Text by Patrick Welch
“I’m from Westwood in LA, but I’m now living in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, and studying music and film studies at NYU. My favourite thing to do is to head to a gig at Terminal 5 in Midtown, where they have great folk-y, indie bands. That, or we love going to this bar called Sophie’s (507 E 5th St, +1 212 228 5680) – we go there pretty much every night, though mostly beacause it’s cheap.”
“I’m from Philadelphia but I’ve lived here for four years. I live on the Upper East Side – yeah, I’m a yuppie. I work at this traditional tailors, Billy Reid, as a made-to-measure specialist. New Yorkers aren’t as mean as people make out, but there is a system – like, don’t stop in the middle of the pavement because there are always people behind you; and never walk more than two people side by side. New Yorkers know how it works.”
Josh “Bodyguard” Washington
“I’m from LA – NoHo, North Hollywood – and I’ve only been here three weeks, so I’m just staying with friends. I’m a musician, mainly punk rock and heavy metal. I’m into Pennywise, Metallica, Led Zeppelin – all that. I’m not a local, so I dig taking the ferry to Staten Island – it’s free and amazing for taking photos of the Manhattan skyline. What do I know about Norway? I think Norway has totally hot chicks. I love ’em.”
“I live on the Upper East Side and I’m still in high school. My top thing to do in New York is to go play pool in Astoria, Queens. It’s a Greek neighbourhood and it used to be quite rough, but now it’s changing a lot and young people are hanging out there. I’d recommend Astoria Billiards (3521 30th Ave, +1 718 545 8100) – it looks grungy from the outside, but it’s big, friendly and cheap.”
Mahmo Tarbia & Fawzy Abdelwahed
“We’re from Alexandria, Egypt, but now we live in Queens and work at our restaurant, B&H (127 2nd Ave, +1 212 505 8065), here at St Mark’s Place in the East Village, Manhattan. Like a lot of New Yorkers, our favourite thing to do is to eat: the no-frills Bahary Fish Market in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (484 Bay Ridge Ave, +1 718 680 8135) is amazing for grilled fish and shrimp; or Sahara Palace (saharapalace.com) is a fun Turkish grill where we go with family and friends.”
“I’m from all over: Switzerland, Hong Kong, Virginia. I’m an actress and a model, and I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn – the best neighbourhood in New York. I love hanging out in Prospect Park – it had the same landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, as Central Park, and they say he made all his mistakes there before he made Prospect Park, his masterpiece.”
“I’m from Tokyo but I’ve been here for more than 10 years and live in the East Village, working as a photographer. Where am I going now? To the Rockaways, the beach in Queens, to go surfing. It was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, but it’s getting better and you can get there on the Subway. I also love to go to Ashbox in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for lunch. They do amazing rice dishes – you have to try the riceballs.”
“I live on the Upper East Side and I’m a dancer. I’ve been dancing salsa for over 40 years, so that is my number one thing to do in New York. You’ll find every sort of person: all ages and backgrounds. The best clubs in Manhattan are the Copacabana, SOB’s and LQ.”
“I’m from Rio, but I’ve been here for four years. I live in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and work in fashion PR, and I also teach dance to women who have suffered domestic violence. My favourite places in New York are the ramen spots. Ganso on Bond Street in Brooklyn is amazing. It was my birthday yesterday and we went there and had a great time – I always order the short-rib ramen.”
“I’m from Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and I’m a stay-at-home dad – this is my son, Jackson, he’s two. I’m an artist and also work evenings at a café, but a lot of what I love is what Jackson loves. The MTA museum in Brooklyn Heights is in a subway terminal that’s no longer being used – it has all the old subway cars, old ads, the tracks, everything. Jackson loves it; he just loves trains.”
“I live in Bushwick in Brooklyn and work at The Smile, this cafe-restaurant where we serve Mediterranean and American food. The best thing to do in New York is to come here, of course, and to try the minted sugar snap peas – they’re incredible.” thesmilenyc.com
“I’m from Minnesota, but I’ve been here three years and now live in Astoria in Queens. I’m a model. My favourite thing to do in New York is come to Central Park. It has everything: volleyball, great shows in the park, ball fields, acrobatics, roller-skating cycling, rowing, everything. It’s amazing.”
“I’m a freelance illustrator, currently for a big video games company, and this is Leo, who I rescued two months ago. I’m originally from Long Island, but now I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It’s very Polish around here. My favourite thing to do in New York is to go for tacos at Pinche Taqueria in SoHo, a place that’s imported from Tijuana and known for its fresh fish tacos. On Tuesdays, it’s three for two.”
Terry “Coyote” Murphy
“I’m a park ranger up in Schunnemunk State Park, Orange County (north-west of New York City). It’s a beautiful place: 2,700 acres (1,090 hectares) and so much wildlife. I love to get out of the city. The best thing to do in town is to go to Grand Central station and get the Hudson line north to Beacon and the Dia:Beacon art museum. It’s the most scenic ride in the region, right up the river – just make sure you sit on the left-hand side of the train.”
“I’m from Virginia, but I’m now a Greenpoint local. I run this eco-chic home and body boutique called The One Well, and it’s my favourite place to be. We sell furniture, ceramics, jewellery, skin care products and accessories – everything from candles to moustache wax – and it’s all sustainable. All the companies are based in New York and a lot of them are really small, often just one person in their home.”
“I’m from Buffalo in upstate New York, but I’ve been here for 20 years and I live in Gramercy Park in Manhattan. I work as a sales assistant here at Billy Reid tailors. I eat ice cream every day – gotta have my calcium fix! – and my recommendation is to go to Blue Marble in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Try the blueberry – it’s incredible.”
“I’m from Tottenham in London and I’m a doorman at the Bowery Hotel (theboweryhotel.com). I’ve been here six and a half years, and I live in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. One of my favourite places is Swift: they have a huge beer selection and do the best pint of Guinness in town. You get a lot of families in the day, but also firefighters because it’s across the road from the fire station. It’s kind of mixed and probably the closest thing you’d get to an English pub here.”
“I’m from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and now I live in Bed-Stuy. I work at Madiba (madibarestaurant.com), a South African restaurant in Fort Greene. My favourite restaurant in town, aside from here, would be Bonnie’s Grill in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Their burgers and wings are great – that place has never let me down.”
“I grew up in Seattle, but live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, now and play in my band, Grand Voyager. My favourite place we’ve played has to be Secret Project Robot in Bushwick, Brooklyn. As well as a great gig space, they have art shows and a patio out back – they’re very DIY.”
“I live in Washington Heights and am semi-retired now, but I used to work in the drinks industry. I like just kicking back here at the Mugs Ale House in Williamsburg – 32 beers on draft and many, many bottles, and on Thursdays and Fridays they play classic movies on the TV. Also, I just love the Williamsburg kids who come in here.”
Nada Boonnant & Kiratra Promsaka
“We’re concert promoters from Bangkok, but we’ve been here living in Bushwick, Brooklyn, for two months, scouting for bands to play at festivals back home. Where to see good music? Glasslands in Brooklyn has good underground indie music, or the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan is great for bigger names.”
“I grew up in Brooklyn but I’ve lived on the Upper West Side since 1986. My recommendation? I’d say check out Lincoln Center. There’s a great deal of culture there: you can see ballet, theatre, even outdoor opera. I’ve been to Norway and I’ll tell you what I remember about it… it was really expensive, but the food was really good.”
“I’m from Buffalo, but I live in Jersey City and work here at Neighborhood Cut & Shave in the West Village. The best thing about New York? No matter what night of the week it is, there’s always a fun party going on. I’m a sociable person and I love Hell’s Kitchen, especially Viva Saturdays, a gay night that plays dance music and house until 5am.”
“I’m from New York and now live in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and work at a pizza place in Tribeca, Manhattan. Brooklyn is not as expensive, so people are able to take a lot more chances with stuff, whether it be food, music, or whatever. I love Luz, a Peruvian restaurant in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, that does the best Peruvian rotisserie chicken in New York – and amazing ceviche, too.”
Hot spot #1
The once-nondescript area north of Madison Square Park has been reinvented of late – first there was the boutique Ace Hotel; now there’s the even more sophisticated The NoMad Hotel, which includes a super-hyped restaurant from the team behind three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park.
Hot spot #2
The High Line
In 2009, a disused stretch of railway running through Manhattan’s Lower West Side was turned into a 1.6km-long park and green walkway that hosts walking tours, summer parties and even stargazing classes.
Hot spot #3
The Brooklyn peninsula is New York’s iconic seaside resort, and you’ll still find classic amusement park rides at Luna Park and the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand from 1916. On 22 June, check out the annual Mermaid Parade.
Hot spot #4
New York City is packed with classic arty cinemas, from the Paris Theatre to the Ziegfeld. We like Cinema Village, a three-screen Greenwich Village haunt built in 1963 in an old fire station, showing indie and foreign movies.
Hot spot #5
McCarren Park Pool
It only opened last summer, but this enormous outdoor pool on the Williamsburg/Greenpoint border has already become a mecca for sun-seeking hipsters. Expect big crowds, largely because entry is free.
Hot spot #6
Opened last year, the achingly cool boutique Hotel Americano in Chelsea is the first outside Mexico from Latin design-hotel pioneers Grupo Habita. The rooftop bar with pool, overlooking the High Line, has already become a hotspot.
Hot spot #7
Manhattan on 13 July
Scandinavia has the Northern Lights; New York has Manhattanhenge, a twice-yearly event when the setting sun aligns perfectly with the east-west streets on Manhattan’s grid. The second of the year is due for 13 July.
Norwegian flies to New York City from Oslo and Stockholm. Book flights and hotels at norwegian.com