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America&039s Best Cities – Best Cities

The combo puts San Jose tops in the country in our People category. This is also the third-most prosperous city in America, with the highest Household Income 
America&039s Best Cities – Best Cities

After a hellish two years, few places on the planet are as ready to relaunch as NYC.

The greatest city in America—lauded and crowned in our ranking for the past seven years and in countless others for many more—was a ghastly reminder during the pandemic of the vulnerability of even the colossal and seemingly all-powerful; we saw here what awaited the rest of the country. And the world. As early cases spiked, Gotham became the nation’s nightmarish coronavirus core.

It was this city-scale tragedy that first landed in the crosshairs of the sniping haters declaring that the big, vibrant, cheek-by-jowl city experiment was finally over. But for resilient New Yorkers, those attacks of course merely steeled their resolve for better days amid the death, protest and malaise.

Those better days are here. And the city is doing everything in its power to bring back not only apprehensive New Yorkers whose hunger for regular bites of the Big Apple has for two years been sated instead by takeout or delivery and a scrolling thumb tic, but also the nearly 70 million people who visited in 2019 and invested $46 billion across its expansive quilt of neighborhoods (ranked #1 in the country, just one of more than a dozen subcategories NYC tops this year).

“Fortunately, we’re anticipating being back 85% of 2019 levels within the year,” says Chris Heywood, Executive Vice President, Global Communications at NYC & Company, the destination marketing organization of the five boroughs. “We have benchmarked 2024 to be back to previous record-setting numbers.”

First order of business: getting those not already here to town. Fortunately, the suspension of travel for more than a year expedited the long-planned transformations of New York’s international gateways. LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport all have new terminals, with the new Terminal B at LaGuardia alone boasting 35 gates (to say nothing of the FAO Schwarz on site). And, yes, a new Terminal C will soon be open, too. Newark Liberty International’s updated Terminal A opens with 33 new gates and construction will start later this year on a new, congestion-easing 2.5-mile elevated guideway train system. The infrastructure year ends with JFK’s Terminal 8 unveiling 130,000 square feet of new and renovated space. The New Terminal One at JFK opens later this decade.

Back on the ground, Moynihan Train Hall is a new 17-track expansion of Penn Station that, if you squint, can pass for a northern European transit hub from the future.

With so many expected arrivals, NYC is certainly making sure everyone has a place to stay. More than 9,000 new hotel rooms have either opened or will be coming online in this year, including the already opened (and headline-grabbing) Aman New York, an “urban sanctuary” on Fifth Avenue. Also open is the Ritz-Carlton, NoMad, a temple dedicated to the nearby and recently opened Madison Square Park; and the Hard Rock Hotel New York, a new property in Midtown. The buildout stretches across the city, with new Renaissance Hotels properties in Harlem and Flushing opening right about the time you read this. Moxy Hotels is also opening multiple locations in the Lower East Side and Williamsburg.

At street level the city’s firehose turns cultural, with massive museums (yet another subcategory in which New York rules the nation) going all in on expansions and new openings.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens, is undergoing a physical and programmatic expansion for a new cultural center, expected to debut later this year, that includes an interactive exhibit, archival collections, a 68-seat jazz club and store. And the Bronx Children’s Museum is also opening this year after moving to a new home in Mill Pond Park. Dia Chelsea is a new contemporary installation space opened recently, and the Frick Madison (formerly the Frick Collection) has a new residence in the Breuer on Madison Avenue in a building formerly used by the Met. Speaking of the Met, just last year New York’s 152-year-old cultural institution (housing 1.5 million objects and hosting 7 million visitors in a non-pandemic year) announced a $500-million reno of its modern and contemporary wing. Not as storied but equally New York is the new Museum of Broadway, the first permanent museum dedicated to the famed heartland of the stage, just opened in Times Square with a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of major theater productions.

And the big shows are back, too (with the odd COVID-related cancellation this past spring): Hugh Jackman returns for The Music Man; Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick star in a revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite… even Daniel Craig as Macbeth.

For those who prefer their urban exploration outdoors, classics like the High Line and Central Park are joined by the city’s newest green space, Little Island—2.4-acres floating on the Hudson near the Meat Packing District on the site of an old pier. Like most things here, you have to see it to believe it.

When it’s your turn to return to America’s best city, do yourself a favor and make time to see the phoenix rise from above: there are the classics, like the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock, but there are also new spectacular perches, like SUMMIT One Vanderbilt and its all-glass exterior elevators, called Ascent. Go up, look down and breathe out.

Please see more summary list Top 10 cities in us best compiled by us


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