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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.