I felt like the luckiest girl in the World when I was handed over Taschen’s New York, an enormous pink book, on the morning of my 30th birthday. Opening it an ancient dream came true: on the first page there was a hand-written invitation to celebrate my birthday in New York City. And because I was blessed to spend 10 days in this unbelievable metropolis I would like to share the best things I would recommend anyone to try when visiting NYC.
1. Go to a Yankees Game
The biggest experience during our stay was seeing the Yankees play against the Boston Red Sox in The Bronx so it has to be No1 must-do on this list. Due to a last minute change in the agenda we purchased our tickets online one day before the game which was quick and easy. The stadium is approachable by public transport or taxi without any difficulties – indeed we chose to go by taxi, but most people take underground line No4 (East Side) or B and D trains (West Side) to 161st Street/Yankees Stadium. Despite the amount of people getting in is smooth and if you give yourself some time to explore the stadium inside there are plenty of places to eat or shop Yankees souvenirs. (Although lots of people only arrived 30-40 minutes after the game has started) The area is not somewhere you’d visit unless you go to a game though. I say that confidently after we took a wrong turn on the way to the underground and found ourselves on ran-down, dark streets where we were definitely the only tourists. TIP: follow the crowd to the underground.
2. Have a drink in a rooftop bar
One of the many tings I I loved about this city is that there are more rooftop places than anywhere else I’ve ever been. When the Sun is out the coolest thing you can do in NY is to find a rooftop bar and have an ice cold drink while hanging out with the locals. We chose the Monarch, a rooftop bar and lounge hundreds of feet above West 35th Street in Herald Square and just a short 20 minute walk from Time Square. Located on the 18th floor penthouse, the Monarch offers a stunning view of the Empire State Building and Midtown Manhattan, besides serving delicious bites and one of a kind cocktails. After a couple of drinks with a friend who lives in the city we walked to Time Square for a short look around then had dinner in Hard Rock Cafe.
3. Try the cheesecake in The Plaza
Right, so you might say this one is too posh, but really it is not. After a nice walk in Central Park, maybe after that wonderful hot dog you buy in one of the food vans in the park, you have a great opportunity to check out one of NY’s most iconic buildings and most expensive hotels. The Plaza is something you definitely have to see not only to remember Home Alone, but to feel a bit of luxury. In the bar downstairs go for a glass of prosecco and ORDER THE CHEESECAKE. When in NY you have to have at least one slice of cheesecake anyway so why wouldn’t you do it in the Plaza. It is the softest, creamiest, most delicious and wonderful cheesecake I’ve ever tasted. It will be the best $20 you send in New York. In the area you have 5th Avenue which gives you lots to do and see from checking out the Tiffany’s flag ship store to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts or just hang around the Upper East Side to get a look and feel for the midtown wealth, window-shopping or architecture.
4. Take a ferry from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side
If you stay in Manhattan (we spent 5 days in the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca which I very highly recommend) you have everything in walking distance. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge by foot was so much fun and seeing Brooklyn was a very different experience to staying in Manhattan. Everything is so green and a bit more down to Earth. An easy and fun way to get back to the other side is taking a ferry – right up to the Upper East Side.
5. Drive to the Hamptons
Montaukis as far east as you can go without falling into the sea in Long Island, New York. It’s a narrow strip filled with ponds and surrounded by glorious waves of the Atlantic ocean. This is where New Yorkers come to pretend they’re Hawaiians: they are surfing and smoking pot and living the materialistic version of a hippie lifestyle. They’re proud in Montauk. And what’s more, they’re cooler than you are. Coming to Montauk was the absolute highlight of our 10 day New York trip – we wanted to leave the big smoke and feel that American summer feeling with the freedom of the ocean breeze and those endless summer nights of happiness. You can take the train, a bus, a private bus or hire a car to go to the Hamptons – we chose to hire a car which was a smooth process, however it is one big crazy experience to drive out of NY, the one I will tell my children’s children about. Depending on where you go it takes 2-3 hours to arrive at your destination. Route 27 is the one and only that leads to the east end of Long Island so in high season it is an absolute nightmare to drive, they say. Make sure you leave plenty of time for your journey or leave as early or as late as you can. New York will make you feel like a movie star, make you feel unique and lucky to be part of its celebration of life. New York is one of kind and the one love affair you will never ever forget.
New York will make you feel like a movie star, make you feel unique and lucky to be part of its celebration of life. New York is one of kind and the one love affair you will never ever forget.