MARCH 1, 2020 / NORTH AMERICA, TRAVELS

CONCRETE JUNGLE

New York City or The Big Apple is definitely one of the must visit cities before you die. There’s so much to do and so much to see that it can easily become overwhelming (also impossible to cover everything in just one trip). This was my third time visiting NYC, the last time was 4 years ago so the memories were still fresh, but NYC was still overwhelming for me. Therefore, I kinda skipped doing some of the mainstream touristy things and attractions, but continue reading to see what are my must do’s, see’s, tips and where to eat.

Getting around: NYC is separated into different neighborhoods, all different and unique in their own way. The subway is probably the cheapest and fastest way to get around, and trains run 24 hours. Uber/taxi is another way to get around NYC tip: currently taxi is cheaper than Uber. And lastly, walking. You can easily walk from one neighborhood to another. If the weather is nice biking is also an option there are City Bank bikes that are available for rent, you just got to download the app on your phone.

Must see:

The Vessle- a very cool structure and visitor attraction located in Hudson Yards, you can go all the way to the top of it and enjoy a view over the Hudson river and NYC buildings. The admission is free you just need to book tickets online a day or two in advance.

Hudson Yards- a lovely place for a walk by the river. There are multiple parks and coffee shops in the area. Nice promenade right by the river.

 

American Museum of Natural History – fun fact: this is the largest Natural History museum  in the world, it’s also where the movies Night in the Museum were filmed. I would definitely recommend spending a day in this museum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET)- is my second favorite museum in NYC (after MOMA), the museum is enormous and it has artifacts from Egyptian mummies, to Impressionist paintings to fashion exhibition (for all fashion lovers, the MET is the home venue of the MET Gala)

Brooklyn Museum- located in Brooklyn, it is the 3rd largest museum in New York City, with a collection of more than 1.5 million works. A stunning architectural building, inside you can find a vast collection of items from Egyptian antiques from 3000 years ago to European, African and Japanese art and works. They currently have the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition which is on display until February 2022.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum– home to impressionist, post-impressionist, early-modern and contemporary art. A truly magnificent architectural building. You can find works by Vasily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh and many more.

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit– this is a temporary exhibit located on Pier 36. A truly magical visual experience of Van Gogh’s work.

9/11 memorial- Where once the twin towers of the World Trade Centers stood, is now a memorial of the lives lost. The memorial is consistent of two waterfall pools surrounded with the names of the victims.

One World Trade Center

The Oculus- a stunning architectural work, the oculus is a shopping center with various stores, but even if you are not in the mood for shopping still a pretty cool building to see.

Times Square- a very mainstream touristy attraction, but still nice. Tip: visit it late at night or earl morning to avoid crowds.

Must do’s:

Cross the Brooklyn Bridge– one of the most iconic sights of NYC, crossing the bridge takes approximately 30-45 minutes, and it is definitely worth it. The sight is amazing and it’s a great photo spot as well

Explore Dumbo- a neighborhood in Brooklyn that I really liked, from there you have a great view over both Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge, the streets are filled with cool local shops, restaurants and bars.

Watch the sunset from Brooklyn Promenade– a perfect spot for watching the sun set over the concrete jungle is from the Brooklyn Promenade, a beautiful walking route alongside the river. Head there in time for sunset and enjoy the stunning views.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden- right next to Brooklyn Museum is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. An enormous and beautiful botanic garden. Perfect to spend your day at. They have hundreds of species of plants, and a dozen of gardens make sure to see the Rose and Fragrance gardens they are beautiful as well as the Palm House and Conservatory,

Stroll in central park- it is definitely an unmissable spot in NYC, the park is huge and surrounded with skyscrapers. If the weather is nice you can definitely spend the whole day there, or even an hour stroll is just about enough. Perfect spot for picnic, relaxing and sun bathing. You can take a carriage ride around Central Park or rent a boat at the lake. There are various coffee shops and stands across the park as well. Some sights to see are: Strawberry fields (John Lennon’s memorial), Alice in Wonderland sculpture, Bethesda Terrace, the Lake and Conservatory Water aka Boat Pond.

Little Italy- located in SoHo is Little Italy, for a moment you will feel like you are on the streets in an Italian city. Italian restaurants, gelato and canolli can be found everywhere. They annually hold their San Gennaro Feast which lasts for a week.

Sunday Brunch- something that you absolutely mustn’t miss is a Sunday Brunch (or just doing brunch even if it’s in the middle of the week), NYC has some of the best brunch places in the world. Tip: book a restaurant in advance so you don’t have to queue for hours and to avoid disappointment.

Walk the highline- is a walkway that is built on former railroad parks and passes between the buildings. A really cool experience, I went during the evening the views were amazing (unfortunately the photos not so much).

Visit the Strand Book Store– a book heaven for every book worm, you’ll find yourself wandering there for hours.

See a broadway show- I would say to definitely make time to watch a broadway show while in NYC, there are numerous broadway shows you can watch. During this visit I watched “The Book of Mormon” and it is amazing!

Enjoy a view of the Manhattan skyline- you can get a free ferry boat ride to Staten Island, which runs every 20 minutes or so. And get a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge as well as Statue of Liberty

Upgrade your insta feed in SoHo- SoHo is the place to get your insta photos, apart from picturesque buildings and scenery, you have various shops, boutiques, pop-up store, bars and restaurants. SoHo is one of my favorite NYC neighborhood. 

Have coffee in Bryant Park- Bryant Park is probably my favorite park in NYC, there are various of coffee carts around it, chairs and tables to sit at as well as nearby food places where you can grab a quick bite.

 

Catch some Jazz- another NYC experience you shouldn’t miss, there are many jazz clubs in NYC, even if you are not a jazz fan you should go and see one. I went to the Django in the Roxy Hotel and it was a great experience.

Go to a speakeasy- NYC has many speakeasy bars some of the ones I like the most are: Angel’s Share, The Raines Law Room, Tanner Smith

Where to eat & must try’s:

Quick bites and late night snacks

Katz’s Delicatessen

what to try: Pastrami sandwich

Joe’s Pizza

what to try: pizza

Shake Shack

what to try: Shack burger and cheese fries

Five Guys

what to try: their cheseburger

sweetgreen

what to try: craft your own salad bowl

Mamoun’s Falafel

what to try: falafel

Best Bagels & Coffee

what to try: bagels

Brunch spots

Sweet Chick

what to try: chicken and waffles

Buvette

what to try: avocado toast

Flipper’s

what to try: some of their Flipper’s fluffy pancakes

Ruby’s Cafe

what to try: yogurt bowl with granola

Lunch spots

Pietro Nolita

what to try: some of their pasta

Piccola Cucina Osteria Italiana

what to try: their pasta

Mercer Kitchen

what to try: anything really

Industry Kitchen

what to try: their pizza

Dinner spots

St Tropez

cuisine: French

Klong

cuisine: Thai

Cafe Napoli

cuisine: Italian

Bakeries and desserts

Mangonila Bakery

what to try: red velvet cupcake

Bakeri

what to try: any of their pastries

Coffee and tea shops

Arabica Roastery DUMBO

perfect for: coffee

what to try: coffee/tea/matcha

Debutea

perfect for: tea

what to try: any of their peach flavored tea’s

Cha Cha Matcha

perfect for: matcha 

what to try: matcha latte and/or matcha soft serve

Ralph’s Coffee

perfect for: coffee

what to try: coffee/chai latte/matcha latte