So admittedly we’re a little biased toward New York City, because, well, this is the metropolitan area we call home … but even if we were not New Yorkers, we’d still think this city is the best! There is so much to see, do and eat here, that in all of our years in this area, we still have not done everything. (I am a native New Yorker and have called this place ‘home’ for a whopping 36 years! Sam has lived in various places in the country but spent a majority of his childhood here in NY and naturally couldn’t wait to come back)
So are you interested in coming to New York City yet? If so, read on to learn our recommendations of what we think are some of the best of what New York City has to offer.
Who would have thought a metropolis such as this could have some beautiful parks? New York City is home to many wondrous meccas of nature! Some of the more well-known parks here are Washington Square Park, Union Square Park, Bryant Park, The High Line and of course, Central Park, but these are only a handful of the parks found in the city. If you are looking to get away from the hustle & bustle of the streets, you will sure find tranquility in many of New York City’s parks.
Washington Square Park is our favorite park and near & dear to our hearts mostly because that is where Sam proposed to me! But this park is an amazing place to bring a blanket and a book and just relax on the green. There is also a fountain that kids like to play in in the summer. An Arc De Trimophe also sits within the park, which commemorates the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration for president. Washington Square Park also boasts a spectacular view of the Freedom Tower, which sits on the spot where the old World Trade Center towers were.
Union Square Park is another amazing park. This park is a great place to come year-round, as there is always something different going on, depending on season. Spring & Summer boast chess tables, miles of gorgeous greenery, live music and a farmers market! During Christmastime, the park transforms into a shopping wonderland with pop-up shops selling everything from handcrafted jewelry, to unique foods, Christmas ornaments, pet paraphernalia and so much more!
Another awesome park that we love is Bryant Park. This is a smaller but charming park with tables scattered about to people-watch and just take it all in. There are also events here like yoga, trivia and movies, and like Union Square Park, it is also has a Christmas market for shopping, as well as a skating rink! Also within the park is the delectable Bryant Park Grille (a little pricey, but well worth it. Your tastebuds will thank you).
The next park we’re going to tell you about is the incredible High Line Park. This is a ‘newer’ park as far as parks go, opening to the public in 2009. This is an elevated park on the west side of the city spanning 1.45 miles long.
Last but not least, is Central Park! This is the largest park in New York City and has been in existence for around 150 years. This park truly has everything – from row boats and gondolas for rent, a zoo, a castle, a restaurant/wedding venue, Summerstage, movies, ice skating, sports fields, sculptures, to Shakespeare-In-The-Park … whatever you’re looking for, it’s here! It’s so easy to get lost in the beauty that is Central Park and one can easily spend the whole day perusing the grounds. Hard to believe this slice of heaven exists inside of the largest metropolis in America!
If walking around all these parks has gotten you hungry, no sweat! New York City is home to a vast array of food choices. New York City even has specialized neighborhoods like Koreatown, Chinatown & Little Italy. If you’re a huge lover of food like we are, read on to learn about some of our favorite spots:
- Misoya (Ramen) 129 2nd Avenue
- The Kunjip (Korean) 32 West 32nd Street
- Nom Wah Tea Parlor (Dim Sum / Chinese) 13 Doyers Street
- Makana (Hawaiian) 161 West 106th Street
- Grimaldi’s (Italian) 1 Front Street Brooklyn
- Brick Lane Curry House (Indian) 79 2nd Ave
- Joe’s Shanghai (Chinese) 24 West 56th Street (Try the Soup Dumplings!)
- Papaya Dog (hot dogs) – various locations throughout the city
Some of the things that make New York City as iconic as it is, is its breathtaking landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Freedom Tower, Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station and the famous Times Square (where the ball drops from every New Years Eve!)
These are a must-see for every tourist and local alike and are part & parcel of what makes New York so special.
One of the best ways to see the Statue Of Liberty is via the Staten island Ferry, which we love! This ferry ride is 100% free and provides an awesome view of Lower Manhattan and the Statue and there’s a great restaurant on the Staten Island side where you can have food and drinks and gaze upon the skyline.
Fun And Unique Activities
New York City is not without a plethora of amazing things to do, ranging from broadway shows to yoga to public kickball leagues.
The best way to see a broadway show on the cheap is to wait on line at the TKTS booth. If you are flexible on what show and can see a show the same day, you can get tickets here for about half-price than what they charge at the box office! The only caveat here, other than aforementioned flexibility, is that typically TKTS tickets are not available for the ‘newer’ shows. Still, this is an amazing way to make sure you get the most bang for your buck!
Other fun activities that we love when visiting the city include:
- Staten Island Ferry
- Eating 🙂
- Farmers Markets
- Museums including MOMA, The Museum Of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, Museum Of Sex (yes, this exists) and many others!
- Baseball games
- Drinking on rooftops
- Laughing our asses off at a comedy club
- Shopping on 5th Avenue
- Coney Island, home of the original Nathan’s and the annual hotdog eating contest
- Bronx Zoo
- Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
- Various other fun activities in and around the city (if you need any suggestions, please leave us a message of what you’re looking for and we’d be happy to help!)
These are only a handful of the things to do here in New York City. We absolutely love living in the shadow of the ‘greatest city in the world’ and we hope you feel the same way about it that we do.
If there is something you love about New York City that we didn’t mention, please let us know! If you are planning to come here, please also hit us up if you need any recommendations. We love New York City and even in all our years of living here, we have still not conquered all that New York City offers.
Wishing you warm New York City welcomes from The Saifs! 🙂