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New York, New York


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I've spent a bit of time in New York and I'd say definitely get yourself out of Midtown and into the lower Manhattan neighborhoods for a taste of the 'real' New York. Greenwich Village, the West Village and Chelsea are amazing, home to the High Line of course and Chelsea Market. Word of warning - don't eat before visiting the market! The food is fab, there's tons of it to choose from, and you'll kick yourself if you go there with a full stomach. Food wise, I'd 100% steer clear of Times Square, where the food is overpriced and really poor quality. Generally a lot of restaurant chains and they are SO busy. Tribeca has some great restaurants, as does Soho. Buvette in Greenwich Village does a great breakfast and is known as a bit of favourite with the celebs, Delicatessen in Soho has unreal mac 'n' cheese and there's a few great restaurants on Stone Street, including a really good Mexican called Mad Dog & Beans (portions are HUGE!). It's also a great spot for a drink at night, depending where you're staying. People tend to just go out after work for 5-7pm happy hour before heading out for food or home, the only wild nightlife you see in the films is in Meatpacking District kind of areas. Bleecker Street has some great bars if you're looking for something very 'New York'. Some of the biggest musicians in history at played at the Bitter End and British pub The Red Lion has three live bands on every night of the week. 

I'd definitely recommend going over to Brooklyn and Williamsburg, which has loads of cool little shops. In Manhattan, Soho has great shopping and Nordstrom Rack in Times Square has really cheap designer stuff. Rockefeller is better than Empire State for views and if you have time, I'd definitely suggest trying to get Statue of Liberty crown tickets. They sell out fast though, so best to check now if you fancy it. When you go to Central Park, if you enter the park on 72nd street near the subway there are some rocks that have amazing views of the city and park from the top. You'll find more locals just chilling up there than you will tourists waving their selfie sticks! We did an NYPD tour of Chinatown, Wall Street and Little Italy with a retired NYPD officer a while ago and would definitely recommend that. The tour ends in Little Italy, so you can get some great Italian food at the same place the Mafia's meanest mobster ate back in the day. If you fancy catching a basketball game, the Brooklyn Nets is a far more authentic experience than the very commercialised New York Knicks, The stadium is right at the subway stop too, and next to a big shopping centre and ShakeShack.

Regarding travel, get the subway! $30 will buy you a week's unlimited pass and save you a small fortune on cabs. We've used it at all hours and never felt threatened or any danger. Plus the buskers will blow your mind with how talented they are!

 

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You've already had a long reply above and I haven't read it so hope I am not duplicating.  However, I think my most favourite place is the Frick Museum (closed Mondays) and as a pure luxury, take a helicopter ride - the longest you can afford!  A whole new perspective on the city!  Beware 9/11 - many of the tourists want to take selfies in front of many of the museum exhibits.  I found them disrespectful.  Apart from that, it's an incredibly moving place.  Good luck and have fun!

 

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