best place to learn something about the city you live in, damn it - 2003
DOUBLE-DECKER TOUR BUSES
While the cherry-red DOUBLE-DECKER TOUR BUSES that infest the summer streets may offend über-chic sensibilities, they are a surprisingly excellent source of local lore. Of course anyone who's lived here for three months knows that the scene in When Harry Met Sally was filmed at Katz's and that Grimaldi's, Lombardi's, and John's are three rare pizza joints still using coal ovens. But it's a fair bet that even born-and-bred New Yorkers aren't aware that the elegant facades atop many buildings exist to disguise water tanks or that ornate exteriors on many Soho buildings in Soho are removable, and are only bolted on. If you can brave the excess of camcorders, fanny packs, and dog-eared subway maps, the buses are a great way to learn about the city. Don't forget your oversized glasses.