New York – see the hippest city in the world in style
By anyone’s standard, New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world. Bright Lights and Big City grandeur exist in stark contrast to the charming pockets of quiet, romantic neighbourhoods, where the streets have no name yet every place sounds just so cool, and every corner has everything you need to play out your Sex and The City and Friends fantasies with verve and flair. Famously known as ‘the city that never sleeps’, you’ll find Times Square at midnight more vibrant and active than most other cities at noon.
From its countless tourist attractions that include 300 museums, the wide variety of entertainment on offer that boasts the world famous Broadway theatres, over 30,000 restaurants and a never-ending line of supercool clubs and bars, we defy any one to take a bite of the Big Apple, and not leave feeling hungry for more.
A city of mostly canyons made of sky-high towers and neon, New York has always been synonymous with first-rate dining, high-class fashion, cultural events, vibrant nightlife and the coolest people on earth. Its diversity shines as bright as the high-voltage hues of Times Square – and its busy streets are dusted with an urban mix of museums, restaurants, shopping districts and more than a generously irresistible amount of compelling chaos.
For hopeless romantics, New York also has an unmistakable romantic allure. Love is always in the air and bliss can be found practically anywhere. From carriage rides and rowboat rides in Central Park to sunset-watching and whispered sweet nothings perched above the city at the Empire State Building – very little comes close to making a romantic statement like New York. And that’s before we’ve considered the one thing that makes New York City by far the most fabulous place in the universe – shopping!
Statue of Liberty
One of the best-known US landmarks, the Statue of Liberty has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States. It is located on a small island in the harbour off the southern tip of Manhattan. You can take an excursion boat from Battery Park to see the big lady up close and visit the Immigration Museum on nearby Ellis Island.
The most frenetic part of New York City, this is a cacophony of flashing lights, horns, and crowds, like a scene straight out of the movies. If you like sensory overload, the chaotic mix of huge underwear billboards, flashing digital displays, on-location television broadcasts, and outré street performers will more than fulfil your life-in-the-fast-lane fantasies.
Empire State Building
New York City is one of the most recognisable skylines in the world. The World Trade Centre Towers are sadly missing, but the Empire State Building still dominates midtown. The many tall buildings in Manhattan paint an architectural history of the development of this great metropolis.
Spanning the East River, the bridge connects Manhattan island to the borough of Brooklyn. Strolling on the pedestrian walkway alongside cyclists and rollerbladers, is an essential New York experience. Traffic is beneath you, and the views along the East River and of Manhattan's Financial District are some of the best anywhere.
Museums and Galleries
Hundreds of museums and art galleries are scattered around Manhattan. They include the world famous Metropolitan Museum of Art located in ‘museum row’ along the eastern edge of Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History located on the west side of the park. There are also such diverse offerings as the Jewish Museum, the Fire Museum, the Asia Society Galleries, the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum and the International Centre for Photography.
The literal and spiritual centre of Manhattan, Central Park has 843 acres of meandering paths, tranquil lakes, ponds, and open meadows. For equestrians, softball and soccer players, strollers, ice- and roller skaters, rock climbers, bird-watchers, boaters, picnickers, and outdoor performers, it's an oasis of fresh air and greenery that lets them forget—at least for a little while—the hustle and congestion of the city.
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is the best sightseeing bargain in New York City. The one-hour round-trip ride to Staten Island and back takes you across New York harbour with a great view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The price is absolutely free for all pedestrians!
Now we’re talking! Several times a year, New York City declares a tax-free week. During that week, no sales tax is charged on items of clothing or shoes that sell for $500 or less.
The big department stores in New York City are reliable places to buy good quality, brand-named merchandise at fair prices. They usually hold end-of-season clearance sales with significant price reductions on seasonal items. There are countless must-shop stores, but we already know your first and second stop are going to be at Macy’s and Bloomingdales, don’t we?
New Yorkers seldom wait for the actual weekend to party—in fact, many prefer to do it during the week (Thursdays are particularly popular) when there's not a thicket of hormone-drenched singles prowling the floorboards. If word gets out that a hot band is playing in a bar on a Tuesday, or if a well-known DJ takes over a dance club on a Wednesday, you can be assured these places will be packed like it's a Saturday night.
The New York Times has listings of cabaret and jazz shows. You may also get good tips from an in-the-know hotel concierge.
The best way to explore New York is on foot. No matter what neighbourhood you're headed to, you'll get a better sense of it by wandering around; you can check out the architecture, pop into cool-looking shops and cafés, and observe the walk-and-talk of the locals. If you've got a long way to go and would rather be comfortable than thrifty, hail one of the ubiquitous yellow cabs that troll New York's streets around the clock. Almost every one of the drivers are from Bangladesh, so if you’re really missing a curry, you know who to ask…
Americans love their food, and New Yorkers are arguably leaders of the trend – only they know how to eat in style. As well as the countless chilli dog stalls, doughnut shops and the coolest delis in the world, you’ll find baroque new corporate venues, extravagant wine bars, and Pan-Asian food palaces big enough to make eateries in Birmingham look like pokey little holes. Organic food is big business in the city these days, fancy Shanghai banquets are all the rage among Chinese connoisseurs, and down on the Bowery, the hot new restaurants are doing what the fancy uptown joints do: serving an elaborate champagne brunch. Trust us, you won’t go hungry…
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