On your first trip to New York City you went to the top of the Empire State, wandered Wall Street, cycled Central Park, saw a Broadway show, marveled at The Met and probably got up-close and personal with the Statue of Liberty. Now you‘re fortunate enough to be returning to NYC, so what will you do the second time? Here are some ideas to narrow down the range of possibilities…
There is good food at every turn in this city, from street snacks to fine dining, in fact New York has the most Michelin-stars of any U.S. city – 99 in total as of December 2016. If you are going upscale, I recommend doing your research and booking well in advance. Most high-end dining establishments take reservations a month in advance of the booking date, and you will need to jump right on it to avoid disappointment. Lunch time set menus (week days) will save you a bundle, compared to the evening fare.
Get off Manhattan
- Get nostalgic with a ride on Jane’s Carousel. Built in 1922 for an amusement park in Ohio, the carousel was eventually relocated to Brooklyn, where it was lovingly restored and set by the East River in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
- Look for Tom Fruin’s Water Tower, a sculpture of a colourful, stained glass water tank that sits atop the building 20 Jay Street. Check out Fruin’s website for prime viewing locations.
- Take awesome Manhattan skyline pictures from Brooklyn Bridge Park (one of the few places you can use your tripod!)
Walk Brooklyn Bridge. Sunset makes for a busy, but picturesque way to end the day as you stroll back into Manhattan.
Long Island City
It would be difficult to get a real feel for Queens without a local tour guide. Much of what is great about Long Island City (L.I.C.) is hidden behind unmarked doors and nondescript building facades. Take a walking tour to uncover the past and present of Long Island City with a company like BQE Tours and you will find:
- Hot local food joints
- Hidden artists and makers’ studios
- Impressive street art spots
- Photo-worthy Manhattan skyline views
Catch a match
Maybe your first visit wasn’t in time for basketball at Madison Square Garden or baseball at Yankee Stadium. Check season dates and tickets ahead of time. As a rough guide:
- National Football League (NFL) – Preseason begins in August. Regular season games are September to January.
- National Basketball Association (NBA) – October to April with championship game in May.
- National Ice Hockey League (NHL) – October to April with post season games in May.
- Major League Baseball (MLB) – March to August with post season games in September.
You could see another Broadway show, there are plenty to be seen. Alternatively you could experience a world class opera or ballet performance at the Lincoln Center. See performance dates and buy tickets here.
More museums and galleries
There is no way you took in all New York City’s amazing museums and galleries on the first go-round. Keep an eye on temporary exhibits too, there’s always an interesting artist (or at least their work) passing through. Here are a few to get you started, you can find the full list here.
- The Met
- The Neue
- The Met Cloisters
- American Museum of Natural History
- Frick Collection
- The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- Tenement Museum
- New York Historical Society
Depending on the time of your visit, here are some seasonal experiences to consider:
- Shakespeare in the Park
- US Open Tennis
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
- Winter Village at Bryant Park
- Visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
- New Year’s Eve in Time Square
- St Patrick’s Day Parade
For more on my New York experience and the Duende I found along the way, check out How I Found the Perfect Souvenir in NYC and Art on the Street NYC, along with some important tips for first timers at 10 Things I Learnt the Hard Way in NYC.
“In New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do”