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Essential New York 2008

We've found 150 reasons why it's worth staying in New York these days. Hear from artists who matter, see our favorites and find best the underground scenes.


Lately we’ve been asking ourselves why we love New York, partly because we’re sentimental fools but mostly because—hell—it’s expensive to live here, the economy’s tanking, yet we will not leave.Why not? Our soul-searching answers are what shaped this issue: the characteristics that define what’s great about—and essential to—the New York experience. We tackle diversity, creative energy, the underground (there is one!), the social scenes. And for good measure, our editors added their “best of” picks, too; check out every section for their selections. We’re here to stay—how about you?

What's essential: DIVERSITY

New York is beautifully multicultural (um, right?)
We asked well-known locals of all colors to talk about what diversity really means in 2008.

Living color
Despite NYC’s diversity, it’s not often that you find yourself amid a nice racial mix. Here are some of our favorite places to break out of the monochromatic social scene.


New York is underground
“Where’s the underground scene?” readers always ask. It's there—but with a different look, sound and level of secrecy.

Thinking outside the big box
Nestled among nationwide chains and cookie-cutter development complexes, these indie shops find ways to survive and surpass.


New York is connected
Creative groups often center around a specific person or place, making it easy to get involved. We look at five.

What's essential: OUR FAVORITES

This is essential
Our editors picks for the best of theater, film, books, art and more.


New York is changing
One of the best aspects of this place is that it’s constantly renewing itself—and that the real gems survive the turnover. We look back at the people, places and things we’ve considered “essential” over the life of Time Out New York.

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