475-7899, momofuku.com, from $9); and desserts at Black Hound (170 Second Ave., 212/979-9505, blackhoundny.com). David Eisenstein, Freehold, N.J.
9 Ghostly presence
You could be passing a house haunted by Revolutionary War soldiers and not even know it. Laura Kwartler, San Diego, Calif.
10 Book a room
My husband and I moved to Florida from Connecticut five years ago. When we need a New York fix, our favorite hotel is the Library Hotel, near Grand Central. There are complimentary espressos and cappuccinos in the library area 24/7. Information: 299 Madison Ave., 212/983-4500, libraryhotel.com, from $229. Lisa Cicchesi, Cape Coral, Fla.
11 You're the top
I always get goose bumps when I set foot in the cool, granite foyer of the Empire State Building. Memories of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember envelop my mind. From the observatory, if I look closely, I can see my dreams come true. Information: 350 Fifth Ave., esbnyc.com, $19. Lillis Werder, Manassas, Va.
12 Sweet spot
I discovered that I love New York three years ago. I've just returned from my fifth trip since then and have found another reason to love the city: Economy Candy on the Lower East Side. It's been there since the 1930s and has an old-time atmosphere and more candy than you've ever seen in one place. Information: 108 Rivington St., 800/352-4544, economycandy.com. C.E. Westwood, San Diego, Calif.
13 Coffee talk
At the Starbucks near the U.N., you can hear a dozen languages spoken at once. Information: 943 Second Ave., 212/715-0752starbucks.com. Katie Monticchio, New York, N.Y.
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