A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at www.creativejuicy.com
Published May 17th 2011
They don't call it The City that never Sleeps for nothing. No matter if it's midnight on a Sunday, or 8 a.m. on Christmas Day, there are more things to do and see, more activities available in New York than in most places on a typical weekday afternoon.
This is a city of romantics and realists, big spenders and battlers. At any given time, you'll find people finishing work, starting work, going to bed, or beginning a night on the town. Subways, taxis and even the Staten Island Ferry runs 24 hours a day, depositing and collecting the people who make up the humming throng that is New York.
This is a guide for the night owls, the earlybirds, the after-hours crowds and indeed anyone who just feels the urge to become part of the inexhaustible vibrancy of the city.
American Apparel is a leading basic clothing brand for people of all ages. There are branches absolutely everywhere in Manhattan and beyond, but The Lower East Side store is open till midnight on Friday and Saturday, till 11 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and a respectable 10 pm every other night. So you never need to get caught without your shorts.
Lowe's and Home Depot are national home improvement chainstores. So if you feel like renovating the kitchen at 6:00 a.m., or need to pick up some nails on your way to work then you're in luck, as all stores in both chains open at this time. Alternatively, if you have a late-night hardware crisis, you can venture to Brooklyn where the Home Depot on Hamilton Avenue, and the Lowe's nearby on Second Avenue stay open till midnight. Prices are great, with regular specials on everything from lawnmowers, barbecues and electrical tools to home furnishings.
Sephora is the one stop beauty shop where you can buy anything you need to reaffirm that you're beautiful on the outside as well. But if you need to primp before heading out to a club, you can pop in to the Times Square store right up until midnight. There are loads of makeup stations where you can get a touch up, get free samples of the latest offerings from the fountain of youth or buy brand name beauty products that will have you glowing, and ready for any event. Location: Times Sq at 42nd St and 7th Av
The Apple Store on 59th and 5th Ave is a geek-beacon 24 hours a day. The gleaming cube of light draws the digitally dependent at all hours but is particularly popular with night owls. This is the biggest of the three Apple stores in the city but is the only one to provide 24 hour laptop service. If you find yourself in the middle of writing that novel, and experience a computer crash at midnight, simply pack it up and rush it in to emergency. However, you'll have to join the panicking business men and students already in the queue as they await the prognosis on their own computer crises.
You'll find a Duane Reade drugstore on just about any corner in Manhattan. I don't know how many times I've made an emergency dash into one. Like the time when my camera's batteries ran out, the time I accidentally dyed my hair gunmetal grey one early morning, the unfortunate bout of stomach flu at 4:00 a.m. (no doubt from eating my own cooking) and that horrible moment when I realized I'd run out of Bud Light at midnight. Here are just some of the Duane Reade stores open 24 hours:
7A Cafe is the perfect place if you find yourself hungry in the East Village and want to sit down, relax and people watch at 2:00 a.m. The decor is somewhat rustic but the food is good and cheap around the clock. You can get bacon and eggs with a cocktail if that's what your heart desires.
And to wrap up, here are some miscellaneous things you might need outside of normal business hours:
If, like Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire, you wake up in the middle of the night, and write your manifesto, you'll want to print it. Pop down to ABG Print at 266 West 37th Street,. Phone: 212-398-1010
Need a late night workout? Good for you. If walking around the block isn't enough, then you can visit Steel Gym at 146 West 23rd St. and go your hardest!
Opening hours: 4:00 AM Monday - Closes 12:00AM Friday; Saturday 8:00AM - 9:00PM; Sunday 9:00AM - 8:00PM
And who hasn't wanted to get their hair done at 2:00 AM? At Hair Party 24 Hours at 76 Madison Avenue on 28th St., you can get your hair and nails done, have a massage, makeup or a pedicure 24 hours a day. Now that's pampering.
It all goes to prove once and for all that Manhattan really is the city that never sleeps.