It is often said that New York City contains all the world’s multitudes. While this is indeed the case, there are certain spots in the city that actually transport one to foreign shores, so similar are they to elsewhere. Really, a person never has to leave New York to see the globe — you just have to squint a little and use your imagination.
1. The Eagle Theater, Jackson Heights = Delhi
This neighborhood favorite seems plucked from the streets of downtown Delhi. Entire families congregate to enjoy chai, samosas and Bollywood, and if you want a little subcontinental fix, you should too.
2. Clinton Street, 7:30am = Belleville, Paris
Metal gates guard storefronts, the smell of deep-frying churros and scorched coffee permeates the street, delivery trucks and pedestrians vie for the narrow space between tenements… Though the effect is mainly olfactory, if you’re on a bike (and you squint) you’ll swear you’re in Paris’ most vibrant immigrant neighborhood.
3. Kent Avenue = The Banks of the Liffey, Dublin
When it’s a little drizzly, walking along Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, down by the water, recalls the more industrial shores of Dublin’s River Liffey. You’ve got big brick warehouses, a brewery a couple blocks from the water and the requisite graffiti. Ah, beautiful Dublin…
4. Brighton Beach = Odessa
Sometimes the water quality is such that the sea does seem black, but if that doesn’t convince you, the heat, hustle and ubiquitous Russian should. They say you could once hear all the world’s languages in Odessa — the same might be said for the last stop on the B line.
5. Imagine Bar and Grill = Grasse, France
The back garden at this East Village restaurant nestles nicely (and narrowly) between two five-storey buildings, in a space almost identical to the outdoor dining-friendly town-square in Grasse, a beautiful hillside city in the south of France. Bon appetit!