I was once listening to German tourists in Canada talk about the United States. They were explaining all the things that they didn’t like about the U.S. They said New York was the exception. They said New York had culture. New York had a European feel to it. They said Europeans would always like New York because of its cultural element. Having traveled extensively in European cities, spending so much money to do very little, I was thinking to myself that they were flattering themselves. There is no European city that is anything like New York. Yes there are fascinating cities in Europe, old cities with so much culture and history, cities that can not be compared to anywhere else, but with a New York feel? I don’t think so.
New York City can not be compared to any other city in the world. It is the most densely populated city in North America. It is home to the United Nations. It is made up of five famous boroughs; Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island and Queens. If all of these boroughs were cities in their own right, with the exception of Staten Island, they would be among the most densely populated cities in North America. With 18.8 million people in New York City’s metropolitan area, the city has no shortage of people. The city is unique and is one of the most exciting places on earth. It is often referred to as the city that never sleeps. There is always something to do in New York City. But it is New Yorkers who make the city what it is. And that includes everybody, the original Italian and Jewish immigrants, aspiring actors, angry taxi drivers, people who love New York and even people who hate New York.
There is fascinating architecture to see in New York City. There is fascinating history to learn about. If one wants to visit museums one can go to the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design, the Jewish Museum, the International Center of Photography, the Museum of The City of New York, El Museo de Barico, the Goethe House and the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts all located on what is known as museum mile. All of these museums are located on 5th Avenue in between 82 and 105 streets. There are plenty others also all over the city.
Classical concerts can be heard at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Brooklyn Academy of Music. One can even hear the New York Opera for free in Central Park during the summer months of June, July and August. Jazz lovers can enjoy big names at Radio City Music Hall or Madison Square Gardens or attend more intimate concerts in the numerous smaller jazz venues where so many big names started off.
Surprisingly, it is possible to have a fun and thrilling day in New York City without even spending one penny. You can go for a long walk in New York’s enthralling Central Park and then visit some of New York’s many fascinating landmarks. You can visit many radio and television stations like NBC. You can even be part of a live audience. It does not cost anything to sit in on a taping of David Letterman and watch your favorite band perform in the best acoustic situation possible. You just need to order your tickets ahead of time.
Apart from the live music, live theatre, history, architecture, sport venues, restaurants and shopping that the city is famous for, New York City has soul. It has a buzz. There is nowhere else on earth like New York City.
As Sammy Davis Junior once said, “When you leave New York, you ain’t goin’ nowhere.”