Ok, so I went through shopping, eating, accommodation etc in the previous chapters. This is going to be the last one!
This is a list of my top 10 favourite places or things to do in New York City. Most of these suggestions are intended to take a break from the City crowds and enjoy some time chilling out! Enjoy!
- Pier 17 or South Street Seaport – This is one of the few places in NYC where you can enjoy the water view, relax, walk without running the risk of being run over by cars! There’s a tiny shopping mall, and from its terrace there’s a beautiful view over the 3 bridges: Williamsburg Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge. In winter there’s also an ice rink. Note for fashion victims: you’ll find Abercrombie & Fitch there too!
- Chelsea Piers – by the end of Christopher Street, a series of piers on the Hudson River are the best place to relax, spend some time sunbathing and people-watching! I also took one of my favourite shots here:
- MacDougal Street in the Greenwhich Village – A jumble of different kinds of bars, cafes and famous landmarks such as Minetta Tavern (regulars as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound etc), Cafe Wha? (where Jimi Hendrix first became famous), or nice Hookah barswhere you can just enjoy the atmosphere.
- Mulberry Street and Canal Street – In the Lower East Side you will find the centre of Italian (American Italian actually) and Chinese culture. Chinatown and Little Italy are quickly merging together. It’s fun to walk down these streets, crawling with people and colors. Just don’t eat in the Italian Restaurants down there… they’re not so good! Try the ones I recommended before instead. Try the Chinese bakeries: super cheap and super good!
- Strawberry Fields – I’m not really much into Central Park, this may be an outrageous statement but I don’t think it’s that beautiful. It just feels kinda fake to me, just saying. But you can’t miss the “Strawberry Fields”, dedicated in honor of John Lennon(his house, in front of which he was murdered, is just across the street, and Yoko Ono still lives there). This is actually moving. You’ll always find some fans and tourists there, maybe singing “Imagine” together. Unforgettable.
- VIP-watching – If you feel like going VIP-watching, go straight to the Greenwhich Village. Perry Street and Christopher Street are the right place. And the area is so beautiful! You can spot “Friends” house and if you’re lucky enough you can meet Sarah Jessica Parker, Uma Thurman and many other VIP people living there. Christopher Street is also where the gay movement developed in the 70s, starting with the Stonewall riots in 1969. The Gay Pride takes place in the area, and I was so lucky to be there last year.
- The Lion King Musical – Musicals on Broadway are really expensive. But you have to see at least one, so my suggestion is The Lion King, and if you are a travel lover a show about Africa will be just perfect! The best seats are in the front row on the mezzanine, to enjoy the show and its magnificent scenography at best. Everything is so beautiful in that musical: colors, music, rythm, costumes. Sigh. Would LOVE to go back and see it once more!
- Battery Park – After your visit to Ground Zero, take some time to walk around this beautiful, quiet park on the very tip of Manhattan island. The Sphere is a touching memorial to the victims of 9/11. It’s a sculpture by Fritz Koenig that once stood in the middle of the Twin Towers. It survived the disaster, but it’s visibly damaged. It didn’t undergo any repair. The Sphere and a perpetual flame are a a striking testimony to the 9/11 facts and I strongly suggest you to visit them. Moreover, the area is the perfect place for a walk at sunset, with a beautiful view on Miss Liberty!
- Ferries – Staten Island Ferry and Governors Island Ferry will take you to two very interesting islands that belong to New York City but look completely different! First of all, ferries are FREE of charge. So even if you don’t really care about visiting Staten Island and Governors Island, you can do the boat trip even just to take some pictures to the skyline, instead of paying for a water taxi. Governors Island is very small and it takes just a few hours to see it. Bycicles rent is FREE on fridays. You can even have a shooting class!
Staten Island is not much touristic, in fact there’s not much to see down there. But get on a bus and just enjoy the ride across the island, and back. With its uphill streets you’ll feel like you’re in San Francisco. It feels like you’re miles away from NYC even if you never left it!
- Coney Island – last but not least, my favourite place ever in New York! If I had to choose a word to describe it, I’d say “weird“! But also funny, crazy, grotesque! There are 2 historical fun-fairs: Luna and Dreamland. You absolutely have to ride the “Wonder Wheel” (scary!) and the “Cyclone” roller coaster (super scary!).
Hot Dog was born in Coney Island, so you can’t miss the original Nathan’s hot dog. Around the area there are many freak shows, kinda scary, but you can’t help but watch!
Another reason I like the area is because of the nearby Brighton Beach – aka “Little Odessa”, with its Ukrainian and Russian shops and food. Fresh piroshki on the streets… I felt like I was back to Saint Petersburg!
Coney Island is definitely a place to explore.