Recently, GQ named Brooklyn the “Coolest City on the Planet” for foodies. While we agree that the borough is first-rate in a number of things—hipster watching, finding a cheap apartment with antique molding—we are inclined to believe that Manhattan is still king. Brooklyn isn’t a cocktail that people in Idaho can order. Woody Allen has yet to direct a film named after that borough. And there is one distinction that Manhattan will always hold: It’s the birthplace of New York City, an urban metropolis that captivates our collective imagination to this day.
Manhattan is the best mix of the old and the new, the elegant and the seedy, the popular and the obscure. This borough, the smallest of the five in terms of geography but the third largest in population, presents every flavor of society—if you know where to find it.
“Best of”, a tradition started here by the New York Press, is meant to inspire an air of wonder in New Yorkers, some of whom may be more ground down by their daily haul than others. Though “Cdiscovered” over 400 years ago, Manhattan still retains a sense of mystery and the same excitement of discovering a new land. This is the borough where you can find wares you didn’t know you needed, experiences you weren’t aware you were lacking and foods you never imagined were edible.
After a year in which Manhattan has survived an earthquake, a hurricane and a freak snowstorm in October, it’s time to put your stamp on this borough and claim it as the best in the universe.
Contributors to the Best of Manhattan issue: Nancy J. Brandwein, Wickham Boyle, Thomas Chan, Shoshana Davis, Leonora Desar, Sharon Feiereisen, Danny Gold, Matt Harvey, Andrea Hilbert, Regan Hofmann, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Layla Khoury-Hanold, Amy Kraft, Roland Li, Aspen Matis, Sherry Mazzocchi, Beth Mellow, Lorraine Duffy Merkl, Evan Mulvihill, Chris Opfer, Mark Peikert, Josh Perilo, Adam Rathe, Robby Ritacco, Josh Rogers, Max Sarinsky, Miral Sattar, Hilary Snell, Doug Strassler, Colin Weatherby, Tracy Weiss, Ashley Welch and Noah Wunsch. All illustrations by Evan Soares.