A Non-Touristy Guide to Touristy New York

NYC & Company — New York City’s official tourism organization — predicts that, all told, the city will welcome some 65 million tourists in 2018, up from 62.8 million the year before. Most of these millions of sightseers will be visiting the same places, from old hats like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building to newer-ish stops like the 1,776-foot-tall One World Observatory. Many are destinations that your average beleaguered New Yorker — out of some city-dwelling cynicism or just a plain old aversion to crowds — tends to bypass (unless an in-law or great aunt is in town). With this in mind, we charted a slightly different course — for tourists planning their itineraries, as well as for locals who could use a reminder that people trek the globe to see these sites/sights and they shouldn’t be taken for granted. In fact, they’re kind of great. You’ll find suggestions not only for less-predictable orders at places like Dominique Ansel Bakery (skip the Cronut and go for the kouign amann, a classic French pastry) but also for a jaw-dropping yet somehow always deserted room at the Met, a seemingly illegal (but not) way to see the Brooklyn Bridge, the section where a Rockette tells her family to sit at Radio City, and, of course, in all of this exhaustively non-touristy touring, an unexpectedly luxurious place to stop for a bathroom break.

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