Best Place to Go Fishing Prospect Park Lake You’ll find kids fishing with line wrapped around soda bottles, women jigging with cane poles, and old men casting spoons and crank baits. The secret must be out that the lake boasts the highest concentration of largemouth bass in the state of New York.
Best Place to Spend $1,000 in a Ridiculously Short Amount of Time
Rick’s Cabaret For many, the old-school strip club (as opposed to the antique-school burlesque experience, which is actually new school) can be an intimidating place. But that’s no reason not to go... Just remember, you might want to set yourself a spending limit at ol’ Rick’s, in case you get a little too carried away.
5 Best Places to Trigger an Existential Crisis Hotel Gansevoort Walking past this architectural marvel in the Meatpacking District, you’ll have to pause. The building itself seems as if it’s been lifted from a South Beach sidewalk and the species of people spilling out of it — fake tan trophy lays and the men who finance them — will nevertheless make some small part of everyone ask themselves… “Are they having more fun than me?” 18 Ninth Ave. Enid’s Sunday morning outside Enid’s you’ll see the phenomenon of twenty- and thirtysomethings, ostensibly in line for a brunch table, but in reality waiting for someone to acknowledge how cool they are. Some part of you wonders if you’ve ever been that desperate. 560 Manhattan Ave. West Village Townhouses You’re looking for an address on the West Side… a drama club perhaps? Or a cramped special-interest bookstore, when you turn down an impossibly peaceful little lane with bright red-shuttered townhouses. The sound you hear is the gentle hum of well-heeled, affluence. You sigh deeply and find your way back to the Brooklyn-bound L. Fifth Avenue, Across From Central Park No matter how secure you are in your present lifestyle, a walk across that part of Fifth facing the park, past the houses filled with diplomats, debutantes and old dowagers, will feed the green-eyed monster in all of us. Tell me otherwise and you, my friend are a liar. Hoyt-Schermerhorn Subway Station Have you ever been to Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, midwife to melancholy? Paint chips cling desperately to rust-stained concrete columns, low-watt bulbs illuminate the grey walls half-heartedly and the approaching rumble of an oncoming train causes the blank-faced passengers to stir reflexively from their torpor. -Jason Bogdaneris
4 Best Places to Reaffirm Your Faith in the City
Moto Like a weed sprouting out of the concrete (except filled with fantastic architectural details, great food and live music), this Brooklyn joint has thrived in a decidedly unhip spot under the rattling JMZ tracks. On one side a dusty bodega, on the other, forbidding Hassidic Williamsburg. The light that streams through the porthole window during brunch is positively messianic. 394 Broadway, Brooklyn. Stage Restaurant There’s a bad kind of crowded — the subway kind, the “this bar is too trendy” kind, and just about every other New York City kind. But once in a long while you experience the kind of “Jesus we’re all in this crazy mess together” kind that you see in movies starring Shirley McLaine. Go there at lunch and brush elbows with your fellow man. 128 Second Ave. “The Old Diner” Nostalgia can be lethal for the romantically inclined. So it is with caution that I recommend this tiny little lunch counter facing McGorlick Park. For one day, in this age of Greenpoint’s Blue-Collar Condo-ization, it will be no more. Don’t say you weren’t warned. North Henry/Nassau, Greenpoint. Lincoln Center Mall It reminds me of that scene from The Conversation… (or was that San Francisco?), or the first time I saw the other New York, above 60th Street. It’s where my idealized self would come during lunch hour and maybe share a cigarette with a Julliard girl. It’s all that empty horizontal space, I think, amid so much towering height, which soothes. -JB