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I dare to assure everyone has seen or heard about New York City in Hollywood movies, legendary songs and even famous music videos even though they have never been to the United States. Nevertheless, it is also a fact that it is not until you are standing in the middle of Times Square with your eyes up, when you realize the immensity of this concrete jungle, and understand that there is a bigger risk to get run over by a group of tourists or a bunch of pedestrians heading to their jobs with more haste than Alice´s rabbit, just because you cannot stop staring at each and every skyscraper tickling the sun.
But hear me out here, TAKE THE RISK.
If it is your first time heading to this destination, consider it is a very touristic city that has a pretty extensive list of places you MUST visit as they are international symbols for their architecture, their history and of course their meaning such as Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the 9/11 Memorial, The Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and The Bull of Wall Street among others I will mention further on.
But this time, my personal suggestion will be about some other spots and nooks hidden in between large crowds, taxi cabs, lights and all the large buildings that decorate the city. Remember please, Manhattan, is not New York in its whole.
But let´s start with the obligated stops by introducing the jewel of Manhattan…
Whether you want to go for a morning run, a long walk or cycling with your friends surrounded by the incredible views of the city, this place has been known widely for its beauty. You have 400 hectares of different outdoor activities as well as a zoo and even a concert hall. This stop is just the perfect spot to have a moment of peace and nature while eating a snack, listening to good music or just chillin’ with a good book lying on the grass.
First of all, it is not a theatre, it is a huge and very important Avenue between the 7th and the 8th and famous for all the musicals shown and presenting throughout the year.
Going to NYC and not attending one of these shows is like going to Disneyland without knowing who Mickey Mouse is. You will have a great time. Guaranteed.
However, if you are not interested in any kind of musical show or you just want to spend your time doing another activity rather than theatrical excursions, WORRY NOT, as this avenue offers you in itself a particular performance for your eyes and ears.
Besides, you never know who famous celebrity you can run into while walking through this avenue.
Not quite convinced?
Well, there is another option for your entertainment itinerary if you feel you want a more cultural experience. This can include the 66th subway stop of the red line 1:
Lincoln Center and the Met Opera House
It is the eminent sanctuary for witnessing Misty Copeland´s magic on stage or any ballet performed by the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), The New York City Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet or any dancing company who’s presenting in this amazing palace. Be aware that the price for the tickets might be a little expensive and that you have to buy them in advanced before the show, so if you are interested, do not waste more time and find out as soon as possible.
Remember that this city is considered to be home of the best art works in the world so do not forget to visit as well the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA) and its seasonal exhibits, The Museum of Natural History or any art or photographic gallery around the city to liberate your mind of the common routine.
And now that we are talking about mind liberation, what about feeling like Jack Dawson would say if Rose had made him a little room in that giant piece of wood? What about feeling like: “The King of the World?” For that you can go to…
The Empire State
Known for every person who reaches the 86th floor as the “top of the world” (even though it is not) this amazing structure will make you feel the sensation I like to call “loftiness” as the lights of Manhattan at night shine as a universe of fallen stars.
The only thing I would like to stand out in here is that climbing up to the top is a little bit too pricy (as the rest of NY) and it is always a little bit too crowded (as the rest of NY) but totally worth it.
But, in case you are not willing to spend a big amount of money, there are other buildings from which you can experience the amazing views of the city from a higher perspective so, a two word suggestion for you…
Located in the Meatpacking District near the Chelsea Market, this rooftop bar is part of a penthouse discothèque at the top floor of The Standard Hotel which in my personal opinion has the best front seats at the Hudson River to witness the best Manhattan sunsets while having a nice chat, a nice drink and listening to great music.
In the other hand, if you just want to spend a calmed time with your friends or meeting new people, there are plenty of bars and restaurants where you can have brunch, dinner or drinks in a close and kind of hipster neighborhood of Brooklyn called: Williamsburg. Here you can find shops and places you can go to listen to music or just to have a nice walk among the streets.
And now that we are heading towards more casual hideouts, let me suggest you some places which will make you forget about the diet and that will make you understand, either you are a religious person or you are not, why gluttony is considered to be a sin. I mean, it is kind of impossible not gaining a few more pounds when you are visiting new places, and it is OK too. That is why it is called VACATION. So, relax. You are going to be walking a lot anyway.
And if you are already walking too much, be sure to get to the corner between 74th Street and Amsterdam Avenue:
So you think your mother or your grandma make the best homemade biscuits? Well, prepare yourself to get disappointed because after the first bite of one of these giant cookies, you will end up licking the chocolate cream off your fingers… PROUDLY.
Trust me, your world will never be the same again.
Want more than just a cookie or a dessert? Well, good news, there is a great place with more than one establishment around New York City…
The best crunchy bread you will ever taste. Whether you want just a simple panini or you are brave enough to order a cheese soup in a bread bowl, one you will end eating up, LITERALLY.
But going on with guilty pleasures, there are two rather well known places where you can go and have a nice American meal, served in the American way as well.
If you want American food, this is the best place to have a cheeseburger with curly dried chips aside and last but not least, a delicious milkshake. Fast, cheap and delicious. What else do you need if you are going up and down madly around the city?
This restaurant located between the 51st and Broadway has a special way of serving the food. You can have any kind of meal while staring at all the waiters and waitresses sing and dance classical Broadway pieces. Now, beware: They are excellent singers, so please try not to drop your jaw when you are eating and the waitress starts asking for your order in an impressive high note along with “The Sound of Music”.
Nevertheless, if you are still worried in getting healthier food you can just visit…
Hale & Hearty
When it comes to salads we normally feel bored and think our appetite will not be entirely satisfied. However, this place can turn you into a vegetarian in your first visit. It has an enormous amount of different ingredients you can add to your salad, as well as sandwiches and soups to compliment your meal and the greatest advantage is that there are plenty establishments around the city. You will not be disappointed, nor hungry.
Finally, let us remember that as in every American city, there is no street where you do not find a food trolley selling hot dogs, hamburgers or kebabs, or a McDonald’s or a Starbucks Coffee. So do not worry. When it comes to food and entertainment you will find it everywhere you go in this city.