If you're a tourist in New York City, an overbooked socialite, or just one of those people who can't stand to focus on a single thing for more than a day, you won't be able to see all the major sites in NYC, or even a portion of what it has to offer. So what's the best way to get that Big Apple experience? It's definitely not following the normal crowd of tourists around. Instead, we've distilled three hundred years of NYC history, growth, architecture, and development into five quick and painless stops for your convenience. Don't say we aren't doing the world a favor here.
5. Central Park
But honestly, even though a park isn't the reason you came to the biggest city in America, this is one of the best spots to experience NYC from. Firstly, you won't run into hordes of tourists. Secondly, the park has some of the most expansive views of the NYC skyline, from Midtown to the Upper West Side. But most importantly, if you search for it hard enough, you'll get that one moment: a feeling of tranquility, lost and hidden away in a magnificent park in the beating cultural heart of America while looking up at the stars and enjoying the glow of the pulsing city lights far away. Trust us. Come here on your visit to New York.
4. 5 Pointz
5 Pointz is actually an office building. Or at some point, it was known primarily as one. Today, it's a mural of graffiti from all the best street artists not only in NYC, but from around the world: every square inch of it's outer walls is covered in bright, colorful, and impressive graffiti, all approved by the building's owner. Inside, studio office space is sold to artists for a highly discounted price, but the outside is where the heart of the building is at. You can spot 3 sides of the building while riding the 7 train going either direction: it's definitely worth a look if you're interested in seeing the best graffiti art the world has to offer.
3. Bronx's Little Italy
For those of you who don't know, Bronx has a Little Italy too, and in comparison to Manhattan's, it's not dominated by tourists, people hawking overpriced Italian food, and souvenir shops. At the intersection of Arthur Avenue and 187th Street you'll find a paradise of excellent Little Italy eateries, restaurants, and supermarkets, from Mike's Deli to Terranova Bakery. It's a great place to experience Italian food without the crowds of New York's tourists.
2. New York City Public Library
For the bookophiles out there, this is a stunning building with a lot of books and even more history. It's one of the largest marble buildings in the world, and possesses the most stunning reading room I've ever seen: a football field long and nearly as wide. The ceilings are decorated in true Venetian style and classical roots permeate the grandiose Greek structure. And if you're interested, the library contains one of the best copies of the Gutenberg Bible, the most valuable book in the world today and one of only 42 copies worldwide.
1. Washington Square Park
For people watching in NYC, this is the place to go. Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village is framed by its beautiful arch, crowded with New Yorkers and visitors alike, and often features live music floating around the square. You'll find everything from a guy with his guitar to full on salsa bands, and that's not an exaggeration. There's typically comedy and performance troupes in the area, and they're always sure to put on a good show. Finally, you can get your fill of New York hipsters without going to Williamsburg: Washington Square is right next to NYU.
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