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The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

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The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

In January our family will be taking our 2nd NY holiday. By the end of this 2nd trip we will just about accomplish every touristy thing there is to do. I'm looking for something to do that really defines NYC. The one thing to do that sums up this great city. It can be sport, the arts or food. Come on you New Yorker give me something.

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1. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

Maybe a non new yorker could suggest an experience that made them feel like a local. Either way I'll be interested in their suggestions.

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2. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

For me (a tourist) it was engaging in conversations with locals about everyday sort of topics like I do at home with my neighbors. Talking about urban gardening in the financial district, worker's rights with the dosa cart man, quaker history in flushing, how to keep our children cool in the crushing heat in corona, all made it feel more like "living" than just being a tourist to me.

In regular life we have these kind of interactions everyday and doing it in new York emphasized the mass amount of people, opinions etc

New York, NY
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3. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

Brunch. Go to a great brunch on a weekend and hang out for a while. Make sure they have great bloody marys. Pastis is always a favorite. Balthazar too for a great vibe.

I'd then walk around the LES and E Village. Pop in stores and markets. Run the west side highway

If you like live music check out rockwood or see who's playing at the Bowery

Its kind of hard not knowing your age and interests

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4. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

id go to the boorughs,where the real nyers live.As a Bronxite,id head up to arthur ave for great Italian--strike up a conversation with a nearby table---go to The Bronx zoo, head over to City Island,walk thru Pelham Bay park,the largest park in the City,walk the campus of Fordham Universtity,go to Botanical Gardens--- the only tourist youll see are other Nyers getting a day out--mots folks in the boroughs cant afford the touristy things in the city,i know we never went in--in fact Ive never been to ESB, and just went to SOL 3 years ago.There are also interesting things in Brooklyn and other borughs as well

Boston, MA
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5. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

Get a job and ride the subway to work?

Reality is .... SOME of what locals do in their leisure time are things that tourists do ... eat in restaurants, go to museums, enjoy Central Park, taket their kids (or grandkids) to the Bronx zoo, and so on ....

New York City, New...
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6. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

For brunch in Manhattan but with a more locals feel, I'd suggest finding a restaurant that (unlike Pastis and Balthazar) is not on the tourist radar. The Upper West Side has loads of such places.

Another suggestion is to go to a concert or other non-Broadway performance (the ballet or opera or something like that). There may be a smattering of tourists, but concert crowds are largely locals out having fun. We saw Jay-Z last night at the Barclays Center and Green Day two weeks ago at Irving Plaza and both were a blast. :)

Sporting events (maybe a Knicks or Nets basketball game?) would be similar to the above and perhaps more family-friendly if there are children in your group...

Enjoy your trip!

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7. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

There is no one thing, because what makes it a great city is how many things there are that appeal to so many different people with different interests, while others have no idea what they're taking about. Many times I have gone to a lecture or whatever thinking there couldn't be more than a few others attending, only to find out it was SRO. A few ideas to get you started:

1. Off- and off-off broadway shows (very few tourists at any of those; sometimes none at all). A good off-off production I saw last weekend:


But there are hundreds.

2. Opera (and ballet, but I'm more of an opera fan). There are lectures and discussions held by many companies that relate to their performances. For instance, here are some from the Met Opera Guild:


But if you search around based on things you are interested in, you will find lots of stuff like this.

3. The library and similar organizations do regular lecture series. Most museums will have events that tie in to their exhibits, and the Met Museum does gallery talks as well.

4. Many of the parks have classes and programs; I'm a big fan of the bird watching and nature walks in my local park.

New York is defined by the people who live here, and they've all got their own agendas!

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8. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

because we go to visit our son, who has lived for some years in new york, we usually stay, and spend our days, in areas less on the tourist trail. we like to shop on the stretch of broadway below union square, go to 'k' mart and target, eat at restaurants on 9th avenue and so on. we also sit in neighbourhood parks, watching impromptue ball games and observing the birds.

he has, so far, moved apartments and areas before each visit. so each time, we have a new area to explore. this time, it is chelsea.


New York City
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9. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

Locals hardly ever go to the tourist spots, ive only been to the Statue of Liberty twice in my life. I havent been to the top of the Empire State Building since I was six and I only went to Top of the Rock because I was showing someone else around.

Most Locals dont even go to Manhattan that often. Its mostly outsiders that live in Manhattan and the only time locals go to Manhttan is to work.

Summers might mean going to the Beach, Fall and Spring going to parks outside the city (I only go to central park 2-3 times a year and thats mostly for the row boats)

Sporting events are popular especially Baseball or Football, but most locals watch football on TV as the tickets are expensive and someone of a pain to get to the stadium

Most "Real" New Yorkers live in the outer boroughs , Long Island or Northern NJ. In fact if you want to hear a REAL NY accent thats where you have to go to hear it

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10. Re: The quintessential non tourist New York thing to do

Non-tourist? Stay home and order in Chinese.