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STAY MORE, SAVE MORE - 72 HOURS IN NEW YORK

Simon Willis Author: Simon Willis
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Date: 2 May 2019

THE BASICS

Get yourself a Metro card so that you can hop on and off the subway.

Wear sensible shoes: you’ve things to see and places to go! Save the Manolo’s for those SATC moments.

If your trip falls over a weekend, consider booking restaurants, shows and galleries in advance.  From May to July 2019, guests at YOTEL New York can enjoy discounted prices on theatre tickets to PROM: The Musical. Simply click here to book!

DAY ONE

Green Fig • Grand Central Terminal • Chrysler Building • New York Public Library • Bryant Park • Metropolitan Museum of Art • Central Park • Upright Citizens’ Brigade

You’ve a busy day ahead, so fuel yourself with a breakfast at Green Fig on FOUR. After that, head down 42nd Street to tick off the first 2 of those must-see sights: Grand Central Terminal and the magnificent, art-deco Chrysler Building. Less well known – but equally magnificent – the Beaux Arts New York Public Library on Bryant Park is worth popping by to see the newly restored Rose Reading Room.

Bryant Park is a lovely spot to take a brief break before strolling up Fifth Avenue for further photo opportunities at the Rockefeller Center.  Continue heading up Fifth to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Crazy as it may seem, it’s likely to be as quick to walk as it is to take a cab - about half an hour (and at least it’s on the flat).

Of course, you could spend the entire 3 days at the Met and still not see the whole collection: use the online map to plan your visit in advance or take pot luck if you’d prefer. There are 3 options for lunch within the museum: the fancy Dining Room on Floor 4, and 2 cafés on Floor 1 (Petrie Court is table service, American Wing is not).

With Central Park 'on your doorstep' it would be rude not to take a stroll. If you walk all the way back to YOTEL, it’s going to take an hour (or more), but you can always hop on the subway at Columbus Circle (59th & Eighth) down to 42nd Street. If you’re a fan of John & Yoko, you might prefer to leave the park after visiting Strawberry Fields; it’s close to the Dakota Building and the nearby subway stop at 72nd Street will take you all the way to the Port Authority stop at 42nd Street. 

Some well deserved YO-time is in order - with the roof terrace on FOUR now open (May to September) and the sun well past the yard arm, a cocktail or 2 feels like the order of the day. Our guide to restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen has recommendations for dinner, while the brilliant Upright Citizens’ Brigade is literally a couple of minutes away from YOTEL New York and has a nightly schedule of brilliant (and affordable) comedy.

DAY TWO

9/11 Memorial • Staten Island Ferry • Statue of Liberty • Brooklyn Bridge • DUMBO • Times Square • Broadway

Hop on the subway at Port Authority and head south to World Trade Center to the 9/11 Memorial, open daily from 7.30am (Museum from 9am). This is not an experience to rush, so allow yourself time for reflection. Afterwards, walk down to Battery Park and through the Park to the State Island Ferry building – the free ferry service takes you past the Statue of Liberty and the journey takes about 25 minutes. (At Staten Island, disembark and then board the next ferry back – you should not have to wait long.)

Back at the ferry terminal in Manhattan, check the TKTS Live website listings for discounted tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.   At the time of writing, the nearby South Street Seaport location lists more shows that the one on Times Square – if a show takes your fancy and fits your budget, now is the time to buy.

Next stop: Brooklyn Bridge, a photo opp. in and of itself, while also offering great views back to Manhattan. Brooklyn itself is huge so don’t expect to see everything, but DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) will easily keep you occupied, from a slice of Grimialdi’s legendary pizza or hot chocolate and ice-cream sandwiches at Jacques Torres to a spin on Jane’s Carousel and browsing The Powerhouse Arena. There’s even a handy local guide.

When it’s time to head home, hop on the subway at Brooklyn Bridge Station and take the A or the C direct to Port Authority and 42nd Street. If you’ve snaffled tickets for a Broadway show, you’ll need to fit food in before or after – and a trip to New York is not complete without a classic burger. Neighbourhood options include 5 Napkin and Island Burgers as well as Shake Shack and Five Guys. The bright lights of Times Square come into their own at night, never more so than at the Midnight Moment (11.57pm till midnight) when digital art is synchronised across electronic billboards throughout Times Square.

DAY THREE

High Line • Meatpacking District • Greenwich Village • SoHo • Flatiron Building • Empire State Building • Rainbow Room

Manhattan is made for exploring on foot and today’s a day for taking in a couple more “icons” having wandered some of the city’s loveliest neighbourhoods. Wend your way down Tenth Avenue to join the High Line at West 30th Street. From YOTEL New York, it’s about a 30-minute walk to the end of the High Line at Ganesvoort Street – just long enough to have worked up an appetite for breakfast at Bubby’s. The Meatpacking District does not really wake up until 10am, so take your time over breakfast. While many of the high-end stores can be found around the world, make sure you make time for Jeffery, whose owner was one of the first to move into the Meatpacking District.

Head South-East a couple of blocks to leafy Greenwich Village: Carrie Bradshaw had her apartment on pretty Perry Street, the Friends crew lived on the corner of Grove and Bedford and the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street changed history 50 years ago this June. Heading down Waverley Place to Washington Square takes you to the heart of NYU; hang a right on Broadway, cross over Houston, and you find yourself in SoHo.

For lunch, you can do a lot worse than Balthazar, Keith McNally’s classic French brasserie (reservations recommended). Chances are, someone you know has asked if you can stop by the Supreme store, temporarily relocated to 190 Bowery. That’s just a 5-minute walk from Balthazar – but you can expect to spend at least ten times as long waiting in line (Just how much do you love the person who asked you to go?). Retail junkies will also want to see Prada’s Epicenter, designed by Rem Koolhaas / OMA in 2001. 

Be sure to drop by Dominique Ansel Bakery, then make your way back to Washington Square and from there head north on Fifth Avenue for the Flatiron Building, and on to the Empire State Building, before heading back to YOTEL New York (about an hour’s walk, all told).  Once you’re rested and re-charged, wrap up your stay on top of the world: a reservation at the Rainbow Room’s Bar Sixty Five is just the ticket.