New York City has been the USA’s largest city since 1790, evolving into a global, cultural, political, and financial epicentre.
The New York Stock Exchange is the world’s largest, and the United Nations building is based along Manhattan’s East Side. Most fundamental to New York City is its status as an ethnic ‘melting pot’ – a phrase coined to describe Manhattan’s lower East Side, the most diverse section of a city in which more than a third of its residents were born outside the USA, and in which more than 170 languages are spoken. From food to the arts, this diversity is New York’s ‘brand’, so to speak. From each skyscraper to every cobblestone walkway, there’s something to see with every step.
Give ‘up and at ’em’ a whole new meaning by venturing to the Trapeze School of New York. In Hudson River Park, fly for a two-hour lesson while enjoying peerless views of the skyline.
Heading north and east, you’ll be in Chinatown. The largest Chinese-American settlement in the USA, sidewalk grocers and restaurants with poultry hung in the windows abound in a contrast
to unique architecture, such as the Mahayana Buddhist Temple.
Pizza is everywhere, as is the ubiquitous Manhattan hot dog (Gray’s Papaya is the place to go), but halal street carts are found in abundance, feeding late-night clubbers, foodies, and cab drivers. Grab a US$4.95 lamb-and-rice platter at 53rd and 6th.
Grab the subway for Queens and the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. A former public school, the juxtaposition of an old school and new art brings an edge and energy from the Manhattan galleries.
Before returning to Manhattan, stop in Brooklyn at Bridge Cafe, the city’s oldest dining establishment. Share a cocktail in the wood-framed bar, an unpretentious former bordello that dates back to the late
Rush hour at Times Square looks like chaos, but it’s the daily routine. Stand in the triangle created by 42nd and Broadway. Take it in just for the experience, then pick your direction – there’s something everywhere – and go.
On the world’s most famous island, you must venture into the water at some point. Take a sunset ride
on the Staten Island
Ferry, which offers great views of the Statue of Liberty
and the city's skyline.
A day of touring calls for a great dinner. Keens Steakhouse dates back more than 120 years, a tavern with great food and ambience. Be sure to check the collection of old pipes belonging to famous guests.
See out the evening at one of New York's numerous bars. Enjoy the taproom feel of McSorley’s Old Ale House. Little has changed since its opening in 1854, and mugs of house-brand ale are served in pairs – one light, one dark.
go atop the Empire State Building. But don’t waste daytime doing it. Spend the extra 15 bucks to venture up to the deck on the 102nd floor for a romantic and breathtaking
view of the city.
ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK
Step beyond the tourist icons with our insider’s guide.
The odds are that
at some point, some branch of your family tree reached Ellis Island. While the Statue of Liberty is the beacon that calls, the island’s Immigration Museum is the true must-see, including the 700,000-name Wall of Honor.
The Ellis Island ferry will leave you at Battery Park, where a picturesque waterfront walk north will bring you to the Brooklyn Bridge. A cobblestone walkway along each side makes for a pleasant stroll with tremendous views of Manhattan up the East River.
As you return to Manhattan, you’ll head across to the West Side enclave known as TriBeCa.
A wanderer’s paradise, there’s no specific target here – and that’s the beauty of it. Pick
a cafe, gaze at 19th-century art and architecture, and stroll to your heart’s content.
Bad weather? Hail a cab and tell the driver Grimaldi’s, a brick-oven classic with an Americana jukebox and pizza so good Frank Sinatra had them shipped to him on the road. But on a nice day, take a taxi or subway uptown for upscale shopping at Time Warner Center.
Lunch time, and there’s too much choice. Dean & DeLuca creates custom lunch baskets. Go snag a horse-and-carriage ride through glorious Central Park, then grab a seat on the lawn, under a tree or wherever you like, and people-watch over lunch.
South of the park, see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a majestic Gothic structure,
set with inspiring stained-glass imagery. Across the street,
sits the unassuming Onassis Cultural
Center in Olympic Tower, boasting
Byzantine and modern
You’ve walked and you’ve relaxed. Now work in some thrills aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. On the 900-foot aircraft carrier rest hundreds
of exhibits as well
as a Concorde you
can climb aboard
and a rock wall designed by the Special Forces group.
A choice pick, for either the ladies or a man accompanied by one? Along 47th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, is the Diamond District. One city block containing more than 2,600 independent businesses, nearly all related to diamonds or fine jewellery.
Two nearby dinner options: Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain, proof that despite Iron Chef Flay’s now cult TV personality status, he’s still a fantastic food master; or Carmine’s, the ultimate in Italian family-style – tremendous portions and stuffed mushrooms you must, must order.
A trip to New York – particularly a first trip – should include a Broadway show,
to be chosen from
the Theater District’s roughly 40 venues. The big names such as Phantom and Wicked are there, as are lesser known hits such as Avenue Q.
Start the nightlife jaunt uptown at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Named
after the great Dizzy Gillespie, it’s a perfect spot for a drink or two and some dancing with music provided by a host
of talented musicians. You’ll feel like you’re in an old black-and-white club photo.
Pick your choice of transport and zip back to midtown, where the Empire State Building awaits. Better than at daytime, a late-night excursion to the 102nd floor observation deck
is tremendously romantic, and offers a breathtaking view of the city – and beyond.
Just make your way back over to TriBeCa and SoHo for a lively array of bars, clubs, cafes, and swathes of great ambience. Try out The Bowery Presents, a collection of live music clubs that always have a number of acts for any music lover 35 or younger to check out.
Located in the Lower East Side, Libation is a classic New York spot made for late-night fun. Welcoming top-line DJs, musicians, and dancers, the three-level club is a definitive hot spot with an array of specialty drinks and surprisingly good
food to boot.
Even the bars in Manhattan have a closing time, and nobody is allowed to serve after this point.
If you’re hungry, head to Midtown for Sarge’s Deli. Otherwise, walk back toward where you began, sitting beneath the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, awaiting a great
view of sunrise.
Connect New York, USA ✈ Distance: 10,792 km ✈ Flight Time: 14 hours, 50 minutes ✈ Frequency: Daily