What’s Not to Love?
I traveled to New York City, New York, to attend the 2013 New York Times Travel Show, see some friends, and take some meetings for Jetset Extra. While I was there I had a few fun experiences I thought I would share with you and recommend for your next trip to NYC.
Stay at Distrikt Hotel. I waited until the last minute to book my hotel so I called my friend Kelley who lives in New York and asked her where she recommended I stay. She suggested Distrikt, a boutique hotel with a lot to offer. The rooms are pretty spacious by New York City standards, and the hotel staff is unbelievably friendly and helpful. They have a nice restaurant with breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a bar for cocktails. If you’ve never been to New York this hotel is ideal as it’s very close to Times Square and the theatre district and only two miles from the West Village.
Go to Roosevelt Island and take the tram for a great view. Most New Yorkers will say, “Where’s that?” when you ask them about Roosevelt Island, but it’s quite easy to find right in the middle of the East River between Manhattan and Queens. My friend Cari lives there and invited me over for a morning glass of bubbly and some much needed catching up. What a great place to live and see. You can walk the entire island in about 40 minutes, and there is only one street: Main Street. The history of the island begins in approximately 1921, and it was known as Welfare Island until 1973. You will find old prison buildings, an insane asylum turned apartment complex called the Octagon, a lighthouse, and a new park called the Four Freedoms Park. It’s a fun place to check out, and if you take the tram it’s only $2.25 instead of the $25 cab ride I took.
Have lunch at Eleven Madison Park. It’s pricey and long, but worth the time and money. My friend Leah of Leah Travels and I went there not really knowing what we were in for. We happened to be hungry and taking a break from the travel show when we pulled up a food application on our phones and found this restaurant. It had four dollar signs next to it, but we thought, what the heck let’s go. The doors opened promptly at noon, we were warmly greeted, and our coats were taken and checked for us. The maître d’ explained dining in their establishment took approximately three hours; if we didn’t have that sort of time, perhaps sitting in the bar would be best. Off to the bar we went.
Our lunch included the most succulent oysters on the half shell prepared with wood sorrel and mignonette, then cranberry snow with beets, goat cheese, and caraway. It was a very interesting flavor combination and an exciting preparation. Our entrees of delicate white fish and vegetables were unspeakably tender and cooked to perfection. The entire meal was prepared with the most gentle hand and care for detail. Every bite of my meal was perfectly done and so delicious. It was quite a treat. The menu changes constantly to match the season. You will not be disappointed.
Ride the subway. I know how silly this sounds, but though I’ve been to New York multiple times my laziness gets the best of me, and I end up spending a small fortune in cab fare. It’s an inexpensive, fast, and easy way to get around. It’s not as scary or intimidating as some may think. I did get one piece of advice: If a subway car is empty DO NOT GET IN IT. There is a reason it’s empty…
Take a pedicab down 5th Avenue. I didn’t do this on this trip, but I did it on my previous trip with my friend Heather. We spent the day in Central Park and ended up at the Conservatory Model Boathouse. We hailed a pedicab and rode down 5th Avenue during rush hour. It’s a great way to get a feel for the city and your surroundings and have some fun too. If you get a good pedicab driver, he will explain to you where you are and what you are seeing.
Take a walking tour. I recommend doing some research and finding exactly what you are looking for. We took two tours: one of Chelsea and the High Line and another of Central Park. This is a great way to get in some exercise and get to know the city you are visiting.