Fortunate enough to have been to New York 5 times! 3 in the spring and twice at Christmas. This ‘things to see and do’ concentrates on the Spring. I’ll write up the Winter one later.
We’ve always stayed at the Hotel Metro on West 35th. It’s pretty central. There’s a subway station on the corner and Macy’s across the road from that. One block up from the Empire State Building. Friendly staff, clean rooms, buffet breakfast, and a ‘drink as much as you want’ coffee machine. The best bit is the roof terrace – sit with a drink and stare up at the ESB!
Tourist ‘things to do’ in Manahattan are well documented, so this write up won’t dwell on them. It’s the less obvious things that make the difference. First off, use the subway. Yes, the subway. It’s easy to work out where you are and only has 2 directions – Uptown or Downtown – it’s safe enough and cheap.
Times Square. Have a meal in Bubba Gumps. The food is excellent and service second to none. Try to get a window table, as it is upstairs and you can watch the world go by.
Go to Bloomingdales and try stuff on. You don’t need to buy, but the staff will be all over you like a rash. Yes you’re a tourist, but are you a celeb, mega rich, or royalty? They don’t know, and have to assume you’re one of these, or all three!
Go to Saks on 5th avenue. It’s a toy shop, but you can run along the piano like Tom Hanks in Big. Make your own tune up. Same with ToysRus in Times Square. Walk in on street level and you’re eye to eye with the top of a big wheel that is based 3 floors down.
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s pedestrianised above the traffic with wooden decking. Although it was a mild spring day we only got half way due to the chill over the water. Wrap up well.
Have lunch in Little Italy. It’s hard to tell where Chinatown finishes and Little Italy starts. We ate lunch in La Viola on Mulberry Street. Think Goodfellas, Godfather etc. You’re in the movie. Back through Chinatown and marvel at the tat in the souvenir shops.
Grand Central Station has a shopping mall underneath it. Worth visiting if you have time.
Finally, although I could go on forever, go up the Empire State Building twice.
Once in the day and again at night. Pick clear weather and enjoy.
My NYC Christmas tale is coming up next.
For holiday and travel advice.