The city that never sleeps can be a cacophony of honking horns and screeching brakes. Thankfully, talented musicians are making much lovelier noise this time of year with free concerts that you can catch during lunch.
On Tuesday afternoons, the atrium lobby of a South Street Seaport office building turns into a stage for Juilliard students and alumni. Stop by between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. for Chopin piano recitals and Beethoven string quartets while enjoying a drink from the lobby café. 180 Maiden Lane (at South Street Seaport)
On September 11, 2001, Grace Church organist Patrick Allen began playing Bach hymns for crowds gathering in the pews. Ever since, his meditative "Bach at Noon" series (Tuesdays through Fridays from 12:20 to 12:50 p.m.) has drawn droves of listeners, from neighborhood regulars to out-of-towners seeking solace in the city. 802 Broadway (between 10th and 11th sts.)
Proving beautiful things can come from unlikely places, a Financial District McDonald's boasts some of the best free music in New York. Every day from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., three concert musicians, including Carnegie Hall regular Michiyo Fisher, rotate turns at a baby grand perched on the second floor. Talk about a happy meal. 160 Broadway (between Liberty and Cortlandt sts.)