I remember I was so excited about my trip to New York. I took so much time to plan to be sure that I would enjoy my 5 days there as much as possible. I had so much stuff I wanted to do, so many attractions I wanted to see, so many moment I wanted to live and afterwards I can say that 5 days was definitely not enough.
This post is my list of things that I really regret I didn’t do and at the same time the list of the 10 first things I will do the next time I fly there. Some of them might be a little cliché for you, but I assume it is what I was looking for when I first visit the Big Apple.
1. Spending More Time In The MET
The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world and is one of the biggest art museum in the world. The Museum lives in three different sites in New York City, The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer and The Met Cloisters and you need at least a few days to visit it.
My goal was not to visit the entire museum, of course, but I really regret that I was not able to spend at least a full day inside. This museum is fantastic, not just because of his big collection of pieces of art and his famous works, but also because of the wonderful design of each gallery. For example, The Egyptian Temple of Dendur (you can see it in the picture above) is the most popular gallery and my favorite. I know that lots of people don’t like to visit museums, but just get in there at the very least to experience the atmosphere and the architecture.
2. The High Line
The High Line is an urban linear park suspended in the borough of Manhattan in New York, built on a portion (2.3 km) of disused old aerial railway of the Lower West Side. The only reason I didn’t visit this area is simply because I didn’t know his existence and I heard about it through a friend just after my trip.
It is a must see attraction for tourists and one of the favorite walks of New Yorkers. This linear park gives a different view of New York and allows to visit several areas in the west Manhattan. It is also a “hype” place, as it is between the clubs and bars of the trendy Meatpacking District and the biggest galleries of Art located in Chelsea.
The High Line is a true ecological and eco-friendly side as well. It can claim to be “the longest green roof of the world” because in addition to its recreational aspect, it contributes up to 80% retention of rainwater, overcomes the island effect heat and provides shade, oxygen and a habitat for animals, like insects and birds.
Every year, many events are organized, like music and dance performances, art exhibitions or yoga sessions. Several times a month, it is also possible to come and help in the maintenance of the High Line park as a volunteer. And in the summer, you can also run into street sellers selling food, small works of art and everyday objects.
3. Having Fun In Coney Island
This point is getting me back to my childhood. I heard a lot about Coney Island in movies and tv series/shows and I have always dreamt about going there as a kid. But much more than that, I think this place is part of the New York culture and just for that reason, it really worth it.
Coney Island is a former island, became a peninsula, located in the extreme south of Brooklyn. The site was formerly a major leisure complex and home to several amusement parks. By the time the air conditioning did not exist, the area quickly established as the ideal place to spend the hot summer time. Faced with this popular success, many restaurants, hotels and attractions mostly settled on the peninsula. In the early 20th century, Coney Island was at the height of its popularity. However, it declined and at the end of World War II, many parks were closed, including the famous Luna Park. The neighborhood was deserted by families and tourists and becomes a territory of gangs. In 2010, an amusement park, the “new Luna Park”. It marks the beginning of a revitalization campaign attractions area.
4. Watch a broadway show
Broadway shows are a big symbol of New York and you can’t walk on Time square without bumping into people who want to sell you tickets.
When planning my trip to NYC, I didn’t schedule any time to see a show and I didn’t think about it at all. But once in New York, visiting Time Square, I couldn’t think about something else. Honestly, there were two reasons why, finally, I didn’t do it. First, because I already spent lots of money on this trip and secondly because I didn’t had any information about how to get a ticket without being scammed, which show were worth it…
5. Meeting a celebrity
In the streets of New York, crossing paths with a celebrity can be a day-to-day occurrence. But in my 6 day trip in the Big Apple, I din’t meet any famous people and I have to say it, I was a bit disappointed (kidding). I am not a stars stalker, but I think it can be really exciting to meet one.
if you are interested in meeting celebrities in NYC, there is a lot of information on the internet. Here are some articles about that I had fun to read, maybe trying to get ready for my next New York journey (laughing hard).
6. Marilyn Monroe’s Subway Grate
In each big city, there are always some places where tourists want to take pictures in reference to a famous picture taken before. We can talk about the Beatles picture on Abbey Road or the kiss on Times square. But the one I am really sad that I missed in New York is the one with Marylin Monroe on the subway grate.
On September 15, 1954 around 1am, Marilyn Monroe stood on the top of a simple subway grate on the corner of Lexington and 52nd Street. It would become one of the most iconic pictures in history. It was at this place that The Seven Year Itch was filmed. Marilyn walks out of the Theater with co-star Tom Ewell, paused on the subway grate and a breeze from the subway below, blows up Marilyn’s dress. And Marilyn famously delivers the line, “Oh, do you feel the breeze from the subway. Isn’t it delicious?”.
During the scene, an estimated 2000-5000 spectators and photographers showed up to watch the filming. The scene took three hours to film, in which a prop man stood with a fan underneath the grate sending a breeze up Marilyn’s white dress. But even with all of the efforts to film this scene, it had to be re-filmed in a Hollywood studio due to the noise from the crowd and the subway.
7. Museum of the American Gangster
What is very interesting about New York is his history and when you think about this city, you can’t think about all these based true story gangster movies which took part there. I am a big fan of gangster adventures, maybe it is because of my Italian blood (while I am writing, I am smiling as I am imagining myself as an Al Capone woman version, what a weird spirit! Ha-ha!).
But get back to our subject. The Museum of the American Gangster (MOAG) presents an opportunity to visit the hidden, inside world of the American Gangster through artifacts and stories told by those involved. It is a common ground for gangsters, their families, law enforcement, and those who lived the stories from every angle to put the story back in history. A funny fact is that The Museum of the American Gangster is in an appropriate spot: a building originally owned by crime figure Frank Hoffman that served as a speakeasy during prohibition.
8. Ride the Roosevelt Island Tram
There are many ways to get around New York, metros, busses, taxis, CitiBikes, and you possibly never heard about another one, the cable car. It goes from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. Since 2003, the cable has been considered as any other public transportation and you can take it with your MetroCard.
I don’t really know why I love cable car so much; maybe it is the view, maybe the opportunity to take as many pictures as I want or maybe it is just a way to escape the traditional way of moving, (talking about the metro or the bus). I don’t know, but I am pretty sure that I am not the only one. Since I came back from my New York trip, I can stop thinking about how is it possible that I miss this attraction. Seriously, what happened ?
9. Attend a Gospel Mass in Harlem
Sing, clap and dance, feeling the love and the joy that exude. That’s how I imagine a gospel mass. It is one my dream to experience this moment. It was something I really wanted to do during my trip. The only reason why I didn’t do it, was because I heard from friends that Harlem was dangerous for tourists. But while doing some research for this post, I discover that it was not true. it is as safe as the other parts of New York, unless you decide to walk alone late at night or enter some deserted and suspicious locations, just stay in public and lively places. But if some of you are not reassured, You should know that there are some gospel churches in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, … but I heard the experience is so much better in Harlem. it is where you can find the birthplace of the New York American black culture and where the church is an integral part of life of its inhabitants.
10. Brewery Tour
There’s a long tradition of local-beer-making in New York and the city count 24 breweries divided on the 5 boroughs.
As a good Belgian citizen, I am a big fan of beer. If I have the chance to visit New York one more time, I will for sure visit some of the numbers breweries that pulled New York. Here is the list of all of them :
Coney Island Brewing Company
Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.
Greenpoint Beerworks (KelSo, Heartland)
Keg & Lantern Brewing Company
Other Half Brewing Company
Strong Rope Brewery
Flagship Brewing Company
Check this website if you want to learn more about New York Beers : http://brewyorknewyork.com
I hope you loved the post and maybe you found some new idea of things to do in one of the most exciting city I ever visit.