People & Places

  • Best 19th-Century Street

    Hudson Avenue

    New York is full of charming 19th-century streets, but one that's less known and kind of hard to get to only makes it more charming and more 19th-century. Our current fave owes its relative obscurity to its location in what's become a time-capsule pocket neighborhood in Brooklyn. We're talking Vinegar Hill here, bounded by DUMBO on the south, the East… More >>
  • Best Aggravating Advocate

    Aaron Naparstek

    Streetsblog founder, Honku creator, and longtime bike-lane advocate Aaron Naparstek is not an easy person to ignore. While the biking community, such as it is, has worked with the bike-lane-friendly Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, years on the margins have made its advocates a touchy group. Naparstek and acting Streetsblog EIC Ben Fried have pushed back hard against what they've seen… More >>
  • Best Itinerary for a Cheap Date

    Van Brunt Street

    New York City is a land full of cheap dates. Where else can you make a perfectly entertaining and even romantic outing out of traipsing over a bridge, catching a ferry, going on a long, meandering walk through neighborhoods known and unknown, maybe stopping in a bar or restaurant for some drinks or food, maybe packing your own to take… More >>
  • Best Outdoor West Village Respite

    Garden at St. Luke in the Fields

    Oh, jeez—construction. Construction and trucks. Construction and trucks and rumble sirens. Construction and trucks and rumble sirens and people bitching into their cell phones. In other words, New York City. Really, sometimes it just has to stop. It's not always so easy to zip out of town to flee the oppression, so the city's little in-town escapes seem all the… More >>
  • Best Radio Host

    Brian Lehrer

    The only kind thing to be said about sports-talk callers—"not for nothing, Mike, but if I was making $6 million a year I'd hustle down the first baseline"—is that they're not as terrible as sports-talk hosts (excluding the great Steve Somers), perhaps because they get cut off after a few minutes instead of having to fill hours of airtime with… More >>
  • Best Jazz Detective

    Phil Schaap

    Coffee's great, but nothing quite compares to waking up as a bug on the wall weekday mornings during Bird Flight's endless investigation on WKCR of Charlie Parker. Host Phil Schaap is the multiple Grammy winner (for producing, historical writing, and historical engineering) and jazz savant sifting through the ashes of Parker's life and career with the rigor and weirdness of… More >>
  • Best View

    Sunset Park

    Far out in the bay, Lady Liberty stands with torch aloft and Jersey City beyond. Just to her right, you might make out the tips of Ellis Island and Governors Island, and if you turn your head farther, you can see the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan jousting against the sky. Closer in, find a handful of church spires, the water… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    New Paltz

    It's fall, it's crispy, and it's time to do some leaf-peeping. While it's true that we do have leaves ripe for peeping right here in the city, those darn buildings always seem to get in the way. Our favorite place to go when we just need to get the hell out of here and see some damned nature is New… More >>
  • Best Lawyer

    Irving Picard

    If by best lawyer, you mean the guy who's raking in the most dough, the clear winner is Irving Picard. At least, he's the guy we know about. Picard is the federal trustee who is handling the clawback of ill-gotten gains from the Bernie Madoff scandal. In late September, Picard and Baker Hostetler—the firm that landed him after he landed… More >>
  • Best Political Revival

    City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

    Timing is everything. For all the heat Mike Bloomberg took for his third-term push, his partner in that maneuver and most things since, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, has emerged untouched as the early front-runner in polls for the mayor when Bloomberg is term-limited out for the second time. Quinn not only earned a valuable chit with the mayor, but… More >>
  • Best Inside-Baseball Scorecard

    Room Eight

    Created by Gur Tsabar and Ben Smith, now of Politico, Room Eight has become something like the blog that time forgot. Amid a front page clogged up with Nike ad spam posts and out-of-date news feeds, a hardcore of contributors, many of them there since the site's launch, grind political axes, keep an eye on local scenes, and sift and… More >>
  • Best Political Quote

    Hank Sheinkopf

    "Kid, I'm forever." A foul-mouthed Orthodox Jewish ex-cop (also cab driver and bounty hunter), Democratic political consultant working on a dissertation on the political power of the Catholic Church and with an ax to grind against "Seinfeld Jews" sounds like a character in a half-baked script. But New York's political reporters are blessed with just that in Hank Sheinkopf, who… More >>
  • Best Exhibitionist

    Jason Andrew

    Jason Andrew first exposed himself, as far as we know, when a few years back, he opened his home to the art world by using his Bushwick apartment as a exhibition space. Andrew, of Norte Maar, an art collaborative nonprofit, always seems to be thinking big in relatively small spaces. But when the artwork got bigger, he needed a new… More >>
  • Best Waterfront for Wooing

    Red Hook waterfront

    New York and nature don't have so much in common, but both abhor a vacuum. Mayor Bloomberg's decision to remake the Manhattan waterfront as parkland effectively meant giving up on the idea of New York as a shipping or manufacturing city, after decades of both industries shriveling away. The parks get a lot of use, which is a boon for… More >>
  • Best Pet-Lovers

    Bideawee

    It's easy to love your own pet, but what about the castaways, the endangereds, the homeless cats and dogs out there? Make you sad? Bideawee wipes away the tears and actually takes action, living up to its slogan as "animal people who love animals." Operating three facilities—in Manhattan and on Long Island in Wantagh and Westhampton—this century-old privately funded organization… More >>
  • Best Political King-Killer

    The Reverend Al Sharpton

    With the Reverend Al Sharpton's silence rented over the past decade by the Bloomberg administration—who can forget his national education tour with then-Chancellor Joel Klein, the latest in a series of odd couple acts made to give lazy reporters an easy hook for the endless "new man" stories about him? MSNBC is now paying him to make noise on other… More >>
  • Best Strip Mall

    Fordham Road shopping strip

    Someone once told us, "If you don't find what you want at the Fordham Road shopping strip, go look for it in Jersey." By last count, there were nearly 120 stores and restaurants on this venerable road, with everything from diamonds to hardware. There are national names including The Gap and American Place, outlets for name brands Nine West. There's… More >>
  • Best Political Wonks

    Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran

    Two staffers who played key roles in the last good run of the New York Observer, editors Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran, have assembled an all-star cast of smart people and New Yorkers (some of them even both those things) at fledging website Capital New York who done write better and more right than you and yours to steadily turn… More >>
  • Best Midtown Vacation

    Roosevelt Island

    Next time you're in Midtown and need a break from your job, theater crowds, or the increasing commercialization of the M&M store, take the tram over to Roosevelt Island. It boards at 59th Street and Second Avenue and is a four-minute ride that'll set you back only $2.25 each way on your MetroCard. While there, take a quiet stroll to… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch Others Embark on Vacation

    Hudson River Greenway off West 10th Street

    Wave bon voyage to friends you've never met from the grass-covered piers jutting from the Hudson River Greenway off West 10th Street. Take a seat and watch the massive cruise ships lurch by on the river, temporally eclipsing New Jersey as they make their way out to the Atlantic. If it's a hot day, you can take refuge under the… More >>
  • Best Thing to do on the Subway

    The Craigslist missed connections game

    Trying to stave off boredom on the subway? You don't need an iPad or Kindle to have fun underground. All you need to do is play the Craigslist missed connections game. The goal of the game is to find yourself mentioned in the online classifieds' lost and found for love. It takes chutzpah, but what thrilling contest doesn't? The rules… More >>
  • Best Place for a Last Date

    Brooklyn Bridge Park

    Well, it didn't work out. You just weren't compatible; you're a Virgo from a small family, and she's a controlling maniac with undiagnosed histrionic-personality disorder. When it's time to end things, take her to Brooklyn Bridge Park. It's free, and God knows you've already spent enough money on a girl you met while waiting in line to ride a mechanical… More >>
  • Best Overlooked New York Book

    Bloomberg's New York: Class and Governance in the Luxury City

    Say what you will about rapping, Matrix-cameo-making, Obama-bashing would-be pop-culture icon and Princeton professor Cornel West, seen recently trying to get in on the dubious shine of Occupy Wall Street, but he's one of the only easily identifiable figures from the academy these days, as the Ivory Tower has sealed its gates. Which is a shame because there are a… More >>
  • Best Thing to do Outside on a Rainy Day

    Walk on the West Side

    When it's pouring, the world tilts as people shuffle indoors. Empty movie theaters become crowded, and bustling parks become sparsely populated and soggy. That's why inclement weather is the best time to do something that would be a pain in beautiful weather because the city just has too many people. So when it rains, beg, borrow, or steal an umbrella… More >>
  • Best Place to Take a Crying Baby To

    Landmark's Sunshine Cinema

    Landmark's Sunshine Cinema has been dependable since the beginning of its start in show business back in 1930. It has evolved from being a vaudeville house, and it's still evolving. If you think its matinees cater to only hipsters and lonely professors, think again. The place offers special screenings for babies and their moms, dads, nannies—whoever is taking care of… More >>
  • Best Park Installation

    Tompkins Square Park Ping-Pong table

    We might forget that parks are supposed to be for play. Striking sculptures, like Jaume Plensa's four-story fiberglass head in Madison Square Park, are nice to look at, but they take up valuable picnic and catch-playing real estate. That's why the Tompkins Square Park Ping-Pong table is so perfect. The table sits near the park's dog run, but its sleek… More >>
  • Best Tourist Trap

    South Street Seaport

    It's essentially an outdoor mall, but the South Street Seaport is an outdoor mall with a great view. It might not have the same stigma as Times Square, but most New Yorkers would hesitate before telling friends they went to South Street Seaport for a $12 margarita and some light shopping. Still, you can sip that margarita next to a… More >>
  • Best Place if You’re Hungry for Love

    East Village Cheese Shop

    This is not a bar, nor a meat market, nor any of the typical places you’d expect to find someone who might or might not be the love of your life. It’s the East Village Cheese Shop, and, first off, the prices are perhaps the best in the city for high-end, delicious cheeses in hundreds of varieties. They keep the… More >>
  • Best Brooklyn Model Citizen

    Jonathan Lopes

    How much does Boerum Hill’s Jonathan Lopes love Brooklyn? He can’t let go of his dream to reconstruct the beloved borough brick by brick—in Lego bricks. Lopes is recreating a tiny, plastic Brooklyn in his living room. He has spent four years constructing a detailed train-and-street scene that nearly fills his living room, as he showed the Post’s Elizabeth Lazarowitz… More >>
  • Best Amateur Sleuth

    Yaakov German

    When little Leiby Kletzky vanished from yeshiva day camp last July in Borough Park, Yaakov German went on the hunt. German’s son was the eight-year-old boy’s teacher, so he had an in—and he used it to grab a look at the school’s security video. German and his pals spotted footage of the boy leaving the school and, banging on doors… More >>
  • Best Public Speakers

    For many, the city's best open mics are semi-private affairs, evenings with friends in a warmly lit and moderately priced neighborhood coffee shops or late nights strumming Bon Iver songs with suitemates in the common room of a college dorm. Union Square Park, on the other hand, with its large crowds, gives you the world at its spacious south steps.… More >>
  • Best Bookworm

    It's got the sort of name that repels you if you just want to duck your head in for something to read, but Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books is about the best browsing spot around and at prices that won't set you back much more than what you'd pay the junkies outside selling random books for a buck. This is all… More >>
  • Best Religious Nut

    Not all religious nuts are born-again equal. Our favorite is Dan Gilgoff, the New York-based co-editor of the CNN Belief Blog. Immersed in all things religious while at the same time not losing his mind, Gilgoff runs (with co-editor Eric Marrapodi) the best mainstream blog on religion. You wouldn't expect normally staid and relentless cautious CNN to be your savior… More >>
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