Everyone has their own definition of a “cool thing to do.” Because of its immense size and diverse cultural integration, there are enough cool activities in New York City to suit everyone’s definition of the word. In order to get a sense of New York City’s coolness factor, it’s important to explore a variety of neighborhoods. Each has its own distinct character, and some, such as Central Park, Little Italy and the Upper West-side past 100th Street are practically cities in their own right.

Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine

You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. As the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, Saint John’s is an architectural masterpiece. During the spring and summer, two peacocks stroll the grounds. In October, people bring their pets to celebrate the Blessing of the Animals. The animal procession is lead by an elephant. If you’re feeling ambitious, take the vertical tour, which climbs a 124-foot spiral staircase to the top of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, New York 10025
(212) 316-7540
www.stjohndivine.org/

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Central Park

Central Provides an endless selection of exciting activities. In the summer, there’s free Shakespeare in the Park. While there are now ways to actually buy a ticket, you’re missing out on an authentic New York City experience, which involves arriving as early as possible, bringing a picnic and waiting online for tickets. If you come with a group, you can take turns exploring the park, while other group members hold your place on line. Be sure to visit the historic, 1871 carousel, as well as the Alice in Wonderland statue. Beatles fans should visit Strawberry Fields. Stretching from West 71st to West 74th Street, Strawberry Fields in a memorial to John Lennon.

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Puglia’s Little Italy

Puglia’s Restaurant in Little Italy is a New York City tradition. The restaurant has been around since 1919, and specializes in Southern Italian cooking. Don’t expect any Nouveau Cuisine or romantic dining settings. The place is downright rowdy. It is set up with long tables, which you share with complete strangers. While you eat, a singer entertains you with Frank Sinatra covers.

Puglia Restaurant
189 Hester St.
New York, NY, 10013
(212) 966-6006

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