There are plenty of upsides to being a party of one in a city like New York.
1. Hang out with the cool groups. Indie tours beat generic sightseeing companies.
- Scott's Pizza Tours (a young pizza-obsessed local takes you for slices in all the boroughs)
- Hip Hop tour of Harlem (Grandmaster Caz did this for his birthday party)
- Saxelby a Day A-Whey (beloved local cheesemonger leads foodie day trips to NY dairy farms)
- Accomplice interactive theater and walking tour (usical theater-types deliver kitsch on the street)
- Brooklyn Brewery's free tour (cool neighborhood where cool beer is served to cool people)
2. See a live show in a tight space.
- Joe's Pub (Cabaret and bar)
- The Iridium (Iconic jazz club)
- Grand Opening (Ever-changing event and exhibition space)
- Cake Shop (Basement indie music venue)
3. Take a seat at a lively bar.
- DBGB (Daniel Boulud's downtown burger joint is spacious and hopping.)
- Minetta Tavern (Keith McNally's celeb-heavy restaurant is Old World and intimate.)
- Brooklyn Farmacy (Retro ice cream parlor has spinning stools at the soda fountain.)
- Diner (Good music and strong drinks packed with artists, musicians, hipsters.)
- Cafe Luxembourg (Uptown brasserie for well-heeled set, ladies love to lunch.)
4. Eat at tiny, crowded places.
- Shopsins (There's always a line at this diner-style kiosk inside the Essex Street Market).
- Rai Rai Ken (Cheap, tasty ramen and only 14 bar stools.)
- Torrisi Italian Specialties (Delightful subs and sandwiches at lunch, special tasting menu dinners. Walk-ins only.)
- Prune (Wildly popular brunching spot with eclectic, artisanal menu.)
5. Have a home-cooked meal. Join an underground dining club.
6. Mix and mingle at a piano bar or karaoke lounge.
- Bill's Gay Nineties (Former speakeasy in Midtown East has lovable local crowd and time-warp vibe.)
- Marie's Crisis (West Village stalwart where you can expect a lot of Andrew Lloyd Weber.)
- Winnie's (Chinatown sing-a-longs.)
- The Rum House (Recently refurbished by fancy cocktail barkeeps, but they've kept the piano.)
7. Spend a whole day taking care of yourself.
- Great Jones (Co-ed water lounge, treatment rooms, cafe)
- Townhouse Spa (Men's and women's floors; communal dining room; poker room, barber shop, TVs for men)
- Cornelia Fifth Avenue (outdoor lounge, cafe, treatments)
- Aida Bicaj Institute de Beaute (Inconspicuous Park Ave location, cult facial following)
- Exhale (Exercise classes, cafe, treatments)
- Chelsea Piers (Gym, pool, ice skating rink looking over the Hudson)
8. Eat in a classroom setting.
- La Scuola, Eataly (Nonna's secrets revealed)
- French Culinary Institute (Serious foodies get serious instruction)
- Astor Wines (Cocktail teachings and tastings)
- Murray's Cheese (Dairy gets historical)
- Pizza a Casa (genuine tips for pizza making in a home oven)