New York City has been called many things—the city that never sleeps, the capital of the world—but it could also be called “The City With Too Many Places to See.” The online magazine, Curbed New York, has created a pocket online guide with 26 places that you must visit in New York right now—”new classics, old favorites, and other essential sites.”
Governors Island isn’t the easiest place to get to—ferries depart from Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge Park selectively—but it’s worth the extra effort. The former military base has been transformed into a 172-acre green oasis that hosts a myriad of events, artworks, and attractions that are often free. Island Oyster, a “picnic-style” eatery near Soissons Landing that opened last year, will be joined by new food and entertainment options this season. Governors Island will be open every day from May 1 through October 31, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends, Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
In just 25 minutes, the Staten Island Ferry transports you from the southern tip of Manhattan to St. George on Staten Island. But the ferry is more than just a commute; the ride offers lovely views of downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty. (The bar on board, where you can grab a cheap beer to accompany your ride, is also a plus.) Soon, the opening of Empire Outlets, and the massive redevelopment taking place on Staten Island’s northern shore will be another reason to ride the ferry.
3. 140 Broadway
The former Marine Midland Bank building at 140 Broadway is one of New York City’s undisputed architectural triumphs. The skyscraper, designed by Gordon Bunshaft for Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, opened in 1968, and was heralded by Ada Louise Huxtable soon after as “New York’s ultimate skin building” and “a demonstration of New York at its physical best.” There’s been a good deal of chatter about its public plaza as it awaits changes that will bring new planters and a row of contested benches to the Broadway side of the building. Now would be a good time to check it out in its current form.
4. Coney Island
Coney Island has been a destination for New Yorkers of all stripes for more than a century, and while plenty has changed—there’s no more Dreamland, Steeplechase Park, Thunderbolt (in its original incarnation), or Shoot the Freak—there’s still plenty to keep people amused. Luna Park carries on the tradition of amusement parks, but vintage attractions like the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone remain beloved parts of the experience. Don’t leave without eating a Nathan’s hot dog—it’s been an icon for more than a century for the reason.