This past Thursday, Knut and I woke up at 5:00am in order to explore the most glamorous city in the world. Although Easton, Maryland is not exciting (especially for Knut who has already lived here for a year), there is not a place in Norway – or anywhere else in the world – that compares to New York. Therefore, I knew I had to take him there in order to make his USA trip more thrilling.
During our 11 hours in New York, we ventured from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park (and everywhere in between). In case you’re planning to take on New York this summer, here is what we think the top ten things to do are.
1. The High Line
I have been to New York about 5 times, and never have I even heard of the High Line. Opened in 2009 and finished in 2014, the High Line is definitely one of the most uniquely beautiful parts of the city. Stretching from 34th street to 14th street, the High Line is an old railroad track converted into an above ground walkway that makes traveling through New York much more peaceful than treading through the city sidewalks. With its abundance of trees, plants and sidewalk shops, the High Line has a park-like atmosphere made unique with its views of fabulous apartments and side-of-building paintings. If you’re in New York for the week, or even for the day, the High Line is a must.
2. Greenwich Village
If you get on the High Line at 34th street, it conveniently ends on 14th – in Greenwich Village. Another area of the city that I have never seen, Greenwich Village is quiet and charming with its consignment shops, outdoor cafés, and exquisite brownstones. Just grab a cup of coffee at one of the many quaint shops and wander through the streets of what must be the most serene area of New York City.
3. Central Park
If you are looking for a relatively cheap and easy way to eat lunch, grabbing food and heading to Central Park is absolutely perfect. We went to the Whole Foods on Columbus Circle and grabbed lunch, and then walked through the park until we found a nice spot that was great for eating and people watching.
4. Fifth Avenue
Although none of us can actually afford to shop at Saks or Bergdorf Goodman, it’s entertaining to walk down the city’s most famous shopping street. Just window-shopping in this high fashion area can make anyone feel just a little bit more glamorous.
5. The Rockefeller Center
Whether it’s December or July, the Rockefeller Center is always a great place to visit. Despite the fact that the incredible Christmas tree and ice skating rink are absent in July, the sidewalk markets make up for it. Filled with fresh produce and juice, visiting the promenade offers a cheap, refreshing snack on a hot summer day in such an expensive city.
6. The Brooklyn Bridge
In the 5 times that I have visited New York, I’ve never even thought about stopping by the Brooklyn Bridge. However, Knut was determined to go and so we did. I must say that the views of the city from the top of the bridge are absolutely spectacular. Just a 20 minute walk from SoHo, the Brooklyn Bridge is a historic New York landmark that everyone should see once in their lives.
Speaking of SoHo, this is where you want to go if you’re thinking about doing some real shopping (as opposed to pretending to shop on Fifth Avenue). In SoHo, you can find the famous Canal Street where New York City knockoffs reign. But no worries, all of your favorite stores including J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, Madewell, etc. are also set to the backdrop of this stylish urban neighborhood.
8. The subway
Finally, there’s one last New York City staple that all visitors must take advantage of. Despite Blair Waldorf’s opinion, the subway is the only efficient way to get around in the city. With its speedy system and stops on just about every other street corner, using the subway makes any New York day trip more enjoyable (unless you can’t find the right route and spend 1.5 hours walking around SoHo in search of it). Although it may not be fabulous or touristy, for just $3 a trip (compared to the $25-$50 cab rides), it is essential that every visitor quickly learns and uses the country’s best public transportation system.
Although I am far from an expert, I hope you enjoy and take advantage of this quick New York City guide. With just a few weeks left of the summer, there’s plenty that everyone will want to squeeze in. If you have the chance, book an Amtrak ticket and head to New York. It’s the city of all cities, and never fails to dazzle and entertain!