Take a trip to New York with the NYTimes The Scoop NYC

Jun 9, 2010
Shine

NYTimes The Scoop NYC iPhone app gives you the skinny on restaurants (from Times critic Sam Sifton), or bars (from dining editor Pete Wells), as well as events and New York-centric outings. The app’s tagline is “an inside guide to New York,” but it feels more like an outside guide to New York for tourists. Or I should say, most of […]

NYTimes The Scoop NYC iPhone app gives you the skinny on restaurants (from Times critic Sam Sifton), or bars (from dining editor Pete Wells), as well as events and New York-centric outings. The app’s tagline is “an inside guide to New York,” but it feels more like an outside guide to New York for tourists. Or I should say, most of it feels like a guide to “Sex and the City’s” New York (which is hardly most people’s New York at all), and only a select few of the suggestions are things I have never heard of, missed, or overlooked.

The restaurant reviews include a little descriptive blurb, the address, a link to the Times’ review, and one to the restaurant’s web site. The reviews are nice to read, though long and not ideal for a quick assessment. The restaurants are organized alphabetically, which works aesthetically but isn’t all that convenient if you are craving a certain kind of food, in a certain neighborhood, or limited to a particular price range.

This list is said to be Sam Sifton’s 50 favorite restaurants, but it feels more like a directory of obvious staples you have heard about forever. Really, I should check out Balthazar and Minetta Tavern? Even the more obscure restaurants listed are the ones included in every magazine and guidebook you’ve ever read about NYC. I imagine what people really want out of an app like this are choices more off the beaten path, and which feature more variety.

The bar reviews are shorter (no link to a full Times article) but they give you the gist of what you need to know, and this concise format works better for an iPhone app. I could get in and get out quickly having learned valuable information.

The events section includes dance, theatre, art, and film highlights for the week. And the “Only in New York” page recommended the stock “listen to jazz at the Village Vanguard” and “have a picnic in Central Park” to the more out of the ordinary; for example, “see New York in miniature at the Queens Museum of Art” and “visit a Hindu Temple in Flushing.”

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