Ten must-have insider tips for getting the most out of NYC!
It’s now April, and if it feels like the year’s passing you by, get the most out of New York with these ultra in-the-know tips from the staff of Time Out
Tue Apr 1 2014
Photograph: Lauri Patterson
The first Tuesday of every month is Hot Dog Day in NYC: Simply order a frank at any street vendor and it's free!
Photograph: Copyright 2006 Jonathan Barkey
Once a month, there's a secret Party Boat that floats along the Gowanus Canal. There's no cover charge and drinks are free, but in order to gain access, you have to swim out to the boat and climb aboard as it passes the 3rd Street Whole Foods at midnight on the full moon. Formal wear only.
Photograph: Kim Taylor Bennett
The reason people sing loudly to themselves on the subway or street is because many pop stars have been discovered that way. Creative Artists Agency, for example, has "roving agents," who scan the streets looking for new vocal talent. Rihanna, Madonna and Conor Oberst all got their break this way.
Photograph: Jena Cumbo
One of the best, most overlooked restaurants in the city is the Stirrup, a small French bistro located inside of the Statue of Liberty's left ear.
It's a little-known fact that each day the MTA gives out a free monthly subway pass to the first passenger to set foot on the L train at the Union Square stop. The key to winning is to rush into the car as soon as the doors open, while blocking the path of de-boarding passengers. To be eligible, both your feet must be inside the car before anyone exits the train. The winner selection usually occurs between 9 and 9:30am on weekdays, and chances are improved if you are carrying luggage or wearing a large backpack, as your swiftness is more likely to be observed by the conductor.
Finally, Manhattan's most secret screening series can be revealed (though we expect to be uninvited for spilling the beans). The place to be is directly outside Film Forum (209 W Houston St), on alternate Sunday nights at precisely 4am. Admission is exclusive: Call for a FF staffer by blaring a distinct trio of four-second blasts from an air horn or other noisemaking device. Dress code—wear a costume of your favorite Italian Neorealist—is mandatory. Ciao!
Photograph: Jennifer Arnow
Keep your eyes peeled out the right-side windows while taking the N train from Manhattan to Queens: Under the East River, about halfway through, the subway tunnel has a window through which you can see fish and the cement pillars of the Queensboro Bridge.
As thanks to the immigrants that made this city, each and every visitor (or temporary immigrant) to New York is entitled to take with them a piece of the American Dream. Walk down to City Hall, present yourself at the counter as a "huddled mass yearning to breathe free," and you will be presented with a tiny piece of New York's famously glittering sidewalks, freshly chipped off of the street by a born-and-bred New Yorker.
Trendy restaurants such as Betony or Momofuku often have a "jailhouse rule"—if you don't have a reservation, you can walk in and challenge the most badass-looking person for their table. The rules of the challenge are dictated by the maître d', but usually involve a fistfight or comparing W-2 forms. The winner gets the table and the respect of the other diners.
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons user 'Beyond My Ken'
That big cube in the middle of Astor Place? It spins! On the first Tuesday of every month, it's customary for passersby to spin the cube, called Alamo, as hard and as fast as they can while yelling, "I'm king of the world!!" It's an homage to the cube's sculptor, Tony Rosenthal, who is said to have done this exact thing when he first erected the cube in 1967. When Rosenthal died in 2009, he told his friends and family that he wanted to forever live on in the hearts of New Yorkers with this act—and he was very specific, too: He said no matter how strangely onlookers eyed the spinners, they were to continue on, until exhaustion stopped them.
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)