New York City: Appreciating Its Most Precious Resources

New Yorkers have been distressed in recent years (and with good reason) over the many venerable (and still viable) shops, restaurants and taverns that have had to close—not because their business had dropped off, but merely because their landlord had doubled, tripled, even quadrupled their rent. It’s an issue many residents of New York City care deeply about, as more and more chain stores and restaurants move into the city. The very nature of the town we love seems to be changing, and not for the better.

But it’s good sometimes to stop and remember that all is not lost—that we still have many unique establishments that offer a quirky character all their own. Here’s a Buzzfeed list any New Yorker (and even more so, any tourist) should have handy as he make their way around the Big Apple.

44 Amazing NYC Places That Actually Still Exist

New York City: Russ and Daughters storefront

The Empire State Building, from every angle

Whether you’re stuck outside the city or you live here but are daunted by the hordes of tourists, the Empire State Building remains a marvel for the ages. Time Out New York apparently agrees, as they’ve devoted an entertaining and informative slideshow to images of the Art Deco wonder.

We recommend you follow the above link and give it a look.

King Kong atop the ESB

A weekend getaway

Michael ArenellaOrchestra leader, singer, and fashion plate Michael Arenella has a thing for the past.

Arenella plays the music of the 1920s and the ’30s and wears clothes and drives cars that match.

A poster for the Jazz Age Lawn PartyThis weekend, he and his Dreamland Orchestra will again be featured at the annual Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, an event he founded some years ago. It takes place on both Saturday and Sunday.

If you’re within striking distance of New York City, you should it make it a point to be in attendance. The forecast calls for lovely weather, relatively speaking, the music will have you tapping your toes, at the very least, and you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of folks in vintage finery. (If you own no vintage finery, you might be advised to ask yourself why not, but don’t let that prevent you from attending the lawn party. Why, there will even been vintage clothing dealers on the premises, so you can kill two birds with one stone.)

Long time passing

We thought you might enjoy Edible Manhattan‘s look back at the Automat; we did.

One of our great regrets is that we can’t take our tour guests for a spin through an Automat.

Alas, the last one closed in 1991.

But they remain alive in our memory. There were two or three remaining when we arrived in New York in 1982, and we managed to grab lunch at one (though just once, to our undying regret).

By the time of our visit, the Automats were pretty dismal spots, attracting more destitute unfortunates than working Joes and Jills. We don’t recall much about the food we ate that day, which leads us to believe it must have been fine, if unexceptionable (surely we’d recall if it had been truly objectionable).

Still, we can proudly state that we once ate at an Automat, something that many tens of thousands of newer New Yorkers, not to mention the tourists who flock to our great city by the millions, are unable to claim, so that’s of small comfort.

Silents are golden

If you’re going to be in NYC anytime over the next thirteen weeks, be sure to set your Monday evenings aside for a special treat.

Every Monday evening through February 6, Film Forum, NYC’s terrific repertory theatre, is featuring an acclaimed silent movie from the MGM vaults. The festival opens tonight with the King Vidor classic The Crowd, to be followed by Ben-Hur, Greta Garbo in Flesh and the Devil, Lillian Gish in The Wind, and other not-to-be-missed classics.

If you’ve never seen a silent picture in a theatre with live musical accompaniment, well, take it from us—you’ve never seen a silent picture.

Visit the Film Forum website for the complete schedule.