Skip To Content
Paid Post

10 Reasons Why New York City Works

New York City! The greatest city in the world, they say. But has anyone really figured out why? There are many moving parts that keep NYC at the top, and we have a good idea of what makes New York City work. What do you think works? Head over to Celebrate What Works and you could win $500.

1. The Subway

Geoff Stearns / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: tensafefrogs

Guaranteed if you ask any New Yorker what works in NYC, the first thing they'll mention is the subway--after grumbling a bit and making a required sarcastic remark or two. We all have our issues with the trains now and again (have you RIDDEN the G recently?) but we all agree that for a relatively low price, the ability to zip around NYC without worrying about traffic, parking or weather is complete magic.

2. The Water

Charles Smith / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: 24415055@N00

The rumors are true. Much like everything else in this city, NYC's water supply is also far superior to the rest. This isn't just an empty brag, it's an actual scientific fact. Not only does it taste great ("It goes down soft, without hints of tart-tasting minerals or chlorine like other public water systems.") but it also works perfectly, coming from a system of 19 reservoirs and three lakes in update New York--often flowing in from as far as 125 miles away. Those sources deliver our fair city with more than 1 billion gallons of fresh, clean water. Impressive, eh?

3. The Coffee

kl801 / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: 7507311@N06

Don't even get us started. Other cities may claim to have the best coffee, but we think that it can be argued that NYC has the most coffee. There is literally a Starbucks on every corner (200+ to be exact!) and bodega coffee is cheaper than bottled water. From $1 hot coffee in "It's a Pleasure to Serve You" paper cups to espresso at the counter of Stumptown, coffee is one of NYC's finest working natural resources.

4. Things are 24/7

Mike Mozart / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: jeepersmedia

In New York, "closing time" is relative. Whatever it is, you can get it at any time. You just have to know where to look. It's the ultimate supply-and-demand situation, and it totally works when you're craving that 3AM cheeseburger or just need a roll of toilet paper.

5. The Culture

hey tiffany! / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: _tiffany

Piles of garbage lying right next to the world's greatest collection of art? That's a New York thing. We keep close quarters, but guaranteed, there's always culture, art, film and anything your lil' creative heart desires (and often: for free!) in the big city. Walking tour not including, but you know what else works? Tagging alongside an existing tour. (But don't say we sent you!)

6. Craigslist

KimSanDiego / CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Flickr: kimsandiego

Craigslist exists for many cities, sure, but does it really work for them like it does for New York? As lots of New Yorkers already do, one can basically live off in this city. Looking for housing? Check. Need a job? Got you. How about free EVERYTHING? There are thousands of people in NYC just begging you to come take their free stuff every single day--it's up to you (and Craig!) to seek them out.

7. The Street Vendors

epSos .de / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: epsos

NYC is the best and worst for finding all the things you could possibly want. You may have gone out looking to buy some ordinary, black socks, but if you're on St. Marks, you'll probably walk by The Sock Man and end up with a few pairs of socks with kittens, lobsters, spaceships—well anything you probably didn't know you wanted on your socks. You'll end up with a lot of stuff you didn't know you wanted and pay the price, but hey, sometimes you just gotta suffer for fashion. If your dream is selling waffles from a VW Bug? New York is your place. Dreams *do* come true.

8. The Taxi Cabs

Jim Pennucci / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: pennuja

In the rare case that you can't grab the subway relatively easily, there's no need to worry. Take a night in the downtown of any borough and you should never have to worry about trying to hail one for more than a couple minutes. Worst comes to worse, any New Yorker you're with will have a go-to service that'll be there in less than ten. Again: parking, traffic and weather? It ain't no thing in NYC.

9. The Brooklyn Bridge

ilaria / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: 1la

Bridges across the globe are true modern marvel, but have you ever seen such a sight as the Brooklyn Bridge? Call us biased, but a structure so pleasurable to walk, bike and drive over that *also* gets you across a span of deep blue? We think that definitely works.

10. The Greenery

Phil Roeder / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: tabor-roeder

Despite that you're constantly surrounded by monolithic, often 1984-looking buildings, NYC is surprisingly green. For one thing, there's Central Park, which is sort of a big deal if y've seen any movie ever. Most of our fair streets, no matter how concrete they may feel sometimes, are lined with trees. Many neighborhoods even have a park! Did you know that Brooklyn's Prospect Park is 526 acres?

What else do you think works? This world of ours is chock full of everything from amazing technology to simple tricks that make all the difference. Celebrate what works, and share it with us. You could win $500.