Planning a trip to New York…
I have just returned from a wonderful trip to New York with my daughter aged 21. It dawned on me while planning the trip, how special it was going to be. A traveling companion defines an experience and although I had been to New York many times I’ve never been with my daughter.
Here are a few highlights from our wonderful trip.
A great place to stay
The Ameritania Hotel is reasonably priced, friendly and funky. Located in the theatre district on the corner of 54th and Broadway, it’s within easy walking distance of Central Park, Time Square and 5th Avenue. Plus there is a metro station across the road.
Buy a $30 metro ticket for a week and get unlimited use – a great and very affordable way to get around the city. The only downside is spending so much time underground it can be difficult to get your bearings so head to the ‘Top of the Rock’ or ‘Empire State Building’ to get the bigger picture.
Where to eat
After a lot of research we concluded many of the best restaurants are in the Soho and Greenwich Village areas. They are lovely neighbourhoods to walk round and take potluck but if you want to be more organised book one of our favs.
Otto Pizzreria http://www.ottopizzeria.com
Amelie le bar a vin http://ameliewinewbar.com
Greenwich Project http://www.grubstreet.com
(The Mercer) Kitchen http://www.themercerkitchen.com
I never really settle into a city until I have done a little shopping so for me it’s a good place to start. Get down to Soho and limber up. You’ll find everything you need there.
Five Must do’s
1. Biking in Central Park
At the southern end of the park you’ll find bikes for hire, about $20 for two hours. Remember to take ID, as they will hold this as security.
The bike tracks are good and there’re many things of interest to see including John Lennon’s memorial at Strawberry Fields and the Jackie Onassis pond.
We spent over two hours riding around the park ending our morning with a picnic from Wholefoods in Columbus Square (great salads).
2. Walking The High Line
Don’t leave New York without walking the High Line on Manhattan’s West Side. It’s New York’s newest park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets.
The dilapidated historic structure was under threat in the late 1990’s and a group of residents fought for its preservation. It is an amasing addition to the city and not to be missed. Allow a good couple of hours and end the walk at Chelsea Market and enjoy a great coffee or seafood meal.
3. The Brooklyn Bridge
Catch the metro to trendy Brooklyn and walk back along the bridge connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The bridge, spanning the East River is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, completed in 1883.
Great views include the Manhattan Bridge, Statue of Liberty at a distance and dozens of boats and helicopters.
4. Book of Mormon
This very non- PC musical, from the creators of South Park is hilarious and will make you laugh. Even if you are told the show is booked out there will be tickets somewhere online. You’ll pay a premium but it’s worth it The-Book-of-Mormon tickets
5. Ground Zero
I didn’t know what to expect at Ground Zero but I was deeply moved by the magnitude of the two memorials, built on the same footprints as the original Twin Towers. They celebrate the 2,977 lives lost.
Our guide Anthony, was in the Twin Tower precinct the morning of 9/11 so was able to give us a first hand account. There is so much to learn from the days, weeks and months following the tragedy and the rebuild.
Use 911 Ground Zero Tours as the guides are all New Yorkers with personal connections to the events of 9/11.
The tour lasted about 2 ½ hours and encompassed the whole Twin Tower precinct and surrounding area. A museum, next to the memorials will open in 2014.