8 Things You Will Only See in NYC

Like most major cities, the Big Apple has its share of distinctive and quintessential places to see: the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and plenty more. But, also iconic to New York City are those who live here. Perhaps it’s the size and the diversity of the population — or maybe it’s something in the water. Regardless of what the case may be, there is nothing like what you will see in the streets of New York City.

1- Poorly behaved costumed characters

Elmo in Times Square

(Photo: Tyler M/Flick CC)

For anyone who has been in Times Square in the recent years, it’s safe to say that you have most likely witnessed one of the poorly behaved costumed characters. When Elmo was arrested for allegedly groping someone, he was treated by the NYPD just like any other wrongdoer. Even Big Bird and Cookie Monster couldn’t get him out of this one.

2- People waiting in extremely long lines for the latest food craze

You may have seen an extended line of people waiting around a block and wonder if they were giving away something for free. Well, most of the time these are just folks that are waiting in line for the newest food craze like Shake Shack, Cronuts or a food truck. If you thought the lines at the stores were too long, try standing in line for 2 hours just to get some Belgian waffles or some lobster rolls.

3- A perpetual line of people

Although nobody really waits in line forever at the Port Authority bus terminal, there is a sculpture by American artist; George Segal known as “The Commuters.” The three bronze statues depict commuters waiting in line for the bus in front of an open door with the words “NEXT DEPARTURE” and a clock set at 3:00 o’clock. Yes, this is random but it’s fascinating nonetheless.

4- Breakdancing as a way of life

Breakdancer in New York

(Photo: Zac Ong/Unsplash)

It’s show time! You’ve probably heard this on the subway right before the dancers take out a boom box and begin showing off their dance moves. Some people may find it entertaining to watch these dancers in the streets or on the subway. However, not every New Yorker is a fan of what they do. Subway dancing is prohibited and the NYPD takes these violations seriously.

5- Impromptu concerts happening anywhere and everywhere

You may have seen Spider-man with a saxophone on the subway or heard sounds echoing in the streets of Manhattan. Musicians have long performed on New York City’s subways, however the presence of social media means that the audience for these performers goes way beyond the traveling crowd. Being a street musician is not glamorous, but playing the New York City subway is kind of like performing for the world’s biggest concert hall on a daily basis. While they have touch countless of lives with their sounds during rush hour, their own lives are for the most part anonymous to the riders they entertain.

6- Hot dog stands on almost every corner

Hot Dog Cart in New York

(Photo: Anton/Unsplash)

The hot dog is as ubiquitous to the Big Apple as pizza and the Statue of Liberty. Most New Yorkers would skip the corner hot dog stands for a store or restaurant these days. But the many visitors who are totally pleased with the street hot dogs result in the growing amount of stands in New York City particularly in areas where there is a large number of tourists.

7- DNA testing trucks

DNA testing truck

(Photo by Drew XXX/Flickr CC)

This may be a first anywhere but there is a “Who’s Your Daddy” truck driving around in New York City doing DNA tests for parents who need to verify their kid’s paternity or maybe youngsters who wants to know whether or not their parents are biologically related to them. For those trying to find out who their “daddy” is, there may be a DNA testing truck right around the corner.

8- Late night shopping

There aren’t many places in the world where you are able to get a haircut, buy groceries or get a brand new TV at 3AM, but in the city that never sleeps; things work a bit differently. In most places, if it’s 2am and you wish to repair a cabinet, tone your abs or trim your bangs, you’ll need to wait until the next day; however, New York City is completely different and that’s what makes it wonderful!

You can literally find it all in this magical city. Experience it for yourself on a tour! If you are interested in finding more to do in New York City, search through our complete range of tours, attractions and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on www.harlemspirituals.com or contact us at info@harlemspirituals.com.

New York City might be the only place in the world where McDonald’s has three floors of seating. If you can make it in Gotham City, you can make it anywhere. So tell us, what’s the most amazing thing you have ever seen in the Big Apple? Feel free to share your most incredible New York experience with us.

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