New York City – One of my favourite cities

30 Dec

As per my previous post, I’ve just arrived back in old blighty from New York City. The Big Apple is in my top 5 cities and I can’t get enough of the melting pot that is New York City. I think along with London, it is one of those cities that isn’t just a city..it is THE city!!! Not many cities can hold their own against New York City in fact short of London, I can’t think of any other city that could have so much to offer in terms of diversity, arts, architecture and food.

New York City 1

Where to Stay

We chose to stay at the Grand Hyatt New York conveniently located right above one of my favourites places in the entire world…Grand Central Station. Check out my Tripadvisor review of the hotel.

What to do

You could spend a month in New York City and barely scratch the surface of things to do and places to see. I have been fortunate enough for this to not be my first trip to NYC so we didn’t hit the tourist trail too much but if I had to recommend just two places to see while in New York City, I would go with Grand Central Station and Central Park – these two places are by far my favourite places in NYC. Both are architectural master pieces and, to me, are as New York as it gets!

Of course, a trip to the top of either the Empire State Building or the Rockefeller Centre is a must (I recommend Rockefeller Centre so you can get a view of the iconic Empire State Building) as is taking the free Staten Island Ferry to give you a breathtaking view of Manhattan.

The other bits I recommend doing while in New York:

Taking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Take the subway to the Clark St subway station in Brooklyn and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn end. This will give you awesome views of Manhattan but also means you can walk through a bit of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Promenade – more awesome views of Manhattan and you’ll get to check out some original Brownstones!

New York City 4

Have a hot dog! Although you’ll struggle to find a halal hot dog! Take note, “halal” hot dogs touted as halal by hot dog vendors aren’t halal but kosher – you’ll have to ask for “Zabiha” hot dogs which are sausage rolls/sausage dogs and very rare to find (see the bit below on where to eat)

Do all the regular walking tours offered by Free Tours by Foot New York. The regular tours cover pretty much all of Mahattan and all their tour guides are local born and bred New Yorkers that are local to the area being covered by the tour – pretty awesome!

The obligatory selfie in Times Square!

Shop! There’s good chance you’ll pick up a bargain at Macy’s! Century 21 in downtown Manhattan and Nordstrom Rack near Union Square and 14th Street are also excellent for bargain hunters!

Something that we didn’t get around to doing but I think would make a very memorable souvenir…sign up for a library card the New York Public Library!

Where to eat

This trip to NYC didn’t yield much in culinary discovery but mention of the Halal Guys has to be made given that we had partook in their yummy chicken several times in the space of 4 days!

We also enjoyed some halal Mexican (twice) from Marrkesh (formerly Mariachi) located on 235 E53rd Street.

The obligatory New York slice of pizza or “pie” was consumed too!!! I’m wasn’t overly impressed but a New York slice has to be done when in the Big City!

As mentioned earlier, finding a “proper” halal dog is a bit tricky but the closest we got was a “zabiha” (proper halal) hot dog on the corner of W49th and 6th Avenue outside the McGraw Hill building (115 W49th street)

New York City 2

I am already counting down my next trip to New York City!!! The wife and I are both in agreement that an annual trip to the Big Apple won’t be such a bad thing 🙂 Hopefully we can pull it off!!!