50 reasons why NYC is the greatest city in the world

From the grid and the skyline to New Yorkers' long life expectancy, here are 50 facts that prove living in NYC is better than living anywhere else.

0

Comments

Add +
  • Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because NYC has the best menswear designers

  • Photograph: Sean Ellingson

    Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because you can visit independent shops, high-end designers and legendary department stores in one day

  • Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because the absurd and the mundane coexist harmoniously here

  • Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because New York was a pioneer in modern engineering

  • Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because NYC is the media epicenter of the world, with enough room for both staid institutions and innovative publications

  • Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because indie and public radio still have a place here

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because we have a gay funplex in midtown

  • Photograph: Michael Kirby

    Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because we have more culture than anyone could possibly see in one week—maybe even one lifetime

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because New Yorkers come together—in ways small and large—after crises

  • Photograph: Aurelie Joly

    Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

    Because we’re arrogant enough to do this list in the first place

Why NYC is the greatest city in the world

Because NYC has the best menswear designers

41
Hollander & Lexer

Because NYC has the best menswear designers

Dudes don’t get the short end of the sartorial stick here: New York is home to a number of cutting-edge mens clothing purveyors, including Tim Coppens, Ovadia & Sons, Todd Snyder and Saturdays Surf NYC. Plus, a few of our favorite menswear blogs—including A Continuous Lean and Dapper Lou—are based in NYC; the Sartorialist, meanwhile, often captures photos of well-dressed gents out and about in the city, proving that Gotham truly is nirvana for dedicated followers of fashion.

42

Because you can visit independent shops, high-end designers and legendary department stores in one day

New York City is a fashionista’s playground, with a plethora of sartorial destinations available for those inclined to seek them. All you need is a MetroCard to find several shopping malls’ worth of unique, interesting emporiums. Fifth Avenue has long been the city’s premier shopping destination: Many big department stores, including Lord & Taylor, Tiffany’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, have been around for more than a century, and they share an increasing amount of space with mass-appeal shops like H&M and Uniqlo. Madison Avenue is still a haven for high-end designers (Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana), and neighborhoods like Williamsburg and the Lower East Side pack plenty of hip indie stores. And yes, our vintage shops and markets may be pricey—but we challenge you to name a city where the selection is larger or more diverse.

43
Chris Gethard

Because the absurd and the mundane coexist harmoniously here

Recently, we asked comedian Chris Gethard to tell us a New York story; his involved wandering around midtown at 3am, a hot-dog purveyor and a guy coming out of a peep show looking very pleased with himself. In Gethard’s words, “If you can both come and eat a hot dog at three in the morning on the same block, what dream can’t you make into reality in NYC?” And that sentiment—if not, you know, the specific scenario—is one of the wonderful things about New York: This city is so huge, and teeming with both totally boring and utterly bizarre elements, that it often feels like you can do pretty much anything here.

44
Brooklyn Bridge

Because New York was a pioneer in modern engineering

No mere river crossing, the Brooklyn Bridge is an elegant reminder of New York’s history of architectural innovation. When it opened in 1883, the landmark, designed by John A. Roebling, was a feat of engineering: It was the first structure to cross the East River and, at the time, the longest suspension bridge in the world. It also made use of galvanized steel-wire cables, which had never been implemented before (although the use of wire ropes on bridges was first conceived by Roebling in 1841). The Brooklyn Bridge is just one example; many so-called modern marvels—things like super-tall skyscrapers, the subway and public water supply systems—were developed or perfected by New York City engineers. (That’s something to think about the next time you ride across one of the many bridges spanning the East and Hudson Rivers.)

45

Because NYC is the media epicenter of the world, with enough room for both staid institutions and innovative publications

Boston may be the birthplace of the American newspaper, but in the 19th century, New York quickly became the nucleus of the country’s nascent media industry.. And while that industry has grown ever-smaller in the past few decades, this is still the best place for ink-stained wretches. Many major publications—The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and The New Yorker among them—started and are still headquartered in Gotham, while key players in the digital realm, including the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and Gawker Media, also call the city home. And thanks to a robust network of hyperlocal bloggers throughout the five boroughs, you don’t have to look far to find news about your specific neighborhood.

46
Ken Freedman

Because indie and public radio still have a place here

In an increasingly homogenized communications landscape, it’s refreshing to see that some forms of independent or audience-supported media can exist. In the five boroughs—and, okay, Jersey City—outlets like WNYU, WFUV, WFMU and the comparatively large WNYC are still plugging away, though perhaps not as robustly as in the past. Other cities would likely argue that their offerings are bigger and better—and sure, stations like Los Angeles’s KCRW and Seattle’s KEXP are better known—but we wouldn’t trade the erudite musings of Leonard Lopate or the eclectic stylings of WFMU’s Cherry Blossom Clinic for anything.

47
XL Nightclub

Because we have a gay funplex in midtown

The OUT NYC—New York’s first hotel aimed specifically at LGBT customers (but with a straight-friendly ethos)—is much more than a place for visitors to hang their hats at the end of a day of Hell's Kitchen bar-hopping. It's a massive playground of gayness, with several party-ready courtyards, a spa, a restaurant (Kitchn), a cocktail lounge (Rosebud NYC) and an enormous nightclub (BPM)—all of which are as welcoming for locals as they are for visitors. There's something happening here virtually every night—drag shows, dance parties, singles mixers, etc.—so even the most attention-deficient of gays will have a hard time being bored here.

48
Rosen Gallery

Because we have more culture than anyone could possibly see in one week—maybe even one lifetime

We’ve already waxed ecstatic about the films, concerts, book readings and other events available to New Yorkers at any given time. And while we love all of these different offerings individually—obviously—we’d argue that their combined effect is even more important. Thanks to the sheer number of places to visit in the city—more than 700 galleries; nearly 600 nightlife venues; more than 1,700 parks; and that’s barely the tip of the iceberg—New York is simply one of the greatest cultural powerhouses in the world. To paraphrase the noted ’90s rock band Harvey Danger, if you’re bored living in New York City, then we’re afraid you might be boring.

49

Because New Yorkers come together—in ways small and large—after crises

New Yorkers have somehow garnered a reputation as callous and cranky, but for anyone who has lived through catastrophes here—events like the various blackouts, or Hurricane Sandy, or even 9/11—you know that’s an exaggeration. In the aftermath of Sandy alone, there were countless stories of New Yorkers helping one another, whether it was someone with electricity rigging up a charging station for neighbors without power, or good samaritans descending on Red Hook, the Rockaways, Staten Island and other hard-hit areas to help clean up. Occupy Sandy came together nearly overnight to provide assistance to devastated neighborhoods, and its members can still be found doing work in the Rockaways and elsewhere. So we call bullshit on those who would dismiss New Yorkers as mean or uncaring—all you have to do is look at how the city comes together when we’ve been knocked down, hard.

50

Because we’re arrogant enough to do this list in the first place

One of the things that makes New York City better than any other city is our unwavering devotion to this town. Yes, we know how expensive it is; yes, we know that it’s chaotic and imposing and occasionally unfriendly; and yes, we know that from the outside, it can seem like the reasons to not live here outweigh the reasons to live here. But that doesn’t matter to us—we’re New Yorkers, and we think New York is better than your city, and if you don’t like it, well, tough!


  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5

Users say

31 comments
Jtime
Jtime

You forgot, no one brags more than a New Yorker. I lived there for 12 years. Half of my friends fall into the category that they dont have the job flexibility or financial freedom to leave so they are better off telling themselves its the greatest place on earth, while the other half has snapped out of their nostalgic, nyc trance and struggle to save enough money to leave. There are counter arguments to all 50 of these "we're better than you points".

ck
ck

Reading this is breaking my heart. I live and work in Toronto, and I love it, but the idea of New York is never far from my mind. For a person who feels most comfortable in the largest urban settings, it's the promised land. 26 isn't as old as it seems, but I feel like my window of opportunity to make the move down there is nearly closed. So many of my friends have already made it. What'll I do if I'm stuck here forever? Ugh. New York I love you and we've barely ever met

YesterdaysWine
YesterdaysWine

Because you can just walk around and be endlessly entertained. When I was young and broke back in the 70s, I would go on walking dates with girls. Young, alive and just looking at the people and places. Wonderful.

Brian
Brian

I wish I could move to New York. I am only 12 and live in Florida. I hate Florida and would move to almost any other state if I could.

bernice
bernice

I can think of 100 reasons why nyc sucks!

Kathleen
Kathleen

I loved this article. Sometimes we need a reminder of why we love this hard, hectic city. I learned about some new places that I want to try out, too. The comments of the offended tourists are just the icing on the cake. ;)

Karen
Karen

Show me a town where people are not only rude but think its ok to be rude because they are in New York and ill show you an awful place! I went to NYC for the first time last week and I was beyond excited But I realized its all false. I was shocked at how incredibly rude, self centered and opportunistic people were. Most people have a " all about me and what I want no matter who I step on mentality" and worse they think its ok. Transportation was also incredibly gross with subways and traffic! Keep your skylines! It was a city of ego in my opinion. I don't care how many bright lights, billboards or musicals you have, if New Yorkers think its justified to be rude or unkind then that makes it the worst city in the world! I was very disappointed! Just media advertisement that its a good place! I feel bad for New Yorkers they don't realize how bad they have it!

whatever
whatever

Where can I go water skiing in NYC please. Also, if I just want to go for a swim or surf or snowboard, where can I do that i NYC within 30 minutes. oh.... its' only city lifestyle things. so.... that means that the world's greatest city is only great if you want to be entertained. If you want to entertain yourself with natural lifestyle and beauty then it's not so good right ? I live in a medium sized city not in the USA so you would never have heard of it (lol) and i can walk to the end of the block and drink with friends on the beach in the evening watching the sunset with the clean sea breeze blowing softly over turquoise water, go surfing wearing only shorts and I do not have to drive to get there... etc It is the place people dream of living when they are spacing out in the cue yet again which is in line for another cue in an over populated concrete mess.

baller
baller

LOL is that the best you can do? Every 'reason' on your list is either bogus or a just plain wrong. I can hear the echo from the bottom of that barrel new york, you've taken scraping to new depths...

Rebecca
Rebecca

There are times when I loathe NYC but every time I visit a new city, I realize that THIS is truley the best city in the United States BY FAR. In the world though? It's a strong contender, but I am still holding out for that one.

Kate P
Kate P

#51: Because you can get anything delivered!!!

Reality guy
Reality guy

Haters gonna hate....NYC and SF are the two best American cities.

ThatchersDead
ThatchersDead

Manchester, fraction of the size of almost all western Cities, only been around for about 150 years, yet has contributed more to mankind than anywhere except possibly Athens. Industrialisation, socialism, the computer, bouncing bomb, split the atom, and then gave the world The Fall, The Smiths, Joy Division, Oasis, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and many more.

Tom
Tom

Yes! And there's no crack-heads or winos. There's no ghettos or poverty. NY taxi drivers are the most polite people in the world. No one has ever had abuse screamed at them by random strangers. If an old man falls over in the street, people rush to help him. It has the lowest suicide rate of any city in history. Everyone in New York is well-educated and tolerant. There was once a mugging in 1962, but it turned out to be a misunderstanding...

abdelrahman saad
abdelrahman saad

Because it has so much diversity more than any where in the world!!

JB
JB

How many more Dunkin' Donuts, Subways and 7-Elevens opened while you were composing this list? The soul of this city is gone. I still love it, but I'm disheartened.

AAK
AAK

London bars close at 11pm? since when the 90's? 24hour drink licence exists there. You have been going to some old geezer pubs cause most bars close at 3 or 4am especially weekends and if busy will stay open a bit after that without fear of fines and being shut down. Oh there are also all night bars around the city which are legal good luck finding that in NYC.

AAK
AAK

London bars close at 11pm? since when the 90's? 24hour drink licence exists there. You have been going to some old geezer pubs cause most bars close at 3 or 4am especially weekends and if busy will stay open a bit after that without fear of fines and being shut down. Oh there are also all night bars around the city which are legal good luck finding that in NYC.

AAK
AAK

Bit of a lie there on the most linguistically diverse city.. again London tops that. This article has to be the biggest waste of time. Did George W. Bush write this?

George Hanes
George Hanes

#44 Try the Roebling Suspension Bridge crossing the Ohio River @ Cincinnati, OH which predates the Brooklyn Bridge by 17 years!

George Hanes
George Hanes

#44 BS, try the Roebling suspension bridge in Cincinnati, OH predates the Brooklyn Bridge by 17 years!

Kate
Kate

@jerry: agreed, #6 is BS! For that matter, #5 is likely BS too. I guarantee the life expectancy will start to drop as the current 20-30-somethings grow old, as none of us are able to land rent-stabilized apartments. The current crop of seniors have little to stress about as far as rent goes, as many or most of them are in huge rent stabilized apartments and don't have that stress in their lives. Low stress=longer lifespan. No one who is currently 30 or below will have that luxury unless legislation changes, so we will have LOTS to stress about or will have to leave the city--heck, if we can even afford to stay in the city until we get old.

maya
maya

I wish we could say: we are the cleanest city, we recycle more than anyone else, our Green IQ is high and we care about planet and we are not creating so much landfills...but unfortunately this is the dirtiest city in the US!! Timeout London has every right to say: look london subway has not trash can yet you don't see people trashing it! its time to change New York, let's keep this city clean just like our home! we live here, then lets treat it that way with.

maria
maria

Number one should be THE NEW YORK YANKEES!

jerry
jerry

#6 is pure BULLSHIT !!!

Brian
Brian

Most are true except the 24/7 city. Not everything is open past 9pm in NYC except maybe bars and restaurants (sort of). Most retail close earlier than Seoul

Carl G
Carl G

@AAK i think the main point remains to be that no fact will convince us otherwise.