This past summer, I visited New York city (my all time favorite in the United States) for a couple of weeks, and like everyone I asked for recommendations on where to go, what to do, what to eat… Clearly, I received more places than I could imagine and the days weren’t enough for all of the places I NEEDED to visit, since I had a tight schedule because I was there not only for leisure, but also for a summer studio at The New School of New York. It wasn’t my first time in New York, so I prioritized the places in my list that I hadn’t visited yet.
GETTING OUR PROPS
On our first Sunday there, my cousin and I decided to have a picnic at Central Park. I had been 3 times before to New York and, believe it or not, I had never actually visited CP. So we got up early and went to Eataly NYC, right next to the Flatiron building, an amazing Italian marketplace with restaurants and every food you’ll ever need to satisfy your inner foodie, from the best Italian cheeses and charcuterie, to the freshest seafood, fruits and vegetables, bread straight out of the oven, and of course GELATO. We packed our picnic basket and stuffed it with different varieties of cheese, prosciutto, bread and a bottle of Rosé.
After an hour or so, making up our minds on what to buy from this “foodie heaven” we finally checked out and headed towards Central Park, stopping of course for dessert at my favorite cupcake bakery of all time, Sprinkles Cupcakes.
CENTRAL PARK MORNING
We finally got to Central Park and picked our spot at the Great Lawn in Central Park, I would recommend you to get there early, since the shaded spots aren’t many and they’re the first ones to be gone. We were lucky and got a great spot to set up our picnic. The weather was amazing, the food was excellent, but there was just one little detail…WE FORGOT TO BRING A CORKSCREW!!! We tried every tip in YouTube and Google to open up a bottle of wine without one, even a tip saying to put the bottle in a shoe and hit it on a tree…it didn’t work. Luckily a family arrived and they were fully packed and lent us their corkscrew. After our failed experiments of opening the bottle, and finally opening it, we got to the good part, the eating part!! And afterwards, we laid there in a food coma for another while.
When we finally set our minds, we got up and got ourselves a map of the park. We had no idea how big it was, but we set our minds to get to know it as much as we could, thankfully we had lots of energy after our extensive picnic brunch.
We started walking towards Strawberry Fields, as I said before the weather was perfect for a walk, sunny but not too hot, so we enjoyed every step of the way, walking by beautiful gardens, ponds, fountains, etc. We got to Strawberry Fields and of course took the obligated picture of our feet at the John Lennon Memorial, as well as several other pictures. It is a crowded spot so be patient in waiting for your turn to take pictures, if you’re lucky like I was, there will be people playing Beatles music, which will make the wait more pleasant.
We continued our walk towards the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace, where we sat for a while to catch our breath; the heat had gotten to us after so much walking. I love watching people and this was a great spot, there were all kinds of people, some young men practicing breakdance, a woman singing opera, some kids rollerblading and so many others walking by and enjoying the spirit.
A MUSEUM KINDA AFTERNOON
While we were sitting at the terrace, we decided to go to the Neue Galerie, it is right next to CP and it was one of the things we had to check off our list of places to go. I am a huge art lover, and a Gustav Klimt fan. They told me I had to go to this Galerie because Klimt’s Woman in Gold painting was there, amongst many other paintings, so we headed there, expecting a big museum that would take us all afternoon to walk through. When we got there, we registered ourselves and got a free entry (I think it was because it was a Sunday). We started the tour and we got to the Woman in Gold painting, it was ASTOUNDING, it looks a thousand times better in person than in pictures, maybe that’s why it is prohibited to take pictures. After admiring it, we continued our tour and realized THAT WAS IT! It is the smallest museum/gallery I’ve ever been to, but it has one of the most beautiful paintings I’ve ever seen. If you do not know much about art, or Klimt and this painting, I recommend you watch the movie Woman in Gold starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. It is all about this painting and how it got to be in this lovely gallery in New York. My cousin is not an art connoisseur, but she had seen the movie before and the painting amazed her because she knew its background history. The Neue Galerie was for me a hidden gem in NYC, which not many people know of.
After the Neue Galerie, we continued our day visiting the Guggenheim Museum, which for me, it is a work of art by itself, and then moved on to the Met, but by then we were too tired of walking all day, and it was extremely crowded, so we just sat at the famous Met steps and rested for a while, people-watching again.
We ended our day with dinner at Asellina at the Gansevoort Park Hotel with a large cheesy pizza and an exquisite Mac & Cheese, a well deserved dinner after walking all day.
HOW TO GET TO THESE PLACES?
During my whole stay at New York I got by mainly by subway, and walking, walking and more walking. I rarely got in an Uber or taxi. Here are the closest Metro stations to the places I mentioned above.
Eataly NYC Flatiron: 23 Street Station in Madison Square Park
Sprinkles Cupcakes Lexington Ave: Lexington Av/59 St
Great Lawn, Central Park: 81 St/Museum of Natural History or 86 St Station.
Strawberry Fields, Central Park: 72 St
Bethesda Fountain Terrace, Central Park: 72 St
Neue Gallery New York: 86 St Station
Guggenheim Museum: 86 St Station
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Union Square Station