One of the things I really love to write about is travel. I’ve been lucky enough to have been to quite a few places around the world but one of my all time favorite has to be New York City and this year I was able to visit again as part of our East Coast extravaganza.
I need to be honest straight off the bat here, I love New York as much as I love London, it is a vibrant, busy, hustling, exciting and playful melting pot. There is always something to do and it truly lives up to its moniker of the City that never sleeps. The shopping is fantastic, the arts scene is amazing and the architecture will take your breath away. Basically if I had to live anywhere else on the planet it would be there. After two visits I’m still itching to go back, but if you are heading to the Big Apple anytime soon here are some of my thoughts and tips,
– Give yourself a good six days in the city – there is plenty to see and expect large lines for the more well known sites. We spent a good couple of hours waiting to get up the Empire State Building and a good half day in line for the Statue of Liberty, but don’t let the lines put you off, both are great experiences and you get the added bonus of being able to hum the theme music from Working Girl as you make your way across the Hudson River.
– Book yourself tickets to a night viewing up the Top of the Rock. The Empire State Building never looks more magnificent then when it is lit up and the view from there is spectacular over the city. Head to the visitor center at Rockefeller Plaza on the day you want to go up to book in advance.
– Make time to go downtown and visit the 9/11 Memorial. The new World Trade Center Tower is opening later this year and it is a sight to see but it is the really beautiful memorial that truly takes your breath away. Based on the footprints of the Twin Towers, the infinity fountains are engraved with the names of all who fell on that fateful day and each day the ground staff add a single white rose to anybody who would have been having a birthday. You need to book tickets in advance if you just want to enter the memorial, however I could not recommend highly enough a tour with the 9/11 Tribute Center – each tour is lead by people who were there on the day, were part of the emergency crews who dealt with the aftermath or the family of somebody who was lost and all profits go back into the great charity work they do.
-Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.
– Save a good half day to explore Central Park and make sure to visit the Lake, the Alice in Wonderland statue and Strawberry Fields where you can buy John Lennon badges from hippies.
– Immerse yourself in the sheer over the topness of Times Square. One of my favourite things to do is sit on the red steps above the Tkts booth and just people watch.
– Have your picture taken with the Naked Cowboy.
– See a Broadway show. The sheer amount of choice you have in New York is breathtaking and there will be something on that will suit any taste. If there is something you know you want to see then book your tickets before you leave, you can pick them up at the box office on the day. If you fancy taking a punt the Tkts booth in Times Square offers substantial discounts on a huge majority of shows.
-Eat lunch at the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. If you look one way you see the Flatiron Building and the other the Empire State Building, doesn’t get much more New York than that.
– If you are a film and TV buff like me make time to,
- Go to Katz Deli and see the place Sally had *that* moment in When Harry Met Sally, and also eat the best sandwich of your life.
- Visit Carrie’s stoop from Sex and the City then grab a cupcake at the original Magnolia Bakery
- Go to Hook and Ladder 8 AKA Ghostbuster HQ
- Have breakfast at Tom’s – the Diner from Seinfeld
- Have a frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity III (Serendipity)
- Eat the the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (Forrest Gump)
- Go to FAO Schwarz and go on the Big Piano from Big
– Have afternoon tea at Alice’s Tea Cup – their house blend is amazing. (Three locations around the City)
– Spend some time exploring Rockefeller Plaza.
– Shop! Even the most ardent anti-shopper could not be impressed by the experience you have in New York – and even better any clothes purchase under $100 is tax exempt!
I’ve only just scratched the surface of what this amazing city has to offer but make sure when you are next in NYC to give my regards to Broadway and remember me to Herald Square.