New York, New York: a city so nice they named it twice, and a city so colorful it has stood at the forefront of the American imagination for decades. Artists, filmmakers, intellectuals, designers, and more have long tried to capture the essence of the city, fetishizing its skyline, dramatizing its streets, and immortalizing the diversity of people that call the five boroughs home. But the task is impossible; just as you think you’ve pinned New York City down it reinvents itself, becoming something new to explore all over again. Just like the thousands of immigrants that swarmed the docks of Ellis Island, millions come to New York each year to experience all the excitement this flourishing city has to offer.
The city itself remains a melting pot of cultures, with equally diverse dining opportunities, and the sights, too, are no less varied. In a single day one can experience the storied halls of the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station, the cutting-edge fashion of SoHo and the Meatpacking District, the independent music and arts scene of Brooklyn, and a plush luxury hotel on the Upper East Side, all linked by an efficient 24hr. public transportation system. All this adventure is sure to work up an appetite; thankfully, New York is one of the food capitals of the world, offering everything from five-star cuisine to delicious "street meat." While New York is often characterized by its grittiness, the city has worked hard in recent years to both clean up its streets and its image. Although social problems still exist, the typical traveler has little to fear in "the City." Don’t call it "the Big Apple" unless you want to stick out like the tourist you are, but New York by any other name is still the same cultural mecca waiting for your visit.