Local Scoop: 10 Things locals like to do in NYC

Published On 16 Feb. 2024

Take a date to dinner and a movie in the same venue: You can woof down and watch a movie, just like you do at home, only with better (and pricier) food.

1. The Nitehawk Cinema

Radio City Music Hall is great if you enjoy huge crowds. Smaller venues like the Brooklyn Bowl, Saint Vitus, Brooklyn Rod & Gun and Le Bain feature up-and-coming artists along with surprise visits by well-known bands knocking the rust off before going on tour.

2. Venues off the beaten path:

The Comedy Cellar or The Creek and the Cave are just a few of the great comedy clubs where big names unexpectedly turn up on stage. Sometimes mid-week shows are when the stars sneak in to try out new material. Comics with recent unexpected visits include Chris Rock, Aziz Ansari and Colin Quinn.

3. Catch a few comedy club sets

This bazaar features foods from local producers who sell their goods from booths and vendor carts.

4. Chow down at Smorgasburg Market

Many NYC residents get interested in how their predecessors in the Big Apple lived. Museums like the New York Historical Society, the New York Transit Museum and the City Reliquary will tell you.

5. Learn how the locals have lived in NYC-themed museums:

Even New Yorkers like to get perspective now and again. The Empire State building observation deck is always crowded. The Top of the Rock usually isn’t, and that’s why the locals love this observation location.

6. Elevate to the Top of the Rock

 Residents of the city stay out of bars filled with tourists. If you want to hob nob with the locals at their favorite drinkeries, try spots like The Bell House and the Branded Saloon.

7. Check out the local bar scene

While most tourists are running themselves ragged, the locals are chilling in the park as they’ve done for more than 125 years. Walks are free, renting a bike or taking a boat ride will cost you. Brooklyn Bridge Park and Prospect Park are great alternatives.

8. Stroll Central Park

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Many people who live in NYC have learned to stop hating the street fairs that snarl traffic in their neighborhood and join the fun. You can too at fairs that happen throughout the summer and into the fall. Atlantic Antic in Brooklyn would be a great first choice.

9. Roam a street fair

Bookstores like the Greenlight and the Housing Works Bookstore Café cater to local bibliophiles. Many authors who make their residence in NYC peruse books and give readings of their works.

10. Browse books and meet local authors