Who doesn't know Times Square? A Commercial neighborhood of New York city, this area is where the pulse of the city gets louder, higher and more energetic. It is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions, which means it remains constantly crowded. But, this hustle-bustle is what makes Times Square so special. It lights up at night to look even more spectacular. Times Square is called the “Crossroads of the World.” The iconic landmark stands as the symbol of New York City. Animated digital billboards, New Years Eve, and news period, this is the center of Manhattan’s ego for city dwellers and tourists alike.
New York's Central Park is known from the umpteen number of movies it has featured in. One of the most frequently visited and protected open spaces in New York, the Central Park has been declared a National Historic Landmark. Whether it's walking, biking, rollerblading, ice-skating during the winter, taking a boat ride during the summer, or bouncing from play ground to play ground this perfect outdoor sanctuary offers fun for children and adults. Don't forget to visit Central Park Wildlife Center and Children's Zoo
Empire State Building
The fourth-tallest skyscraper in New York, The Empire State Building is a National heritage structure and one of the seven wonders of the Modern World. The enclosed observatory on the 102nd floor is the city’s highest lookout point. From here, you can enjoy views of all five boroughs and five neighboring states; at sunset, you can glimpse an elongated urban shadow cast from Manhattan all the way across the river to Queens. It highlights the Art Deco style and its architecture is in sync with American culture. It was ranked number one by Americans for its architecture.
Any performing arts lover knows what Broadway is, and even if theater doesn't interest you Broadway is not worth a miss. Synonymous with theater and the performing arts, the street itself is the oldest North to South thoroughfare in the city, but the Theater District in Midtown is where the bright lights flicker for audiences and actors alike. My Fair Lady to Phantom of the Opera, it all happened here. Catch a show for once in your life. Even if it is a dud, it will be unforgettable. Till today, Broadway remains to be the heart of the American theater industry.
Brooklyn bridge was the world's longest bridge and remains to be a major landmark of New York. It is around 5,989ft-long and provides a splendid opportunity for a relaxed evening long drive. It was the first bridge in the world to use steel suspension cables. From it, you’ll enjoy striking views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.
Classic meets current at Rockefeller Center, New York City's ultimate shopping destination. From spacious flagships to unique specialty stores, there is something here for every taste and closet, in iconic surroundings as sophisticated as they are welcoming. And whether you want to grab a quick bite, get your cappuccino fix, meet friends for cocktails or savor a special family dinner, you’ll relish the delicious options. There are several paid tours available - check them out.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
On Thursdays the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Metmuseum.org) is open until 9 pm, so I like to have a drink usuall uptown at the beautiful Surrey Hotel rooftop bar (Thesurrey.com) and then head to the museum. Walking around the museum after a glass of wine and seeing the Picassos and the Matisses gives your evening a cultural injection.
Manhattan’s Chinatown is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city - not only for Asian travelers, but for visitors from all over the world. It is one of the oldest ethnic enclaves outside Asia. It provides an amazing cultural exposure, with restaurants serving delicacies and shops catering to various souvenirs and items. The Chinese community here is on a rise and flourishing, thus Chinatown attracts large number of tourists who want to experience something different in New York.
Greenwich Village is a residential neighborhood known for giving rise to the Beat Generation. It is a haven for artists. Fabled artists like Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac and Dylan Thomas walked these tree lined streets back when. The bohemian flavor of the area is still found in the coffee shops and bars of Washington Square Park. Rows of townhouses and charming alleyways around the park literally transport visitors back in time here. This is a great area to visit for newcomers, if for no other reason than to say they were here.
Grand Central Terminal
This is not just a train station; it happens to also be one. It’s as if trains were moving along when this giant monument descended from the heavens and landed snug straddling the tracks on either side. The building is a sheer show-off in architecture, a wondrous edifice in stone and metal.
The High Line
An evening walk along the verdant High Line watching the pleasant sunset is one of the best things to do in the NYC. It is virtually like floating and flying high 25 feet above the ground surrounded by serene greenery and tended plantings. You can also capture wonderful photographs in and around the place and get some good quality nature shots if you are interested in.
This is my personal favorite for brunch because the sangria I order comes in a huge glass and the food is delicious. It’s also a prime people-watching spot because it’s right at the border of Soho yet far enough away to avoid the Broadway madness. The restaurant's a bit small but the menu is delightful!
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of history, science, and service as related to its home aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark. As you explore the Museum you will be able to examine original artifacts, view historic video footage, and explore interactive exhibits.
Hyatt Union Square New York
Last summer, my friend Rimzim Dadu and I stayed at Hyatt Union Square, New York. What can I say, it was the perfect choice!! Imagine this, you’re just a walking distance from shopping heavens like 5th Avenue, SoHo, Nolita etc and a quick ride away from Times Square, Central Park, Empire State and Rockerfeller Building! Yes, that’s Hyatt Union Sqaure for you. Another thing that I loved about the hotel was its boutique-hotel vibe. The staff was polite and dressed in we-are-not-so-stuck-up uniforms. It’s a smaller, more chilled-out Hyatt with a great roof-top. I liked that! The bed was super and the shower was absolutely brilliant (am I the only one who’s particular about water pressure? It has to be just right!). I wish our room faced the bustling road than the back of another building and a bathtub in the room wouldn’t have hurt, although to be honest you’d rather be on the streets soaking up the city than bath-salts in a fancy tub especially if you’re there just a couple of days.
For dinner we decide on a hip hidden joint called Battery Harris on Frost St. The brain child of David Shapiro and Etan Fraiman of Rockaway, NY - both bonafide jerk chicken addicts who wanted to design gourmet versions of classic Caribbean dishes. Honestly, I came here for the drinks and the space, which is divided into 5 different hangout spaces. 1) an indoor eating space next to a dance floor 2) an outdoor eating space under an awning 3)an additional outdoor space with a fire pit 4)a bar that separates the indoor and the outdoor area 5) an elevated area where you can challenge each other to a game of pool.
St Patrick Cathedral
After reading so many mentions of this cathedral, it was of utter importance to visit this great peace of art and architecture. St. Patrick's is mighty as it appears and holy as it sounds. Situated amidst busy street of the 5th avenue of New York, this place of God transcends as much peace that one might find hard to get in a busy place like Manhattan. St. Patrick has held burial and funeral masses of many like Ed Sullivan, Andy Warhol etc.
Shopping is must in NoLITA. But, don't expect your bargaining skills to do the trick. Surely there sales here, but otherwise the prices are a bit high. However, Resurrection is one of the cool vintage stores that are worth the price you pay. If you can't get your self to buy the treasures that lurk inside, there are also a few shops that specialize in socks and pajamas. But, for any fashion lover, a visit to Resurrection is a must.
A great mix of Cuban and Mexican cuisines, this restaurant is praised by everyone who visits it. Eating in Nolita is an experience in itself and this cafe brings in a great amount of variety to add to it. Mexican Corn on a stick and The Cuban Sandwich are two of the must-try's over here. It is a nice place to relax and indulge.
Tacombi at Fonda Nolita
This indoor Taco truck adds a whole new experience to Mexican eating. The novelty is brought in through the ambience of a garage and eating out of a van/truck. The menu is a bit unconventional from your usual Taco experience and dollars have to be exchanged for the local currency (blue poker chips worth $4 each, the price of a taco.) You feel like you have entered into another dimension altogether.
While on bars, Budakan is good too but nothing similar – more opulent, oriental, and add-any-adjective-beginning-with-‘O’ (like Oban - A synonym for great taste!) For SATC fans, this place is a must-do as the wedding dinner scene was shot on the grand dining table down below. (…and no I didn’t know this for myself; I was told that last one!)
The Palm Court
I so badly wanted this to be a perfect experience since afternoon tea here was a mother's day present for my mom. While the food and ambiance were lovely, the service; unfortunately, was severely lacking. I've heard this is a bit of a rarity though so hopefully our next experience will be much better.
The pair of us hogged on our dinner at John’s Pizzeria, one of the finest places I have ever visited both food wise and ambience wise. It is beautifully crafted inside of a church so therefore has amazing carvings and it gets better with the food. When I dug in my pizza, a stream of cheese just oozed out of it. Heaven! You are surrounded by boisterous crowd and something about the place just stets the mood right.
New York of course is one of the greatest cities to walk and take long strolls and if I had to name just one street it would be next to impossible. Home to Central Park, the Highline and Broadway, I’d go eventually for 14th street that’s a cacophony of almost everything that New York stands for. It’s crowded, noisy and really over stimulating at times. But then again, I’ve heard some cool buskers belt out awesome music. In fact I discovered two of my favorite bands here; Heth and Jedand City of the Sun. Google them people, they are phenomenal. Besides the live entertainment, there are some great bars and restaurants around this square and I’m totally spoilt for choice. My favourite is a French Moroccan Bistro aptly named Bar Six.