Sailing to the Statue of Liberty
If you have time to do only one thing on your visit to New York, this
is what it should be. No monument so embodies the nations, and the
worlds, notion of political freedom and economic potential more than
Lady Liberty. As silly as this may sound, the view never loses its power
- and neither do the skyline views of Manhattan, which are breathtaking
from this perspective. The ferry that takes you out to Liberty Island
also stops at the historic federal immigration station on Ellis Island,
gateway to America for nearly half of the nations forefathers. The
museums exhibits illustrate, with moving simplicity, what coming to the
promised land was all about. If you want the view but prefer to skip
the tourist crowds, consider catching the free Staten Island ferry, a
city icon unto itself, instead.
Visiting the Museums
Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the
Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the
Guggenheim - museum hopping just doesnt get any better than this.
number of masterworks housed in this city is mind-boggling. But dont
just stick to the biggies; New York boasts a wealth of smaller,
lower-profile museums that speak to specific interests - from folk art
to photography to financial history - and house some phenomenal
Strolling the Neighborhoods
of the greatest things about New York is the distinct character of each
of its neighborhoods. Rather than trying to quick-scan them all, I
highly recommend picking one and really getting to know it. Wend your
way through the historic streets of Greenwich Village, saunter the
cast-iron canyons of SoHo, or explore the lovely, trendy Flatiron
District. All you really need is a map and a sense of adventure. If you
prefer a little structure, consider taking one of the many excellent
walking tours that are available - theres no better way to get to know a
neighborhood than with an expert at the helm.
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
marvel of civic engineering when it first connected Brooklyn to
Manhattan in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is still able to inspire awe even
in jaded New Yorkers. I never tire of admiring its Gothic-inspired
stone pylons and intricate steel-cable webs. Get an up-close look, and
some marvelous views of Manhattan, by taking the easy stroll from end to
end. Start at the Brooklyn end for best effect, and consider preceding
your walk with a stroll through historic Brooklyn Heights for a leafy,
Being on Top of the World
to the top. Straight to the top - higher than youve ever been before.
New York is made to be seen from above, in the full light of day or in
the full glitter of night - its your choice. Better yet, get both
perspectives. If youd rather avoid the tourist crowds, book a table at
Windows on the World or enjoy a cocktail at the Greatest Bar on Earth,
which boast the same incredible views. And dont forget about the Empire
State Building - not quite as high up, but doubly romantic.
Star Gazing at Grand Central Terminal. Always a beaux arts gem, this
majestic 1913 railroad station has gotten a remarkable facelift that has
made it a must-see. Every surface glitters with renewed optimism - but
none more than the masterful ceiling, once again brilliant with 24-karat
gold zodiac constellations against a gorgeous blue-green sky. Walk in,
throw your head back, and watch the stars gleam. For a longer view,
consider dining at Michael Jordans - The Steak House, the
mezzanine-level restaurant that opens onto the stellar view.
Ogling the Citys Art Deco Marvels
embodies the citys historic sense of optimism more than its streamline
masterpieces. And nowhere is the art deco style more passionately
realized than at Rockefeller Center, the business-and-entertainment
center at the heart of midtown. The most romantic of the citys
skyscrapers, the chrome-topped Chrysler Building, is another art deco
gem; look for the gargoyles, looking suspiciously like streamline-Gothic
hood ornaments, jutting out from the upper floors. And when you visit
the marvelous Empire State Building, dont miss the streamline mural in
the lobby in your rush to get to the top.
Wandering Central Park
beautiful accident of civic planning makes the otherwise uninterrupted
urban jungle tolerable for workaday New Yorkers. Without this great
green park, I couldnt imagine life in the city. Be sure to seek out
Strawberry Fields, the living memorial to John Lennon, which exhorts us
all to imagine. Book a table at Park View at the Boathouse for the most
magical alfresco dining in the city.
Watching Your Favorite Talk Show Being Taped
you have the forethought (to send away months in advance) or the
patience (to wait in the standby line), you can watch Dave, Conan,
Rosie, Jon Stewart, the ladies of The View, or even Regis and Kathie Lee
work their TV magic. If sketch comedy or sitcoms are more your speed,
think Spin City, Cosby, or--the holy grail of TV audience
wannabes--Saturday Night Live.
York is the world capital of great eating. This city boasts some of the
finest fine dining in the entire world. Consider splurging on a meal at
Chanterelle, Le Cirque, Gramercy Tavern, Nobu, or one of the citys
other top-flight restaurants, a surprising number of which are capable
of creating lifelong culinary memories. But the true beauty of New
Yorks restaurant scene is that you dont have to spend a fortune to eat
well. Youll find cheap but dazzling Chinese in Chinatown, pastrami to
die for at any number of Jewish delis, pasta that even your Italian
grandmother could love . . . the list goes on and on.
Shopping til You Drop
no more glorious shoppers paradise in the country - maybe even the
world - than New York City. You want it? New Yorks got it.
Watching the Curtain Rise on a Play
nothing like the immediacy and excitement of a stage production in
action. Movie and TV stars know it, which is why more and more are
strutting their stuff on the New York stages. Make it a priority to
catch a live theater production while youre in town. If musicals are
your thing, stick to the Great White Way; if you prefer cutting-edge
drama, try Off Broadway.
Catching a Ball Game
Theres no better place to experience the
trademark "Noo Yawk" attitude than in the grandstand. New York fans have
a love/hate relationship with their sports teams - theyre saints when
they win, bums when they lose. Theres never a dull moment: Everybody
has an opinion, and its all part of the show. Check out the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, the Mets at Shea, and, if you can score tickets, the Knicks or the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Bar Hopping Nightclubbing
doesnt matter whether youre the Stoli martini or the draft beer type,
whether cabaret or stand-up comedy or electronica is your thing: New
York has the after-dark hangout for you. They dont call this "The City
That Never Sleeps" for nothing.
Celebrating the Holidays in the City
As millions of my neighbors
head out of town to the shores and the mountains, I love to stay
behind. On July 4, a peaceful hush comes over the city - until the
fireworks explode overhead, lighting up the night sky with patriotic
flair. Nobody does Labor Day like the "ladies" of Wigstock. On
Halloween, more than the usual ghouls walk among us in Greenwich
Village. The huge hot-air balloons of the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade
bring out the kid in all of us. No place is more festive than
Rockefeller Center at Christmastime. And on Chinese New Year, a bright
dragon promises great fortune ahead.