As the world center for culture, entertainment, art, fashion, business and education, New York is the ideal place to improve your English skills while having the time of your life! Zoni’s Manhattan Campus is conveniently located near public transportation and many globally famous attractions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art , Empire State Building , Times Square and Central Park.
Relax on a summer night at a sidewalk cafe in Chelsea or experience a concert at one of New York’s many parks. No matter what your interests or background, New York and Zoni language schools have something to offer everyone.
Part of our advantage at Zoni is the variety of English courses we offer. Our popular Premium Intensive English Program (PIEP) will help you to improve your English quickly and effectively. For those who are looking to pursue higher education at a college or university, we offer TOEFL iBT, IELTS and Cambridge ESOL Preparation Courses, while for our business-minded students, we have intensive ESL for Business classes with flexible schedules.
In addition to English classes, Zoni students can take advantage of the many activities we offer, including field trips in the New York Metropolitan area , school events, and out of town trips to other states such as Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Boston!
New York City – Manhattan, New York
New York City is a giant city commonly known as “The Capital of the World.” Each of its five boroughs is the equivalent of a large city in its own respect. Each borough is home to multiple and diverse neighborhoods. These boroughs and neighborhoods contain ample sightseeing opportunities, fantastic restaurants, exciting nightlife and various accommodation options.
New York City, also referred to as “The Big Apple” or “The City” by locals, is the most populated city in the United States. The City that Never Sleeps, lies at the mouth of the Hudson River in the southernmost part of the state. The city in its entirety spans a land area of 305 square miles (790km²).
New York City has a population of approximately 8.2 million people. The New York Metropolitan Area, which encompasses lower New York, northern New Jersey and southwestern Connecticut, has a population of 18.7 million, making it the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. As of 2015, it was one of the 15 largest metro areas in the world.
New York City is a center for media, culture, food, fashion, art, research, finance and trade. It has one of the largest and most famous skylines on earth, dominated by the iconic Empire State Building.
New York City consists of five boroughs, which are five separate counties. Each borough has a unique culture and feel. Within each borough there are individual neighborhoods, some several square miles in size and others only a few blocks in size. Where you live, work, and play in New York, truly says something to New Yorkers about who you are.
Our main center and headquarters is located in Manhattan where all Zoni operations are managed.
Manhattan (New York County)
The island of Manhattan is located between the Hudson and East Rivers and home to many diverse and unique neighborhoods. Manhattan is home to the Empire State Building in Midtown, Central Park, Times Square, Wall Street, Harlem, and the trendy neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and SoHo.
New York City is one of the global hubs of international finance, politics, communications, film, music, fashion, and culture. Alongside London, it’s one of only two universally acknowledged, “World Cities” – the most important and influential cities on Earth. It’s home to many world-class museums, art galleries, and theaters. Many of the world’s largest corporations have their headquarters here. The headquarters of the United Nations is in New York and most countries have a consulate here. This city’s influence on the globe, and all its inhabitants, is hard to overstate as decisions made within its boundaries often have impacts and ramifications across the world.
Immigrants and their descendants from over 180 countries live here, making it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. International Students are attracted to New York City for its culture, energy and metropolitan feel. English is the primary language spoken by most New Yorkers although in many communities it is common to hear other languages that are generally widely understood. In many neighborhoods, there is a large Latino/Hispanic population, and many New Yorkers speak Spanish. Most cab drivers speak Arabic, Hindi or Bengali. There are also many neighborhoods throughout the city that have a high concentration of Chinese immigrants where Mandarin or Cantonese may be useful. In some of these neighborhoods, some locals may not speak very good English, but store owners and those who would deal frequently with tourists or visitors all will speak English.
The World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001 were a shared ordeal for the city’s inhabitants. Despite those events, from 2003 to the present, New York City has rebounded and surpassed itself in growth. In the past 20 years, so many middle class people have moved into the city, whether from other parts of USA or internationally. This has really changed the entire city’s character. Areas that were once decaying and dangerous in the 1970’s and 1980’s are now very expensive and sought after to live in. Times Square, with all its brightness and amusement park visuals today, was seemingly avoided at all costs 30 years ago. Although crime has dropped nationwide in the last 20 years, the differences in New York City are extreme. Crime is down to one third of the levels of 1989 and, considering how much the population has grown in the same years, New York City is now one of the safest large cities in America.
Although Manhattan runs northeast to southwest, it is referred to as if it ran north-south. Thus, “uptown” means north, and “downtown” means south. Street numbers continue from Manhattan into the Bronx, and the street numbers rise as one moves farther north (however, in the Bronx, there is no simple numerical grid, so there may be 7 blocks between 167 St. and 170 St., for example). Avenues run north and south. In Brooklyn the opposite is true, as street numbers rise as one moves south. Streets in Queens are laid out in a perpendicular grid – street numbers rise as one moves east, and avenues run east and west. Staten Island has no street numbers at all.
The term “the city” may refer either to New York City as a whole, or to the borough of Manhattan alone, depending on the context. The other boroughs, which are Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens, are sometimes referred to as “the outer boroughs.” The term “upstate” generally refers to any part of the State of New York north of the city limits of the Bronx, but not neighboring New Jersey or Connecticut.
The city’s ethnic heritage illuminates different neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Manhattan’s Chinatown remains a vibrant center of New York City’s Chinese community, though in recent years the very large Chinese community in Flushing, Queens, has rivaled, if not eclipsed it in importance. There are also three other Chinatowns that have formed in New York City: the Brooklyn Chinatown in Sunset Park, the Elmhurst Chinatown in Queens and the Avenue U Chinatown located in the Homecrest section of Brooklyn. Traces of the Lower East Side’s once-thriving Jewish community still exist amid the newly-gentrified neighborhood’s trendy restaurants and bars, but there are Chassidic communities in Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Harlem has been gentrifying and diversifying and remains a center of African-American culture in New York. East (Spanish) Harlem still justifies its reputation as a large Hispanic neighborhood. Little known to most tourists is the large Dominican neighborhoods of Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights in upper Manhattan. Brooklyn’s Greenpoint is famous for its large and vibrant Polish community, and the Flatbush section – once home to the Brooklyn Dodgers – is today a huge and thriving Caribbean and West Indian section. Queens and Brooklyn are known for being home to many of New York’s more recent immigrant groups, which since 1990 have included large numbers of Russians, Uzbeks, Nigerians, Chinese, Irish, Italian, French, Filipinos, Yugoslavians, Greeks, Indians, Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Japanese, Koreans, Thais, Kenyans, Arabs (from throughout the Middle East and northern Africa), Mexicans, Dominicans, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, Colombians and Jamaicans. Unlike most of the USA, New York City’s Caucasian population who are native born New Yorkers are overwhelmingly descended from the previous century’s immigrants: Irish, Italian, Eastern European, Greeks, Yugoslavs and Albanians. Each of these groups have brought their cuisines with them, making NYC a city where authentic bagels, pizza and Gyros are available everywhere. An important change has been taking place in the population recently. During the last two decades and especially since 2003, large numbers of young people, many of them recent college graduates and professionals from the rest of the USA, have moved to New York City. The majority have moved to Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the parts of Queens closest to Manhattan. They have changed things considerably and continue to add to New York’s vitality and artistic output. They have completely changed their neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, such as Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Lower East side, Manhattan. One important thing to note about New York City is that it is always changing with addition of new stores, businesses, buildings and even skyscrapers to replace the previous structures. Photographs of the same busy street 10 or 20 years ago are unrecognizable today and obsolete.
New York is the national center for several industries. It’s the home of the two largest US stock exchanges (NYSE, NASDAQ) and many banks. The famous Wall Street is where the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is as well as the famous investment banks and financial investment firms. Wall Street is located in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan.
IATA: NYC is the code for all New York City airports, and the city is extremely well connected by air with flights from almost every corner of the world. Three large and several smaller airports serve the region.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (IATA: EWR) (the latter in New Jersey) are large international airports, while LaGuardia Airport (IATA: LGA) is a busy domestic airport. All three airports are run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Teterboro Airport (IATA: TEB) is popular for general aviation and business jet travelers out of New York City. Air taxi and air charter companies include Incredijet Private Jet Charter. The Early Air Way, Monarch Air Group, Mercury Jets and Jetset Charter fly a variety of private charter aircraft and jets, from charter luxury Gulfstream’s down to economical piston twins for small groups and individuals.
Other options for Inter-airport transfers
Bus/Subway – Connections between airports using the bus/subway/PATH trains are the most economical options, but will require many transfers. Travelers should set aside a minimum of 2 hours for travel time.
New York City Airporter Bus – Service between JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark Airports ($14 between JFK and LaGuardia [1 hour], $27 from/to Newark [2-3 hours]). Buses depart every 20-30 minutes. A bus transfer is required to the Newark Airport Express Bus at the Port Authority Bus Terminal for Newark Airport to and from JFK and LaGuardia Airports.
ETS Air Shuttle – runs very infrequently. There is a shared van ride service between LGA and EWR for $32. The rides cost $10 between LGA and JFK, $32 between EWR and LGA and $29 between JFK and EWR.
Shuttle local transportation – Use SuperShuttle’s non-stop, shared-ride, black car, or SUV service to schedule your ride in advance and have the peace of mind that your ride is guaranteed! We have transportation options for all travelers – whether traveling alone or in a group, and can fit your entire luggage, too!
All County Express – runs very infrequently. It’s a shared ride van service between all LGA and EWR for $32.
Taxis – the fastest option when transferring to airports. A taxi between JFK and LGA will cost about $25-$29 and should take about 30 minutes. A taxi between LGA and EWR will cost about $78 + tolls and should take 60-75min. A taxi between JFK and EWR will cost about $85 + tolls and should take 60-75min.
Helicopter Transfer – A common method of travel for business people to downtown as well as smaller private airports. Companies like New York Helicopter offer these services.
AirTrain Newark – easily accessed from the airport terminals via elevator/escalators and runs 24 hours to Newark Airport Rail Station, 10min away, however, there’s a $5.50 fee when exiting/entering to the Newark Airport Station. From here you can take a NJ Transit train ($13, 30min ride, every 15-30min) to New York Penn Station (34th St & 8th Ave in Manhattan) or Amtrak train to other destinations along the east coast. Amtrak also runs trains to Manhattan, but they cost $20-30. NJ Transit tickets are not valid on Amtrak trains. NJ Transit trains stop at both Penn Station in Newark and at Penn Station in New York, so if travelling to Manhattan, stay on till the second Penn Station, in New York.
NJ Transit Trains operate 21 hours a day so there’s no nightly service from 2-5 A.M. Otherwise, you may have to take the 62 Bus, a taxi, Amtrak to/from Newark or New York Penn Station by Northeast Corridor, or other alternatives.
If travelling to Lower Manhattan, an option which can save time (and a cab/subway fare) is take NJ Transit only as far as Newark Penn Station (1 stop from Newark Airport, $8.50), and then change to the PATH train to the World Trade Center ($2.75). Total cost is $11.25.
New Jersey Transit Bus #62 and other NJT Buses – The most inexpensive option, New Jersey Transit #62 bus runs from in front of the airport terminals to Newark Penn Station (one-way fare $1.60; exact change only; 25min). From there, you may take a PATH train ($2.75) either to World Trade Center station in lower Manhattan (25min), or, to Journal Square, where you can transfer to the Journal Square-33rd St train across the platform, which runs to the following stops along 6th Ave: Christopher St in Greenwich Village, 9th St, 14th St, 23rd St, and 33rd St. Plan on 90 minutes including waiting times. As a word of caution, note that this is not a well-publicized option; you may well find yourself to be the only tourist on the bus, so don’t expect much help or companionship in finding your way. The #62 Bus operates 24/7 between Elizabeth and Newark Penn Station, including holidays. Service generally runs every 10-15 minutes weekdays, 15-20 minutes Saturdays, and 20-30 minutes Sundays, with overnight service every 30 minutes.
Other buses, such as the Go 28 Bus, the 37 Bus, the 40 Bus, and the #67 Bus stops in Newark Airport at Terminals A, B, and C. Passengers who are stopped at the North Area of Newark Airport can be transferred by the Go 28 Bus.
Newark Airport Express Bus – ($16 one way, $28 round-trip) runs every 15min to 42nd street in Manhattan. The trip takes about 40min depending on traffic. Children under 12 ride for free and Senior Citizens 62 or older get a discount.
Supershuttle – Country-wide, shared van door-to-door service. $19 to Manhattan.
Go Airlink Shuttle – Shared van door-to-door service. around $30 to Manhattan (around half for subsequent passengers).
Taxis – Travelers from EWR to New York City are charged a flat rate based on the destination (the dispatcher will note the fare and destination on the taxi form). Fares to most parts of Manhattan is $50-$70. Tips and round trip tolls ($8 to/from Manhattan) are extra. You may also pay a $2 toll if the driver uses the New Jersey Turnpike. A $5 surcharge is added for trips to New York, except Staten Island, during weekday rush hours or weekend afternoons. There is also a 10% discount for people above age 62.
Private Car Service – An alternative to taxis, car services are useful for getting to the airport from the outer boroughs where taxis are harder to find, or if you prefer to have transportation reserved in advance. Typically $50 between EWR and Manhattan, $70-80 to/from Brooklyn.
Above Washington Sq, Fifth Ave divides Manhattan into east and west; numbering starts at Fifth Ave on each side (except where Central Park interrupts) and increases in either direction. Addresses west of Fifth Ave are written as, for example, 220 W 34th St, while those east of Fifth Ave are written as 220 E 34th St. However, for numbered streets below Washington Sq (fortunately, there are only two, 3rd and 4th streets), Broadway divides the streets into East and West. Because of this dual-numbering system, it is always advisable to keep in mind the closest intersection to your destination (6th Ave and 34th St, Broadway and 51st, etc.). You might also see addresses written in a kind of shorthand in terms of the nearest crossing streets, for example “1657 Broadway b/w 51st & 52nd” or “22w. 34th b/w 6th avenue & 5 avenue.” – along with the terms “uptown” and “downtown”, this shorthand is almost a New York language which most visitors soon learn surreptitiously and start speaking themselves! In Greenwich Village and downtown Manhattan – generally considered as below Houston St (“HOW-ston”) – all bets are off as streets meander, dead-end and intersect themselves. Streets in Greenwich Village are particularly notorious for defying logic. For instance, West 4th St intersects with West 10th St and West 12th St, and you can stand on the corner of Waverly Place and Waverly Place!
As a convenient guide to distance, there are 20 blocks per mile along the avenues (walking north/south). The average person can walk roughly 1 block per minute, or 60 blocks (3 mi) per hour. Walking east/west on the streets, blocks are generally much longer.
The Bronx is a continuation of the Manhattan street numbers. 3rd Ave is the only numbered avenue in the Bronx.
Moving north to Midtown, Manhattan’s other major business district, you’ll find some of New York’s most famous landmarks. The Empire State Building looms over it all as the second tallest building in the city, with the nearby Chrysler Building also dominating the landscape. Nearby is the headquarters of United Nations overlooking the East River and Grand Central Terminal, one of the busiest train stations in the world. Also nearby is the main branch of the New York Public Library, a beautiful building famous for its magnificent reading rooms and the lion statues outside the front door; and Rockefeller Plaza, home to NBC Studios, Radio City Music Hall, and (during the winter) the famous Christmas Tree and Skating Rink.
Still in the Midtown area but just to the west, in the Theater District, is the tourist center of New York: Times Square, filled with bright, flashing video screens and LED signs running 24 hours a day. Just to the north is Central Park, with its lawns, trees and lakes popular for recreation and concerts.
Museums and galleries
New York has some of the finest museums in the world. All the public museums (notably including the Metropolitan Museum), which is run by the city, accept donations for an entrance fee, but private museums (especially the Museum of Modern Art) can be very expensive. In addition to the major museums, hundreds of small galleries are spread throughout the city, notably in neighborhoods like Chelsea and Williamsburg. Many galleries and museums in New York close on Mondays, so be sure to check hours before visiting. The following is just a list of highlights; see district pages for more listings.
Arts and culture
New York City is home to some of the finest art museums in the country, and in Manhattan, you’ll find the grandest of them all. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park has vast holdings that represent a series of collections, each of which ranks in its category among the finest in the world. Within this single building you’ll find perhaps the world’s finest collection of American artwork, period rooms, thousands of European paintings including Rembrandts and Vermeers, the greatest collection of Egyptian art outside Cairo, one of the world’s finest Islamic art collections, Asian art, European sculptures, medieval and Renaissance art, antiquities from around the ancient world, and much, much more. As if all that wasn’t enough, the Metropolitan also operates The Cloisters, located in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan. This houses a collection of medieval art and incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters and other monastic sites in southern France in its renowned gardens.
Near the Metropolitan, in the Upper East Side, is the Guggenheim Museum. Although more famed for its architecture than the collection it hosts, the spiraling galleries are ideal for exhibiting art works. Also nearby is the Whitney Museum of American Art, with a collection of contemporary American art. In Midtown, the Museum of Modern Art(MoMA), holds the most comprehensive collection of modern art in the world, and is so large as to require multiple visits to see all of the works on display, which include Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, as well as an extensive industrial design collection. Midtown is also home to the Paley Center for Media, a museum dedicated to television and radio, including a massive database of old shows. Unknown to some, Harlem, previously known as the black mecca of the Americas, is the home of important landmarks of New York City such as the Apollo Theater and 125th. You will also find the Studio Museum and contemporary art galleries such as Agora Gallery.
In Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum of Art is the city’s second largest art museum with excellent collections of Egyptian art, Assyrian reliefs, 19th-century American art, and art from Africa and Oceania, among other things. Long Island City in Queens is home to a number of art museums, including the PS1 Contemporary Art Center, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of the Moving Image, which showcases movies and the televisual arts.
Science and technology
In New York City, no museum holds a sway over children like the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Containing the Hayden Planetarium, incredible astronomy exhibits, animal dioramas, many rare and beautiful gems and mineral specimens, anthropology halls, and one of the largest collections of dinosaur skeletons in the world, this place offers plenty of stunning sights.
Near Times Square in the Theater District, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum takes up a pier on the Hudson River, with the aircraft carrier Intrepid docked here and holding some incredible air and space craft.
Over in the Flushing district of Queens, on the grounds of the former World’s Fair, is the New York Hall of Science, which incorporates the Great Hall of the fair and now full of hands-on exhibits for kids to enjoy.
Another standout museum is the Transit Museum located in an abandoned station in Downtown Brooklyn. The old subway cars are a real treat and the museum is a must if you’re in New York with kids (and well-worth it even if you’re not).
Tourists often spend their entire vacation in New York standing in line (or as New Yorkers say, “standing on line”). This is often unnecessary; there are usually alternatives. For example, one can choose to avoid the Empire State Building during the day (it is open, and empty, late, until midnight or 2AM on weekends during summer), skip the Statue of Liberty in favor of the Staten Island Ferry, and stay away from the Guggenheim on Monday (it is one of the only museums open that day). Also, there is no reason to stand in line for a Broadway show if you already have a ticket with an assigned seat. If you prefer, get a drink nearby and come back closer to curtain time, when you can walk right in. The lines for bus tours can be absurd because tourists all seem to have the exact same itinerary – which is get on a bus in the morning in Times Square, get off for the Statue of Liberty, and finish on the East Side in the afternoon. Why not go downtown in the morning, and save Midtown for the afternoon? You will thank yourself for avoiding the crowds. Also, understand that buses are the slowest way to go crosstown in Midtown Manhattan during peak hours, and taxis are not much better. You are often better off either on foot or taking the subway.
New York’s Broadway is famous for its many shows, especially musicals. You might want to visit TKTS online, which offers tickets for shows the same night at discounted prices, usually 50% off or visit BroadwayBox.com or NYTix.com, both community sites posting all recent Broadway discounts. TKTS has two offices, one at Times Square with lines often hours long, and a much faster one (sometimes minutes) at South Street Seaport (Corner of John St, just south of Brooklyn Bridge). Only cash is accepted at South Street. Show up at opening time for best selection. Tickets to most Broadway shows are also available from the Broadway Concierge and Ticket Center, inside the Times Square Visitor Center.
For current and upcoming Broadway and Off-Broadway info and listings, visit Playbill.com. This site also has lots of articles on what’s going on in the NY commercial theater scene. Broadway.com and Newyorkcitytheatre.com also have plenty of info, as well as some videos and photos. Theatermania has many discounts to the bigger shows, and also provides listings for the Off-Off scene.
New York has a wide variety of musical and dance companies, including several that are among the world’s most renowned. There are also numerous small companies putting on more idiosyncratic shows every night of the week. The following are just a few of New York’s most high-profile music and dance options.
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn
It is home to the impressive Brooklyn Philharmonic, BAM is one of the best places in the country to attend cutting-edge new musical and dance performances. The Next Wave Festival every autumn is a much-anticipated event of the New York performance scene.
Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue
The premier venue for classical music in the United States, Carnegie Hall is famous around the world for its dazzling performances. Playing at Carnegie Hall is, for many classical musicians, the epitome of success. Carnegie Hall houses three different auditoriums, with the Isaac Stern auditorium being the largest venue.
Subway: N, Q, or R to 57th Street-7th Avenue.
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, 155 W 65th St (at Broadway).
The Chamber Music Society is the most prestigious chamber music ensemble in the United States, playing in the acoustically impeccable Alice Tully Hall.
Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, 155 W 65th St (at Broadway)
The Met (as it is known) is one of the greatest opera companies in the world. The company performs six days a week (Monday-Saturday) during the season (Sep-Apr), and always lands the greatest singers from around the globe. Expect to pay a small fortune for the most expensive seats, but upper-tier seats can cost as little as $25.
Subway: 1 to 66th Street-Lincoln Center
New York City Ballet at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, 155 W 65th St (at Broadway)
Founded by George Balanchine, the New York City Ballet is among the world’s best dance companies. Their performances of the The Nutcracker, during the holiday season, are enormously popular.
New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, 155 W 65th St (at Broadway)
One of the premier orchestras in the United States, playing a wide variety of concerts (more than 100) every year to sold-out crowds, the Philharmonic is well-known for its standard-setting performances of the classical canon. The season runs from September to June, and in the summer they play free concerts in parks around the city.
Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, +1-212-632-3975, 
See the Rockettes, another show or just tour the famous Art Deco masterpiece.
New York is one of the world’s greatest film cities, home to a huge number of theaters playing independent and repertory programs. Many major US studio releases open earlier in New York than elsewhere (especially in the autumn) and can be found at the major cinemas (AMC, United Artists, etc.) around the city. Be advised that, as with everything else in New York, movies are quite popular, and even relatively obscure films at unappealing times of the day can still be sold out. It’s best to get tickets in advance whenever possible.
As many films premiere in New York, you can often catch a moderated discussion with the director or cast after the show. Sometimes even repertory films will have post-screening discussions or parties. Check listings for details.
In addition to the more than 15 commercial multiplexes located throughout the city, some of the more intriguing New York film options include:
Film Forum 209 W Houston St.
A stylish theater in Greenwich Village that runs two programs—contemporary independent releases and classic repertory films. While the current releases are almost always interesting and worth seeing, it’s the repertory programming schedule that film lovers anticipate eagerly.
American Museum of the Moving Image 35th Ave and 36th St, Queens
AMMI contains a museum devoted to, literally, moving images, so visitors will find exhibits on zoetropes and video games in addition to film and television. They also put on a terrific screening program, with films showing continuously throughout the day.
Angelika Film Center 18 W Houston St at Broadway, +1-212-995-2000
Just down the street from Film Forum, the Angelika plays new independent and foreign films, many of which are only screened in New York. The cafe upstairs is something of a hotspot as well.
Subway: N or R to Prince Street.
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave (at E 2nd St.).
A varied program of unique films, both repertory and new, most having only one or two screenings. Many of the films shown here can’t be seen anywhere else (for better or worse). It also plays host to several film festivals yearly.
Subway: F to 2nd Avenue-Lower East Side
Cinema Village On 22 E 12th St between University Place and Fifth Ave, +1-212-629-5097
Cinema Village specializes in showing documentaries, independent and foreign films. Often the films there will not be playing anywhere else in the country and Q&As with directors are common during opening weekends.
Film Society at Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, 155 W 65th St (at Broadway)
The Film Society always puts on a terrific repertory program and shows a wide variety of experimental and foreign films. In addition, numerous talks and panels are held here, many featuring bold-named directors, screenwriters, and actors.
MoMA 11 West 53rd Street
In addition to being the crown jewel of modern art museums, MoMA puts on a terrific repertory program in a nicely renovated theater below the museum. And compared to other New York movie theaters, tickets to films at MoMA are a steal.
New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center
Running in October, the New York Film Festival is one of the country’s best, with great films from around the world accompanied by interesting discussions, lectures, and panels. Be advised that tickets usually sell out at least a month in advance.
Tribeca Film Festival
Throughout May, the movie theaters of Lower Manhattan are taken over by the Tribeca Film Festival, which puts on a truly enormous amount of screenings and talks. Just a few years old, the Tribeca Film Festival has already secured a prominent place in New York’s film calendar.
Fruit stands appear at many intersections from Spring to Fall with ripe strawberries, bananas, apples, etc available at very low costs. Vegetarians will find New York to be a paradise with hundreds of vegetarian-friendly restaurants and good veggie options in even the most expensive places.
Delis & Street Food
The New York Bagel
There is no bagel in the world like the New York Bagel. Bagels, which are a doughnut-shaped boiled dough with a distinctive, chewy, sweet interior and a leathery outer crust, arrived from the old world with Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. They have since become utterly New York in character. You can get bagels anywhere in the city but, for the best bagels you may have to trek away from the main tourist sites. H&H Bagels at W 46th St. and 12th Av. is a very popular and expensive. However, many bagel connoisseurs consider Absolute Bagels at Broadway and 107th street to be the most traditional and best. Ess-a-Bagel on 21st and 1st Av. and 3rd Av. between 51st and 52nd Sts. also has a strong following. For anyone out there wanting to try a REAL bagel, you need to go to Brooklyn. One good spot is the Bagel Hole (see Prospect Park (7th Avenue of the F or G) or try looking in Midwood (Avenue J on the Q subway line). For the best bagels, go early when they are warm and straight from the oven. There’s also a little-known cousin to the bagel, the bialy, which is like a bagel but the hole does not go all the way through. Kossar’s Bialys on Grand Street at Essex is an ancient Lower East Side institution.
The New York Hot Dog
Vendors all over the city sell hot dogs – affectionately called “dirty water dogs” by the locals – from pushcarts on city sidewalks and in parks. Choose your toppings from mustard, ketchup, and relish (or just ask for everything), wrap the dog in a paper napkin, and walk along the sidewalk trying not to let the toppings slip and slide all over your hands. Also recommended is Papaya King (several locations), known for their inexpensive meals ($3.25 for a dog and a drink) and their blended tropical fruit drinks and smoothies. Or, take the Subway to Coney Island (D, F, N, Q trains, Coney Island – Stillwell Ave. stop) for the famous Nathan’s hot dog (1310 Surf Ave).
The New York Deli Sandwich
Another delicacy brought over by Jewish Immigrants, you must try either a corned beef or pastrami sandwich (a “Reuben” is always a good choice). There are some better known delis in the city, but the most famous one is Katz’s Deli at Houston and Ludlow Streets. They have been around since 1888, and still pack them in day and night.
The New York Pizza
A peculiarly New York thing, you can buy pizza, with a variety of toppings, by the slice from almost every pizzeria in the city. A New York pizza has a thin crust (sometimes chewy, sometimes crisp), plenty of cheese, and an artery-hardening sheen of grease on top. Buy a slice, fold in half lengthwise, and enjoy. If you just want a piece of plain cheese pizza, ask for “a slice.” Or pick up one with pepperoni — the quintessential meal on the go in New York.
The New York Cheesecake
Made famous by Lindy’s and Junior’s Deli in New York, it relies upon heavy cream, cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks to add a richness and a smooth consistency. They are now available throughout the city, but to get the original, go to Junior’s, just off the Manhattan Bridge in Downtown Brooklyn (see Downtown Brooklyn) (B, Q, or R to DeKalb Ave)
The New York Egg Cream
Also often referred to as a “Chocolate Egg Cream,” it’s a blend of chocolate syrup, milk, and seltzer water. One of the best is found at Katz’s Delicatessen. Though not often on the menu at many diners, if you ask for one they will still prepare it for you at most locations.
The New York Falafel and Gyro
You can find gyro vendors scattered throughout the city. However, a quick stop into the famous Mamoun’s locations will get you one of the best classic Shawarma sandwich in the city (St. Mark’s Place and MacDougal St). Don’t forget to try out their hot sauce and to bring cash! If you’re in the Upper East Side and looking for a gyro that has recognizable meat, check out Amali Restaurant on E 60th between Lexington and Park Ave., primarily a fine dining Mediterranean restaurant, the restaurant has an outdoor grill where they make chicken and pork gyros with organic meat from Upstate New York and even stuff some tasty fries into their sandwich.
Hairdressers, other personal services: 15-20%
Bartenders: $1 per drink if inexpensive or 15-20% of total
Bellhops: $2-3 per bag ($3-5 minimum regardless)
Hotel doorman: $2 per bag (if they assist), $1 for calling a cab
Shuttle bus drivers: $3-5
Private car & limousine drivers: 15-20%
Parking valet: $3-7 for retrieving your car
Housekeeping in hotels: $4-5 per day for long stays or $5 minimum for very short stays
Food delivery (pizza, etc.): $2-5, 15-20% for larger orders
Tour guides / activity guides $5-$10 if he or she was particularly funny or informative.
Taxis: Tips of 10-20% are expected in both yellow cabs as well as livery cabs. A simple way of computing the tip is to add 10% of the fare and round up from there. Thus, if the meter reads $6.20, you pay $7 and if the meter reads $6.50, you pay $8. Always tip more for better service (for example, if the cabbie helps you with your bags or stroller). Leave a small tip if the service is lousy (for example, if the cabbie refuses to turn on the air conditioning on a hot day). For livery cabs, tip 10-20% depending on the quality of the service, but you don’t need to tip at all if you hail the cab on the street and negotiate the fare in advance (leave an extra dollar or two anyway!).
Full-service restaurants: 15-20%. Many restaurants include a mandatory service charge for larger groups, in which case you do not need to tip an additional amount – however, tipping on top of the service charge is always welcomed by waiters especially if two waiters work on one large group and they are splitting the service charge between them. But tipping on top of the service charge is only optional and could be done if the service was particularly spectacular.
New York City has many nationally important independent universities and colleges, such as Barnard College, Columbia University, Cooper Union, Fordham University, Long Island University, Manhattan College, New York Institute of Technology, New York University, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, Pace University, Pratt Institute, St. John’s University, The New School, and Yeshiva University. The city has dozens of other private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions, such as St. Francis College, The Juilliard School and The School of Visual Arts.