One thing I’ve learned living here in the US as a tourist-at-heart is that each state has its particular character and charm. It’s a personal thing and your perception of a place’s character, wherever it may be on the face of this earth, largely depends upon your own perception. But there are a lot of things that make a place unique and which make up an experience unique to that locale. New York has its own beat which we would rather describe as “fast” instead of “rude”. It has its own flavor truly its own.
So if you’re visiting, try to do at least three of the things listed below to experience New York:
1. Have a bagel breakfast from one of the vendors on the streets. You won’t miss them because in the early morning rush, you will see a beeline for these mobile vendors. My personal favorite is a raisin bagel with cream cheese. If you’re a coffee person and must have some fancy brew, by all means get it from Starbucks, but these places sell coffee, too.
2. Ride the subway and do a bus transfer. If you’re there for literally just for the ride, get on an N or R train heading towards Fifth Avenue and you will find yourself right next to Central Park where you can take any of the M buses that ply Fifth Avenue. While they go to different destinations downtown depending where you’re headed, these buses will pass Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral on one side, the Philippine Consulate on the right side, 42nd Street (Grand Central if you turn right, Times Square if you turn right), The New York Public Library, The Empire State Building on 24th, Union Square on 14th if your bus goes that far.
3. Have a New York hotdog from the street vendors again. They’re not that huge so if you’re hungry, you’ll probably want two.
4. Or have a slice or two of New York Pizza. No particular restaurant or chain to do it the New York way — the New York pizza is different, just like the Chicago deep dish pizza.
5. If you must visit just one museum in New York City, make it the Museum of Modern Art.
6. Visit Times Square during the day and during the night. The lights never go out on Broadway and Times Square is always humming alive. But the experience is different in the daytime and at night, so try to visit it once in bright sunshine and once when it’s bright with all the neon lights.
7. Have a drink at a bar — just be ready to fork up around $10-12 per cocktail.
8. Have a slice of Junior’s cheesecake. You haven’t had cheesecake that is truly to die for until you’ve tasted Junior’s. Try their outlets in Grand Central (one in the foodcourt in the lower level which has a dining area and one in the vicinity of the Transit Museum on the main level near the waiting lounge) or in Times Square — the original is in Brooklyn.
MORE TO COME…