Words by: Tricia Rivera Art by: Marissa Hor
If I could pick a place to visit right now, it would be New York. I love walking around the skyscraper lined streets, pretending I live there (whilst admittedly doing rather touristy things).
But with borders closed and travelling banned, the only thing getting me through lockdown has been planning future holidays and daydreaming of my next adventure. So if the Big Apple is on your list and you have no idea what to do, I’ve put together an itinerary for a weekend gallivanting across my favourite concrete jungle:
Eat: Russ and Daughters + Doughnut Plant (The East Village)
For the ultimate first breakfast in NYC, there are two places you have to check out. R&D, which serves freshly baked bagels smothered in cream cheese and topped with generous amounts of lox, and Doughnut Plant, with their cake, sourdough, yeast and square-filled doughnuts. Luckily enough, they’re located close by to one another and easy to eat on-the-go.
Do: The High Line
The High Line, an elevated park stretching 1.45 miles featuring gardens and art installations, is great for taking photos. Equipped with viewing decks, you get a great vantage point of the city all while being surrounded by greenery. The park also leads you through a passageway to Chelsea Market, a great spot for food stalls and shops.
Eat: Katz Deli (Nolita)
Things to order at Katz include the pastrami sandwich, hot dogs, matzo ball soup and the cheese blintz. Hint: Tip your server behind the counter before (not after), to get a seamless experience.
This high-end shopping district is perfect for either a splurge or window-shopping for some style inspiration. The great thing about shopping in NYC is that you’re still able to see the city as you go from shop-to-shop, which beats a shopping mall any day.
Eat: Lombardi’s (Little Italy)
Lombardi’s, regarded as ‘America’s First Pizzeria’ serves coal-fired pizza and uses only the freshest ingredients, making it the best place to lose your NY-style pizza virginity. Your marker for finding
the restaurant? The giant Mona Lisa painting on
the wall outside.
Do: Brooklyn Bridge
End the day with a 20-minute walk to Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, where you’ll be able to see the buildings and the buzz of the cars below you.
Don’t roll out the red carpet for a long instagrammable breakfast when you can have a cheaper, quicker and equally delicious option — the baconeggcheeseonaroll (said in one word). These can be found at bodegas across the city.
Do: Central Park
This is probably one of, if not, the most popular parks in the world. Here you’ll find squirrels, bubble-blowers and tourists taking carriage rides. But you’ll also see features like Bethesda Terrace and Strawberry Fields where John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ mosaic lies.
As a bonus, nearby is Levain Bakery, home to thick melt-in-the-mouth cookies. Their signature flavour is the choc chip and walnut. Look them up on Instagram right now if you haven’t already.
Do: The American Museum of Natural History
To save time, the must-sees of this museum are the multi-level displays of animals and habitats found across different exhibition halls. Hot tip: this museum has a ‘recommended’ entry fee, meaning you can pay a bit less if you aren’t going to spend the entire day here.
Eat: Halal Guys
The Halal Guys’ food cart serves up gyro platters on rice (with dangerously good packeted garlic sauce) that is a must-try. When finding this place you’ll need to double-check the name of the cart as there are other vendors with the same cart colour and uniform.
Do: Top of the Rock
This is an alternative to going up the Empire State Building because you get the view of New York with the Empire actually in the frame. If you have time before dinner, squeeze in a visit to Fifth Avenue which is nearby.
The last supper should definitely be at Keens Steakhouse in Manhattan. Serving premium grade steaks and mutton chops with a collection of single-malt whiskeys, Keens will set you back a bit but I assure you it’s worth it to end the trip with a bang.