New York City: 10 Things to Do

2. West Village Stroll

magnolia bakery Mario Tama / Getty
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This neighborhood of quaint brownstones clustered along tree-lined cobblestone streets remains virtually unchanged since the 19th century. You'll need a map to navigate the puzzling geography — how does West 4th Street intersect with West 10th Street, exactly? — as it's one of the few areas in Manhattan that strays from the orderly street grid. Better, though, to just wander aimlessly. Highlights include the Jefferson Market Courthouse, a former women's detention center that once held Mae West, and the shops along Bleecker St. and Commerce St. — the most beautiful block-long side street in NYC. Ignore the temptation to join the curiously long line outside Magnolia Bakery (they're queuing for cupcakes — repeat, cupcakes). Head two blocks west instead to the Spotted Pig, a bustling gastropub where you can recharge your batteries with a cask-conditioned ale.

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