23 things NYC is better at than anywhere else
The next time you see a rat crawl out of some hot garbage, or you find yourself sleeping with ice packs in your pillow 'cause it's too hot and your AC is out, or you end up jammed in an elevator with 20 other people, just think of how great it actually is here, and how many things NYC actually gets right. Think of this list of 23 things NYC does way better than anywhere else.
If anybody disagrees, they’re just flat out wrong. Especially if that anybody is from Chicago.
A few things here: first, if you’ve ever been behind a tourist, then you know they clearly never graduated from walking school in Italy. Second, we can and will walk anywhere we want; there’s almost nowhere that we couldn’t get to if we wanted to, by walking. Third, there’ve been studies done about how it makes us live longer. And finally (and perhaps the most indisputably), we’re BY FAR the best jaywalkers anywhere in the world. Period.
If you take a step back from the rage-inducing subway rides you take every morning, you can actually see that our subway system is an efficient, 24/7 (GFY Boston), widespread (except from Williamsburg to other parts of Brooklyn) beast that (90% of the time) gets you where you need to be, on time. Also, have you ever tried to get a taxi in another city? Nightmare.
Whether they're all-you-can-drink boozy brunches, party brunches, regular brunches, religious brunches, pop-ups only open for brunch, or totally illegal brunches, we've got brunch pretty much locked down.
You could look at this as a flaw, or you could totally look at this as us having an insatiable appetite for the best, and we refuse to settle. We're gonna go with the latter.
If you’ve ever lived in another city, then you know. Yeah, there’s probably something about the water, but there’s also probably something about us just being better at making them, too. (Montreal, you're cool, but you're kind of a fake contender.)
We’re gonna go ahead and lump fashion and style in here too, because we’re also the best at those.
1010 WINS and NY1/Pat Kiernan alone could make us better than anywhere else, but the Post and Daily News also offer a nice, bonkers counter-balance with an amazing pun game. Also, we’re not necessarily claiming it, but it is The NEW YORK Times, after all.
Making the best out of insanely small living situations
Someone in San Diego would probably crumble under the prospect of living so close to a person they met on Craigslist. But you do it, and you thrive.
Ours are just better than yours. Sorry, Miami.
Last call is at 4am for EVERY bar, not just some (like our fat little tag-along brother, Chicago). And even after that -- after the rest of the country would have long been in their tiny race car beds with Transformers sheets -- there are great, like actually great, places to go if you want to.
Law & Order
Go home NCIS, CSI, Hawaii Five-0, and all the other crappy, non-NYC-based procedurals.
What we lack in porches, backyards, and other nature-adjacent spaces (that’s what those are called, right?), we make up for in rooftops. There’s nothing as great as looking over the city in the Summer. Also, we have like a billion of them.
Having tiny, microspecific districts
We’ve got stretches of just a few city blocks that've managed to create solid identities. Some are historical (like the Fur District and Meatpacking), but others are less formal and not-historical, like the Lamp Shade District on the Bowery. Oh, and who could forget the Fake Sports Jersey District around 26th St?!
Black and white cookies
Half Moons and Harlequins (and whatever else Upstate and New England call these) are just not as good as the NYC fondant-ified, slightly lemon-y version. If we wanted frosting, we’d just go get a cupcake. Which, by the way, we also do better than you.
Aside from the fact that we order dinner into our apartments or the office pretty much every single night, there’s also not a single thing you can’t get delivered if you wanted to in NYC. Getting it on time, though? Not so much.
Here’s the thing: other cities have great, individual cocktail bars, or even a nice scene, but for sheer volume of the quality here, we’re gonna give the crown to ourselves.
The combination of a massive amount of options and the fact that no one has to drive makes bar hopping in NYC easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable than anywhere else.
Everyone else can shut up -- especially Boston, Philly, and Texas (Texas is a city, right?). We’ve got two of each major sports team (or will, when the Islanders move to Brooklyn) with every kind of rooting interest. Love winners? We have those. Love pitiful losers? We have those! Love perennial hope (Giants) and perennial hopelessness (Jets) and annoying smugness (Yankees) and more perennial hopelessness (Mets)? We've got all that. Also, championships. Count 'em.
You could probably go to a different museum, play, concert, or poetry reading every single day of the week for the whole year, and never repeat anything. You probably won’t do that, but you could.
The restaurant scene here is the best in the world. And sure, we’ve got a few of the best restaurants anywhere, but the real strength is in the consistency of quality, neighborhood places, bars that serve food (aka gastropubs), and unexpected dives. Almost every single one of them has something worthy of making a visit. It just isn’t like that in other places.
More than any other place in the world, no matter who you are or what you want, if you’re willing to explore, NYC’s got it.
Maybe we should've started with this one...
Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist's NYC Editor, and he's glad he doesn't live anywhere else. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.