When you couple recent uncertain times with the gray February weather and frigid temperatures, it can be easy to get bogged down in feeling a bit melancholy. But today is the day of love, and in honor of that, 6sqft asked 20 New Yorkers–from fellow reporters and bloggers to architects and urbanists–what they love most about NYC. From big-picture things like the skyline and street energy to smaller fortunes like having tea with friends and spotting an old ad on the side of the building, there’s plenty here to lift your spirits and make you fall in love with this great city all over again.
6th Street Community Garden, via Tony & Wayne/Flickr
I love the community gardens of the East Village and Lower East Side — what residents have called the heart and lungs of the neighborhood. They bring people together for a shared purpose, and I appreciate the cultural events, from films, exhibitions and concerts, that they host.
— East Village blogger EV Grieve
It’s like being a kid in a candy store–but for architectural eye candy! Everywhere you look–even on the most “ordinary” streets–you’ll find something interesting and beautiful.
—Elizabeth Finkelstein, Founder of CIRCA Old Houses
I love the street life of the city. You can’t get it anywhere else in America. A simple walk moves you through a colorful variety of different communities and brings unexpected, often unusual but always interesting interactions with strangers.
—Isabel Miesner, Competitions Coordinator at the Van Alen Institute
What do I love about New York City? That it’s against the law to be bored. That New Yorkers put up with tiny apartments to claim a foothold in the mighty metropolis. That there’s always a new neighborhood to discover. That contrary to legend, New Yorkers go out of their way to help strangers. That the most interesting people in the world live here, and living in New York makes everybody interesting. That every country in the world has an outpost here. That New Yorkers love their landmarks. That the classic New Yorker was born somewhere else, arrived in the city, and shouted, “I’m home!” That there’s a restaurant for every taste and a society for every cause. That so many couples I know are planning Valentine’s Day dates around a visit to the Second Avenue subway. What could be more romantic — or more New York — than that?
—Anthony W. Robins, historian, guide, and author
I love that I can take a spinning class at 10pm, get tacos at 3am, and go to an alcohol-free dance party before heading into work.
—Annie Doge, Entertainment writer at 6sqft
Steps on Broadway via Eduardo Patino NYC
One of my favorite things about NYC is the great public radio @WNYC of course! But also, taking a random dance class at Steps on Broadway and running into professional ballerina Misty Copeland among us newbies is pretty spectacular. Only in New York!
—Janet Babin, Economic Development Reporter at WNYC
What I love most about New York is how the visual excitement of Manhattan’s powerful skyline is matched by the stimulating energy and diversity on our sidewalks, where walking holds a logical and pleasurable place in urban life.
—Carol Willis, founding director and curator of The Skyscraper Museum
I love the way New York constantly stuns and surprises by juxtaposing old and new. It might be a trendy eatery in a historic building — like the Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central Terminal — or ghost signage for a long-shuttered hotel against the neon lights of Times Square.
—Hana R. Alberts, deputy real estate and travel editor at the New York Post
I literally run into a friend randomly on the street nearly every day, and it’s something that makes me feel like a real part of the fabric of this great city. Truth is, NYC is really a small village disguised as a megalopolis!
—James Ramsey, Principal at Raad Studio and Co-founder and Creator of The Lowline
O. Ottomanelli & Sons Prime Meat Market in Greenwich Village via James and Karla Murray
I love that New York City has numerous mom-and-pop stores which capture the spirit, energy, and cultural diversity of its individual neighborhoods.
—Karla Murray, photographer and author
I love that I can walk out of my door and find an interesting art, literary or entertainment event to attend, often for free.
—James Murray, photographer and author
New York City’s sense of boundless possibility. The feeling of being surrounded by four centuries of architecture – a tangible connection to local stories that plays a role in national and international history. And above all, the sense of inclusiveness and honoring of other cultures and beliefs.
—Constantine A. Valhouli, Co-founder of NeighborhoodX
I love that anyone with a good idea has a seat at the table in NYC. Jane Jacobs urbanism lives on here!
—Karen Zabarsky, Co-founder of Maker Park
What I love about New York that you will not find anywhere else in America: The water from the tap; the subway system; walking and running into people you know; the Fifth Avenue façade of the New York Public Library; and the M2 Limited bus.
—Samuel G. White, Partner at PBDW Architects
What I love most about NYC is it attracts the most talented people around the world. Being surrounded by this dynamic set motivates me to always be on my game!
—Adam Modlin, Founder and CEO of the Modlin Group
I love the limitless diversity of people in New York, and the endless array of things to see and do here. Anyone who says they are bored with New York is really just failing to take advantage of the full array of opportunities you have in this city — more than enough to last over eight million people several lifetimes each.
—Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Few things make me happier than going for long walks in different neighborhoods around the city and taking photos of historic buildings and landscapes. I also love shopping for fabric in the Garment District and knitting with friends in places like the Village’s Winston Churchill Square or a favorite tea place in midtown.
—Amanda Davis, Project Manager of the New York City LGBT Historic Sites Project
@6sqft I ❤️New York’s loud, restless streets. They’re like an adrenaline rush that transforms daily life into a spectacular movie script.
— Urban Reinventors (@urbanreinventor) February 6, 2017
— Todd Fine (@tfine) February 6, 2017
@6sqft Everything? Is “everything” too easy an answer? “Gotta see the whole town, right from Yonkers on down to the Bay… in just one day!”
— NYPLHistoryGenealogy (@NYPLHistory) February 7, 2017
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