Suggest a seven-day unlimited Metro Card, which can be purchased for $30.Whether staying for a long weekend or a week, your clients can use the card on public transportation, which is more convenient and cheaper than HO-HO tours. (Nine subway lines stop at the Trade Center).
Taxis are expensive and, since parking is nil with steep fines for miscreants, cars are unnecessary. If your clients rent bicycles, tell them to watch for maddening traffic. Most of Manhattan’s streets are based on a grid system, so it’s easy to get around, but once south, southwest and southeast of 14th Street (the SOHO, Tribeca, Chinatown and Alphabet City districts) your clients will do well with a map, and good walking shoes. They should also remember that New Yorkers are basically friendly and will help when possible with directions.
Sights to See
There are must-see sights for every visitor (first-timers or repeats): Macy’s (window shopping or shopping), the majestic Empire State Building (on a clear day there’s a great view at the top), Lord & Taylor’s windows, glitzy Times Square, the elegant Chrysler Building, all of Fifth Avenue’s stores from the NY Public Library on 42nd Street to 60th Street and Central Park South. The Plaza is sadly, a condo now, but it’s stately still. Central Park is safe and no matter the weather, your clients should join the walkers and joggers or watch the street performers.
Millions passed through Ellis Island on their way to the “new world” and the Great Hall in the Immigration Museum features “Journeys: The Peopling of America 1550 to 1890.” Chances are your clients will see a relative’s name there. The ferries leave from Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan and operate seven days a week (www.statuecruises.com).
For the way immigrants lived at the turn of the 19th century visit the little-known Tenement Museum
(www.tenement.org), 103 Orchard Street. Walk around this lower east side neighborhood - there are shops still selling wholesale items - and stop at the famous Katz’s Deli for a salami sandwich. The exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (www.mjhnyc.org) explores Jewish life a century ago, while uptown, the bedecked and bedazzled elite of New York in the late 19th and 20th centuries can be viewed at the Museum of the City of New York (www.mcny.org).
For a look into the city’s history, visit the New York Historical Society (www.nyhistory.org). On view until February 23, 2014 is “The Armory Show at 100”, the revolutionary art exhibition, which took place in New York’s Seventh’s Regiment Armory on 67th Street and Park Avenue 100 years ago.
Where to Eat
Dining out in New York is world class. A few of my favorites on the East side are Docs (www.docsoysterbar.com), Marcony (184 Lexington Avenue), Capital Grill, Cafe Boulud and Girasole. Downtown and on the West side your clients can enjoy dining at Boulay Restaurant in SOHO, where there are more boutiques than art galleries, the Standard, High Line (stroll on the historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s West side - it’s now a public park), the quiet, intimate Grape and Vine on West 13th, Il Pesce in Eataly (a block-long store with everything edible), STK Midtown, Empellon and Roberts at the top of the Museum of Design (MAD), in addition to the restaurants and bars at Columbus Circle. To accommodate shoppers, Macy’s Department Store opened Stella 34 Trattoria on the 6th floor overlooking Herald Square. To accommodate thespians, the trendy Theatre Row Diner on West 42nd Street serves a full late night menu until 1:00 am.
Theatre and More
If your clients don’t mind waiting on a queue, the TKS Booth at Father Duffy Square on 47th Street and Times Square sells day-of-performance discount tickets ranging from 20-to 50% off the full price. TheaterMania.com has a discount ticket section. Lincoln Center is selling discounted tickets “day of” at their Atrium. Reasonably priced tickets for a range of performances can be purchased on line by joining the Theatre Development Fund (TDK.com).
After sightseeing, museum hopping, theatre and dining, if your clients want to go clubbing, the legendary Cielo is off Greenwich Street (www.cieloclub.com). Element on East Houston is a luxurious dance/lounge space, and the newly renovated Touch on West 52nd Street is both nightclub and event space. Goldbar on Broom Street is worth a visit, but unless your clients are “somebody” they’ll likely be turned away from the very cool No.8 on West 16th Street.
Finally, suggest your clients branch out to Astoria and Brooklyn to find their own favorites. In no time they’ll make New York their hometown. Visit www.nycgo.com