Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New York: Another bite of the Big Apple

You are probably visiting the city a second time or perhaps you've checked all the items in your list of "Must see and do in NYC" and looking for alternative things to experience that are easy on the pocket. Here are my personal recommendations for another bite of the Big Apple:

1. Go beyond Manhattan and visit Queens 
You might have heard of the famous "7" train which goes from Times Sq. to the borough of Queens. New York is not just Manhattan, so if you got extra time why don't you go beyond Manhattan. Why Queens? because it's like home away from home. This is where you will see the Pinoy Bee in the American Shore (oh yes, I'm talking about Jollibee). If you are missing the home cooked Pinoy meals, you can drop by Krystal's for a steaming bowl of sinigang and a desert of Brazo de Mercedes.If you want to avoid the deluge of shoppers, try to go shopping in the Rego Center which has Marshall's and Costco or Queen's Place mall which has a Target store. How about walking along the streets of the residential area and try to catch a glimpse of the everyday life of a New Yorker.

2. You want to get to see the Manhattan skyline, head to New Jersey
New Jersey, New York's sister from another mother is just a mere PATH (NJ subway) ride away for a break from the frenzy of Manhattan.Go down in Newport or Hoboken station for a view across the Hudson River with the Manhattan skyline as your backdrop.You can also do your shopping at New Jersey since they have lower state sales tax.Hoboken boasts of quaint restaurants and if you are a fan of Cake Boss, you can drop by a visit in Carlos bakery in Hoboken. 

View from Newport,New Jersey

3. Ditch the Empire State, Top of the Rock has better views
You read it right, Top of the Rock has better views because you can see the Empire State - one of the famous landmark in the skyline of NYC. If you want your photos to show New York!, you got to have the Empire State in there. Additionally,Top of the Rock provides a better observation deck experience because of their transparent glass barricade compared to the wire barricade in the Empire State. The transparent glass barricade provides a better experience in taking photos and viewing NYC.

NYC from Top of The Rock

4. Catch the sunset in South Street Seaport
Visit this historic place which used to be an old port and fish market but is now converted to a dining, shopping and cultural establishment. The old Fulton market now houses retail and dining stores where it used to be a bustling fish market. There is also a TKTS booth here that is not as crowded as the one in Times Square, you might want to try your luck here if there are any available discounted Broadway tickets. The place also has a nice view of the Brooklyn bridge and Brooklyn borough. Try to come by during the late afternoon to catch the sunset as the sun's rays casts a warm glow on the Brooklyn bridge and the tall skyscrapers

Catching sunset at South Street Seaport

5. Get lost in SOHO
Navigate along the alleys and street in the South of Houston st. (popularly known as SOHO). Most of the buildings here boasts of the cast iron architecture. This area appears trendy as well since it used to be very popular place for artists. Commercialization did not spare SOHO just like the rest of Manhattan which is like a shopping mecca but the remarkable thing is that the shop still retain the vibe and hipness of SOHO which is evident in the interior and architectures of these shops/stores.Walking along these streets is an assault to the senses from beautiful architectures, remarkable interiors and colorful personalities that you will encounter. 

6. Imagine yourself as a student in NYU and explore the Greenwich village 
Perhaps the closest thing that you can get to studying in NYU is to visit NYU. NYU is an open campus, it is like a campus integrated within the city. You might probably might have heard of Washington Square this is actually the Washington Square campus of NYU. After tiring yourself walking along the tree lined campus, Greenwich village and Bleecker street are also nearby so why don't you continue to explore the area on foot and visit the famous Cafe Wha which is home to various musicians including Jimi Hendrix. Cafe Wha is at the corner of 115 Macdougal Street, between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets .If you want to have a few laughs Comedy Cellar is just a stone's throw away from Cafe Wha. Comedy Cellar  boasts of performance of popular NYC comics.

Washington Sq.
Comedy Cellar at Greenwich Village

7. Highline deserves a visit
Highline is a park above any other park...literally.Highline used to be an old elevated train tracks located in the West side of Manhattan that was converted into a park. Upon your visit you might be able to see the park but wondering how to get there, there are several access points which has elevator or stairs access.You may refer to the website for further info on the access points as well as the park hours: Interesting points in these park is the design of the landscaping which combines the plants and greenery with the old train tracks that were retained.This park also give you a nice vantage point of the neighborhood of Chelsea (if I'm not mistaken) which are great photo opportunities. There is also a viewing deck where you can sit, relax and view the traffic below.You might want to grab some sandwich and a drink and go up here to enjoy your food with the noise and vibe of Manhattan to entertain you.

The Highline


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