NYC. And you’ve hit the ground running. You’re there for work. But don’t worry — you can still squeeze some grade A goodness into your busy schedule: even if you’ve got back-to-back meetings, plus lunches and dinners to schmooze at!
Whether it’s your first time in the Big Apple, or your fifth visit this year, the city that never sleeps is always full of surprises. You’ll no doubt find yourself in Manhattan, but every borough or neighborhood has its own characteristics and charm. Wherever you end up staying, rest assured that there will be something *amazing* right on your hotel doorstep.
Here are few bite-size chunks of New York we’d recommend if time is of the essence:
- Chrysler Building lobby – Think this iconic skyscraper looks great from the outside? Wait ‘til you step inside! Savor its astonishingly beautiful architecture and learn all about its rich, intriguing, and entertaining history. A great alternative to the Empire State Building — which is usually packed with tourists.
- Staten Island free ferry – Want the very best views of the Manhattan Skyline and the Statue of Liberty? How about for free? Then get yourself on the Staten Island ferry! This five-mile, 25-minute crossing is no tourist trap — it’s genuinely used by commuters. It just happens to be one of the world’s best boat trips too.
- New York Transit Museum Store – Want to take home some affordable-yet-tasteful keepsakes or gifts? Then head to the New York Transit Museum Store (there are two — one next to the Grand Central Station Manager’s office and another in Brooklyn).
- Chelsea Market – The beating heart of the West Village — for shopping, dining, and people watching. Well worth swinging by if you’re visiting Google (who have an office nearby) or arranging a lunch meeting at for, oh-you-know, a good few hours…
If you have time some more time
- Explore the delights of the Lower East Side – Take a stroll through Essex Street Market, Tompkins Square Park, and St Marks Place — apparently America’s coolest street.
- Wander into a hookah bar in Alphabet City. Babel and Holace are well regarded. And just to be clear, we said ‘hookah’. 😉
- Fan of Friends? Get an obligatory selfie in front of the apartment block where Ross, Rachel, Joey, etc ‘lived’ (it was actually filmed in LA…). On the corner of Bedford and Grove St in Greenwich Village.
- At a loose end on a Tuesday evening in the Financial District? Head to Ulysses on Pearl St. for trivia night.
It’s pretty hard to starve in New York City. No matter what your budget you’ll find something decent on every block, but there are a few ‘must-try-once’ staples we’d recommend:
- Grand Central Oyster Bar – An upmarket setting in an iconic location that’s perfect for special indulgences and/or client dinners.
- Burger Joint @ Le Parker Meridien – The plush Le Parker Meridien Hotel houses a secret, no-frills, cash-only burger joint! Take a peek behind the red curtain in the lobby…
- Russ & Daughters – This 100-year-old Lower East Side institution is considered *the* place for authentic New York bagels. Breakfast meeting anyone?
- Two Boots Pizza – A quirky pizzeria that’s now branched out across the city. Head to the original restaurant on Avenue A for sheer authenticity. And the pizza’s pretty good too.
- (Any) Sidewalk Hot Dog cart – No visit to New York is complete without sampling the city’s most famous street snack. Garnish with ketchup, mustard, and kosher dill pickle. Inhale. Yum.
Some final tips
- Only use Uber/Gett/Lyft! Avoid paying over the odds for trips around town. Ditch Yellow Cabs for a car-hailing app. You’ll have bags more room and will even get to chat to the driver. A great alternative… unless you really need a fresh fix of that famous NY ‘cabbietude’.
- Walk (like the traffic sign says). New York is a flat walkable city, so if you’re near the center — Times Square — everything’s within easy reach. Step outside and breathe it all in. But as in any big city, keep away from signs of trouble.
- Forget using the hotel gym. How about an early morning run across the High Line? Since opening seven years ago, this mile and a half mile long elevated garden, built on a disused train track, has become a monument to urban renewal. What better way to see the city wake up and get the blood pumping?