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Photograph: Filip Wolak

20 things New Yorkers can be thankful for this year

Written by
Time Out New York editors

Let’s be honest: 2017 has been a pretty rough year for a lot of New Yorkers. Subway service is in the gutter. The cost of rent citywide continues to skyrocket. And if that weren't enough, an unseasonably warm start to fall left the city without the magnificent fall foliage it's had in years past. And we live for that shit!

And yet, Gotham and its citizens carry on. And the city continues to be one of the most diverse, exciting and culturally appealing places on the planet. Everyone who lives here has a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Here's a list of 20 things New Yorkers can count among their blessings. 

1. The progressive rollout of subway countdown clocks on lettered subway lines across the city. Now straphangers can have an LED screen informing them of how screwed their commutes are.

2. The subway (even with the many frustrations it provides), for being one of the only rapid transit systems in the world that runs 24 hours a day.

3. The Fearless Girl statue, for being an inspiration to women and girls across the country (despite being a promotional tool for a hedge fund). 

4. Sasha Velour, for winning season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race and regularly hosting the amazing NYC party Nightgowns

5. Also, Bob the Drag Queen, who won season eight of Drag Race and remains an NYC icon. We have the best queens, what can we say?

6. Our city’s Pride Parade, which is now nationally televised, and our gay bars, one of which is a national landmark

7. The golden age of repertory cinema in NYC, from the recently opened Quad, Metrograph and Alamo Drafthouse to stalwarts like Film Forum, BAM and IFC Center.

8. The diversity of cuisines available in New York and the ability to chow down on foods from every corner of the planet

9. The fact that New York is the most diverse city in the country. 

10. New York journalism, which took a major hit this year with the closure of DNAinfo and Gothamist, but is nonetheless stacked with brilliant reporters who hold truth to power. 

11. New York’s first responders, who helped keep us safe through many crises this year. 

12. Our local bodega owners, who we appreciated all the more when more than 1,000 Yemeni-American-owned shops closed for a day in February. 

13. Councilman Raphael Espinal, who spearheaded the efforts to create an official Office of Nightlife and repeal the city’s arcane dancing ban.

14. The sheer amount of protests, activism and civic engagement that sprang up in the city this year.

15. NYC dog owners who teach their pets to hug

16. The lights on the Empire State Building, which are lit in a different color for a different purpose almost every single night. 

17. Michelangelo, whose works are now on display at The Met in the largest exhibition of the Renaissance artist in the museum’s history. 

18. The number of bars in the city, which give us a temporary escape from the terrible state of the world. 

19. The way New York celebrates the holidays, which is nothing short of magical.

20. And most of all, for the millions of New Yorkers who put up a hard front but do not hesitate to help their fellow citizens in times of need. 

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