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The Ultimate Guide to New York City

Photo: Ericka McConnell

Photo: Andrea Fazzari

Photo: Dean Kaufman

Photo: Andrea Fazzari

Photo: Courtesy of MOMA

Photo: Christopher Sturman

Photo: Courtesy of NYC & Company

Photo: David Nicolas

Photo: David Nicolas

Photo: Courtesy of Asiate

Photo: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

Photo: Courtesy of Blue and Cream

It’s not especially modest to call New York City the center of the modern world—but then, as New Yorkers are the first to admit, their hometown has never been shy about tooting its own horn. The buildings are soaring, look-at-me towers; crowds are boisterous and diverse; zillion of restaurants and shops cater every conceivable taste; museums and performance spaces offer everything from masterworks to avant-garde creations. Around almost any corner is a commingling of energy, congruous and clashing at the same time. The result is messy, beautiful, and very New York.

Hotels (28)

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    Tribeca Grand

    The 201-room Tribeca Grand is significantly smaller than its SoHo sister property, but you wouldn't know it from the hotel's soaring atrium, eight

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    Soho Grand

    This trendsetting refuge for downtown movers and shakers still has as much élan as it did when it opened in 1996. Interior designer William Sofield

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    The Shoreham

    Most people don't think of midtown Manhattan as a place to chill out—but don't tell the Shoreham, a 177-room hotel that resembles a chic spa retrea

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    60 Thompson

    It didn't reinvent New York's downtown hotel scene the way the Soho Grand and the Mercer did—it came later, in 2001—but this hyperdesigned, esoteri

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    Inn at Irving Place

    Two adjoining town houses comprise this unassuming Victorian inn, housed in an 1834 brownstone just south of historic Gramercy Park. The look—flora

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    Lafayette House

    You're on your own at this hip approximation of a Victorian pied-à-terre, but that's one of its selling points. Checking in means ringing the buzze

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    The Library Hotel

    Although nonbibliophiles may find it a tad precious, it's hard not to be charmed by the schtick of this bookish hotel. In a nod to the nearby New Y

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    The Pod Hotel

    Taking its cue from the Ikea school of cheap chic, this youth-oriented urban hotel isn't for everyone. But its 347 tiny, clean, cleverly designed r

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    City Club Hotel

    Stylish and compact, this former members-only club is a well-designed secret among midtown hotels. The 65 smallish rooms have combed-plaster walls,

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    Hôtel Plaza Athénée, New York

    One of the few independent hotels left in Manhattan, this 142-room bijou is cherished by Europeans (and savvy celebrities) for its intimacy and att

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    The London NYC

    Since opening in late 2006, the London may have received less press than its Gordon Ramsay-run in-house restaurant, but this elegant, all-suite hot

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    Gramercy Park Hotel

    When design partners Ian Schrager and Julian Schnabel unveiled their reimagined, ultraswanky Gramercy Park Hotel in winter 2006, it brought modern

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    Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

    The sight (and, it must be said, smell) of carriage horses greets you as you enter this 33-story, limestone-fronted building on the southern edge o

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    Blue Moon Hotel

    Set on the Lower East Side's main thoroughfare, this 22-room brick guesthouse—originally built as a tenement in 1879—perfectly embodies its quirky,

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    The Lowell

    Less glamorous than the Carlyle and less fanciful than the Plaza Athénée, the Lowell at first seems more conservative than its genteel Upper East S

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Restaurants (13)

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    Back Forty

    This spare yet cozy East Village joint, endearingly decorated with old agricultural implements and populated by bearded neo-bohemians, is the brain

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    Hill Country

    The Big Apple has become a barbecue battleground lately, but our award for the smokiest, juiciest cue goes to this big raucous space that seems to

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    El Quinto Pino

    Tia Pol, the only truly authentic tapas bar in New York City, spawned an equally lovable sibling in the western reaches of Chelsea. The pint-size c

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    Allen & Delancey

    Pretty young things flirt by the light of flickering votives in this fabulously romantic brick-walled space that evokes a 1920's speakeasy half-hid

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    Bar Blanc

    Packed since the day it was launched in December 2007 by a trio of Bouley veterans, Bar Blanc exudes a grown-up glamour and self-assurance rarely s

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    Anthos

     

    Anthos closed for business in August 2010.

    Opened in 2007 to rave reviews, this boxy black, brown, and beige Midtown space has rescued Greek cuis

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    BLT Market

    Modern-day Marie Antoinettes get their fix of haute-farmhouse chic at BLT Market, the newest (and cleverest) New York addition to Laurent Tourondel

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    Gramercy Tavern

    Beloved for its cozy tavernlike charm (think wooden beams and twiggy flower arrangements), creative cocktails, and the seductive aromas that waft f

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    Saravanaa

    Those looking for authentically vibrant South Indian vegetarian cooking will find nirvana at this Curry Hill lunch spot—a no-nonsense joint brighte

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    Chinatown Brasserie

    This loud and dark stylized place with its ornate cocktails, Rat Pack-style red leather booths, and electronica soundtrack might look like yet anot

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    Momofuku Ssäm Bar

    With a mile-long list of accolades and awards—and even longer waits for stools at his East Village dining bars—the Korean-American cook David Chang

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    Per Se

    A tasting menu for two at superchef Thomas Keller's plushly impersonal 16-table dining room overlooking Columbus Circle will last three hours and s

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    Cru

    With an 80,000-bottle cellar especially rich in Burgundies and Barolos, this clubby brown-on-beige oenophile’s haunt is where wine barons uncork 19

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Activities (37)

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    Jazz at Lincoln Center

    The standout success within the controversial Time Warner Center Mall is the slick Jazz at Lincoln Center venue, largely thanks to artistic directo

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    Pianos

    One of the best indie-rock music venues to emerge this millennium, Pianos opened quietly in 2002 in a former piano store—the club’s current owners

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    The Box

    This chandelier-draped, Moulin Rouge-esque destination—a multihyphenated performance space-cum-cocktail lounge-cum-celebrity hangout-cum-restaurant

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    Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)

    Simultaneously high art and rollicking good fun, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is a Broadway-beating theater space that draws boldfaced names—recen

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    Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel

    When Ian Schrager used his Midas touch to gild the much-loved Gramercy Park Hotel, he sure didn’t skimp on its first-floor bar, retaining the vinta

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    Angel’s Share

    This Japanese-run lounge is a hushed, romantic spot for a cocktail for two—that's because seating is limited, and in traditional style, drinkers (n

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    King Cole Bar

    Tucked inside the storied St. Regis Hotel, this high-class watering hole—named after the whimsical Maxfield Parrish mural behind the bar—is one of

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    Campbell Apartment

    This clubby jewel box of a bar, hidden inside Grand Central Terminal, was the long-abandoned office and salon of millionaire magnate and railroad b

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    Grand Central Terminal

    The restoration of this beautiful Beaux-Arts behemoth in the late 1990's has created the perfect place to enjoy a drink or dinner while watching co

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    Central Park

    Rambling yet contained, nature-filled yet man-made, this 843-acre oasis provides a welcome respite from the concrete jungle for locals and tourists

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    New Museum

    This striking home for downtown's contemporary art hub—led by savvy director Lisa Phillips—made a splashy debut in December 2007, thanks to its ext

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    The Frick Collection

    Pittsburgh-born, 19th-century robber baron Henry Clay Frick spent his coal-and-steel millions filling his opulent Fifth Avenue limestone home with

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    Times Square

    Jam-packed with both tourists and neon, this famous area may be the city's most frenetic and chain-store heavy, but it's also becoming a worthwhile

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    Brooklyn Bridge

    A stroll along this span is an only-in-New York experience that provides an up-close sense of the city's true grandeur. It's hardly the world-recor

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    Staten Island Ferry

    Runs 24 hours a day, with departures every 15 minutes during peak times and every 30 to 60 minutes during off-peak hours.

     

    The historic ferry serv

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Similar Trips (22)

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  • Summer Deals in NYC

    New York City, Midtown East, Upper West Side

    From Memorial Day to Labor Day, when residents head for the beach, most big cities empty out, enabling you to score tables at top-notch restaurants, snag choice theater tickets, and take advantage

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  • Great NYC Street Food

    Manhattan, Union Square/Flatiron, Midtown West

    NYC hot-dog carts, meet the competition: inspired by Danny Meyer’s wildly popular Shake Shack, in Madison Square Park, snack bars are dishing out quick, pedigreed fare in the Big Apple’s green spac...

  • NYC's Family-Friendly Upper East Side

    New York City, Manhattan, Upper East Side, Midtown East, Midtown West

    With its Park Avenue triplexes, brass-buttoned doormen, and Madison Avenue boutiques, the Upper East Side is the Apple at its most polished. And this pricey territory east of Fifth Avenue is certai

    ...

  • A Family's Experience in NYC's East Village

    Manhattan, East Village, Lower East Side

    Two decades ago the East Village was the last place you'd want to investigate with kids. But then the hipsters living in those tenements grew up—and started alternative public schools for their chi

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  • A Family's Take on NYC's Chelsea

    New York City, Manhattan, Chelsea, Union Square/Flatiron, Meatpacking District

    The art dealers started it all. Priced out of Soho in the 1990's, they migrated to the old industrial area north of West 14th Street and transformed warehouses and garages into stunning showcases f

    ...

  • NYC's Kid-Friendly Upper West Side

    Manhattan, Midtown West, Upper West Side

    It's almost like a suburb within the city—a kid-centric community of extra-wide sidewalks and Saturday morning soccer games, of outings to the Museum of Natural History and sippy cups in every café

    ...

  • Wild New York City

    Rye, Upper East Side

    Take a walk on New York's other wild side—by scoping out the city's 250 bird species, visiting nearby nature conservancies, and learning about balancing city life with concern for the environment.

  • Mini-Trip: New York's Theater District

    New York City, Manhattan, Lower East Side, Midtown West

    Catch a show or two—along with a great meal and a few z's—around New York's Great White Way.

  • Design Hunting from New York to Boston

    Boston, Cambridge, New York City, Manhattan, The Bronx

    Three days is all you need to check out the contemporary design highlights of Manhattan and Boston—and to stop along the way to visit pieces of iconic modern architecture in Connecticut.

  • Walking Around New York City's Seaport

    Manhattan, Battery Park/Financial District

    The cobblestoned streets and historic buildings around Manhattan’s former Fulton Fish Market—near the historic South Street Seaport—are home to a new wave of cafés and boutiques.

  • Splurging on Dinner in NYC

    Manhattan, Chelsea, Union Square/Flatiron, Midtown East, Midtown West

    Re-used concepts, obsessive attention to detail, hyper-seasonal ingredients, lectures on salt, fickle chefs and corporate packaging aren't enough to stop people from paying top dollar and sampling ...

  • NYC's New Intimate Restaurants

    East Village, SoHo, West Village

    Small-scale dining rooms don't mean small-scale taste sensations. As the bar dining craze has hit New York by storm, a slew of chefs have hit their stride, serving everything from kimchee-zapped oy

    ...

  • NYC's Ethnic Cuisine

    Manhattan, East Village, Chelsea, Lower East Side, Midtown East

    New York City truly is a melting pot and you have to look no further than the vast array of cuisines from other countries available in some of the city's best restaurants as proof.

  • NYC's Adventurous Restaurants

    West Village, Lower East Side

    Ready for your taste buds to be tickled and tackled, bewildered and charmed?Order a degustation menu at New York City's WD~50, Wylie Dufresne's stylish laboratory of experimental cuisine. The unsto

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  • Breakfasting in NYC

    SoHo, Upper East Side, Lower East Side

    Whether you like to really fortify yourself for the day with maple-butter slathered pancakes or kugelhopf (raisin-studded yeast cake), or you prefer a flaky apple gallette or a dainty serving of ro

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