This city has long been recognised as a magical place, filled with hope, wonder, creativity and inspiration. It has become the ultimate symbol of survival, because if you can thrive in the Big Apple, then you can survive anywhere.
I am in awe of a place that has such a distinctive identity, made up of the perfect blend of people and architecture, its spirit is immediate and addictive. It is somewhere that feels like an adventure to a new land whilst also feeling so much like home. New York has the ability to become your best friend and confidant, as well as the enemy that will chew you up and thrust you into the cold. It’s this contrast that gives the city it’s unmistakable draw for anyone with a sense of adventure.
There are so many ways to spend 24hrs in this magnificent place, but after a recent trip, there are a few places that you shouldn’t miss.
Starting with an early morning walk or run along the High Line is the perfect way to start any day. This 1.45 mile (2.33km) stretch of park has been created on an old railway line. It has been transformed into a public space with a series of viewing spaces, annexes and water fountains elevated above the Manhattan streets. Starting in the Meat Packing district (Little West 12th & Washington) and working its way up to Midtown (W 30th & 10th), it’s the perfect place for an early morning stroll with a good cup of Joe.
After a morning of fresh air, head over to the One World Trade Centre, where you can go up to the observatory and see a truly breath-taking view of the city. It’s a chance to see the vast landscape and really appreciate what an incredible place NY is. It’s also fun to see all the various landmarks laid out before you, giving you the opportunity to take some great photos for Instagram. This site is also home to the World Trade Memorial and the newly built World Trade Shopping Centre. This building is a thing of architectural beauty, the interior is vast and modern with an incredible sense of light and air, its as if the entire site has been cleansed of its history.
New York is a city full of quirks and this is most definitely one of them. A museum dedicated to showing the history, beauty, ugliness, creativity and down right freaky side of sex.
It is made up of a series of exhibitions, some to educate and some to titilate, as you learn about the beginnings of the pornography industry and the first sex idols of the 18th century. The museum also includes an interactive exhibition that allows you too explore the science behind your sexual urges. Even if you don’t explore the museum, the gift shop is worth a visit, I’m sure you will find something to add to your wish list.
When speaking to many of my New Yorker friends, I was surprised to find out how many of them haven’t visited this incredible landmark. The New York Public Library is situated on 5th & 42nd in the heart of midtown, just blocks away from Grand Central Station, The Chrysler building and Saks 5th Avenue. This majestic building stands strong amongst the high rise glass towers and modern retail stores, with the Lions Patience and Fortitude sitting guard in front it can only be described as a beacon of knowledge.
Almost the entire library is open to the public, giving you the opportunity to really explore the interior. My suggestion is you should go to the education centre first in the back left corner of Astor Hall. Here you can watch a free 20minute film describing a brief history of the library as well as its layout and what can be found in each section. As geeky as it sounds, it means you can really appreciate what you are seeing. My other piece of advice is no matter where you go, look up, the ceilings are magnificent and worth a tour just to see them.
If you are looking for something a little kinder to your waste line and cholesterol when compared with the average American lunch, then you have to go to by CHLOE in the West Village. This small but cute restaurant/diner/cafe serves only vegan and gluten free burgers, so you can have all the goodies without the guilt. Everything on the menu is amazing but I have to say it’s their house made beetroot ketchup that really seals the deal, this stuff is incredible! So tasty!
If you are in need of a great restaurant for dinner, then it has to be Virginia’s, set up by Reed Adelson and Matt Conroy it has only been open since the summer and already its hard to get a table. A small intimate place offering farm to table food with a Parisian bistro feel and the most amazing music playlist. Yes that’s right, one of the things that makes this place stand out is the music, whilst you tuck into your Atlantic Pollock with Carolina Shrimp, Mussels, Sunchokes and Fennel, you could also be listening to Arrested Development, Brandy or even Cool and the Gang.
Virgina’s also holds a weekly event, every Tuesday where they team up with another restaurant in the city and the chefs collaborate as a way to promote both eateries. I had the luck of getting to go to a Burger Night in collaboration with Harlem Shake, the food was awesome and Virginia’s cocktails were the perfect accompaniment.
Musical Theatre is one of my greatest passions, and Broadway is home to some of the best shows in the world. Even if you are not a big fan of the theatre, I think seeing a show in New York is a must. There are many different ways to buy tickets, I use the Broadway Box app, which is filled with tons of discounts every day for all the best musicals. I have to recommend Wicked, The Colour Purple and Waitress, no matter what you go and see, you won’t be disappointed.
After The Show
New York is the city that never sleeps and it has no shortage of places to go after dark. I haven’t had the chance to explore many places, but I can suggest a few that will guarantee a great night out.
This venue is a restaurant serving food till late, however in the evening it transforms into a really nice bar with great cocktails as well as a low key nightclub with live Dj. It’s a great place to go if you want to still be able talk to the people around you whilst having a dance. You also don’t have to worry about any strict dress codes, so it’s the perfect place to go for an impromptu night out after a day in the city.
There are several Karaoke bars around New York and they are great fun, although this isn’t your average karaoke experience, where you have to sit through a group of drunken strangers whilst you wait to belt out your favourite shower song. Instead you hire out your own individual room, for an average of 5/6 people, (I was in a room big enough for a group of 20), now you have your very own karaoke bar with all your friends, you can bring your own drinks, providing you bring your own cups. There is a huge 50” screen, full sound system, multiple microphones and 5 huge encyclopaedias filled with every song ever written (i’m sure). Here you and your friends can blast out all your top picks with no fear or embarrassment, although you may want to enforce a social media embargo, after all, what happens at karaoke stays at karaoke.
There is my advice on the best way to spend 24hrs in one of the worlds greatest cities. This is by no means a definitive guide and there were so many other incredible places that haven’t been mentioned. If you have any other suggestions then please feel free to add them in the comments.