Sure, TimeOut, The L Magazine and similar sites/publications have event listings but in my opinion there's a quality control issue with some of those. They list just about everything and therefore it can be tough to weed out the good stuff. There are also tons of apps these days that help with finding events and there are plenty of sites besides the ones listed that do the same. This list is simply the sites I personally find useful when looking for something to do.
Many of the events I hear about I get from press releases and personal invites. Nonetheless when I do resort to the internet for guidance these are the websites I use. If there are any you use not on this list leave in the comment section.
- MyFreeConcert.com: This site is great for finding free and cheap concert listings but don't let the name fool you - they list more than just concerts. There are some pretty solid party listings here as well. They even have a tab where you can see just events with free booze.
- BoozeParty.net: This used to be a blog with listings for free and cheap drinking options but now it's a subscription based daily "boozeletter". Just sign up and you'll get an email everyday with that night's parties. The only issue really is that because it's events happening that night sometimes the listing's guest lists are already closed.
- ThePrintupList.com: Lots of really fun opening parties, launch parties and other types of semi-exclusive events. Most of these events happen in the 6-10pm range so if you're looking for something to do after work, instead of another shitty happy hour, this site is helpful.
- OhMyRockness.com: If you're strictly interested in seeing bands then this is your site. They have very thorough listings but have always done a good job of sticking to listing good and interesting music.
- ArtCards.cc: I used to use this site regularly but have fallen out of the art scene since. This site is the go-to site for finding out about art gallery shows. If you're into art, or the free booze that generously comes along with art openings, you should check them out and subscribe to their newsletter.
- HugeCity.us: I just recently started using this site and I love it. Facebook used to be great for finding events but it's gotten a little harder to use in that sense lately. HugeCity has come along and uses your geographical location and Facebook friend list to find events near you. It's all automated so of course there is a ton of garbage to filter through but I've found some amazing events this way that weren't listed ANYWHERE else. They also have an iPhone app.
- GarysGuide.com: In the past few years I've gotten into the tech community in NYC. In fact, I now have an agency and work with tech start-ups. Gary's Guide is an amazing source for tech events in NYC. If you already work in tech, or are looking to get into the tech world, this is all you need.
- ResidentAdvisor.com: Back when I was working for an EDM company I had to keep tabs on all the electronic music events happening in NYC. There are a few sites for this but I found Resident Advisor to be the best. If you're looking for some ooonst this is your site.