International New York
International New York
It’s no surprise that New York City, that international economic powerhouse and prime landing point for immigrants, is a rich and vibrant cultural fabric woven from many international threads.
Whether coming from Europe, South America, Africa, Asia, or Australasia, you can immediately sense that New York is unique microcosm of the world in all aspects: in business, international relations, arts, and culture.
If you’re a newcomer to the city, finding your way through what is by far America’s most-populous “urban jungle” can be daunting; at nearly 9 million people, it’s more than twice the size of its nearest rival, Los Angeles, at 4 million.
If you know where to look though, New York offers unrivaled pleasures and inspirations of authentic cultural affairs from near and far. Richly imbued with its own American flare, the city is a treasure trove of new experiences, ideas, and enlightenments.
Case in point: did you know there’s a part of Manhattan that doesn’t even belong to New York?
The United Nations & One UN
There’s no better place to start than the epicenter of international New York: the United Nations. What most people don’t know is that the UN is actually situated on its own 18-acre parcel of international territory – so while it’s right on Manhattan, it’s not even in the United States!
The UN offers one-hour tours that give visitors a history of the global organization’s dedication to improving safety, stability, and welfare in our world. Also available to visitors are multiple exhibits focused on the work it does for a wide range of member countries.
Linking Up with your Local International Community
Whether your visit is for business or pleasure, touching base with your country’s consulate or international house can be a good place to start.
A number of countries’ consulates have established international “houses” to serve expatriate communities in New York, designed to promote cultural hubs and “touchstones” to their cultures in the city.
For example, the Kingdom of the Netherlands (New York’s original Western colony, which is why it used to be called “New Amsterdam”) has established Dutch Culture in the USA, a robust listing of Dutch cultural opportunities available across the country, many of which are in New York.
Another highly-trafficked international office, the German consulate provides a comprehensive list of cultural events and opportunities on its home page.
New Yorkers have also organized their own cultural institutions to celebrate foreign cultures and heritages, such as Asia Society, (the host Asia Week in New York in March of 2017) and The Japan Society which offers its own list of Japanese experiences and resources in the city.
Similarly, the American-Scandinavian Foundation maintains a calendar of upcoming Scandinavian cultural events in the city through Scandinavia House, while which provides a calendar of, New York Latin Culture has established an online hub for Latin European/American experiences around the city, including the Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese cultural diaspora.
If your New York-based expatriate community doesn’t host such web-based resources, talk to the folks at your local consulate for recommendations, resources, and links. Just being in touch with someone back home can go a long way toward making your stay comfortable and collegial, and can even be useful in case of an emergency.
Quintessential Cuisines of New York
One of the best ways to experience a city’s culture is through its food, and New York offers incomparable variety when it comes to authentic eating options. Representing every corner of the globe, foreign fare is never too far away.
Examples of the dizzying array of top-quality international cuisine include:
African: These institutions are popular with both locals and visitors.
Korean: While Koreatown is an experience in itself, authentic Korean food can be found throughout the city.
Japanese: Beyond just sake and sushi, these restaurants top the charts.
Indian: Indian influence is strong in New York and second to naan, as Zagat notes.
Pan-Asian: For everything from Malaysian to Taiwanese, there are options aplenty.
Russian: Complete with USSR-inspired decor, staff and food, these restaurants are the definition of original.
South American: Find eateries for empanadas, arepas, and churrascaria everywhere.
Also be sure to browse New York Eater’s Annual “Eater 38” restaurant recommendations list for some of the very best (and in our experience, some of the most “New York”) spots in the city, from French bistros to New York delis, and Spanish sit-downs Texas Bar-B-Que feasts, and more.
Finally, for the “hottest” restaurants in Manhattan right now, we recommend New York Eater’s hottest Manhattan Restaurant listing, conveniently updated monthly.
Yours to Discover
You’re officially invited to come see the world, in New York.
The city’s international experiences are absolutely paramount, akin to constantly-evolving “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style itinerary. With a global community at your fingertips, you can easily craft and create your own international New York.
Welcome, and enjoy.