New York offers unique authenticity

By Caroline Yablon | Copy Editor

I agree with you, Alicia Keys: New York City is a concrete jungle where dreams are made of. The big lights that twinkle across the city are inspiring; they push me to work hard so that one day I can stop being a tourist and call this place my home.

Despite the sketchy people in weird costumes walking Times Square trying to hug you for a tip, the rats that you see squeaking across the floor in the subway station that makes you question ‘should I have taken an Uber?’ and the constant street beggars who stop you to ask for change, New York City is still the greatest city (that I’ve ever been to).

From the food and entertainment to cultures and even transpiration, the city always provides you with options. As a food guru, the food is one of my favorites aspects about the city; there are nearly 26,697 restaurants to choose from. The food that you can eat is out of the ordinary. Why order a plain chocolate shake for dessert, when you can order one with chocolate chips and brownie batter running off edges of your cup, with a blob of whipped cream and topped with a giant slice of cake at the iconic Black Tap Burger. If you’re feeling Asian or Italian food, there’s no going to PF Chang’s China Bistro or Olive Garden to fill that crave when you can take a subway to China Town and Little Italy and indulge in high-calorie food that is authentic cuisine. For bagel lovers, poppy seed, plain, cinnamon raisin and everything bagels with cream cheese or butter can seem so boring when you can get a rainbow bagel with cannoli cream cheese on top at The Bagel Store. New York City is the hub for taking ordinary food and adding a twist to it.

NYC is known as the city that never sleeps –– you will never be bored here, that’s for sure. Heck, you can simply be entertained just by walking the streets of Manhattan because you never know what you will see or who you will meet. I have found some of the greatest shops and seen some of the craziest things that I would have never discovered if I hadn’t just ventured out and walked. When you don’t plan out what you see, but let serendipity take its course, you can experience some of the coolest parts of the city.

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Rewon Shimray | Cartoonist

Aside from spontaneous walks, there are many more fun things to do and places to see. One of the big things that NYC is really known for is its rich history in theater. There are around 40 Broadway theaters, where you get to see live performances of stellar actors/actresses and dancers perform in renowned plays like “Hamilton,” “The Lion King,” “Wicked” and so many more. Additionally, for art and history fanatics, there are a record 100 museums to be explored. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where you would see Blaire Waldorf from the show “Gossip Girl” spend much of her time outside on the steps of the Met eating lunch with her girlfriends –– little did they know, there’s famous art and history inside, too — 911 Memorial, the American Museum of Natural History and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum are among some of the most popular institutions to visit. Lastly, what is so fun to do in the city that won’t cost you more than $4 is grabbing a pretzel from the sketchy concession stand in front of Central Park, finding a bench to sit down at and people watch. In New York City, you will always find something to do, even if it’s as simple as people watching in Central Park.

Ultimately, NYC is a city that takes simple things and adds an edge. Whenever I come to visit, I am reminded of how this city can take something so simple and make it feel so magical and exciting –– from the food to walking the streets. My dream is to one day experience the joy that I have for this city not just on vacation, but everyday.