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Updated by List Mixed on Oct 14, 2016
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Best Places to Visit & Things to Do in New York City

Best Places to Visit & Things to Do in New York City, some off the beaten path

Central Park

Give yourself a gentle introduction to the city by exploring its beloved, natural gem. Though Central Park may not exactly be free of tourists, there are ways to avoid the herds. Designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, Central Park is home to 843 acres of verdant views, vibrant flora and hidden histories.

West Village

This neighborhood of quaint brownstones clustered along tree-lined cobblestone streets remains virtually unchanged since the 19th century. You'll need a map to navigate the puzzling geography - how does West 4th Street intersect with West 10th Street, exactly?

Film Forum

New York is a film-lover's town and Film Forum is Mecca for the city's cinephiles. See here the movies you may otherwise only read about in the New York Times. Smart programming ranges from provocative indie features and documentaries to the best foreign art cinema culled from the world's top film festivals.

Grimaldi's Pizza

New Yorkers love to argue about the best pizza, with Di Fara's, John's and Lombardi's being among the primary contenders. We won't settle that score here, but if you have only 24 hours you can't go wrong with Grimaldi's, a coal-fired pizzeria under the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Empire State Building

If you must visit an ultra-touristy site, the ESB is the one. The stately deco architecture rivals the nearby Chrysler Building for Best in Class honors and it is, once again, New York's tallest structure. The view from the 86th-floor observation deck is breathtaking.

P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center

Is home to the modern masters. But head to MoMa's cutting-edge kid sister across the East River to see the virtuosos of tomorrow. Located in a refurbished public school, P.S. 1 consistently mounts challenging exhibitions from the world's most provocative artists.

Bergdorf Goodman

Now that Barneys - still a stellar place to shop - has become a national mini-chain, Bergdorf's is the sole remaining New York-centric luxe department store. Even if you can't afford a thing, it's still fun to browse and dream. But if you can, rev up your credit card.

Bowery Ballroom

Hands down the best music spot in New York, Bowery Ballroom should be visiting music-lovers' first stop. Up-and-coming national acts with indie-rock leanings occupy the two-level music venue, home to the city's best sound system. The downstairs bar is a great place to warm up before the show.

Grand Central

Take the express back to a bygone era. Grand Central Terminal - don't call it Grand Central Station - is a living, bustling temple to New York's illustrious past. Gaze at the celestial ceiling mural above the vast main concourse.