It’s Our Birthday! Top Highlights from Our First Year
It's no small job covering a city of about 8.4 million people (with annual visitors of more than 50 million), but we did it -- and here are the standout stories and moments that connected with you the most
This week and next we celebrate the anniversary of our site re-launch here at New York.com. In honor of our first year, we decided to take a look back at the highlights. Just one year ago, we launched with a bang with a giant blowout party at Arena in Midtown Manhattan. About this time last year, Brett Reizen, president and CEO of NewYork.com and parent company Entertainment Benefits Group (EBG), took to the stage and told the hundreds of party-goers that the site’s vision was to “to make NewYork.com the ultimate resource for everything New York.”
The well-attended fete was hosted by 30 Rock‘s Jane Krakowski and Extra co-host Maria Menounos, featured a special guest appearance by Kevin Bacon’s band The Bacon Brothers, and had plenty of A-listers downing free cocktails and grooving to Hesta Prynn’s DJ’d tunes (30 Rock‘s Grizz Chapman, Million Dollar Listing New York‘s Ryan Serhant, Tony Award-nominated actress and singer Orfeh, NY1′s Pat Kiernan and Dylan’s Candy Bar founder Dylan Lauren were among the crowd).
Post-party, of course, the staff at NewYork.com had a job to do — fulfilling on that promise of delivering all things New York by presenting the best the city has to offer. And boy were we busy, hitting topics ranging from real estate — our piece on 8 Affordable Neighborhoods in NYC, published just a few days before the party, went on to be one of the year’s most popular — to NYC skylines, a subject that surfaced in our hotels section with 10 Hotels with the Best Views, another of our most well-liked features of our first year.
One thing we know you like is a good list, and in our attractions category, 10 Things Every Kid Should See Before College hit all the right notes. Whether you’re about to leave for college or simply want to see the best this town has to offer for the young at heart, it’s a roll call of NYC’s most treasured institutions.
It’s not all about the kids, though, and living it up in NYC’s restaurants and bars was a hot topic throughout the year, from summertime when 8 Rooftop Restaurants with Awe-Inspiring Views was one of our top page-getters (who doesn’t love a cocktail and dinner with a view?) to fall when you demonstrated your love of the city’s secret watering holes by clicking on (and then clicking on again) 10 New York City Bars with a Speakeasy Vibe. From which coffee company is a front for a gin joint and which unmarked door leads to a Sasha Petraske-helmed cocktail joint, it’s all there.
And then there was our most read food feature of the last 12 months, which hit on one of NYC’s most iconic foods: the bagel. The 16 Best New York City Bagels and What Makes Em So Good delved into the history of the carb bomb, while also recommending the best spots around the city to indulge.
New York is beautiful from many angles and in many seasons, but perhaps none more so than during the holidays. Our piece on the Rockefeller Center Tree Viewing was the year’s most popular, and a NewYork.com office highlight was our Twitter chat with @30RockTree, which turned out to be its last as the smart-mouthed tree retired at the end of the season. As @mjfrombuffalo said so eloquently, “@30RockTree #TreeTalk was awesome.”
You know what else is awesome? Not going home alone every night. At least, that’s apparently the case as you couldn’t get enough of New York’s Top 10 Most Romantic Restaurants, fittingly published in time for Valentine’s Day. And we didn’t just hit the biggies (One if By Land, Daniel), we also suggested a few off-the-beaten path ideas (Takashi, Mar’s in Queens) to get the home-fires burning or stoke some new ones.
We’d be remiss to not mention one of the city’s biggest passions: the theater. And indeed our story on the 15 Most Anticipated New Broadway Shows for Spring has been a sizzling commodity since December. And the hot-hot-hot 2014 season has not disappointed with impressive performances from the cast and crew of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, After Midnight and more. The only things more anticipated that the season’s spring shows? The Tony Awards — winners were announced on June 8, and we were there.
Speaking of the Tonys, NewYork.com sponsored a contest to uncover the Ultimate Broadway Fan. The winner was announced May 19, almost a year to date from our launch. Thanks to his impressive collection of Broadway paraphernalia (and many vote-happy friends and family who pushed him to 8,324 votes) Jacob Sanchez attended the Tony Awards rehearsal with a friend on us, and he also received a chauffeured ride from ExecuCar, two nights at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Hotel and a meal at NYY Steak.
And as for next year? Stay tuned for our staff picks that outline 50 Things We’re Looking Forward to in Year Two for more great ways to live it up in New York City.