Metropolis Now: Visiting New York City
With hundreds of years of history and always reaching for the future, folks traveling here can choose from any of thousands of experiences ranging from the down-to-earth to the grandiose.
First order of business: let your feet lead you. The Big Apple is a place best explored as a pedestrian. Once long distances are covered by subway, bus or car, be sure to leave room for lots of walking. You can choose from charming neighborhoods like the West Village to the glitz and glam of Times Square. Surprises lurk around every corner the more you travel. The hidden trinket shop here, the unexpected jazz club there. Take waterfront views of the Statue of Liberty in at the Battery or venture into Flushing’s Chinatown for eastern delights. Stomp around Brooklyn’s hip Williamsburg area in search of the perfect craft brew. Or maybe take a train up to the Bronx for a zoo visit or baseball game.
For those seeking more targeted fun, where to begin? Broadway shows grace the Great White Way every day of the week. Music can range from Beethoven at Lincoln Center to indie rockers in a Nolita nightclub. You can go gallery-hopping in SoHo or spend a full day at one of the many major art museums in town — some boasting the best collections in the world. Guided tours can take you everywhere from historical sights hidden in plain sight to jaunts through Central Park and all of its wonders both natural and artistic (everybody from Shakespeare to Alice in Wonderland has a place here!). Check your calendar to see if big parades are making their way down Fifth Avenue while you’re here, or perhaps an outdoor concert over at the Prospect Park bandshell.
All that discovery can make a person hungry. In New York, you can eat a totally different type of meal with each outing. Whether you’re looking for that perfect slice of hometown pizza or an upscale multicourse meal at a French brasserie, you’ll find it here. Even the street food — think the stalwart hot dog vendor or Chinese pork bun cart — will blow you away. Once you’ve had your fill, the sky is the limit when it comes to shopping. Luxury brands line major streets and even neighborhood lanes. Farmers’ markets sport their fresh produce and craft goods. Mom-and-pop curiosity shops could offer up everything from designer soaps to the latest Japanese toys.
In short, no matter what you do in New York, it’s all about access to culture. This is the epitome of America’s melting pot. It’s no exaggeration to say there is something for everyone here. Whatever you’re looking for — rare Indian spices, comedy improv nights, ice skating under skyscrapers — it’s here. And it’s wonderful.