New York City is constantly touted as ‘the greatest city in the world,’ and for good reason: it’s the cultural justify of most of the Western world and has been for almost 200 years. As the home and source of many cultural touchpoints, New York has some of the most exceptional places to celebrate, have a night out, or experience as many things as you can from the greatest city in the world.
Here are some of the rarest NYC experiences tourists and travelers can have:
The idea of dueling pianos emerged in the 1890s, during the birth and heyday of Ragtime music. Originally, dueling pianos involved two pianists who would take turns playing increasingly complex piano licks and turns (i.e., a combination of notes) until one pianist is unable to copy their opponent’s notes.
Over time, this evolved into two pianists taking turns playing songs and interacting with the audience for a one-of-a-kind interactive show. The modern dueling piano format started in Dallas, Texas, but New York City has some of the best dueling piano bars in the entire country. It’s a great break from your regular rock-eoke nights or dancing in overcrowded clubs!
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Sleep No More
Sleep No More is an award-winning adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and involves audience members becoming part of an immersive theater experience. In Sleep No More, a version of Hamlet is staged in the fictional McKittrick Hotel (which is actually a series of warehouses in Chelsea), with different scenes staged in different rooms. Audience members are then encouraged to walk through the entire “hotel” at their own pace and at any order they want.
Sleep No More started in London but made its way into New York, where it became a staple alternative theater experience for people. It’s a unique way of experiencing a classic, but the overall understanding of both Hamlet and the societal messages of the Sleep No More cast, writers, and directors are elevated, making all of the mentally heavy scenes you’ll see well worth the watch. Don’t forget to visit the hotel’s rooftop bar, Gallow Green (or, The Lodge at Gallow Green during winter), for some amazing views of the city! It’s not cheap, but it’s so much more fulfilling than renting out Disneyland or going to some touristy pizza tour.
New York City is probably one of the most important meccas for stand-up comedy, with aspiring comedians from around the world treating a headliner spot in an NYC comedy bar as the highlight of their career. New York has more than a handful of comedy clubs and bars all across the five boroughs. You might want to go check out Comedy Cellar, Gotham Comedy Club, and the New York Comedy Club, arguably three of the city’s biggest, most prestigious comedy centers in the world.
Whether it’s some avant-garde place, alternative comedy, or mainstream chuckles, New York has no shortage of places for you to get your laughs on. If you’re lucky, international headliners and comedy stars might drop in unannounced, and you’ll be treated to some of their new material right there on the spot!
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