One thing we can confidently say we're grateful for year-round: the millions of smart, thoughtful, creative New Yorkers with whom we're lucky enough to share this great city. For a little light pre-holiday reading (and if you just need some time away from potentially-contentious family discussions over the election or the football game), we've pulled 10 of our favorite Due Diligence Q&As from the past year, talking New York history, bad apartments, and more with comedians, writers, restaurateurs, and more of the people who make up the city's cultural fabric:
- Comedian Judy Gold on the joys of the Upper West Side, and why you shouldn't "look at your f----n phone when you're standing on the steps going into the subway station."
- Nom Wah Tea Parlor owner Wilson Tang dishes up recommendations for all the best restaurants around Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
- 'Bowery Boys' podcast co-host Greg Young tells us,"I’m not a total nostalgist. I love New York City history but in most regards I wouldn’t want to return to it."
- Author and Gays Against Guns organizer Tim Murphy on his nostalgia for 90s New York, and the importance of avoiding a Netflix and Seamless routine if you want to make the most of your time in the city.
- Apartment Therapy CEO Maxwell Ryan covets a classic loft space as a blank slate for transforming with decor.
- Astoria-based comedian Christian Finnegan says, "gentrification is like salt—you add a little and it tastes great, so you add more and suddenly the whole meal is ruined."
- Writer Michael Musto heads home to Murray Hill when he's finished reporting on parties downtown, since it's "more of a nesting neighborhood than a nightlife destination."
- Orange is the New Black actress and lifelong Brooklynite Jessica Pimental resides in Red Hook now, but remembers when she "got to watch as Williamsburg went from the wild west to chic town."
- Preservationist Andrew Berman says New York's 24-hour delis and stores are a life-saver for the city's insomniacs.
- Author Steven Gaines says he found his first city apartment through a woman he picked up hitchhiking.
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