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Citing its diversity and culture, NYC was voted best city in the world in new global survey

The Time Out Index recently surveyed people in 48 cities around the globe and asked them about their city and others. After compiling the thoughts of over 30,000 people, both from our NYC readership and half-a-world away, New York was voted the greatest city on the planet for 2019. In a hint as to why this happened, and why now, it also lead the categories of most diverse metropolis and best culture. As far as being welcoming and aspirational, it was second only to Tokyo as the place most people want to visit.

That didn’t happen by accident. Over the last few years, we’ve seen many of the top cultural institutions in New York double down on giving a voice to the formerly voiceless. “An Incomplete History of Protest” at The Whitney in 2017 provided an in-depth exploration of how minorities have used art as a form of societal protest. “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future” at the Guggenheim re-wrote the accepted narrative of abstraction by placing a woman at its advent. With “New York Stories: Threads of our City,” the New York Philharmonic provided a thrilling exploration of how NYC is, at its heart, a city of immigrants.

But the city-wide commitment to diversity hasn’t just been top down. Just look at the Queens Night Market, which began in the summer of 2015 as a collection of 40 vendors serving authentic and affordable international cuisine in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Since then, it’s steadily attracted more and more attendees and, last year, averaged 10,000 people a night. Those thousands of New Yorkers weren’t just hungry for new food, but for new points-of-view. “When I first started, it was all about how can we attract people with an event that’s as affordable and diverse as possible,” says Night Market founder John Wang. “We’ve now been able to represent over 85 countries, and I’m constantly hearing examples of people branching out and trying things they’ve never heard of before.”

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