Live Like a Local in New York

New York

New York, like London, is an absolutely incredible city which at times can be overwhelming and hard to navigate. I (Antie) have now been four times but still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of the city.

New York
Getting lost in New York…

Carrying on our series of local living pieces (others ones include Tel Aviv and Amman) Antie spoke to an old friend of hers, Ellie, who lives in New York about what are the top local tips for things to do while you’re in New York.

New York
Antie and Ellie on our most recent visit to the Big Apple

How long have you lived in New York?

Two and a half years.

What is your favourite part of the city?

The parks – all of them!

Central Park
Central Park

When do you think is the best time of year to visit?

May or September – not too hot, not too cold.

Do you have a favourite market?

Smorgasburg – it’s full of unique (and delicious) food trucks. On Saturday’s, Smorgasburg is in Williamsburg, and very accessible by way of the East River Ferry (catch it at 34th street from midtown Manhattan). On Sunday’s it’s in Prospect Park. Chelsea Market is great, too.

Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market

For someone staying in the city for only 48 hours what would you recommend they see/ do?

Day 1:  Explore Central Park in the morning, walk through midtown (Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Grand Central), lunch at Chelsea Market, explore the High Line and go to the Whitney, dinner in the West Village, then hit up a rooftop bar for great views of the city.

The High Line
Street art views from the High Line

Day 2:  Check out Smorgasburg for brunch (on Sundays, it’s in Prospect Park), then visit the nearby Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, go to the top of One World Trade for more amazing views, grab dinner and check out the scene on the Lower East Side or see a Broadway show.

The view of Manhattan from Brooklyn

Favourite museum?

The Whitney for art, the Natural History museum for everything else.

Where would you suggest going for dinner?

  • On a budget  Fiore’s (one of the best slices of NY pizza around)
  • Mid-range  Little Owl, Spotted Pig (foodie havens in the West Village)
  • Blow the budget  Bouley, Babbo
The Spotted Pig’s famous burger and shoestring fries

Where do you spend your Friday/ Saturday nights?

My favorite place to go out is around the Village / Lower East Side, where there a lot of great little bars and speakeasies like Little Branch, Pouring Ribbons, and Apotheke. It’s also fun to catch a comedy show at the Comedy Cellar or jazz at Small’s.

The Village
The Village at night

What is your top secret tip for what to see in the city?

Avoid tourist traps.  Instead of paying to see the Statue of Liberty, take the Staten Island Ferry (free!) instead, or check out Red Hook, Brooklyn, where you can also catch great views of Lady Liberty.  Instead of paying to go to the Top of the Rock or One World Trade (though it is pretty cool), check out a rooftop bar overlooking Central Park (the Viceroy, Empire Hotel, Knickerbocker Hotel) or the Wythe hotel in Brooklyn for great views of Manhattan. Tour buses can be great, but I’d recommend the 3-hour Circleline cruise around Manhattan.

Knickerbocker Hotel
Cocktails on the Knickerbocker Hotel roof terrace overlooking Times Square

What do you think is NYC’s best festival?

Summer Streets.  For three weekends in August, from 7am to 1 pm, Park Avenue shuts down entirely from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Central Park so that people can run, walk, bike, and play.

Where would you recommend going for a day trip?

Hiking at Breakneck Ridge – take Metro North up the Hudson to the town of Cold Spring (about 1.5 hours) for a beautiful hike.

New York
Always a pleasure New York

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