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Best of America: 9 Reasons to Love New York City

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By Helen Anne Travis

It's one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. And for good reason.

Manhattan and its neighboring boroughs are home to some of the world's best restaurants, museums and attractions. But New York is not just a destination. It's also a home. For more than 8 million residents, the city does sleep. 

Our New York Yodelers helped us put together the following list of nine reasons to love New York City (and Brooklyn and Queens and the Bronx.)

What did we miss? Tell us about it »

 

1. Central Park

With its 843 acres of gardens, streams and playgrounds, Central Park is the city's backyard. Tourists like it too. Central Park is the country's most visited urban park, welcoming more than 40 million people each year. 

Ice skaters in Central Park. Photo by Yodeler Maris Rozenfelds.

 

2. The bagels

Some say it's the water that makes the city's bagels so delicious. Some say it's the way the dough is prepped. We don't care. We just want one. Now.

We would kill for these bagels Yodeler Whitney Reeder shot earlier this year in Brooklyn.

 

3. The Brooklyn Bridge

Several bridges connect the island of Manhattan to the mainland, but the Brooklyn Bridge is our favorite.

Pro tip: Don't walk in the bicycle lane. Photo by Yodeler James Chororos.

 

4. The creative housing

No other U.S. city does housing as creatively as NYC. Here people pay good money to rent everything from a spare couch to a spare closet. Walk down the streets and wonder who -- and how many people -- live behind the brownstones.

Photo by Yodeler Heidi Lee.

 

5. Christmas in the city

We gave up on Santa years ago but it's hard to be a Scrooge in NYC during the holidays. It's just too pretty.

Photo by Yodeler Maris Rozenfelds.

 

 6. Summer in the city

It's 12,000 degrees and the heat is radiating off the buildings. But then you turn a corner and see a scene like this. And there's no place on earth you'd rather be.

Photo by Bushwick Yodeler Savannah Spirit.

 

7. The beaches

For an area filled with cement and people, New York's boroughs are home to some surprisingly nice beaches. Our Yodelers say Fort Tilden, Jacob Riis Park and Rockaway Beach are the best.

Photo by Brooklyn Yodeler EE Berger.

 

8. The Empire State Building

This skyline landmark never fails to impress. Even in crummy weather.

A gloomy Empire State by Yodeler Seymour Templar.

 

9. The street art

New York is home to some of the world's best street art. Banksy, Swoon and Shiro are just a few of the street artists who have left their mark on New York City's walls. 

The well-decorated rooftops of Chinatown by Yodeler Heidi Lee

 

Think we missed something awesome about New York City? Tell us about it »