enjoying an iced soy latte in Bryant Park
Must See NYC: Sights
The Metropolitan Museum of Art- The perfect place to go when you want to feel smart and cultured. As a baby I went here a lot. We have a photo of me in my carriage, I was a proper infant, and my dad in front of the museum. My parents took a photo of me going to my first museum, so I'd say it's a big part of my life. There is way too much to see in one day, so research before-hand what you absolutely must see. If you try to do the whole thing you will end up wanting to pull your hair out.
a distinctly not baby Emilia in front of the met
The Museum of Natural History- Another big one from my childhood, that is even cooler to go to now because they've updated many of the displays to make them modern, spiffy and way less dated. Again, there is a lot here, but unlike the Met, it's harder to choose specifics. I'd say just wander through, unless you are really into the rainforest or want to see a giant whale, you probably won't miss anything too crazy important. Half the fun of this museum is seeing the awesome displays and the weird things they have. Plus, now you can pretend you are part of Night at the Museum if that tickles your fancy.
The Brooklyn Bridge (from the Brooklyn side in DUMBO)- One of the most iconic bridges (which I didn't even know until I started traveling abroad) is a complete must see in New York. You can walk across it if you want, but even more impressive than that is seeing the bridge being connected into Manhattan. If you go to DUMBO (a neighborhood in Brooklyn, stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, but is also under the brooklyn bridge over pass too!), you can get absolutely brilliant views of the New York skyline and the bridge. DUMBO is also fun to visit in its own right, with small shops, good food and an awesome park. There is also some amazing ice cream under the Brooklyn bridge. I don't even like ice cream and I love that ice cream shop.
Central Park- Less of a site and more of an awesome place to walk through/eat in/lounge about in/bike through/run through/sleep in (not really)/do whatever in. I went to high school around here and spent so much time doing absolutely nothing but chatting with friends in the park. It's big, green and a complete escape from the city. If you go in around the 50s (streets), you can see the nearby buildings towering over the green, the only reminder that you are still in New York City. Awesome in every season, but I find spring and summer the most enjoyable.
Columbus Circle/Time Warner building- Want to eat some awesome macarons (or just about any other pastry)? Want to grab a good quick lunch? Want to go to the world's best Starbucks? Or maybe you just want to sit down and do some awesome people watching. You can do all of those things around Columbus Circle. My parents say this place used to be gross, but much like the rest of New York it's undergone serious urban regeneration and is now completely awesome. There's shopping in the Time Warner building, but I enjoy sitting outside in Columbus Circle even more. People are always rushing through, yet with the water fountains and nice seating, it's also a great place to relax.
Union Square- Another square/park/people watching area in New York I absolutely love. There is a green market here on mondays, wednesdays, fridays and saturdays. Not to mention, plenty of surrounding shopping. You can sit on a bench, or at a table, enjoy some lunch, just a great New York-y place to be. I spend so much time here partly because it's so easy to get to, partly because there is so much to do, but mostly because I love it.
Staten Island Ferry- It's free. To me, that should be enough to get you to want to go on the ferry right now. If you need more convincing, however, there are great views of the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and you can sit outside and enjoy the sea breeze (or rather the river breeze). Great activity to do with friends.
The Highline- New and completely awesome. It's a park suspended in the air right by the Hudson River around Chelsea. You can walk along it, sit down, look at different New York-y buildings and feel totally cool. Really pretty, relaxing and 100% New York.
The Neighborhoods- Super vague, I know. Yet the only way to really and truly see and understand (or attempt to understand) New York is to walk through different neighborhoods. Slap on some good shoes (though please not trainers!), hop on the subway and go to a neighborhood you want to see. There will be something new and completely awesome to see. There's Greenwich Village, Soho, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Brooklyn Heights, Chelsea, seriously I could keep going, but we'd be here all day. Get a map and start exploring!
Yay New York City!
Stay tuned for Must Shop NYC and Must Eat NYC, coming soon!