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NYC is definitely a walking city, but don’t hesitate to take transit – its affordable, clean and safe, and when the taxis disappear from 4-6pm, it’s the best option to get downtown.
The Gramercy Park Hotel is old-style NYC mixed with modern flourishes in a boutique hotel. W Hotel Midtown is a sleek bargain for a great locale mid-Manhattan. For budget conscious, subscribe to Quikbook for its weekly hotel deals newsletter.
Favourite coffee spot and hometown local is Dean and Deluca. Diners are an ongoing luv-affair, with Barney Greengrass and Ess-a-bagel worthy of a breakfast stop. If you want to check out the big names – go for lunch or a drink at the bar at Aquavit, Cipriani, or Gramercy Tavern. NYC is the home of starred chefs (Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill or Mario Batali’s Babbo ) and latest trends, but for great food options and affordable prices head to Soho, the East and West Village or the Lower East side. Il Bagatto for an Italian craving; Ramen Setagaya for tasty Japanese cuisine: or Spanish tapas at 1492 Food. Ask a local for a suggestion – New Yorkers are proud to pass on their fave local.
Pick one tourist spot you want to see such as art deco shrine The Chrysler Building, massive Central Park for a stroll, beaux art style Grand Central Station for its amazing mosaic murals; media central Times Square, The Guggenheim for its sexy curved design, the distinct Empire State Building and Broadway & 42nd for the historical theatre district.
Definitely walk Fifth Avenue to see the upper crust – Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., Kenneth Cole, and Saks Fifth Avenue. There’s the myriad of department stores: Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman for girls who like the big store experience. In Soho go funky boutique shoppin at Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Betsey Johnson, Kate Spade, Scoop boutique and fab US chain Anthropologie. If you want to indulge in décor Fishs Eddy, Pearl River Mart, ABC Carpet & Home and Japanese design havens Muji or Takashimaya will make you swoon. If you’re curious about knock-offs, (just so you know) Canal Street will be a quick education on faux Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton.
Pick a neighbourhood and wander – you’ll find the next big thing – that’s SO New York.
Photo credits: Jeff Greenberg/NYC & Company