New York City is a massive melting pot of scents, tastes, and experiences. There are surprises around every corner. It is exciting, overwhelming, loud and wonderful. This massive metropolis can’t be done in a weekend, or even a week. I lived there for nine years and still never experienced everything it has to offer.
As a tourist, everyone hits the top hotspots- Times Square, the Empire State Building, 5th Avenue and Central Park. Maybe they catch a Broadway play or go to Macy’s. What they don’t realize, is this is just a tiny spark of electricity in the massive power grid that is New York City. There is no end to what they can see or do and so much of it contradicts the city’s boisterous and gritty reputation. There are quiet treelined blocks, quaint parks and cozy cafes, you just have to know where to find them.
As my desire grew to introduce the world to the hidden pockets of this amazing city, I realized that trying to squeeze everything into one article, choosing a limited number of attractions or restaurants for an entire metropolis, was nearly impossible. What I deduced was that this would have to be a series of articles, categorized by neighborhood.
Just because you don’t live in New York City, doesn’t mean that you can’t pass as a native. This series of articles will break down the best of New York by neighborhood, so you can get the true NYC experience.
New York City Survival Tips:
Modes Of Transportation: I cannot stress how important it is to explore New York City on foot. I know, I know, it’s exhausting, you get blisters and your muscles ache, but you cannot experience each neighborhood by cab or even by subway the way you can as a pedestrian. Walk, explore, don’t miss an inch of this intriguing urban expanse. Peer into windows and peek into shops. Observe the natives in their natural habitat! Smell the roasted chestnuts in winter and the bus exhaust, good and bad and listen to the chaos of beeping horns and chattering people. This is New York and each neighborhood has its own vibe and personality. You don’t want to miss a second.
Sensible, Yet Fashionable Shoes: It’s painful to be beautiful, that’s what my grandmother used to say. Of course, her feet resembled Barbie’s because she never wore flats in her entire life, even slippers. I am all for cute footwear, but there is no need for mutilation. Find a pair of shoes that will last through a day of walking. Flat boots are always a good option and I am a fan of flipflops with a bit of support. Make sure you have more than one pair, your feet with thank you for the change of footwear the next day. Stock a few bandaids in your bag to doctor up those blisters and you are good to go! After a few hours of walking your feet will be numb and you won’t even feel the pain anyway!
Lightweight Crossbody Bag: These are worth every penny. Make sure to find one with a thick, padded strap that won’t put a strain on your shoulder. Stash a water bottle, wallet and your phone and you will barely feel the weight.
A Cozy Travel Scarf For Cooler Days: Travel scarves solve a world of problems from shielding you from icy blasts of air conditioning to keeping you toasty warm in frigid temperatures while iceskating in Central Park. It will also fit perfectly in your crossover bag when the temperature rises and you don’t need it anymore.
Getting to New York City: New York City can be expensive, between the hotels and the food, not to mention the attractions. Don’t get me started on the shopping! Don’t go broke buying plane tickets, find the best flight deals here.