With around 66.6 million visitors each year, New York City is the world’s capital city! Inspiring countless iconic films, novels, TV shows, and other works of art, New York casts a spell quite unlike anywhere else. If you lived during the peak period of the Roman Empire, wouldn’t you want to visit the City of Rome?
Many first-time tourists to New York find the trip an uncanny experience. They walk down a street or step out of a cab and recognize locations they’ve seen hundreds of times before on their TV screens. A visit to New York can feel like returning home rather than encountering somewhere new. New York is the quintessential global city. However, the feeling of familiarity passes quickly. It soon becomes apparent that New York has depth quite unlike anywhere else. You can’t tick New York off your list after a long weekend. New York requires repeat visits. You could spend a lifetime exploring New York, and you’d never exhaust the city’s experiences and stories.
New York is about attitude and atmosphere. It’s a city that is endlessly creative, frustratingly enigmatic, mightily big, and more rewarding than just about anywhere you’ve been before! Sure, we’re New Yorkers, and we’re biased. But in our many years of experience providing Sightseeing Tours of NYC, we’ve seen guest after guest fall under New York’s spell.
Join us today to explore just a few reasons why New York is so incredibly popular.
New York City is a Star…
From Woody Allen’s Manhattan to Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, Hitchcock’s Rear Window to the Ghostbusters franchise, New York has taken a starring role in a near endless list of classic movies. Moviegoers and moviemakers alike are transfixed by the city’s rough diamond charm.
New York can be as romantic as it can be menacing. New York can look old in one neighborhood and be a shining beacon of modernity a mere block away. The diversity of New York’s districts, its mix of architectural styles, and its wealth of famous sites make it the perfect place to point a camera.
Whether you’re a Friends fanatic or dreamed of retracing Audrey Hepburn’s steps from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, you’ll love spotting all the cinematic locations around New York City. And as you hail an iconic yellow cab or step out onto Times Square, you might feel like a character starring in your very own movie.
Superheroes Come From New York
It feels like comic books have come to dominate the world in recent years. Hollywood is breaking one record after another with each release of the latest DC or Marvel Universe movie release. And almost all the major characters are linked to New York somehow!
Among popular Marvel superheroes, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Man, and The Avengers have made New York their home. Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) may just be Marvel’s most recognizable New Yorker superhero, and it’s easy to imagine Spidey swinging from building to building as you gaze up at Manhattan’s skyscraper-filled cityscape.
DC has also rooted its characters in New York. Although Batman lives in fictional Gotham City and Superman in Metropolis, both cities have been heavily influenced by New York. Gotham seems inspired by New York at night, with a noirish feel – neon lights and steam rising from the pavements. On the other hand, Metropolis seems to hark back to a golden age of art deco skyscrapers, streetwise reporters.
Anyone interested in superheroes should consider joining us for one of our Superheroes of Gotham Tour, where we delve into the history of some of the comic world’s most iconic figures and look at important filming locations from the movies.
New York is a City for Art Lovers
New York is loaded with art as we showcase our NYC Art of Transit Tour. New York won’t disappoint any culture vultures. There is a huge amount to see, from the city’s bold, colorful street art to the masterpieces at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Our Art of Transit tour takes guests on a tour of the hundreds of artworks on display in the New York subway system. From poetry to sculpture and murals, the art of the underground ensures that no commute in New York is ever dull.
The collections at the New York Met are vast and should not be missed by any self-respecting art lover on vacation in New York. Head there to see masterpieces from Jan van Eyck, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Monet, Modigliani, and countless others.
And if Modern and Contemporary art is your thing, be sure to visit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which is also filled with treasures.
New York is Diverse
Diversity is a virtue often invoked when describing large urban areas, but New York takes the definition of a cultural melting pot to a whole new level. It’s estimated that around 800 languages are spoken within New York.
Throughout its history, New York has often acted as the place of entry for immigrants arriving in the United States. Many of these millions of immigrants came through the now-iconic Ellis Island. It is estimated that around 12 million immigrants were registered at the Ellis Island immigrant stations. The island was known as the “island of hope,” It was also known as the island of tears for the immigrants who were turned away. But, only 2% of all immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island were refused admission. America was the “land of opportunity,” which made New York the natural place for many new arrivals to lay down roots.
Today New York has sizeable minority populations drawn from an array of national and ethnic groupings. There are Jews (New York is home to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel), Irish, Poles, Mexicans, Italians, Puerto Ricans, Germans, Chinese, Russians, and Indians, to name but a few.
And each community has brought its own culture, making New York the wonderland it is today. It also means that there’s an amazing choice of food!
You Can Eat Well in New York
Wherever you travel in this world, you’ll always remember the food. No matter your priorities as a traveler, we all have to eat. And New York serves up more variety of flavors than almost anywhere else.
From Little Italy to Chinatown, you’ll find much lovingly prepared international cuisine in New York. Whether you’re on a tight budget and hoping to grab some street food, looking for a chilled-out deli to grab a coffee and a sandwich, or hoping to book a table at a Michelin-starred restaurant, you’ll find what you’re craving in New York.
That’s all we have time for with this discussion of what makes New York so popular. Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding this blog or our tours.