Alden's New York City Destination Guide
My dear friend, Alden, is going to New York this month and has asked me to put together some suggestions on things to do, places to eat, and sights to see. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige! I was actually super tempted to go all out with an elaborate DIY itinerary type of thing, but I’ll save that for another time because I know myself and I know that would’ve had me all lost in the sauce. This is a simpler, more streamlined version of what that would be. Read on for my favorite to-do’s.
The Top 10 Things To Do In New York City (According To Me)
Go gallivanting in Grand Central — Something wonderful to do after dinner (or if you’ve gotten into the city after dark) is to go for late night small bites and craft cocktails at this hidden bar with a history located right inside Grand Central Terminal! It’s called The Campbell and it’s not really a secret anymore, but it is a timelessly lavish place to enjoy a drink or two. Afterwards is when you want to step out and gallivant around the terminal which should be closing down if you’ve gone late enough. Wandering through the shiny marble corridors with hardly a trace of anybody in sight is something worth experiencing.
Have a Ramen Burger on Roosevelt Island — Order the infamous Ramen Burger from Ramen Shack to go, and take a short subway ride via the F train to Roosevelt Island where you can devour your food with an equally pleasing view of Manhattan. Take a nice leisurely stroll along the waterfront, then take the Roosevelt Island Tram into Manhattan with your MetroCard.
Go for a picnic in Central Park — If ramen burgers aren’t your thing you could opt for getting fresh and fancy snacks at Zabar’s on the Upper West Side for a little picnic in Central Park. Afterwards explore the park and see famous sights like Bethesda Fountain which is mid-park at 72nd Street, the Alice in Wonderland Statue on E 74th St & 5th Ave, and Belvedere Castle on 79th St.
Pizza, people watching, and views on The High Line — Take a slice of pizza from Artichoke Basille’s across the street and eat it atop The High Line (an old above ground railroad that has since been converted into an above ground city park). The High Line’s length is 1 and 3/4 of a mile which is perfect for a nice sightseeing stroll.
New York Pizza Showdown: John’s vs. Joe’s — There’s so many good pizza places in New York that it’s hard not to mention the triangular slice of goodness twice on this list. You can ask a hundred different people for their recommendation on the best pizza in New York and you’re bound to get plenty of different answers, but chances are you’ll get recommended to John’s or Joe’s a couple times. Make a day out of this pizza showdown and choose one place for lunch and one for dinner so you can compare the two!
Visit Chelsea Piers — Take a flying trapeze lesson, or drive a bucket of balls into the distance at the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers. The stalls are heated in the colder months and there’s even an ice skating rink for you to enjoy, but I would recommend going skating at Rockefeller Center rather than Chelsea Piers.
Rooftop drinks with an Empire State view — Grab some cocktails with some seriously gorgeous views of the Empire State Building at 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar. Heaters and cushy robes are available during the colder months and the views are almost unrivaled.
Spend a day in Brooklyn — Explore Brooklyn’s Prospect Park where you can find the famous botanical gardens. After you’ve walked up an appetite you can head over to Piccoli Trattoria in Park Slope for some seriously delectable Italian food. Before heading back across the bridge, take in the sights of the Manhattan skyline while going for a spin on Jane’s Carousel at Brooklyn Bridge park. End your Brooklyn visit on a sweet note by walking over to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for an ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery on Pier 5.
Relax and nourish your body at the Lush Spa — Treat yourself to an amazing full-bodied deep tissue massage by booking yourself The Good Hour massage at the Lush Spa. After all the walking and exploring you’ll be doing your tired legs and feet will be begging for some love. Why not go for a boutique spa experience as unique as Lush products themselves? Pro tip: when booking your treatment, ask to use the bath suite before your treatment so you can take a nice Lush-ious bath with complimentary bath bombs and bubble bars to use.
Sleep No More at The McKittrick Hotel — Last, but certainly not least, is the one thing I always always always recommend to people visiting New York: experience the phenomenal off-broadway production of “Sleep No More”. It’s the story of Macbeth told in they immersively interactive style of a film noir. The show takes place in the fictional McKittrick Hotel where guests don masks and follow actors around a 5 story set. The company that runs the show actually has a few different establishments at the hotel where you can have dinner and drinks before or after the show. There’s even a delightful rooftop bar that’s open year round.