What makes you a true New Yorker?
We asked notable city dwellers to share their recommendations and advice.
Wed Mar 28 2012
Photograph: Elk Studios
Soraya Darabi, digital brand strategist and cofounder of Foodspotting (foodspotting.com)
“A trip to the Apollo Theater (253 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. [Seventh Ave] and Frederick Douglass Blvd [Eighth Ave]; 212-531-5305, apollotheater.org) is a must for any true-blue New Yorker. A friend and I went the night Michael Jackson died, and danced with about a thousand locals to Thriller in its entirety.”
“I also suggest spending a summer afternoon walking from Jackson Heights, Queens to Red Hook, Brooklyn. It’s not so hard and, in fact, my sister runs a walking tour called GoldNight (facebook.com/goldnightwalks), that she leads each summer. You begin by eating authentic samosa chaat in Jackson Heights, shop for saris and end up near Sahadi’s (187 Atlantic Ave between Clinton and Court Sts, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn; 718-624-4550, sahadis.com) for quality hummus or at the Red Hook Ball Fields (155 Bay St between Clinton and Henry Sts, Red Hook, Brooklyn; 718-722-3211, nycgovparks.org) if your feet are up for it. Finish the day with a cup of fresh squeezed watermelon juice, watch kids play soccer or jump in the Red Hook pool. New York extends far past Manhattan, and I encourage friends to visit the outer boroughs as much as possible.”
“Honestly, I’ve felt like a New Yorker my whole life. My parents moved to the city in the ’60s, and I grew up listening to stories about Studio 54 and Palladium. According to my father, this city hasn’t been any fun in more than three decades. I spent junior high and school in Minnesota, and I went to college in Washington, D.C. I moved back to New York six years ago.”
“As an adult, I solidified my love for New York with short road trips to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx for quality cannoli; to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (900 Washington Ave at Crown St, Crown Heights, Brooklyn; 718-623-7200, bbg.org) during its cherry blossom homage in April; to Central Park for the annual outdoor New York Philharmonic (nyphil.org) performance; to the Met Opera House (Lincoln Center Plaza at 65th St; 212-362-6000, metoperafamily.org) for the opening night of the American Ballet Theatre (abt.org); to the High Line the week it opened; and to the Columbia University Library steps any day, week or month. Those are some of my fondest, true-blue New York memories of recent years.”
“To be a New Yorker, you don’t need to be born and raised in the city; but you do have to feel like there’s no other place on earth you’d rather live.”