New York, here we come by Jane Jeffries
It dawned on me while planning this trip, how special it was going to be. A traveling companion can define an experience so although I have been to New York many times I’ve never been with my daughter.
Here are a few tips and highlights from our wonderful trip.
A great place to stay
The Ameritania is a reasonably priced warm, friendly and funky hotel in the heart of the Theatre District - corner of 54th and Broadway. It is within easy walking distance of Central Park, Times Square and 5th Avenue and has a metro station across the road.
We paid $30 for a week of unlimited use of the metro - a great and very affordable way to get around the city. The only downside is you need to get your bearings so make sure you get to the Top of the Rock or Empire State Building to get the bigger picture.
Places to eat
After a lot of research we concluded many of the best restaurants are in the Soho and Greenwich Village areas. They are lovely neighbourhoods to walk round and take potluck but if you want to be more organised book one of our favs.
Greenwich Project http://www.grubstreet.com/2013/04/greenwich-project-what-to-eat.html
The Mercer Kitchen http://www.themercerkitchen.com
Merc Bar http://www.mercbar.com
I never really settle into a city until I have done a little shopping so for me it’s a good place to start so you can focus on the more important things.
Get down to Soho and limber up. You’ll find everything you need there.
Biking in Central Park
At the southern end of the park you’ll find bikes for hire. Most are from the Official New York Bike Company and cost about $20 per hour for as long as you like. Remember to take ID, as they will hold this as security.
The bike tracks are good and there are many things of interest to see including John Lennon memorial at Strawberry Fields and the Jackie Onassis pond.
We spent over two hours riding around the park ending our morning with a picnic from Wholefoods in Columbus Square.
Walking the highline
Don’t leave New York without walking the Highline. It is New York’s newest park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.
The dilapidated historic structure was under threat in the late 1900’s and a group of residents fought for its preservation. It is an amazing addition to the city and not to be missed. Allow a good couple of hours and end the morning at Chelsea Market and enjoy a great coffee or seafood lunch
The High Line is located on Manhattan's West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues.
The Brooklyn Bridge
Catch the metro to trendy Brooklyn and walk back along the bridge that connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The bridge, spanning the East River is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and was completed in 1883.
Great views include the Statue of Liberty at a distance, dozens of boats and helicopters and the Manhattan Bridge.
Book of Morman
There is nothing PC about this hilarious musical that will make you laugh and laugh. Even if you are told the show is booked out for months there will be tickets online somewhere. You’ll buy at premium but it’s worth it.
I didn’t know what to expect at Ground Zero but I was deeply moved by the magnitude and magnificence of the two memorials, built on the same footprints of the original twin towers. They celebrate the 2,977 lives lost that day.
We got a guide, Anthony, who was there on that terrifying morning of 9/11.
I would highly recommend a guide, as there is so much to learn from the days, weeks and months following the tragedy and the rebuild. The tours lasted about 2 ½ hours and encompassed the whole Twin Tower precinct and surrounding area,
A museum, next to the memorials will open in 2014
To read more from Jane for her recommendations on Los Angeles and other travel stories check out her travel blog Blog the Globe