7 Things to Do in New York

There is a reason why people wear I love New York on a t-shirt, because it is an awesome city. New York has it all from iconic yellow taxis to great food and drink, and all the excitement and adventure you can expect in a big city. Here are 7 things you must do on a city break to New York.

GO FOR BRUNCH

If you were ever a fan of How I Met Your Mother you already know that brunch is a thing in New York. There are many fantastic brunch places from Hell’s Kitchen to Harlem, you really are spoiled for choice. On my last visit to NYC I stayed on the Upper West Side and went to Kirsch Bakery & Kitchen, which has an amazing french toast menu. It includes the savoury variety with spring onion and crème fraîche or bacon swiss and egg, or for those with a sweeter tooth they have french toast with peanut butter and chocolate, mascarpone and berries or cinnamon and pear.

French toast with berry jam and mascarpone at Kirsch Bakery.

French toast with berries and mascarpone at Kirsch Bakery.

Also on the Upper West Side is Jacob’s Pickles, serving comfort food like pancakes with buttermilk fried chicken. I also visited the very popular Sarabeth’s with its extraordinary range of omelettes and eggs, such as the crab cake Eggs Benedict and home made lemon and ricotta pancakes.

Lemon and ricotta pancakes from Sarabeth's.

Lemon and ricotta pancakes from Sarabeth’s.

MODERN MUSEUM OF ART

MoMA is one of the best museums of modern art in the world. In addition to housing some famous permanent pieces from Picasso and Andy Warhol, they have an exciting events calendar and host a variety of different art and photography exhibitions. The entry price is a little on the expensive end however it is well worth it to immerse yourself in this creative and high energy atmosphere.

Isa Gengken Retrospective in 2014.

Isa Gengken Retrospective in 2014.

Campbell's Soup Cans by Andy Warhol.

Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Picasso.

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso.

WALK NEW YORK

The best way to see New York is by walking. Life happens on the streets here, and it takes approximately one minute to walk an uptown block and two to five minutes to walk a crosstown block. On my last visit to New York I did a full days walk from 181st across the George Washington bridge and along the Hudson river to Jersey City. I joined an incredible New York walking group and together we covered over 18 miles and saw the most stunning views of the New York skyline.

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Stunning views of the the NYC skyline along the Hudson river.

Other great walks include a visit to Roosevelt Island or the walk from Queens to Brooklyn across the Pulaski Bridge, which is also the only viewpoint where you can see three New York boroughs at once: Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn.

At Roosevelt Island with the Roosevelt bridge in the background.

At Roosevelt Island with the Roosevelt bridge in the background.

The face of Theodore Roosevelt Jr, the 26th President of the USA on Roosevelt Island.

The face of Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the USA on Roosevelt Island.

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Traffic junction near Queensbridge subway station.

Long Island in Queens

Long Island in Queens

BROOKLYN STREET ART

The borough of Brooklyn has become super trendy over the past decade and many artists and students choose to live here (if they can afford it). Williamsburg is a hub of activity with all sorts of graffiti and social commentary on display amid an abundance of hipster cocktail clubs and bars all brimming at the seams. Morgan Avenue, also in Brooklyn is equally up and coming with its student community, edgy street art and great quality cafes. Have a walk around, soak in the culture and stop for an organic latte at Swallow’s Cafe.

A dog walker near Williamsburg.

A dog walker near Williamsburg.

This hashtag was all over the streets of Brooklyn in 2017.

This hashtag was all over the streets of Brooklyn in 2017.

Grungy shop fronts near Morgan Avenue subway.

Grungy shop fronts near Morgan Avenue subway.

Street art in Morgan Avenue.

Street art in Morgan Avenue.

Swallow's Cafe has excellent coffee and cakes.

Swallow Cafe has excellent coffee and cakes.

WORLD TRADE CENTRE

The World Trade Centre complex has been almost entirely rebuilt since the September 11 attacks devastated the original complex of buildings. The lead building in the new complex is One World Trade Centre, which stands 100 stories and is the tallest build in America. The World Trade Centre station is the cleanest subway station in New York and is connected to a massive shopping mall. If you stop by here I recommend visiting the museum and memorial pools dedicated to victims of September 11. Just around the corner is the St Paul’s Chapel which survived September 11 without even a broken window, thanks to a miracle sycamore tree that was hit by the debris and whose roots are now preserved in a memorial. St Paul’s Chapel also served as a place for rest and refuge to workers and volunteers during the aftermath of the attacks and is still an active church today.

One World Square is the tallest building in America.

One World Square is the tallest building in America.

The entrance to the World Trade Centre subway station and shopping mall looks like a dove.

The entrance to the World Trade Centre subway station and shopping mall looks like a dove.

When it first opened, this was the cleanest subway station in New York all shiny and white. Let's see how long that lasts.

When it first opened, this was the cleanest subway station in New York all shiny and white.

CENTRAL PARK

Your trip to New York wouldn’t be a complete without a visit to Central Park in Manhattan. The park is 843 acres and a popular spot for New Yorkers to take their morning run or enjoy a stroll amid the greenery. My favourite part of the park is the Harlem end where there is a large fountain and small flower gardens nearby. For a little bit of romance you can take a horse and carriage to view the park and it is equally interesting look at the posh apartments that line the park as well.

The upper north end of Central Park.

The north eastern end of Central Park.

The houses that line Central Park are very expensive.

The apartments that line Central Park are very expensive.

On the anniversary of John Lennon’s birthday I went to Strawberry Fields in Central Park and sang Beatles songs with other fans and musicians by candlelight.

TRY LOCAL FOOD

New Yorkers love to eat pizza and burgers. For the best pizza in Manhattan you have got to try Angelo’s Pizza on W 57th, which has a coal pizza oven. I ordered a mushroom and arugula pizza that had delicious melty cheese that stretched when you bit into the pizza, just like in the movies.

Mushroom and arugala pizza at Angelo's Pizza in Manhattan.

Mushroom and arugula pizza at Angelo’s Pizza in Manhattan.

The classic burger and shake meal you will find in any American diner but for an old school experience visit Harlem Shake. Apart from having the tastiest and cheapest burgers in the big apple and peanut butter milkshakes, this place is decked out like a 70s style diner and is a big contributor to the Harlem community and park.

Harlem Shake is a 70s themed diner.

Harlem Shake is a 70s themed diner.

Cheeseburger with fries and a shake, the classic New Yorker lunch.

Cheeseburger with fries and a shake: the classic New Yorker lunch.

THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

Okay this is the biggest clique but how can you visit New York without crossing the Brooklyn Bridge? Posing for a picture on this iconic structure was definitely highlight for me, although beware of the many selfie sticks, angry cyclists and heavy pedestrian traffic that can make crossing a hazard.

This is me on the Brooklyn Bridge!

This is me on the Brooklyn Bridge!

These 7 things to do will fill up a long weekend in New York, but there is possibly too much to see and do in a single trip to this great city. Check out my full New York Hot Minute photo album for more ideas on exploring this city.

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