Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Don't Be A Typical New York Tourist: Part 1

Coming to New York can be quite overwhelming if you have never been before.  There are countless things to do, restaurants to try, things to see, where do you start?

When my parents were here last week, we were laughing at the fact that we stayed in Midtown and hung out around Time Square during our first few visits to the City.  Now, we don't get anywhere near Midtown, unless it's Monday through Friday.

So where do you start if you're planning a trip to New York?  Here are a few of my tips if you're coming here for the first time (additional tips to come in a later post):

**1) Be a Tourist: You should still see all typical tourist spots when visiting the City if time allows: Central Park, Time Square, Union Square, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, the High-Line etc.  If I had to pick a couple of these, I'd say see Central Park and Time Square for sure (especially if it's your first time)!  Time Square is cooler at night.

But if you want to make your tourist experience even more unique, maybe try a picnic in Central Park, drinks on the roof of The Met (great view!) or even the wine bar on the High-Line.

(The view from the Belvedere Castle in Central Park)

**2) No Chains: I have never understood people that come here (a city of endless great restaurants) and then decide to eat at TGI Friday's or the Olive Garden (the bigger question is why would you eat at these two restaurants at all, but that's another problem).

My suggestions in order to get the "New York experience" without being bombarded by the typical tourists: Balthazar, Commerce, Little Owl (this is in front of the Friends building, in case you thought it looked familiar) or even something as fun as Beauty and Essex.  All in fun, but very different, neighborhoods.

(Balthazar in Soho)
**3) Walk it Out: Be prepared to walk...a lot more than normal if you have a car.  I get it, it's exhausting, but that's part of the fun.  You can see so many cool areas on foot.  Now, you can even rent Citi Bikes to tour the City.

When my parents were here, we decided to walk the 1.1 miles over the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Once again, there was of course wine at the end of our walk.

Basically the theme here is to eat and drink your way through the City! Duh!  This is not the place you want to visit on some weird diet.

(A shot walking across the Brooklyn Bridge last weekend)

So, what do you think?  Do you feel better equipped to make some decisions about coming to the City that Never Sleeps?  I hope so.

Stay tuned for additional tips next week!

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