Lifestyle Travel New York from the Inside
New York from the Inside
Written by Dr Lin Arias
Tuesday, 01 August 2017

 

So what does an expat do when she visits her hometown of New York? Enjoy myself! There are some well-known ‘must-do’ sights and experiences: 01082017-Highline-ParkHighline Park

Riding the Circle Line to get an overview of Manhattan. The nighttime trip (though not in winter unless you are well rugged up) shows the city's lights and heights off best.

Strolling through Central Park, the city’s lungs, heart and playground.

Taking the boat to Ellis Island. The museum there showcases the lives of the waves of immigrants “yearning to breathe free” who came to the city, settled, worked hard, and made the city their own. If you can, take the last ferry back because the lights are lovely.

Visiting the Lady – the Statue of Liberty. If she doesn’t move you, you are over- or under-medicated.

Showtime on Broadway. Whether it is the ever-wonderful Lion King, the hysterical Book of Mormon, a play off-Broadway, just see a show. It is part of the New York experience. Around Times Square you may see the Naked Cowboy strumming his guitar. No, he’s not naked: he wears a big cowboy hat and white boxer shorts and is very easy on the eye. Check out TKTS for cheap tickets.

Eating, oh yes, where do I start? Weeell,oh my, corned beef on rye, pastrami hot and spicy, kosher dill 01082017-Statue-of-LibertyStatue of Libertypickle on the side. You can’t go amiss at the Second Avenue Deli, or the Third Avenue Deli. Double your statin dose before you go and don’t be ashamed to take half of the huge sandwich home. I’m salivating as I write this.

Revelling in the art: galleries, public and private, galore. The museums: take your pick! Modern? Then visit MOMA and the Whitney. You prefer the ancient world, plus everything else? Then the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met, to natives) where those in the know, know you can join free daily-guided tours. Go online to see the free programs and check out MetFridays. Special interest? Perhaps Klimt’s The Woman in Gold? Check it out the Neue Galerie. It is a piece of Vienna in the Big Apple. Exquisite.

The cafe downstairs at the Neue Galerie serves the most expensive cup of coffee. For those who find NY coffee just not up to our Australian standard, then spend the $8 (that includes a tip for the Viennese-styled wait staff) on a cup after you have toured the exhibition, and just savour the whole cultural and gustatory experience. The tortes are also divine.

Need some exercise after that torte? Jog, walk, rollerblade, row in Central Park. Keep it to daylight hours and you can go anywhere safely. In the winter, glory in the magnificent Christmas tree at the rink and hark the herald angels while you skate at Rockefeller Centre (you will need to seriously RUG UP and drink the wonderful hot chocolate at the nearby cafe, no matter what the cost) or cross-country ski in the Park.01082017-High-Line-ParkHigh Line Park

Subways are safe, easy and fast. Again, stick to daylight hours if you are a newbie, and don't travel at rush hour if you can't stand crowds. There are subway maps on the walls of most of the routes and you can get a map of the subway and bus routes from any visitor centre or newsstand. I always get mine from Grand Central station. It's worth seeing that magnificent meeting place for itself, as well as to take trains and subways to and fro, and, of course, the shopping and eating to be had in and under and around the station. 

Take a taxi at nighttime; just hail them from the street. They are all metered. I don't Uber, though I am sure you can.

Visit the High Line, New York's newest and grooviest park. Its southern point ends at the new, ever-exciting Whitney Museum. It used to be an old railway track that closed when Lower West side industry stopped using rail. It has recently been revitalised into a lovely 2km walking track with stalls, sculptures and views. It is, like so much else, free.

Ah, back to Central Park. I love that place. In the summer there is free Shakespeare at the wonderful, atmospheric outdoor Delacorte theatre on the West side. Coffee and people-watch like a New Yorker at the cafe at the Conservatory Water, by East 74th, near the Met, and just south of the delightful bronze Alice in Wonderland sculpture. The coffee and chai are good; grab a seat and watch the flow of the nannies pushing prams while on the phone, the joggers, other people reading their paper while enjoying the greenery and relative peace and quiet.

It's a great place if you have kids with the playgrounds an easy walk away and lots of room for kids to run. If you can, rent a remote controlled sailboat, they are spectacular.01082017-Coffee-pricesCoffee prices

New Yorkers LOVE their city. You will see fire stations with memorials to their members who died saving others during 9/11. Stop and talk to the men and women of service: police, fire staff, park-keepers. Visit the memorial at Ground Zero. It is well worth the many security checks. Enjoy the most fabulous city on earth.

Me, biased? Of course, I’m a New Yorker!

By Dr Lin Arias