Tucked into a booth, doodling on your paper placemat, steaming cup of coffee and slice of cherry pie at the ready: Here you are, among the nighthawks. Doubtless the menu in your greasy-spoon is expansive, but people-watching is the real attraction here. Nighttime at a 24-hour diner is the burnt coffee-perfumed junction between those ending their days and those just beginning them; it is the clean, well-lighted place where the city shifts gears. The Georgia Diner in Queens, Daisy's Diner in Brooklyn, The Waverly Diner in Manhattan, and the Colonnade Diner in Staten Island are all late-night staples.
Catch a show
Maybe you’re looking for punk spectacle on Staten Island, the world’s most famous amateur hour in Harlem, a drag show in Chelsea, balletic grace on the Upper West Side, salsa in the Bronx, indy riffs in Williamsburg, cool jazz in Park Slope, or comedy capering in Long Island City -- whatever you’re into, every single night and in every single borough, someone is doing it in public for you to enjoy. Support local artists and find your scene.
New York’s place at the cultural vanguard leaves old-school authenticity in short supply, but anchored by Arthur Avenue, the Bronx’s Little Italy is too good, too quintessential to be papered-over by the zeitgeist. No precious, tortured, tweezered amuse-bouches here. Instead, you’ll find businesses owned and operated by proud families of born-and-bred New Yorkers offering candlelit evenings of sumptuous food served on red-checkered tablecloths. Head north to find the cannoli; mozzarella; and veal, chicken, and eggplant parm of your dreams.