Everyone who has ever visited New York City has a different opinion about what is essential about the place. So let's hear it! What do you think captures New York's character or appeal? The best stories we receive will be printed in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
To get your juices flowing, here are a half-dozen of the many good NYC responses we've gotten from other readers so far. They're good because they focus on one place in the city and they give us details. (They've been slightly shortened for space.)
The Peanut Butter Co. serves different combinations of the delicious peanut butter sandwich. Nowhere else has it, and I go there every time I'm in NYC. It's in Greenwich Village, 240 Sullivan Street. I'd go there every day if I lived there.—Ange, Canada
The Hotel Roger Williams The staff make you think you're in a small town. They remember your name and are genuinely concerned about your having the best possible NY experience If you are fortunate enough to get a view of the Empire State Building then you can just look out your window to remind yourself that you are NOT in Kansas any more.—Lisa Mastin, Smyrna, TN
Panna II, an Indian restaurant in the East Village, offered me my most uniquely NYC experience. I was immediately attracted by thousands of Christmas lights dangling from the ceiling in this tiny, cozy, yet dynamic locale. Upon walking down First Avenue, we were greeted by a man standing atop a staircase, pleading and shouting for passersby to come in and eat. Due to the high volume of the restaurant, we shared a table with an artist couple from Brooklyn (with whom we were sharing food and funny stories ten minutes later). Since Panna II doesn't have a liquor license, we ran to a Spanish wine shop two doors down, and our waiter whisked the bottle off our table and poured the wine into glasses without us having to ask. The food was outstanding, and in what other city in the U.S. could you dine in a place whose claim to fame is Where chili pepper lights meet Christmas lights ? Needless to say, my boyfriend and I have made numerous trips back for the food and atmosphere at Panna II. Only in New York.—Eileen Burrowes, Blue Point, NY
H&H; Bagels are hands down the best bagels in the entire world. Some people say it's the NYC water that makes these bagels so good. Nobody really knows why but when I bite into an H&H; Bagel, my whole face feels like it's smiling. They're so good you can even eat them plain. On our most recent trip to NYC, we brought back 3 dozen. They're in our freezer and we try to ration out 2 every day. Plain, sesame, onion, garlic. Whenever I am sitting in my kitchen in Florida and eating an H&H; bagel, I close my eyes. For a brief moment, I am transported back to my post-college days in the city. I imagine that my friends and I are sitting at one H&H;'s little tables dishing about last night's activities at the local hot spot.—Melissa Vanefsky, Deerfield Beach, FL
Rudy's Bar is the reason that I love New York. Located on 9th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen, it's close enough to Broadway to be centrally located but just far enough to retain some classic New York style grittiness. Duct tape hold the red vinyl seats together, the beer is cheap, the smell of hot dogs drifts through the air, and if that's not enough, there is a gigantic pig perched outside the front door. A mixture of young professionals, international travelers, and a few regulars fill the small bar to capacity in the evenings. It is a world away from the posh New York City bars shown in movies and television shows but it somehow manages to feel like the most authentic. You step into the New York City of the 80's and it is a wonderful feeling.—Kristin Templin, Auckland, New Zealand
The Strand Bookstore. It's 16 miles of books and my idea of heaven. When I lived in NYC 20 years ago, I made weekly trips to rummage through the bins. It's much more organized now (and even has air-conditioning and computer check-out), but still a biblioholic's dream— Nancy Mackler, Saxtons River, Vt.
We want to know what you love about the city and why. The more specific, the better: What's the restaurant, shop, attraction, or characteristic that makes New York so uniquely New York? Click here to make your case.