One of my favorite cities by far. The vibe of this city is one of the best in US. Living in New York for a year has been on the list for a while, but for now I have been sneaking in trips whenever possible. I am pretty sure that I haven’t even scratched the surface of what this city has to offer. But I still have a definitive list of must-do things.
- Broadway – I am not a fan of musicals, but if you are, the number of options are mind boggling and each one equally amazing. I am a huge fan of Broadway plays though. Recommending a particular play named ‘Shear Madness‘. Drop-off-the-seats-laughing funny! It is a humorous murder mystery where the ending changes based on the audience’s opinion. Highly entertaining. See it if you get time. The other thing to note is getting cheap tickets. Broadway tickets can regularly set you off by more than 100 bucks. There is a Theater Development Fund (TDF) discount booth right in the middle of Times Square, where you can stand in queue and get almost 50% discounts for same day Broadway tickets. Totally worth the wait!
- Times Square – One must walk here while in Manhattan. While I don’t get the frenzy about the ball dropping on New Years’ eve, I absolutely love Times Square any time of day or night. One of the best for people watching. There are these steps where a gazillion people just sit and stare at the square. I am usually one of those people. This place is a photographer’s delight. One of the cheapest and most interesting dive bars I have been to, was also at Times Square. They had an original poster of the ear-biting match between Holyfield and Tyson! Not to forget $3 house whiskey.
- The Back Room – I have a soft spot for this bar. Maybe because it is a prohibition era bar (which is many levels of cool). Maybe because it is fairly difficult to find this hole of a place. Or maybe because they serve their cocktails in a tea cup! This place is on my inebriation list for every visit.
- The Village Halloween Parade – One of the most creative and impressive Halloween parades that this country hosts! Each year has a theme and the crowd goes to all levels of crazy to match the theme. Only folks in costume are allowed to walk in the parade. Rest dot the sidelines and watch the parade go by. I have done the West Hollywood parade as well, and it pales in comparison to the Village one. A must on your list. Do note that this is a sober parade (unlike the West Hollywood one!). It was our sheer luck that we had found a fellow walker who was also the provider of Black Label. He made our parade walk a whole lot of fun!
- The FRIENDS building – I have spent better part of my 20s and now 30s watching FRIENDS. Ad infinitum! It is my cooking company, my reading company, my coffee company and my I-am-feeling-blue company. Essentially, the filler to all voids in life. So, this was a must on my list. Located in a beautiful Greenwich village corner, you must walk down this lane and get that shot in front of the building. Also, if you are expecting Central Perk at the bottom of the building, you would be disappointed. There is a cafe and it is nothing like Central Perk.
- Buvette – Assuming that you paid heed to my above suggestion, you would be standing in the FRIENDS building lane. Just walk down the lane a bit and go to this French restaurant called Buvette. Amazing eclectic French food! I think we have sampled their entire menu. They usually have a wait, and they define a hole in the wall place. Sitting area is minimal, yet it is cozy. Quite a few hours have been spent here. Also, they make brilliant mulled wine! 🙂
- Central Park – Pack a picnic and spend half a day here. Or go for a run. Gorgeous in summer and equally beautiful in fall. You can rent cycles and bike through as well.
- Brooklyn Bridge – Walk through it and go to the other side to the Brooklyn Park. You get a beautiful view of the city skyline. Eat a slice of pizza at Juliana’s (not Grimaldi’s) while you are there.
- World Trade Center – I always recommend visiting places which have changed the course of history in a good or a bad way. Thus, one should definitely walk through the WTC memorial. Thousands of names engraved on the memorial walls. A cruel reminder of lives lost in a war over absurd ideologies.
More later, when I visit the city again!