Travelers' Spiritual Guide to New York City
Did you miss the Ball Drop in Times Square this year? The spirit of New York is like that all year. Plan to see the City That Never Sleeps through a new level of consciousness with this guide.
If you get to spend a couple of days in the Big Apple, and you are not a fan of big touristy attractions where you’ll have to spend hours in line for a generic photo, you need a different type of city guide. New York is so much more than The Empire State Building or The Statue of Liberty. Not to diminish the beauty of these monumental sights, but if you want to experience the real New York, the one that only the true New Yorkers can show you, hit some of the spots in this article.
Get your transportation game right.
There are simply too many options to get from point A to point B in Manhattan. And locals don’t always stick to simply one of them. A lot of it depends on the time of the day — going to and from work, along with lunch hour — and most crowded intersections. So, let us help you navigate.
If you are not pressed for time, walking is a great option. You can get a feel of the city and the energy, and, at the same time, explore some areas that are not on the typical tourist maps.
The second option is, of course, the famous New York subway. But stay away from it around 6 p.m., especially near Wall Street, as you will witness a river of well-dressed people flowing down and packing each and every train that comes along.
Then, there are the cabs. Although quite inexpensive they can be a big waste of time if you get stuck in traffic and are unable to move for more than an hour. Finally, you can always opt for a bike, but, in all honesty, it takes a lot of city cycling experience if you want to hold your own in New York traffic.
Time for that well-deserved drink.
There is no shortage of great places for you to unwind and grab a drink or two. But, yet again if you want the authentic New York feel, you will stay away from Times Square for this one. East Village should be your first thought for a cup of freshly brewed artisan coffee. The numerous small cafés and coffee shops are simply irresistible in this part of the city.
If you’re in the mood for more uncommon superfoods, venture to one of the local juicers, like Jadakiss + Styles P’s Juices For Life.
That’s just for daytime. In the evenings, you need to up your game, but you still don’t need to travel far from East Village. There are amazing pubs in the heart of this district, from the famous Mace to Death & Company. Now, getting maced in the East Village might sound like a New York horror story, but at this pocket-sized cocktail club, named after the nutmeg-like spice, not the eye-burning pepper spray, you are bound to have a great time.
And, don't underestimate private parties in this magical city. They have fantastic catering and a renowned mixologist in NYC will serve you a memorable cocktail or two at one of these shindigs. The fact of the matter is, if you want to drink as New Yorkers do, stay away from the tourist-infested joints and start exploring the side streets.
Remember, drink consciously.
On with the exploration.
Of course, you’ll want to see some of the sights that make this city so magical, and these are not necessarily the ones you have marked on your NYC sights map. If you like museums but are not a fan of crowds and long lines, try visiting The Cloisters where you can check out medieval European art, architecture, and artifacts. It is an annex of the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art hidden away in the gorgeous Fort Tryon Park, a true gem indeed.
To live it up like a true New York resident you definitely need to visit Smorgasburg. It is the largest weekly open-air food market in America, with over a hundred vendors who set up stalls and offer visitors a diverse selection of food from all around the world. The two things you’ll need to bring is an empty stomach and a full wallet, the rich selection of choices is bound to spoil you.
Finally, pay a visit to Socrates Sculpture Park. Built over an abandoned landfill back in 1986, it hosts large-scale sculpture exhibitions throughout the year. Various local artists and activists present their work here. Overlooking the Manhattan skyline, the SSP is the largest outdoor space in New York of its kind.
You are now ready to experience this amazing metropolis like a true local. Don’t forget to throw in a cuss word or two at the drivers, and you should definitely sample some of the versatile food choices tempting you at every corner. Spending a few days in New York will truly be an unforgettable experience.
Brigitte Evans of High Style Life is a newbie writer from Australia with a sweet tooth for makeup and everything sparkly. When she is not drooling over the next big thing in the beauty industry, she is reading mystery novels and making plans for her next trip. She is a proud aunt of Sophie, age 4 who rounded her Chanel lipstick, but loves her anyway.