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Just a few weeks ago, Ashton moved within New York City: from the gay hot spot Hell’s Kitchen to the cool East Village. The human rights activist writes a blog and knows his home town very well.

I LIKE NEW YORK, BECAUSE

… there is no other place in the world that is so diverse, in everything: people, food, architecture, music, nightlife. The city also has a very special energy – it literally moves.

BEST TRAVEL TIME

I like it hot, and in the summer you can even swim at the New York beaches. Many people leave for Fire Island or the Hamptons outside the city. NYC itself is not so full then. The huge Pride also takes place in summer: the parade lasts more than eight hours.

BEST BAR

On Monday night I like Marty Thomas Presents DIVA in Industry. Female vocalists perform live the best songs from Beyoncé to Mariah and from Céline to Sia. Often even famous artists from Broadway join. www.industry-bar.com

RESTAURANT TIP

As a blogger and activist, I rarely visit expensive restaurants. But that’s the great thing about New York: good food at affordable prices. I like Cuban food at Coppelia, Thai in the intimate Wondee Siam and I love the fish tacos that Los Mariscos offer. www.losmariscos1.com

BEST CLUB

Ironically, there are not many big clubs in New York for gays explicitly. Nevertheless, there are larger parties in Brooklyn, such as the House of Yes with drag queens, acrobats and chic mottos. Even deeper in Brooklyn is the club The Spectrum. In Manhattan, the Ritz is and remains a club where anyone can pitch. www.facebook.com/ritznewyork

BEST FLIRT

On Friday, the bar Phoenix in the East Village is always full, here you will always meet new people. But a fun and unconventional place is also the Subway, where you sometimes just get pushed against the sweetie. Just smile! www.phoenixbarnyc.com

DO NOT MISS

Just start walking and discover the city. Or better yet, take a ferry and get shipped around Manhattan. The cheapest way to see Manhatten from the water is the Staten Island Ferry – it’s free.

TIP

Do not be afraid to ask New Yorkers for directions. Even though the city sometimes looks impersonal and cold, most people are nice. They probably have lost their way in the past as well, as most New Yorkers have moved here from outside at some point.

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