New York City attracts over 50 million tourists every year, and I am one of them. For the past two months of my life, I have lived and worked in one of the most densely populated and culturally diverse cities in the world. What have I taken from the experience and enjoyed the most, you ask? Ah well, I shall tell you. With endless food, culture, and entertainment possibilities it is hard to cram it all in. So I have compiled all of the things I’ve done, chosen my favourites, and created my own ‘Tourist’s Guide to New York City’. Enjoy, experience, gain inspiration, and make your own!
1. Take Me Out to a Ball Game
They day after I arrived in New York I was asked to go to a baseball game. Not only am I not personally sporty, I have a limited interest in competitive sports and baseball is not something I’m familiar with at all. Football is big in England (no, not American football, ‘soccer’) and even that I don’t follow too much. Despite my hesitation and fear of not understanding all the rules, walking into Yankee Stadium, the overwhelming mass of people and the bright green, pristine grass was one of the most spectacular scenes I have ever seen. It reminded me of the first time I went to Wimbledon, when I had a similar reaction walking into the stalls on Centre Court (so maybe I misled you about my disdain for sport, I do LOVE tennis). After a few innings I began to get the gist, and had this huge overwhelming desire to understand so I could participate in the camaraderie that was going on for the two teams in the stadium. One thing I learned never to say at a baseball game – “How often are their baseball matches?” Now I know – it’s a baseball GAME, never “match.”
Details: 1 E. 161 St, Bronx, NY 10451 | For tickets click here
2. Seeing New York From the River
One weekend I ventured to Brooklyn to go to the bi-weekly food flea market Smorgasburg, on the east river waterfront. After eating far too much and feeling quite stuffed I started to make my journey back to the subway, and as I was walking a sign caught my eye advertising the quick, easy, and affordable East River Ferry back to the city. This was a my chance for sheer exploration – you know, those adventurous things you always plan to do but then chicken out and take the ‘easy’, ‘convenient’ option. So a friend and I boarded the ferry and so the series of shameless selfies began. Who knew cruising down the East River could be so fun? Being able to see the perspective of Manhattan and Brooklyn at the same time was really amazing and although I wouldn’t recommend it as a regular means of transport, I would take it on occasion when I wanted to spice up my journey.
Details: Leaves from multiple locations in the city and Brooklyn check website
3. Hit Up Broadway
Being a pretty big theatre buff myself I definitely wanted to see a show whilst I was here. My first choice was to go and see Macbeth with Alan Cummings since it gained raving reviews and personally having read Macbeth countless times, I hoped that finally, for the Nth time, I would be able to follow it consistently from start to finish. However, right when I was going to book the tickets an alternative was introduced into the mix – Motown: The Musical. Being a big fan on Motown music and hearing great things about the production, I decided Macbeth must wait and decided to opt for a musical instead. Up there with seeing the Rolling Stones and going to Wimbledon, Motown: The Musical was one the best things I have ever seen. Not one hit was missed, describing the history of Motown from its conception in Detroit, starting out with The Miracles to its rise and signing acts like the Jackson 5. If you are in a pickle and trying to choose between shows – although I can’t speak for the other shows on Broadway – I highly recommend going to see Motown: The Musical and can guarantee you will have the tunes stuck in your head for weeks to come.
Details: Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 w. 46th St (between 7th&8th ave.) | To get tickets click here
4. Tasty Delights
Mexican food is something I always gorge on when I come to America, because in England we have a poor showing. (Initially I would try and convince someone to go with me every other day to Chipotle.) However, I managed to overdo it and had to look for other avenues to satisfy my Mexican food obsession. My two favourite Mexican restaurants are both located downtown: the first being Pinche Taqueria which has two locations – the larger one in Noho and the slightly smaller and more intimate one in Soho. After sampling an array of their tacos and now proclaiming myself a quasi-expert on the subject, I would highly recommend their chorizo tacos or their spicy sausage tacos. My second favourite is also located in Soho, and is called Tacombi. Not only is the food great – my favourite being the crispy fish taco – the decor of the restaurant is definitely original, in a good way, a highlight being that part of the kitchen is in the centre of the room and is inside an old orange VW bus. The next time you have an urge for Mexican head on over to either of the two and try a few of their tasty south of the border treats.
Being a foodie myself (who even knows what that means? basically… I LIKE FOOD), one of my trip’s highlights was going to Chelsea Market. Located in the fashionable Meatpacking District, the ex-biscuit factory was converted into a high-end food and retail market. There a wealth of things to see, buy, and eat there ranging from restaurants, speciality food stores, and vintage purveyors. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, this is the ultimate place to go browse. So many great attractions makes it hard to choose one to highlight, but if I had to choose I would recommend stopping by Ruthy’s Bakery to see their amazing sweet creations.
Details: Pinche Taqueria multiple locations check here|Tacombi 267 Elizabeth St. (between Prince & Houston) | Chelsea Market 75 9th Ave. (between 15th&16th St.)
I would love to hear your highlights and your favourite things to do in the city whether you’re a seasoned resident or a tourist like me. Enjoy!