One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.
What makes New York a.k.a. the Capital of the World, a.k.a. the city that never sleeps, so seductive? Is it the iconic landmarks, the great dining or is it the invisible energy that makes everyone not only walk faster but with purpose. This is a city of movers and shakers, daydreamers, big thinkers and fast talkers. Manhattan’s 87sq kilometers, packs much into its shadowy canyons and has more hidden mysteries to discover than any other metropolis on earth.
Just walk anywhere on this island, and around every corner you’ll discover something mind-boggling or miraculous. Johnny Carson once described a ‘New York Minute’ as the interval between the streetlight turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn. How does a visitor enjoy and remember every New York minute?
Stay more than a week and live like a local: firstly rent a studio, apartment or townhouse through Airbnb, One Fine Stay or the countless other home sharing sites. Suddenly, you are a part of a neighborhood, making small talk with the guy at the local bodega, the owner of the laundry across the street and the girl at the pizza joint. Now you’re in the box seat to discover what makes this fabulous city tick. Yes, Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall it is a tourist mecca – but it is also a place where real people live their version of everyday.
If you need to, go to Times Square – just once. Buy a MetroCard and catch the subway if you want to go uptown, downtown or across town – or walk to sample the best the city has to offer. There are 54 Greenmarkets held across the 5 boroughs to sample the freshest produce straight from the farm; catch a game at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field or marvel at the local’s skills as they play a game of hoops. Sometimes you can get lucky and catch someone like Jerry Seinfeld or Chris Rock dropping in to try out a new set at the Comedy Cellar.
Find your local park and be fascinated by the passing parade. From the tiny Father Demo Square, to Bryant Park and the invigorating Highline, Manhattan has more than 1,700 parks, plazas, playgrounds and squares to just sit in and watch the squirrels, devour a slice or as the locals do in summer, sun-bake. Before you know it you’ll be jaywalking like a native and eating bagels with a ‘schmear’.
A great resource for first time visitors (and the 2nd, 3rd etc) is the official guide to the city – www.nycgo.com Essential information includes ‘how to’ NYC, obtain tickets to Jimmy Fallon or that hot Broadway musical as well as suggested itineraries on how to make the most of your stay. Download the recommended apps for the fastest ways around the city or to find the closest food truck.
CityPASS offers both convenience and savings to NYC visitors. A CityPASS gives you up to 50% off admission prices to NYC’s iconic landmarks and pass holders save time, skipping most ticket lines. So if you want to see the Met and MOMA, enjoy the incomparable views from the Empire State and Top of the Rock, enjoy a different perspective with a Circle Line cruise or get up and close with Lady Liberty, a CityPASS makes it so much easier. www.citypass.com
This city is not for the fainthearted – it challenges you. Take the plunge, do something more adventurous and you will be rewarded with a once in a lifetime experience,that you’ll keep coming back for again and again. Once you’ve taken a bite of the big apple, you want more. New York is a siren – and her distinctive siren call is both loud and irresistible.