What the guidebooks won't tell you

Our editors chose the city's most vital places, people and things-and then tracked down un-Googleable, ultra-valuable tips about each. Plus some quizzes to see what you already know.

Improv Everywhere

Although Improv Everywhere creates some of the flat-out funniest scenes in New York, you won’t see them in any theater. And unless you join the group’s e-mail list, you won’t know when the performances happen, either. Founder Charlie Todd eschews mean-spirited pranks and says his goal—and that of his cadre of agents—is simply “to make scenes happen.” This could involve putting a bathroom attendant in a McDonald’s or staging an Olympic-trial synchronized-swimming practice in Washington Square Park fountain. Watch footage of past stunts on its website, and then join in the next one.

The secret:
“Two U.S. senators—who requested anonymity—have participated in Improv Everywhere missions,” claims Todd. “Improv Everywhere missions never take place on odd-numbered streets, and if you plot all of the Improv Everywhere missions on a map of Manhattan, it creates a giant smiley face.”(improveverywhere.com)


  1. 1
  2. 4
  3. 5
  4. 6
  5. 7
  6. 8
  7. 9
  8. 10
  9. 11
  10. 12
  11. 51