David Thompson, Manager – Sales & Client Experience at The Travel Authority Corporate in Sydney knows the Big Apple inside and out.
New York City has always been his favourite city, and he had the very great fortune to live there for two years, not so long ago. He visited again earlier this year.
His biggest tip for visitors—particularly first-timers?
“Divide and conquer,” says David.
“Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs are ENORMOUS, so you need to have a plan. On my recent trip, I chose to stay in three separate hotels so I could explore the areas around the hotels without spending half of my time in cab, Ubers and the Subway,” advises David.
Here’s how his most recent trip played out.
LOWER EAST SIDE
I stayed at the fab Hotel on Rivington, located right in the middle of my favourite area in New York. This hotel features floor to ceiling windows that give breathtaking views of the area.
The East Village, Soho, West Village and Tribeca are all walking distance. Some of the best food and bars in the city can be found here. Try Clinton St Baking Co. for all-day brunch, Sel Rrose for oysters and Champagne, or Death & Co. for award-winning cocktails.
A must-do is 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Located right on the spot that World Trade Centre building once stood, it is deeply moving and fascinating. Pre-book as the lines can be enormous.
Brooklyn is the new Manhattan. There are loads of new restaurants, bars and boutiques, with more opening every day.
I stayed at the Tillary Hotel which is located within an easy walk of Brooklyn downtown with its amazing factory outlets, and the Brooklyn Centre for concerts and basketball.
The impressive Brooklyn Museum is a must-do, too—the building alone is worth the walk. The Tillary hotel is also a short walk to Dumbo (Down under the Manhattan Bridge), which is a refurbished and hugely popular area that runs from the Manhattan bridge to the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Be sure to take a ferry (every 10 mins) from Brooklyn Bridge Pier to Williamsburg.
Williamsburg is THE place to go in New York. Full of on-trend fashion stores, very cool bars and restaurants and fantastic people watching. Go to the William Vale hotel rooftop for some of the best views of New York you have ever seen. Head to Brooklyn Bowls for food, drinks, live acts and even a game of bowls—very Williamsburg.
MIDTOWN MANHATTAN / TIMES SQUARE
Try to avoid the chaos of staying right in the middle Times Square. Look to stay a few blocks away, in any direction, and things calm right down.
I stayed at the fabulous Intercontinental Barclay—a very short walk from Rockefeller Plaza, Grand Central Station and Times Square. This 1926 grand dame has been completely refurbished with modern twists and all the mod cons and exceptional service you would expect from a 5-star New York hotel.
From here check out MoMA for one of the best collections of Modern Art in the world. Then head up to the ‘Top of the Rock’ which, as the name suggests, is at the top of Rockefeller Plaza.
Jump in a cab to WholeFoods at Columbus Circle grab some picnic supplies and head across the street to Central Park—the huge green space in the middle of Manhattan. Find somewhere nice to sit and watch the world go by.
Walk across to the Metropolitan Museum (The Met)—the world-famous Museum that holds countless priceless works of art and artefacts from all over the globe. My favourite spot in the whole of New York City is the rooftop on top of the museum.
This incredible space has jaw-dropping views across Central Park, and on to the ever-growing Manhattan skyline and beyond. You can buy a drink and sit and soak up the sun or check out the artworks that change regularly on the rooftop.
We think David has the Big Apple licked.
Are you ready to divide and conquer on your next visit?
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