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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over 12 million immigrants entered the US through Ellis Island, the nation's principal gateway during the years 1892-1954. Following restorations in 1980s, the building reopened as a museum dedicated to the nation's immigration heritage. A must visit for those interesting in knowing more about over 4 centuries of immigration history to America. 2nd and last stop of the ferry ride before we reach back NYC
Washington Square Park
Time seems to have broken into a gallop and before I realize, we are at the last point of the tour. Washington Square Park is a refreshing patch of green amidst the urban milieu. The rap and jazz musicians playing at the park lend the place a languorous sense of happiness. Renee gathers the walking party beneath the stately Memorial Arch and delivers a final address on how the park has been a gathering area for the Beat generation, folk and Hippie movements of the 1950s and 1960s.I thank her and make my way to the centre of the park where the band is starting to get the crowd on its feet. I take off my shoes and sit down comfortably, the soft grass feeling like velvet beneath my tired feet. They have just started singing Mr Tambourine Man and have promised to sing Blowin’ in the Wind. A bunch of NYU students raise their bottles of Brooklyn Summer Ale and merrily shout out "Cheers to Mr Dylan”.
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.
Radio City Music Hall
The biggest indoor theatre in the world, Radio City Music Hall is larger than life. So much so, that it is said, "The Music Hall needs no performers." Just its marquee is a full city-block long. More than 300 million people have enjoyed stage shows, movies, concerts and special events at the Music Hall. There's no place like it to see or stage a show.Renowned for its elegant Art Deco architecture and its history of movie premieres and awards shows, Radio City Music Hall tops the list of must-see attractions for many art aficionados. Join an expert docent to tour The Hall that has been awing visitors since the its opening in 1932.
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.
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.
West Village which the western part of the Greenwich Village (of “Friends” fame) has an anomaly – it is the only place where a numbered street crosses another (West 10th Street cross West 4th Street). A tree-lined neighborhood with lots of old red-bricked building, I was told had cobbled streets. While we didn’t manage to find the cobbled streets, we did peak into tons of designer stores and quaint boutiques and even the oldest apothecary on the way and cute pastry shops.
Korea town in New York has an interesting history starting with a bookstore and a few restaurants and slowly burgeoning into a thriving area with restaurants, bars, karaoke bars, salons and shops. The restaurants and shops in Korea town are not all located on the ground floor making it hard to find places but fascinating to photograph. The place seemed to come alive post midnight with people like us tripping in post bar hopping to dine on kimchi pancakes, watermelon shoju and large soupy hot-pots! Visit Pocha 32 for delicious kimchi pancakes and watermelon shoju. Also lookout for Parisian Baguette which contrary to its names is a Seoul based coffee chain selling coffee, desserts and other savory snacks.And finally eat, eat and eat! – Eating/drinking was a huge part of our vacation. From visiting speakeasy’s to listening to Japanese jazz, eating Mediterranean food to looking for the best burger in town. New on the list of our favorite food though is Ramen – we tried Toto Ramens and we are in love! DO NOT LEAVE NEW YORK WITHOUT TRYING RAMEN!!
The Charging Bull is one of the most popular statues in the world and was created by Arturo Di Modica after the 1987 stock market crash. His 7000 pound work represented "the strength, power and hope of the American people for the future."The story goes that the statue was dropped off outside the New York Stock Exchange by the artist in 1989. The police swiftly removed the unwelcomed bull. Soon after, the parks commissioner had it placed in its current spot at the Bowling Green Park. The bull has remained there and has been a huge hit with the public ever since.Get a picture taken standing beside the fierce looking head, climbing on top of the bull, or posing next to the anatomically detailed backside!
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!
Tenement museum might not be on the top of the Museum list for your first visit but it did give us an unique perspective of New York from the view point of the immigrants. We did one of the neighborhood walks that they offer around east village and learnt how the waves of immigrants from different countries had shaped the neighborhood. They even have a Chinese Dominican grocery store and one of the oldest candy stores! Tenement buildings are buildings which have fire escapes in the front and were themselves quite pretty.
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.
The Phantom of the Opera
I am a high fan of the Phantom of the Opera music and the movie. So watching it on Broadway has been on my bucket list for a while now. This was truly a phenomenal experience and should not be missed – the stage settings, the production quality and the actors, everything was awe-inspiring! The Majestic Theater is a grand old theater perfectly suited for the sheer extravagance that is the Phantom of the Opera.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.