New York City is iconic for so many things, from its food to it’s buildings to it’s cultural
institutions and nightlife. But if you’d like to avoid the hordes of foreign families that seem to
descend on the city in the summer, here are some ideas for alternatives from the typical spots.
Pizza - Perhaps no food is as tied to New York as pizza. Every few blocks there is a place to
grab a slice and there’s no shame walking down the street as you eat it and try to avoid getting
covered in grease. But rather than settle for an ordinary and tasteless slice, head uptown to Sal
and Carmine’s on Broadway and 102nd St. A wood fire oven, hand tossed crispy crust, and the
right ratio of sauce to cheese makes for a practically perfect slice.
Cupcakes - Due in large part to Sex and the City, cupcakes have seemed to replace
cheesecake as the iconic dessert of New York. And while their moment may have passed for
locals, you will still find lines around the block to get into Magnolia Bakery on Bleeker St. Skip
that and instead head to Chinatown for a more unique sweet. Grab a red bean or taro bun from
Fay Da on Centre St, or a pineapple bun from Lung Moon Bakery on Mulberry St.
Park - After stuffing yourself with pizza and baked goods, it would be a good idea
to stroll though a park to digest. There are tons of iconic spots in Central Park, from the
Bethesda Fountain to the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, but skip it in favor of Prospect Park.
More wild, less crowded and easily accessible, this park is 2/3rd’s the size of Central Park but
will still make you feel like you’ve left the city behind. Or if its summer, hop the ferry and check
out Governor’s Island Park and explore the crazy art installations.
Historic Site - While visiting the Statue of Liberty may seem like a fun idea, know that it will take
most of the day to get tickets, ride the ferry, tour the island and get back, all while fighting
massive crowds and without the assurance of being able to climb up the interior. Instead, head
up to Harlem and scratch your Hamilton itch (especially if you can’t get tickets) and visit the
Hamilton Grange National Memorial. The preserved home of the founding father was relocated
to St Nicholas Park and tours and admission are free.
Theater - Seeing a Broadway show is a timeless New York tradition. And while you maybe be
able to score a deal at TKTS for a cheaper seat last minute, why not explore a smaller venue for
something more daring and unusual. The Public Theater has a lot of variety in their programing,
from cabaret shows to more full scale musicals. For dance check out NY Live Arts on 19th St.
Or hop out to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for the latest imported avant guard
production from Europe.
Concert Venue - Seeing a show at Madison Square Garden can be an amazing experience,
from watching a top international star to singing along with 20,000 other people. But why not
check out some up and coming talent at a smaller venue. Bowery Ballroom and Mercury
Lounge have shows almost every night. Shea Stadium and Glasslands in Williamsburg cater to
a young hip crowd. The Bell House in Gowanus hosts everything from bands to comedy shows.
And there are tons of warehouse spaces that host roving EDM parties almost any night of the