Spend the day eating in Coney Island
It’s certainly not tourist-free, but New Yorkers appreciate a day in Coney Island as much as anybody. Ride the Cyclone first, to get it out of the way -- it just turned 90 years old -- then eat tacos and tostadas at Doña Zita’s, pizza from Totonno’s, and gelato from Coney’s Cones (they brought a gelato maker over from Venezia, Italy to run the place, so you know it’s legit). Grab a drink at the Coney Island Brewing Company’s tasting room, and hope that they’re doing trivia/yoga/showing a movie, which they do often. Then ride the Wonder Wheel, because you gotta. -- Maggie R.
Catch the Rocky Horror Picture Show
Come do the Time Warp every Friday & Saturday at midnight at the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Cinépolis Chelsea Cinemas. A long-standing New York tradition, volunteer actors dress up and play out scenes in front of the screen -- it's a double feature, in a manner of speaking! So damn it, Janet, go see it. -- Matt C.
People-watch at a quintessential New York Italian restaurant
A few blocks outside of Little Italy, on a part of Baxter Street you’d probably never find yourself on unless you were in need of a bail bond, is a red neon sign that reads “Forlini’s” in script. The place has been around since the ‘40s, and seems perpetually frozen in that era, with red leather booths, white tablecloths, gold-framed oil paintings, and semi-gruff Italian-accented waiters who have probably been there from day one. You’ll enjoy your massive chicken Parm encased in a thick layer of cheese just fine, but the crowd is the true selling point. Thanks to its proximity to the courthouse, on any given night you’ll find judges, policemen, lawyers from opposing sides of cases, and probably a couple old mob guys, all happily occupying the same space, chatting with the staff, and shouting over carafes of red wine. -- Lucy M.