Our guides there certainly think so. Despite giving hundreds of tours a year, they still thrive on the energy and excitement that is Manhattan and the boroughs. Today seven of these guides are sharing seven unique things they love to do in their city - things you might not have considered, but that will add to your experience of New York.
Seven Unique Things To Do In New York City
Experience a real-life parlor jazz salon in Harlem
Jazz lovers simply cannot miss Marjorie Elliot's home concerts as they are legendary in Harlem, says our guide Richard. For the past 25 years, she has hosted free jazz concerts in her New York apartment, transporting listeners back to a time when jazz evenings in private apartments were common during the Harlem Renaissance. The concerts take place every Sunday, from 3:30 to 6pm.
Where: 555 Edgecombe Avenue (at 160th Street), ''The Triple Nickel'', Studio 3F
Search for a secret bunker inside Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most visited places in New York. However, unknown to many who cross it everyday, it was also designed to serve as a Cold War bomb shelter. This massive structure hides a network of secret passageways, forgotten rooms and a vault stocked up with survival crackers in case of a nuclear attack! Can't find it? You might have to ask our guide Bill for a bit of help.
Scan the bookshelves of The Strand for rare treasures
New York City's legendary home to 18 miles of new, used and rare books, The Strand Bookstore" is an undeniable stop in your visit, with well-read and helpful staff, and an incredible selection of merchandise. Established in 1927, this Union Square fixture today carries over 2.5 million books, with a wide range of topics that is certain to please any book lover. It's also a great place for a literary-themed souvenir! If you go, tell them Remo sent you.
Where: 828 Broadway, at 12th St.
Bike through Bushwick and other cultural hubs in Brooklyn
In just the past few years, Bushwick has become the 'hip' neighborhood with its huge street art culture. In 2012, Joe Ficalora, who was born in Bushwick, invited street artists to paint murals on the walls of his factory. With the consent of his neighbors, he then started the curatorial project called 'The Bushwick Collective', an outdoor gallery where the world’s best street artists would come and fill his neighbors’ walls with mural paintings. Local guide Pim recommends going to have a look - by bike is best!
Recount mob murder tales at Sparks Steak House
One of the most famous killings of a mob boss in New York City happened outside Sparks Steakhouse on December 16, 1985, Robin tells us. Against all mob rules, Paul Costellano, the boss of the Gambino crime family, was shot dead along with his driver by orders of John Gotti, the then ruthless capo in the family. Today you can still have a steak dinner and some drinks from their extensive wine selection - make sure to ask them where the room is that the mob used to eat, drink and exchange info. This restaurant will bring you back in time. Look out behind you when going in: you never know who is lurking there.
Where: 210 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017
Experience Manhattan from the Air...on public transit!
For the same cost as a subway ride, see Manhattan from above via the Roosevelt Island Tramway, suggests Derek. One of only two commuter tram systems in the United States, this experience is unique to the East Coast. It's just a five minute ride over the East River from Midtown to Roosevelt Island, and along the way you'll see great views of the city without ever leaving the borough (it's all still Manhattan!) As a bonus, you can also explore the neighborhood of Roosevelt Island – home to some 12,000 residents – with the free Red Bus, and enjoy stunning skyline views throughout the island, including from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. Return to Midtown by tram or take the subway right next to the tram terminal. Tram runs every 7-15 minutes.
Where: East 59th Street & 2nd Avenue, Manhattan. Look for the big red sign that says “Roosevelt Island Tramway.”
Have Lunch at Eisenberg's: "Either You Get It, Or You Don't"
It may be from the Art Deco era, the late 1920s, but it's not fancy! Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop is where regular New Yorkers and, occasionally, some famous people go to experience real New York City food in a setting and feel from decades ago. You'll find sandwiches, great soups, burgers and fries, hustle & bustle, crowds. And famous New York fizzy drinks from the early 20th Century. An Egg Cream does not have eggs, nor cream! It is like a milky milk shake, made from almost-frozen milk, flavored syrup (chocolate, vanilla, or black & white are favorites) mixed with bubbly seltzer water. Or, a Cherry Lime Rickey for those with sweet & sour tastes. Or fountain sodas. Locally owned. The last two owners were regulars, so they bought the place to keep it open. The previous owner's motto: "Either you get it, or you don't" was in response to his incredulous family when he said he was buying the place. So far, the new owner has kept it the same as of early 2018. Jared's tip: don't linger over lunch here - the waiting crowds are hungry too!
Where: 174 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10010. At 22nd Street, across from the Flatiron Building.