Visiting New York City is a classic. Living in NYC is today more than ever the dream destination of all generations of expats. Well, it is mine. But because that won’t be happening before quite some time (well, a looooooong time…!), I try to enjoy NYC the same way New Yorkers do even though I am a tourist, every time I have the chance to go there. Okay, so far, I have only been there a couple of times, but there will hopefully be many more times in a near future. And somehow, so often visiting NYC through the Internet (well, I did say “somehow”…) kind of gives me a (tiny) feeling of being there a little bit longer than I actually was, and that is better than nothing, isn’t it ?
In the meantime, I give you here a list with suggestions and recommendations. Although you may obviously find some of them really classic NYC, the rest of my suggestions are a bit more personal choices and that is where it’s getting interesting for you guys.
1. Go to a game at the Madison Square Garden. If you get a chance to be in NYC on a day there’s a game playing, it’s easy to purchase tickets prior to the game and very affordable too. Once you’re inside, get a giant hand and applause the team most spectators support. It’s a fun night out, and so typical ! When you go outside, get a hot-dog or a falafel with a cold beer and enjoy the rest of the night.
2. Go to a Broadway show. Like for the basket ball game, you can purchase advanced tickets. If you think you’ve seen it all in Paris, go to NYC and find out with your own eyes how wide a choice of shows you can actually see all year long in Broadway ! And this is such an atmosphere ! If you’re lucky and if you choose well your show, you might even see from afar a celebrity !
3. Go to the Chelsea Market to eat anything appealing or to drink wine in the Winery located near the main entrance of the gallery. The market is built in red bricks, and is not far from the Meatpacking district. Inside, it is very clean and well tidied all around. I think any restaurant or café will do, you can only have a good experience, it’s actually a lot about the special atmosphere ! The nicest way to access Chelsea Market is to walk on the High Line, so actually you can combine two of the very nice attractions of New York City. Here is one of the many pictures I took on the High Line in Jan, 2015. My husband and I had an amazing time walking down about 16 blocks, as we came across artworks, information about the former railway activity of the High Line, nice views from above of the Village and Chelsea districts, and large resting areas along the way. Nevertheless, I wish I had a chance to try the following experience : it seems that the Chelsea Market hosts what is called the Sunday Supper, which sounds like it’s taking the form of a weekly Banquet-type dinner. Fun !!! If anyone of you, reading my post, has gone to that Sunday Supper, please leave a comment, I wanna know all about it !!
4. Freeze your ass off in Central Park during the celebration of a once in a lifetime NYC New Year’s Eve party. Once in a lifetime because, let’s be honest, despite my great idea to wear a warm skiing outfit, it’s freaking cold outside before midnight in Winter, and I’m not so sure all of us will do it more than once (or maybe twice) !! Although… Mmmmm, let me see…! It’s actually nice to attend, it’s legendary NYC New Year’s Eve party, there’s the famous NYC Midnight Run in Central Park, and just for that it is very exciting to be part of it !
5. Have a drink on a rooftop and enjoy the view. It is especially nice in NYC to have a break at some point of the day, as a day in the Big Apple is truly hectic ! When you have the chance to go to a place and enjoy a great view, it’s even more worth it, and there are plenty of places for that. Pick your rooftop bar or terrace, order tea or a cocktail, sit back, relax and enjoy the view !
6. Go and eat at Barney Greengrass’s to try his famous Bagels in the Upper West Side. The place is more than 100 years old, and the Sturgeon King not only deserves his nickname but rocks in business with a wonderfully nice service in the Deli itself, and rocks as well as he handles a wide range of other high end quality services outside (catering for events, domestic and international deliveries of his fresh or canned homemade goods). I don’t intend to compete at all with dear Mr Greengrass, but when I got back to France, I was so much craving for just one of his bagels that I had no choice but to learn how to make it ! Of course it did not taste at all as the original, but still I must say it tasted pretty nice too, because for the final taste I made it down to the filling. Recipe of the French girl’s homemade bagel, click here !
7. Participate to a fun team game. We chose the franchise Escape the Room (NYC) and played one of the great Midtown games called The Home. It’s an hour game of clues at the end of which you must “escape the room” if you want to be able to talk about your game experience and get back to your life (lol). You can get in the game with friends, family or co-workers, and/or mix with strangers that you’ll meet on the spot and who will become your game partners. It’s easy to book online, so let yourself get tempted by the experience, it’s a lot of fun and you’ll get out (if you can!) with great memories !!!!!
8. Have a break and ride the Air Tramway to Roosevelt Island. This makes such a great and peaceful break in a busy day ! The moment you get in the cable-car, all NYC noises disappear. Even though there’s not much to see on the Roosevelt Island itself, the ride gives you the chance to see NYC from afar and from above, and it’s also very fun to start the ride between two lanes of skyscrapers and “fly” in front of some apartments. The single ride costs you a Metro ticket, or… simply ride with your Metro Card, because yeah…!
9. Get a Metro Card before all things ! Even if you’re only staying 3 to 5 days, buy the weekly unlimited pass for 30 USD (which are 29 USD for the fee and 1 USD for the rechargeable card). You can even buy it with an International Credit Card at Central Station in Midtown. It’s so convenient to be able to take the Metro countless times during the day, without bothering about lining up at the vending machines for payment or worrying about extra holiday costs if you had planned to walk only (this is NYC, distances are massive !). You can always get a cab of course, but if you are visiting the city with someone like me, do not count on a quiet day, but start counting your dollars because taxi rides only keep inexpensive if you use them once or twice a day. For more journeys in the city, definitely get the NYC Metro Card I was referring to just before ;)
10. If you have the chance to know some friends in NYC, try to meet up and have a chat about life in the city, it’s always very interesting to share with the locals ! During my first visit, I had the chance to be invited by my good friend Perla and share her family ‘s Thanksgiving dinner. It’s been a great chance to spend some time with some real New-Yorkers from Brooklyn and have a thorough chat about local realities there.
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Experienced and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2015 All Rights Reserved.