5 things to do in New York

New York. Even if you haven’t been, you know it.

This is the street I stayed on in Brooklyn

Manhattan has a kind of mythology attached to it; part Gotham city, part island of artists and thinkers. Visiting is as much about joining the dots from scenes in TV and movies as it is about getting a grip on what New York really is.

Separating the myth – created from the thousands of stories, the star power of its famous residents and the countless ‘only in New York’ trends that begin and spread like migrating geese – from the reality of what is really going on is almost impossible.

Everyone who lives there is under it’s spell.

During my visit, I too was spellbound, unsure of which thoughts were mine and what belonged to the place.

Here’s what I loved about NY:

1. Central Park. Not as full of dead bodies as the movies would have you believe. It’s lovely. From The Ramble, which is a nature walk that is popular with bird watchers, to the lakes where people play with remote control boats and hire row boats, the park is alive with joggers, cyclists, walkers and flocks of nannies pushing strollers. And dogs. New Yorkers seem to have a lot of dogs which naturally makes me love them a little bit more.

2. The Metropolitan MuseumImagine that America acquired (aka stole) all the best stuff from all over the world and conveniently housed it in one museum. Voila! Entire French drawing rooms have been picked up and plonked in this building. Hellenic antiquities. A whole battalion of noseless Roman statues. Great artworks that belong in Year 12 art text books. How America came to have all this stuff is questionable but who the hell cares? The Met is phenomenal and you don’t actually have to pay $25 to get in (I paid $5). They don’t even make you feel bad for being a cheapskate. Oh, and there’s a rooftop bar where you can sun yourself and drink tequila when it all gets too much.

3. The High Line. I do love me a garden and this is one of the cleverest uses of public space I have ever seen. The High Line is an old elevated railway line that starts on the lower west side and run for a mile north. In 1999, it was transformed into a walking path and landscaped garden with benches, outdoor food stalls, water features and even some municipal sun lounges. It’s free. All you have to do is find the end of it which is down on Gansevoort St, climb two flights of stairs and you’re away.

4.  Eataly. Yes, it’s a shop but yikes, what a shop! It’s the greatest food emporium I’ve ever seen. From people hand shaping oriecchette in the pasta section to the entire room devoted to Nutella crepes, Eataly is purported to be the only place in NY you can get a decent coffee. I would argue that you could just move in there and hope that no one notices you working your way around the pizza, salumi, seafood, cheese and fresh produce sections instead of say, paying for accommodation.

5. The juice stalls. There are street food vendors on just about every street corner. From hotdogs, to pretzels, to icecream, NY has an abundance of cheap food options. My favourite was the juice and smoothie stalls. For about USD$5, you can get any combination of vegetable and fruit juice or a variety of smoothies which means no matter how much pizza you eat, you ingested some nutrients at some point during your day.

What do you love about NY? Did you feel like you were on a movie set the whole time?


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