It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: New York is like no city on Earth. Yes, there are world-class museums and iconic buildings, but what really makes New York special are the exceptional people who live here. The many actors, writers, chefs and leaders have made it a central hub for art, cuisine and culture and contribute to the high voltage excitement. To honor those that make this city great, we are celebrating what they love about the city — a city they have helped shape.
So who are these notable names? They are as diverse as New York itself. Some were born and raised in the five boroughs. Others, like millions of New Yorkers, chose to come here to realize their dreams, big and small, and take in — and contribute to — the energy of the city. Their names have been lit up on Broadway marquees and flashed on the scoreboard at Madison Square Garden. They have filmed movies that defined the city and opened restaurants that changed the way New Yorkers eat. But at the end of the day, they really are just like everyone else, getting coffee from the corner café, commuting to work on the subway (even the Mayor!), and taking advantage of all this great city has to offer. So we asked them: What do you love about New York? The activities are as eclectic as the city itself.
Like all New Yorkers, they have their rituals, personal routines that connect them to their city in unique ways. For star chef Geoffrey Zakarian, it’s getting his jolt each morning with a visit to Sant Ambroeus for a double espresso. He has been doing so for decades. For Kristin Chenoweth, it’s seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and getting dazzled by the Rockettes year after year. (Even though, as she says, “I would never be tall enough to be a Rockette. But I could play one of the munchkins.”) Or perhaps it’s a simple pleasure that is free to all, like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, which Rachael Ray adores. Even though New York is known as a concrete jungle, enjoying the outdoors is universally beloved. For actor Liam Neeson, it’s walking the loop of Central Park. He calls the ever changing landscape, “the ninth wonder of the world.” Model Heidi Klum takes a morning run on Manhattan’s west side, calling the jogging path “the best gym in the city.” And director Ken Burns remembers fantasizing as a kid about the dramatic film he could make along the elevated train tracks that now make up the High Line, New York’s newest park. Walking along the renovated tracks is his new New York routine.
We are so excited to share the city’s magic from the people who make it such a great place to be. Think of them as recommendations from a close friend who wants you to love the city as much as they do, and let you in on some of their secrets, too.
See what other New Yorkers love about this city. To join the conversation and share your favorite things about New York, post to Facebook and Twitter using #WeLoveThisCity