New York, USA

WHY I LOVE

NEW YORK
  1. Walking around Chinatown and feeling super weird about how it’s just like China.
  2. The view from the George Washington Bridge.
  3. Improv Comedy clubs everywhere, especially the UCB East Village and Magic Theatre.

48HRS IN NEW YORK

SEE, EAT & DO

Head to the Port Authority Bus terminal to visit an amazing place one hour north of NYC, called StormKing. This is a huge parkland area with modern art and installations spread around a beautiful landscape, with world famous artists work shown. Truly magical.

Fat Cat is an awesomely unique NYC institution. Don’t let the nondescript storefront on Christopher Street fool you. Go down the stairs, walk down the hallway and find yourself entering a gaming wonderland, with pool tables, ping pong, shuffleboard, chess/checkers, foosball, scrabble and more. It’s also a bar with a great beer selection, and a live music venue with an impressive lineup of jazz / R&B acts performing every night. And you can’t beat the $3 cover charge.

Come back in the late evening and visit Juvenex Spa. Open 24hrs with an incredible sauna. Kind of surreal to go in there at 3am on a weekend.

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge – this is a spectacular view, and a lot of fun. Cross over during the day and have lunch in Brooklyn, check out the area and relax by the water, and then walk back to the great night time view of the city.

Take the Staten Island ferry downtown Manhattan. It’s a free 50-minute round trip, which provides breathtaking views of Wall Street skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty. Everyone raves about the Museum of Modern Art, but the little known outpost in Queens is more surreal, try PS1, the contemporary art branch of Moma in Long Island City in Queens

I’d recommend the Upright Citizens Brigade on Sunday nights. It’s free, although they’ll ask for donations on your way out the door. Famous faces show up from the Daily Show, SNL, The Colbert Report, and Letterman, it’s improv at it’s best.

 

Then grab a cocktail in the best cocktail bar in the city – Raines Law Room in an amazing old house’s basement near their original kitchen.

TOP 3 BEST

SPOTS TO EAT

A gorgeous little local hangout in Brooklyn – Lulu and Po, the best burger I’ve ever eaten and a great cosy vibe.

A taste of the unique – Freemans, a little place down a dark alley, makes me feel like the best of London and New York in one.

A casual, cash only, authentic hidden gem in the West Village – Malatesta Trattoria.

ESSENTIALS

Most museums are pay what you want to, not the price marked. Cabs are often $10 or less for short trips, if there are 2 or 3 of you it is often the same price as the subway. Expensive hotel bars are amazing, and if you spend one hour per drink, provide a better way to life than to be downing 3 times more alcohol in unremarkable places.

You have to see New York from above, either from the Top of the Rock, from the Empire State Building, from the World Trade Center when it opens or perhaps even a helicopter tour. Whatever it takes, you simply have to see the city from the air, it’s how the city makes sense and it presents a new perspective on it all.

The subway is 24 hours and super fast so is the best option, but don’t be mean about cabs. Uber / Lyft are cheap apps, but if surge or prime time kicks in, it can be killer expensive.

Don’t be an idiot, but don’t worry any more than you would in any other places. New York has a very gritty feeling but is more safe than it appears.

Tourists are part of the NYC charm, Times Square is made by them, just embrace tourists. I think most people will know what is a good and a bad idea –  Statue of liberty is less fun than people think.

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