10 Reasons to Love NYC

I was a child the first time I visited New York. I was born in a small Ohio town where everyone knew each other, yards weren’t separated by fences and most homes were a single story with a basement. New York City was a huge culture shock. I don’t remember much about it other than thinking the buildings were tall, the city was loud, and everything felt really crowded.

These days, New York is one of my favorite places to visit. There’s so much to love about this city. No other place has had so many movies, TV shows, books and songs written about it, but here’s my contribution: ten reasons, in no particular order, why I keep going back.

  • The people
    I love New Yorkers. Seriously. They’re direct, they don’t waste words. I get why they have a reputation for being rude or brash, but I’ve met so many nice people in the city. And we’ve all seen how they pull together in a crisis. New Yorkers are awesome.

Cool vibe on the street in NYC

  • The vibe
    Every city has it’s own special “thing” that makes it unique. In New York, it’s like an invisible current that flows through the air, infusing excitement into everyone and everything that goes on. You feel it the moment your feet hit the pavement. People move faster, the lights are brighter…it may be a cliché, but once you’ve experienced it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s like no other place I’ve visited.
  • The history
    As one of the oldest cities in North America, New York has plenty of history. It was the original capital of the United States – George Washington was inaugurated here – and the boroughs have buildings dating back to the late 1600s. If you go beyond obvious landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, in Manhattan you’ll find historical treasures like St. Paul’s Chapel (built in 1765) where George Washington’s pew has been preserved, and the Morris-Jumel Mansion, the oldest house in the city. Plus, NYC can proudly say that both Scrabble and toilet paper were invented here. And Lord knows the world is a better place thanks to these two inventions! (Visit NYCurbed, ILoveNY or NYDailyNews to find more cool historical facts.)
"Starry, Starry Night" by Van Gogh's "Starry, Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh

Viewing Van Gogh’s “Starry, Starry Night” in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

  • The culture
    With more than 200 museums, 75 theaters, galleries, botanical gardens, libraries and studios woven into the very fabric of the city, New York has an abundance of cultural attractions. When my daughter and I visited the Museum of Modern Art, I was blown away by the incredible paintings hanging there: Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Pollack, Miró, Monet, Kandinsky, Rousseau. It was staggering the number of masterpieces housed inside this building. And that’s just one of the museums. Even if you visited a different attraction every single day, one year later you still wouldn’t be done. Incredible. (Visit NYCGo to find museums with free entry.)
  • The pop-culture
    Just about every turn you take leads you to a spot that is recognizable from TV or the movies. As we strolled through Central Park, we found the tunnel from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, where Kevin meets the bird lady and traps the bad guys. You can eat in McGees, the pub that McLaren’s is based on for How I Met Your Mother. It’s across the street from Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, The Original Soupman. Walking around the campus of Columbia University the steps of the library brings back memories of Ghostbusters. Everyone from Batman to Superman to Carrie Bradshaw, Monica Gellar and Big Bird calls NYC home. Because it’s where the cool kids live!
  • The food
    Whatever you want to eat, whenever you want to eat it, you can find it in New York. TripAdvisor lists more than 14,000 restaurants, and more than 3,000 of them have vegan options! You’ll find every cuisine, every variation on a theme, more chains than you knew existed, as well as homestyle mom and pop eateries. With this much competition, every place fights to be at the top of their game. And truthfully, I have yet to eat something awful in New York. It really is a foodie paradise.
  • The convenience
    Getting around New York City is so easy. Ubers and taxis are everywhere. Subways and buses are regular and dependable. You can even use apps like Transit to track exactly how long your wait will be for the next one to come along. But my favorite mode of transportation is my own four wheels. The city is extremely walkable and then you get to see all the people, shops and restaurants that you would miss if you were underground or cruising by on a bus or Uber. No matter how you choose to get around, you’ll have an easy time of it since Manhattan Island is just under 23 square miles. Yep, more than 2 million people crammed into that narrow strip of land!
Bridge in New York's Central Park

A view from Central Park

  • The beauty
    I live on a lake near the mountains so I know all about natural beauty. But I’m equally enthralled with the beauty of the city: the skyscrapers, the iconic brownstones, the tree lined streets and historic architecture. Central Park is an unexpected wonder and the community gardens that pop up between buildings are amazingly cool. There is so much beauty in New York and it captures me in different ways every time.
  • It’s open 24/7
    There’s a reason New York is called the city that never sleeps. You want donuts at 2 am? There’s a place that delivers. No matter what time you go out, day or night, there are people around, lights shining bright, and plenty to do, see and eat. And unlike some other major cities (London, Paris, I’m looking at you), the subways run 24/7 too.
  • The diversity
    Yes, there are people from every country, every walk of life, but there is also diversity in what you can do. As in, you can do just about anything you want to do! See a movie, see a play, shop, eat, paint, take a tour, take a class, people watch, see a jazz band, attend a rooftop party, discover a new band — the possibilities are endless in New York.

That’s my list. What appeals to you about New York? Tell me in the comments below!

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11 Comments

  • Lisa 23 November 2017 at 6:44 am

    I totally agree about the pop culture in NYC. I remember visiting the first time and being so excited recognising the film sets! The food here is incredible too, I always come back to Europe heavier!

    Reply
  • Sonja 24 November 2017 at 2:20 am

    Totally agree with all of these! I’ve been to NYC twice and I could just go again and again! Dare I say it, it might be the best city in the USA :D.

    Reply
  • vishvarsha 24 November 2017 at 2:54 am

    I so agree with your list! NYC is amazing – from being super modern to historic in its own way, to being a place where people can explore places late at night, NYC just manages to charm everyone. Though for Food, I feel SF and Los Angeles have way better options.

    Reply
  • Kathy VA 24 November 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Your list is so on point! There are some parts I didn’t realize, but reading it now, I can relate. Everything and everyone is fast in NYC. At first, it was strange to me, later on, I caught the fever. When I got back home, I had internalized the ‘speed’ culture. And yes, NYC never sleeps. And the pop culture lives on forever in NYC.

    Reply
  • Cat 24 November 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I used to live in NYC and I must say it is my favourite city to date. The diversity of culture and food is what I miss the most. And also the lively vibe too!

    Reply
  • James 25 November 2017 at 6:09 am

    I didn’t realize New York had over 200 museums. The city seems to have a lot of history being one of the oldest in the USA. I hope to get there and see it for myself one day!

    Reply
  • Rosie 25 November 2017 at 7:21 am

    Great list – NYC is without doubt one of the best cities in the world! There is just something magical about it, especially Christmas time, and also as you mentioned – so many awesome places to eat!

    Reply
  • Erin 26 November 2017 at 12:08 am

    Love NYC and loved your post! Particularly your point on pop culture which has inspired a new New York bucket list for my next visit. I’ve been to the Seinfeld Diner last time (Tom’s) but didn’t realise the How I met Your Mother Pub was a real venue!!!! Plus the tunnel from Home Alone? A great excuse to scurry around Central Park some more!

    Reply
  • Mimi & Mitch 26 November 2017 at 1:51 am

    We absolutely love NYC too, this is perfect for people that are thinking of moving there. Its convenience is one of our favs and the fact public transport is 24/7 is quite the best. Not to mention, the beauty is indeed a big plus!

    Reply
  • Agness of eTramping 28 November 2017 at 5:21 am

    NYC is my dream destination and going there would be a dream come true. These 10 reasons are more than enough for me to fall in love wit it over and over again, Sherrie. What shouldn’t we miss when being there?

    Reply
    • Sherrie 28 November 2017 at 7:04 pm

      I think it depends on what appeals to you the most. For me, going to MOMA was amazing. Seeing the artwork of all these painters that I had admired for so long was very cool. But I loved going to the top of the Empire State Building, wandering through Central Park was incredible, and then seeing Times Square with the iconic crystal ball that drops every New Year — I’m enthralled every time I visit the city. I’d say do a lot of research for all there is to do (it’s a LOT!) and then create your own itinerary to make sure you see everything that’s important to you! Hope you get to visit soon!

      Reply

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