Unlock the Best NYC Secrets with Open House New York

Over the years, we’ve lived everywhere from Cleveland to Phoenix, and that’s just a shortlist of the most recent. Our move east can be boiled down to a very simple consideration: access. To be specific, it was access to New York City and everything that it encompasses. We’ve discovered over the years, however, that you don’t need to live in or near the city to get the inside scoop. We’ve also learned that your experience as a local isn’t limited to a surface-level transaction. It can be deepened, but only if you choose to engage. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or tried-and-true local, here’s how to unlock the best NYC secrets with one of New York’s most vibrant, beloved and essential institutions: Open House New York.

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Exploring Astoria, Queens: 12 Must-Visit Spots in This Cool NYC Neighborhood

One of the most common misconceptions about New York City is that there’s no sense of community. But here’s the truth: the city is simply a collection of neighborhoods. Most New Yorkers are fiercely loyal to their part of town, declaring local coffee shops, bodegas and bars as the best around. The more time we’ve spent in Astoria, the more we find ourselves championing it the same way a local would.

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The Best 2019 Bushwick Collective Murals and Where to Find Them

When we started this blog, it was a rather impulsive decision. We thought it would be a fun way to catalog our memories, while sharing the things we love about New York City. It’s our third year covering the incredible murals at the Bushwick Collective, but it’s the first time we felt a tangible passing of time. Like pencil marks on a door jamb, our blog posts have become gentle reminders of years gone by. So how did this year compare to the rest?

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Street Art for Mankind: Murals with a Message in NYC

Let’s face it, street art has long graduated from the streets. Murals and tags now adorn office buildings, schools and public spaces, all with the blessing of owners and the larger community. It’s easy to forget that street art was once a product of necessity; it was the only way marginalized groups could have a voice. Even though bold murals now serve as backdrops for movies and television shows, street art can still be a great tool to call attention to important issues. The Freedom Murals and ILO100 Murals by Street Art for Mankind bring it all full circle.

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11 Exciting Places to Find the Best Street Art in NYC

Updated May 29, 2019

When it comes to hunting down the best street art in NYC, there’s more to it than just finding massive murals and famous street artists. It reflects New York City’s values and shines a spotlight on its diverse neighborhoods. Street art in NYC is mostly temporary by nature, with only a few iconic pieces preserved for posterity. So the best strategy is to visit a street art gallery instead, where the murals span multiple blocks and feature a number of street art styles and artists. Whether you’re looking to discover the newest talent or to simply locate a dramatic backdrop for an Instagram post, here’s a definitive list of the best graffiti locations in NYC.

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The Chocolate Addict’s Guide to New York City

Updated Aug 25, 2019

You don’t know what’s good and what’s bad until you try something better. Our first visits to France and Italy many, many moons ago taught us this lesson in spades. If you grew up in many parts of America before the tidal influx of imported chocolates and the explosion of craft chocolatiers, the only chocolate you may have known was Hershey’s. And Hershey’s, as it turns out, barely qualifies as chocolate. That’s not an exaggeration. In the US, the minimum cocoa solids that are required to constitute a milk chocolate instead of a what is ambiguously referred to as a “confection” is 10%, and Hershey’s is camped out right on that line. By comparison, Canada requires 15% and Europe 35%. Don’t you feel cheated?

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A Local’s Guide for Friends and Family Visiting New York City

We’re constantly asked for recommendations when friends and family are planning a visit to New York City. And let’s face it, bloggers have this particularly awful habit of simply shooting off a bunch of links. The truth is, we know that even if you’ve popped in from time to time (thank you!), you may not want to go on a deep dive through our blog before a trip. There are also some obvious and amazing things to do in New York City that we’ve never featured on the blog. So we thought we’d put together a guide of some of our favorite things. These are the very same suggestions we provide our friends and family. (Usually in a long-form email, with about 4-6 addenda over the following days. Sorry, guys!)

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An Evening on the Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise in New York City

Once the holiday season officially kicks off, calendars fill up pretty quickly. It’s not just the holiday shopping and decorating, or all the cooking and baking. It’s the holiday parties, too. From office functions to dinner gatherings, it can sometimes feel like we’re caught in an endless loop of Nat King Cole, hors d’oeuvres and eggnog. But what if you moved the location of that soirée to a yacht, added a live band and some caroling, threw in some cocktails and brews, spiked that cocoa and served it with cookies, and for good measure, offered stunning nighttime views of the greatest city in the world?

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2018 New York City Holiday Window Displays

I’m from, well, all over the place, having moved countless times around the country as a child. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just say I’m mostly from the midwest. Lynn is from Malaysia. So, as you might imagine, we have quite an eclectic mishmash of traditions between the two of us. This gives us reason to celebrate throughout the entire year, which is a lot of fun. However, I’ve found that what I particularly enjoy are the new traditions we’ve created throughout our journey together. One such tradition that began a few years back was our annual late-night pilgrimage to the department store holiday windows in New York City.

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The Best FREE Things to Do in New York City During the Holidays

New York City doesn’t do low-key or subdued or understated. Those words aren’t even in its vocabulary. It’s a “Go Big or Go Home” kinda town. So it’s not difficult to imagine just how festive the Big Apple is during the holidays. From incredible light and holiday-themed displays to one-of-a-kind events and activities, New York City makes it nearly impossible to get your Grinch on. Now, there are plenty of things worth parting with your hard-earned cash for. Big-ticket events like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular or the New York City Ballet’s Nutcracker are huge draws every year. But we’re here to let you in on a little secret: you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy the holiday season in The City That Never Sleeps.

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