Monday, November 30, 2015

New York is a city that, for the most part,
lives up to the hype.
The bagels, the pizza, even the tap water—all are
justly celebrated.
But for every cheap, delicious slice, there's also a
well-tread experience that doesn't deliver.
Here's our list of what to skip on
a trip to the Big Apple, and what to do instead.
The things we've shared here shouldn't surprise—even a
list of overrated things in New York is overrated. But as oft-repeated as much
of this advice is, it's still sound.
Avoid the crowds (as best you can) and
get an alternate view of the City that Never Sleeps.
1.
Times Square Sometimes you have to go to Times Square.
Sometimes you
are going to the theater.
Sometimes you are visiting a midtown office
building.
Sometimes you are walking from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to
the Central Branch of the New York Public Library.
Sometimes, you just have to
take a picture for your Instagram.
We get it.
But get a good squint at all
those lights and then get out of there.
For a better sense of New York City's public spaces, try Union Square
instead.
(Its particularly delightful greenmarket is on Mondays, Wednesdays,
Fridays, and Saturdays.
Browse the stalls and pick up some much-beloved treats
like ostrich jerkey from Roaming Acres Ostrich, sachets from Lavender on the
Bay, and honey and jams from Berkshire Berries.
You are just like a real New
Yorker now.) 2.
The Empire State Building You've seen King Kong—all
three of them.
You love An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle.
The
Empire State Building means something to you.
Great! But why go up it when you
can see it from someplace else? Try the Top of the Rock instead—it's got
equally delightful views of the city, a slightly less oppressive crowd,
and—best of all—the panorama includes the Empire State.
3.
Williamsburg Maybe you have seen Girls? Maybe you have a cousin or a
niece who drinks PBR? Maybe you have spent your whole life listening to Jay-Z
songs? While Brooklyn is definitely worth the trip across the East River,
Williamsburg—for all you may have heard of it—isn't its most
representative quarter (though we'll admit its restaurants can't be beat).
Try
Fort Greene instead—a historically diverse neighborhood full of delightful
local restaurants and businesses (check out Greenlight Bookstore), and
tree-shaded brownstones.
4.
Hamilton Okay, Hamilton isn't overrated; it's just too difficult to
get a ticket.
If your luck runs out (Hamilton also offers a "Ham4Ham" $10
ticket lottery, replete with special performances), try something at the
Public Theater, where Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical originally premiered,
instead.
5.
Magnolia Cupcakes People are still going to Magnolia Cupcakes! It has
been 11 years since Sex and the City ended.
(And 10 years since the SNL video
short "Lazy Sunday.") Let the cupcake trend finally die, and indulge in a
superior dessert: pie.
Try Brooklyn's Four and Twenty Blackbirds, which
features specials like Bourbon Pear Crumble or Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan,
instead.
6.
Cronuts We'll admit they sound appealing in the abstract, but there's
nothing alluring about the line of people still gathering outside of pastry
chef Dominique Ansel's bakery every morning.
Why wait when the city has so
many spectacular donut alternatives? Try the Donut Plant, Peter Pan Donuts, or
Dough instead.
New York (the country, even) is in a donut golden age.
7.
Statue of Liberty Bring me your tired, your poor, your hungry ...
Lady
Liberty, an inspiring symbol and ogle-worthy work of colossal statuary,
actually isn't that fun to visit.
While peering out from her crown is pretty
cool, the long wait to get up there isn't.
Try Ellis Island, the next stop on
the Statue Cruise's ferry.
Your tired, poor, hungry, and historically inclined
still get a great view of the Statue from the water, and get a lot more
besides: a look back at all those immigrants (from which 40 percent of
U.S.
citizens can trace their lineage) "yearning to breathe free."
New York is a city that, for the most part, lives up to the hype.
The
bagels, the pizza, the tap water—all are justly celebrated.

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