New York City is one of the fashion capitals of the world and referred to as the Big Apple where people dream of stardom and fame. But the city has garnered a new nickname, Silicon Alley, thanks to tech startups popping up all over the city and being home to some of the who’s who of the tech world, like Tumblr, Etsy, Vimeo and Foursquare — it’s no wonder tech lovers flock to the city that never sleeps.
Here a few stops where the tech-savvy folk gather you should check out on your next trip to NYC:
History – Whether you want to see history or make history, you can make it happen here. Want to see the 11,875-pound ball that drops at midnight on New Years’ Eve in person? Drop by One Times Square and go to the roof to see the current ball made of LED lights and Waterford crystals.
After that, stop by the Museum of The Moving Image (pictured above) to have a crash course in making a movie, including the creation, production and promotion of a film in the main exhibit, “Behind the Screen”. You can create your own stop-motion animations or dub your favorite actors and be their new voice in a movie. A definite addition to your list should be to stop in at the Sony Wonder Tech Lab. Admission is free, and you’ll be able to fulfill all your childhood dreams. Want to be a doctor? There’s a virtual surgery that is definitely a bit more sophisticated than Operation. How about a DJ? Music mixer will help you mix some popular songs into a whole new sound. Learn about animation and movies or even the inner workings of a cell phone. You’ll spend hours inside, and it will be well worth it.
Co-Working Spaces – If you need a place to park for a while and get some work done but don’t want to be alone, consider a co-working space like The Fueled Collective or GrindSpaces. As one person put it, “It’s like having co-workers on demand.”
Who doesn’t want that? For some rent money and a few months commitment, you can have access to a popcorn machine, ice cream cart (even in January when the weather forces you to be inside), a couch and so much more for 24 hours a day. It’s also a place where you can meet, greet and interact with the newest brains in the startup tech business.
Shopping – Maybe you spend most of your time shopping via your couch at home, but we promise you that the shopping capital of the world has something for you, too. Consider that it’s not a coincidence that right next to FAO Schwarz (every kid’s dream store) is the Apple Store.
Just like Apple products, the store’s design is a testament to Steve Jobs’ vision of the company. From the street above, you enter a glass cube and descend via a spiral staircase into a world filled with iPods, iPads, iPhones, MacBooks and every Apple device imaginable to play with, test and imagine the possibilities. If that doesn’t entice you to go, perhaps knowing that the store is open 24 hours a day for 365 days of the year will get you to take a trip inside. We just can’t guarantee you won’t blow your next paycheck on the newest gadgets.
Another option is seeing a 3D printer in action at Makerbot, where you can purchase some 3D gifts or even a printer of your very own. Don’t forget to sign up for a class or workshop while there.
Eating – We hear that coffeehouses are the place to go to meet up with other like-minded tech people. An added bonus usually includes free Wi-Fi, and who doesn’t enjoy that? Ground Support in Soho offers you free Wi-Fi along with a great cup of a coffee. Reviewers also confirm that it’s a perfect place for some serious people watching. Friend of a Farmer Cafe is another great place for coffee or brunch. Top tech people and investors have been spotted there, and if that doesn’t tempt you, maybe the pumpkin pancakes in the fall will.
With more than 9,000 check-ins on Foursquare, Birreria should be on your list of eateries. Having the Empire State Building as your backdrop and a retractable roof for bad weather, there’s really not much else you could ask for in a restaurant.
New York City may be known as the fashion capital, but the tech industry is making its mark in the city that never sleeps. If you’re just in town for a New York minute or get to stay a little longer, be sure to take your tech love to the next level.