High 5: NYC hotspots

April 8, 2014

New York City skyline

On a recent visit to the Big Apple, my colleague Julia and I discovered some must-see city gems.

The Grand Central Food Court
New Yorkers in-the-know will tell you that Grand Central Station boasts one of the best food courts in the whole city.  It’s up to demanding New Yorker foodie standards, and includes Thai, Japanese, Indian, Italian and Chinese cuisine, plus local favourites like Magnolia Bakery and Shake Shack.  Grab a table and some lunch here and watch thousands of frantic New Yorkers rush to catch their trains. It’s people-watching at its best.


South Street Seaport
Situated on Lower Manhattan’s waterfront with a breathtaking view of Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport is worth a visit. The area features some of the oldest architecture in Manhattan, renovated sailing ships, a maritime museum and a modern tourist mall with restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Don’t miss the Seaport Music Festival, a free summer concert series.


FAO Schwarz
Located on Fifth Avenue, this is an enchanting treat for visitors of all ages. Filled with toys beyond childrens’ wildest dreams – from a plush, larger-than-life lion to the famous enormous piano dance mat – awe-inspiring fun can be found around every corner. Every trip to the store begins with a warm greeting from the shop’s real-life toy soldiers.


West Village
With its quaint tree-lined cobbled streets and picturesque front stoops, there’s an intimate vibe here that sets it apart from the hustle and bustle of other Manhattan boroughsStop by bustling French bistro Cafe Cluny and have delicious Eggs Benedict for brunch, then relax in the elegant green gardens of nearby Abingdon Square Park.  Or why not head to one of the neighbourhood’s famous comedy or jazz clubs, such as the Village Vanguard?


The High Line
A public park built on an historic freight rail line, elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side, the High Line had been abandoned for 30 years. Stretching from the lively Meatpacking District to Midtown, the park is now one of the borough’s must popular attractions.  An urbanite’s playground planted with wildflowers and grasses, it’s perfect for a leisurely scenic stroll on a sunny afternoon.

Lisa Farrell