Best of NYC®

Best Of 2015


  • + Allerton
  • + Alphabet City
  • + Astoria
  • + Auburndale
  • + Bath Beach
  • + Battery Park City
  • + Bay Ridge
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  • + Bedford Stuyvesant
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  • + Cobble Hill
  • + College Point
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  • + Corona
  • + Crotona Park
  • + Crown Heights
  • + Cypress Hills
  • + Ditmas Park
  • + Douglaston
  • + Dumbo
  • + Dyker Heights
  • + East 100s
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  • + East New York
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  • + Elmhurst
  • + Far Rockaway
  • + Financial District
  • + Flatbush
  • + Flatiron
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  • + Floral Park
  • + Flushing
  • + Fordham
  • + Forest Hills
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  • + Garment District
  • + Gerritsen Beach
  • + Glen Oaks
  • + Glendale
  • + Gowanus
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  • + Gravesend
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  • + Greenwood Heights
  • + Hamilton Heights
  • + Harlem
  • + Hell's Kitchen
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  • + Howard Beach
  • + Hunts Point
  • + Inwood
  • + Jackson Heights
  • + Jamaica
  • + Jamaica Hills
  • + Jersey City
  • + Kensington
  • + Kew Gardens Hills
  • + Kingsbridge
  • + Koreatown
  • + Little Italy
  • + Little Neck
  • + Long Island
  • + Long Island City
  • + Louisiana
  • + Lower East Side
  • + Marine Park
  • + Maspeth
  • + Meatpacking District
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  • + Morris Park
  • + Morrisania
  • + Mott Haven
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  • + New Jersey
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  • + Prospect Heights
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  • + Prospect-Lefferts Garden
  • + Red Hook
  • + Rego Park
  • + Richmond Hill
  • + Ridgewood
  • + Riverdale
  • + Rockaway Beach
  • + Roosevelt Island
  • + Rosedale
  • + Sheepshead Bay
  • + Soho
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  • + South Riverdale
  • + South Street Seaport
  • + St Albans
  • + Staten Island
  • + Sunnyside
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  • + Throgs Neck
  • + Tribeca
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  • + Unknown
  • + Utah
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  • + West 100s
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  • + West 80s
  • + West 90s
  • + West Village
  • + Whitestone
  • + Williamsburg
  • + Windsor Terrace
  • + Woodlawn
  • + Woodside
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Readers' Choice


Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Neighborhood to Live When You're Planning to Have Kids

So you're going to do it: Ravage your body and compromise the integrity of your sleep forever by giving birth to squalling, dribbling offspring. It's probably much nicer than it sounds. But there's your lifestyle to consider, because no breed of New Yorker is more reviled than the Williamsburg child, no matter how cute those tiny skinny jeans and baby-size Wayfarers may be. There are some places in this city where kids just don't camouflage. If you don't like the notion of becoming a Park Slope parent (or worse, a Tribeca parent), raise your kids in really the only hip place you can: Carroll Gardens. The super-gentrified-but-still-charismatic Brooklyn 'hood is Stroller Central, especially around Carroll Park, which is outfitted with a particularly non-depressing city playground. Nearly all of its trademark townhouse apartments have yards, however small, and P.S.58 is one of the better and more diverse elementary schools in the city, eliminating any need for private education, which is a whole 'nother kettle of no. Along with the abundance of practical necessities like grocery stores, daycares, and preschools, most of the fun things to do here are kid-friendly, like ceramics at the Painted Pot, projects at the Brooklyn Craft Farm, or matinees at Cobble Hill Cinemas, which can be counted upon to have the latest Pixar on reel. The restaurants and coffeehouses worth going to are accustomed to tinier patrons. Kids run and crawl under the tables at family-style joint Lucali, while Beyoncé has been seen taking Blue Ivy to brunch at Buttermilk Channel.

Readers' Choice: Park Slope, Upper West Side (TIE)

Best Cemetery
Woodlawn Cemetery

One day we'll all reach the end of the line, but until your time comes you can take the 4 train to its final stop in the Bronx and relax amid the 400 bucolic acres of Woodlawn Cemetery. There's a good chance you'll see a hawk wheeling above spreading willow trees and spy enormous carp undulating just below the surface of Woodlawn Lake. Sylvan paths are marked for the flora found there — Spruce Avenue, Hickory Plot — and rustling branches drown out any urban cacophony. Opened in 1863, Woodlawn is an active, nonsectarian cemetery, and while the grounds are beautifully maintained, there is also a sense here of time beyond the increments of workweek or vacation day. Some headstones tilt, lichen covers others, and a rain-streaked inscription for a child who never saw a first birthday conjures an ineffable melancholy that entwines the setting like vines embracing a mausoleum. But visit Miles Davis's grave and hum the jazz standard "Solar," etched on his stone, or stop by Herman Melville's final berth for some literary musing, and you'll be reminded anew that life may be a crapshoot, but we're blessed to have a chance to roll them bones. Webster Avenue and East 233rd Street, Bronx 10470, 718-920-0500,

233rd St. & Webster Ave., Bronx, 10470
Best Public Library
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Sure, the New York Public Library is a great institution overall, with several branches dotting the city. But if you need to catch up on your John Ford westerns or map the differences and similarities between the styles of Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham, or get to the bottom, once and for all, of the sound of John Cage, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is where you want to be. Serious theater scholars can make an appointment to view selections from the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT), the library's vast collection of recorded performances. And with only a library card, anyone can rent DVDs: Here's your chance to become a DIY scholar of the films of Douglas Fairbanks or Buster Keaton. The place can be overwhelming, but the staff is happy to help. For work-at-home types, the spacious, open area — complete with a 'wichcraft coffee kiosk — is a quiet, pleasant place to get stuff done, with fewer distractions than your typical café. At the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan 10023, 917-275-6975,

40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, 10016
Best Airport

In the past, Newark Liberty International Airport has gotten a bad rap — possibly, we suspect, because of its location in that great but much shit-upon state just to our west. But EWR, dedicated in 1935 by Amelia Earhart herself, is the best, in 2015 and forever, so let's set the record straight. After a scant twenty minutes aboard an NJ Transit train ($12.50) from Penn Station, you're there. As in, actually there — no shuttle transfers, no Uber ride out to the Rockaways. There. And with a train departing from Penn Station about every twenty minutes — think a slightly more efficient G-train schedule — it's actually possible to plan public transport to the airport with some degree of certainty, and for under $20. But just wait until you get there! Riding the free elevated AirTrain between terminals is legitimately fun, and we'll stand by that. Look out through panoramic windows over the Manhattan skyline; espy the neighboring Budweiser brewery. We dare you not to make friends on the small, amusement-park-like cars (or sing the monorail song from The Simpsons over and over in your head). The terminals themselves are linear and well organized, with an atmosphere of less overall confusion than a certain larger airport, and with more destination options than a certain smaller one. And how about a location-appropriate Jersey Mike's Subs right in the concourse? What more could you ask of the Garden State? 3 Brewster Road, Newark, New Jersey 07114, 973-961-6000,

3 Brewster Road, Newark, 07114
Best Public Restroom
Port Authority Bus Terminal

Figuratively speaking, the turd in the New York City punch bowl is our public restroom problem. (Just ask any Starbucks barista.) So it's both strange and wonderful that the best public restroom happens to reside in perhaps the last locale you'd imagine: the Port Authority Bus Terminal, that most cringingly public of all places. Hear us out. It's a known fact that despite the inclusion of a pretty excellent Heartland Brewery, two separate Au Bon Pains (Au Bons Pains?), and an entire bowling alley, nobody wants to spend one more second in the Port Authority than they absolutely have to. But stigma can be a blessing to nonbelievers, and this makes it a breeze to score those empty stalls when the going gets urgent. You'll find four (four!) public restrooms, one on each level, all remarkably...passable, in terms of cleanliness. (This is a bus station, after all.) You'll also find clearly posted "Rules and Regulations" in each, which helpfully clarify a lot of the essentials, as in no person shall "loiter, bathe, shave, launder clothes, drink alcoholic beverages, [or] solicit funds for any purpose." Jarring, maybe, but that anyone has ever hung around long enough to do any of these things probably speaks to the not entirely awful state of the restrooms themselves. In the final analysis, it's about what you won't find: lines. Lines of restless, dead-eyed, wailing-kid-toting commuters that you'd find congesting, say, a certain nearby train station restroom — those are conspicuously absent here. We can only ponder why this might be, but we do know that a relatively empty public restroom in a town of 8 million deserves a medal. 625 Eighth Avenue, Manhattan 10018, 212-502-2200,

625 8th Ave., New York, 10018
Best Barber Shop

Opened by Danny Baptista in January of 2010, The Stepping Razor advertises itself as a "traditional barbering service for the gentleman and the outlaw." True to its tagline, the Bushwick shop's aesthetic blends a hodgepodge of seemingly incongruent styles. The name comes from a song by reggae artist Joe Higgs, yet the walls are decked out with images of skateboards, classic cars, and pinup girls. Baptista himself is heavily inked but dons a tonsorial white jacket on the job and specializes in giving the young men of Brooklyn ultraclean-cut hairstyles and shaves à la 1940s NYC. That said, the barbers here are happy to wield the scissors the way you ask 'em to. At $30 a pop for a quality haircut or a hot-towel straight-razor shave, the Stepping Razor is the perfect pit stop, be it before job interview or brawl. 952 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn 11206, 917-586-7710,

952 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn, 11206

Best Neighborhood to Live When You're Planning to Have Kids: Carroll Gardens


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