While it might seem kind of overwhelming to go spend a short amount of time in New York City because there’s just so much to do- there are a huge amount of places that your average New Yorker lives and plays every single day. Avoid the major tourist traps if you’d like to avoid a crowd; like the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Museum of Modern Art. Don’t get confused- those are great places to go and enjoy the history of New York, but save those kinds of excursions for your second or third time to the Big Apple. In the meantime look at these 5 far more enjoyable, more authentic places to spend your vacation time.
This 843 acre park is full of amazing views and a huge variety of art and cultural, and it’s all affordable and extremely enjoyable. You can rent a bike for two hours and bike across the whole park for about $20, and ride 6.1, 5.2, or 1.7miles and ride slowly across the hilly terrain, taking it all in and enjoying just about everything there is to see- model sailboats in the Conservatory Water, Alice and Wonderland in the sculpture (don’t fall in) or the Belvedere Castle atop the Vista Rock and Bow Bridge which is easily the most photographed place in New York City. This cast iron bridge is a single arc stretching 60 feet over the lake. You’ll likely hear guitars in the background- that’s at Imagine Mosaic in the Strawberry Fields- a homage to John Lennon. You can even get a bunch of quirky snacks, like lemon-ricotta pancakes.
Take a walk through the West Village
Unchanged since the 19th century, this quaint village is perfect for a stroll, but you’ll need a map or your smartphone, because it’s a little tricky to navigate the disorderly streets. Once you get there, you can visit the Jefferson Market Courthouse, which is a former women’s detention center, or one of the shops that line Bleecker Street and Commerce Street- one of them being extremely famous, the magnolia Bakery, serving up cupcakes to lines of people. Take the time to head just two blocks west to the Spotted Pig and grab yourself some cask-conditioned ale and kick back for a bit.
New York City is the birthplace of film- and the people of New York still follow their rich traditions at the Film Forum, the Mecca for anyone who loves cinematography. You can pick up smart programming that includes indie features with a provocative spin, or watch a documentary, even a foreign art film- the choice is yours, but you absolutely have to pick up some of the concession stand’s lemon-poppy cake.
Find the “Best” Pizza at Grimaldi’s
One thing every single New Yorker knows is where to get the best pizza. There are a huge variety of choices- Di Fara’s, John’s, Lombardi’s, we really can’t decide for you, but we’ve found that the absolute most delicious pizza comes from Grimaldi’s and you’ll get the best view of Manhattan and Brooklyn an amazing atmosphere to boot- their coal-fired pizza will stick in your memory and there’s no better place to sit and grab a bite, with a jukebox filled with Frank Sinatra- who had Grimaldi flown to him back in the day.
Jam Out at Bowery Ballroom
If you like music (and who doesn’t?) stop at the Bowery Ballroom. You’ll find all kinds of up and coming bands in this two-level venue, and it’s got the city’s best sound system and downstairs bar- and a great vibe. This ballroom is the crown jewel of these types of music venues, but there are more scattered all over the Big Apple, and you’re sure to find something you love.
There are a ton of things you can do- but you’ll never find anywhere as enjoyable as the ones mentioned above. If your time is limited in NYC, you’ve got to explore the venues above- dedicated to making your experience one of a kind. And don’t forget to jaywalk!Read More