New York is sure to move you. Its mesmerizing appeal comes in different forms from other world-class cities: the lights that hold back the night, the zany characters on the streets, the neck-wrenching buildings and the exhilarating pace. A tranquil moment in New York is undoubtedly fleeting but it is this endless, inexhaustible energy that makes the city inimitable.
In no other city is more top-notch culture, architecture, food, entertainment, excitement and glamour caught within the confines of a net-like grid of streets. Perhaps the reason that the city is so frenetic is that visitors who come for a weekend in New York as well as locals simply feel there's not enough time to sample everything that this extraordinary city has to offer.
Despite the protestations of other world cities, New York is the planet's urban epicenter and New Yorkers believe that anyone who chooses to live elsewhere must, in some sense, be kidding. Little Korea is just one block away from Little Brazil, Little Italy jostles for elbow room with Chinatown, which, in turn, merges into the Hispanic Lower East Side. This cosmopolitan diversity means that the city is open to visitors who pick out a little corner to claim as home, even if temporarily. If you are on a weekend in New York and have spent enough time in one neighborhood, be ready that the local deli, grocer and dry-cleaner will greet you on a first-name basis, erasing the impersonal stigmas too often associated with the concrete façade of Manhattan. Following the events of September 11th 2001, New Yorkers feel even more fiercely tied to their city and its myriad communities.
New York is cinematic, the backdrop for more than 200 movies a year. It is musical, getting name-checked in more songs than any other place on earth. It is endlessly mobile: see schoolgirls cutting loose on the subway to the beat of drummers. Sample foods from all around the world, watch fashionistas strut their stuff and media empires flash neon news to a soundtrack of roaring traffic and taxis horns. New York is a city of sights, sounds, smells and tastes and it won't take you long to feel the vibe. The air is thick with potential; literally anything could happen and every weekend in New York is an adventure. Although Broadway is likely to be the first thing that visitors associate with New York entertainment, it's only a slice of what the city has to offer. The sheer range of performances, shows, screenings, gigs and other arts events during the New York weekend breaks may leave you feeling euphoric or frustrated. Choose between opulent Broadway musicals and thought-provoking Off-Broadway plays; blockbusters and art house films; improve comedy or classical ballet; opera, salsa or hip-hop. No other city in the world hosts quite so much entertainment and you're going to need stamina to enjoy it to the full.
Grid and bear it
The mass of high-rise buildings that constitute this endless urban jungle is really a network of finely tuned neighborhoods divided up neatly into blocks. Although visitors might first experience the city as an imposing amount of concrete and an undying amount of chaos, New York's grid of avenues and streets is a carefully orchestrated system that somehow keeps the anarchy in check, while allowing the spirit of the city to soar free.
In short, if you are going to spend a weekend in New York, it will leave fadeless memories for all your life.