Only In: NYC
Welcome to the new series, “Only In.” Here, I’ll cover things that make a city unique. First, up: NYC. From Broadway to bagels, here are six things that you can do only in New York City.
1. See a Broadway Show
Sure, you can see theater in loads of places, but there’s only one real-deal Broadway. From the impossible-to-see Hamilton to shows getting rave reviews like Dear Evan Hansen, this is the only place to see shows when they're new and with their original casts. On our last visit, Nate and I saw Come From Away, the true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them.
Pro Tip: You can get tickets through dozens of outlets, including at the theaters themselves, but nothing beats the prices at the Theater Development Fund's TKTS outlets, which sell tickets for same-day and next-day performances. The Times Square location has been in business for more than 35 years and there are now additional booths at South Street Seaport and Lincoln Center.
2. Take the Best Boutique Fitness Class
New York City gets everything before anyone else--including fitness trends. Want to take a spin class in a swimming pool? You can find it here. Maybe trampoline cardio or JuggleFit? Also in NYC. Last November, I took a class at Peloton, where you'll find the only studio in Chelsea. Here, riders can experience the in-person cycling taught by the elite NYC instructors, filmed live and broadcasted to thousands of fellow riders worldwide. And if you have a favorite instructor (CODY FOREVER!), you can snap a selfie post-class.
Pro Tip: The most exclusive fitness classes in NYC are not cheap, but you can score deals by signing up for Groupon, ClassPass, or even get a first-timer deal.
3. Eat All the Bagels (And a Slice)
Of course you can buy a bagel in any city across the globe, but no one does them better than NYC. According to popular belief, the superb texture of the New York bagel has to do with New York City's water. Some also say it's the boiling. Whatever the reason, NYC bagels are cheap, easy to find, and delicious. And of course, there’s a New York slice: Classic New York-style, thick Sicilian-style, wood-fired, coal oven, Neapolitan, Roman--you can't go wrong and it won't break the bank.
Pro Tip: For the best of NYC bagels, try Ess-a-Bagel, Black Seed, Bo's Bagels, Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company, or Tal...the list could go on forever.
4. Ride the biggest subway system in America
Despite the locals constant complaints about the city’s MTA, New York City has an incredibly robust and efficient subway system and I miss it terribly. This public transportation runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Plus, it's the fastest and cheapest way to get around when visiting New York.
Pro Tip: Download the MTA app on your phone to navigate the train and bus lines. And purchase multiple rides/dollars on your metrocard since buying a single ride is more expensive in the long run and new cards cost $1. Even if you don’t use it again, you can take it home as a souvenir.
5. 6. Visit Central Park
Whether you want to picnic, sunbathe, hit up a bar, ice skate, roller skate, or go for a run--the activities are endless in this urban oasis.
Pro Tip: The Official Central Park Tours offers loads of free tours for all ages and interests. Guided and self-guided tours are offered.
Spend the afternoon at Grand Central Station
First, there’s the gorgeous fresco on the ceiling and the famous clock. But Grand Central Station is also home to incredible shops and food, including Michelin-starred fine dining. Grand Central Oyster bar has an old-school vibe and fantastic seafood. And there’s The Campbell Bar, the hard-to-find fancy cocktail bar that feels as if you're in a wealthy New Yorker's apartment. You can even play a game of tennis at the Vanderbilt Tennis Club on the 4th floor.
Pro Tip: Find the Whispering Gallery, just outside of Grand Central Oyster bar; when two people stand at diagonal arches and whisper, they can hear each other's voices "telegraphed" from each side.