If there’s a quintessential metropolis out there capable of constantly reinventing itself, that would have to be New York. Whether it’s your first time or your hundredth, you’re bound to fall in love on every visit. Avantgarde, cosmopolitan, fun, kaleidoscopic, chaotic. Turn into a New Yorker and let it show you some more.
The forgotten island
192 metres tall and able to take 1440 people on a 38 minute ride, the New York wheel sets out to be the most spectacular one in the world for the views on offer, as well as putting Staten Island back on the map. Located south and within easy reach by ferry (for free), tourists coming from Manhattan get to see the skyline and be closer to the Statue of Liberty. What do you miss if you don’t spend at least an afternoon there? Historic Richmond Town, a village-museum of 17th and 18th centuries buildings, the interiors of which are finely preserved, and a boat cemetery known as Arthur Kill Boat Yard.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… Alice Austen, photographer known for her social portraits, lived in Staten Island. The house where she lived with her partner, Gertrude Tate, shows part of her work.
The refuge of hipsters and bohemians
Brooklyn is part of New York, and Williamsburg part of Brooklyn. A neighbourhood inside another, with its own unique character. It grew in the heat of shipyards and bear factories, in what was in the eighties one of the most dangerous areas in the Big Apple. But everything changed when artists and bohemian types pushed the Mafiosi away, and the streets started to boast art galleries, bookshops, cafes, bicycles… You breathe an air of tranquility here as you watch the world go by in the East River State Park or snoop around the vintage Artists & Fleas market on a Saturday.
DON’T MISS The Winter Flea Market. It takes place every weekend from October to March. You can find jewels, old furniture, clothes…
The most inspiring sets
What would have happened to Mad Men, Friends, Sex and the City or Girls without New York? Though it’s true that many of them have been filmed on sets in California, the atmosphere and spirit of the city permeates every chapter, and there are many routes to find their spots. The Mad Men route starts out on 405 Madison Avenue, where the first office of Sterling Cooper was located, and goes past PJ Clarke’s, where Peggy’s rise took place. The Friends route stops over on the corner of Bedford St and Grove St, where Monica’s apartment is. And the Sex and the City one goes to Magnolia Bakery, whose cupcakes became world famous.
ESSENTIAL If you want to keep track of those Manhattanites and protagonists, get Nueva York en serie (Léeme Editores), the book by journalist Aloña Fernández Larrechi.
For fans of baseball and basketball
Experiencing a Nicks game from the grandstands can be a great plan to feel like a real New Yorker for a little while. The Madison Square Garden stadium is between the seventh and eighth avenues. It also hosts concerts and boxing matches. Another option is to travel to Brooklyn to root for the Nets at the Barclays Center, a super stadium inaugurated in 2012. And if you’re more into baseball, you must visit the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. It opened in 2009 and also has a museum dedicated to the Yankees history, as well as a number of shops and restaurants.
TICKETS If you wish to attend any of these events, plan your visit and buy tickets ahead on stubhub.com.
Bear Mountain State Park
Switching off in an oasis in the middle of nature
Far from the bustle of New York and only an hour away by train or by taxi, you can fi nd the Bear Mountain State Park, in the steep mountains on the left bank of the Hudson River. You can hike, swim, fish in the lake, watch the bears in the zoo… There is also a picnic area and a viewpoint where you can contemplate the Big Apple skyline. Winter is a perfect time to go, as there are skating rinks and you can also do cross-country skiing.
UNDER THE STARS The park allows you to spend the night in good company, by renting a cottage with all the comforts you need.
Meeting point for New Yorkers and tourists.
On the west side of Manhattan, between Gansevoort Street – Meatpacking District – and 34th Street, you will find the High Line Elevated Park, an original urban park built on an old railway abandoned in 1980. The first phase was inaugurated in 2009 and the third and last one in 2014. Driven by citizens group Friends of the High Line, this is one of the most popular parks with New Yorkers: across its two kilometres they promenade, sit down reading or sunbathing, look at the stars, practise tai-chi, participate in performances, attend concerts… It opens from 7am to 7pm from December to March.
THE NEWS The new headquarters of the Whitney Museum opened in May. It is located between the High Line Elevated Park and the Hudson River. The building has been designed by Italian Renzo Piano.
A street full of musical and foodie spirit.
Ditmas Park is a mini neighbourhood in Brooklyn known for its beautiful Victorian houses. Right in the centre of this historical district, Cortelyou Road stands out. A street full of life that has witnessed the opening of charming cafes over the last few years: Madeleine, or Qathra with its inner courtyard, and restaurants like Mimi’s Hummus and The Farm on Aderley, pushing many Manhattanites to find this Brooklyn foodie street on the map. Yet another incentive is the renovated King’s Theatre, with a rather interesting theatrical and musical programme.
GETTING THERE Cortelyou Road is 40 minutes away from Times Square, taking line Q bound for Coney Island.
The heart of the Lower East Side
97 Orchard St is a building charged with history. From the mid 19th century to the mid 20th, it hosted more than 7000 immigrants arriving from Europe looking for a better life. Several apartments in the building now make up the Tenement Museum, allowing visitors to know more about the stories of those who lived there, as well as to see objects from that time. Besides visiting apartments and meeting the tenants (actors dressed up in period clothes), you can book a tour around the Lower East Side and learn how this immigrant neighbourhood evolved over the years.
TASTE OF ANOTHER TIME The museum offers the Tastings at the Tenement tour, a sampling menu so you can experience the influence of immigration on American gastronomy.
The Insider:Elvira Lindo
Writer, lives between Madrid & New York
Her book Noches sin dormir (Seix Barral, 2015) narrates the day to day of her last winter in New York, illustrated with photographs.
Five adjectives that describe the city. Vibrant, trickster, harsh, beautiful on some occasions and distressing on others.
A place to eat where you don’t feel cheated. Keens, an old meat restaurant, Midtown.
A museum. La Frick Collection.
Your favourite neighbourhood. Brooklyn and Upper West, where I live. A bookshop. Three Lives, in the West Village.
A gourmet store. Eli’s Zabar, in the Upper East Side
45th St. B/W Broadway & 8th Avenue
Known for its cheesecake, of which they have more than ten varieties. Red Velvet and Devils Food are among the most appealing.
- Christie’s New York
20 Rockefeller Plaza
The New York branch of this famous auction house is open to the public with objects and artworks on show to be auctioned later.
- Mendy’s Kosher Delicatessen
Rockefeller Center,37 W 48th Street
This kosher food chain owns five establishments in the city. Their sandwiches and soups are a great option to eat in or take away
- Lady M. Cake Boutique
36 W 40th Street
Their homemade cakes are the most delicate ones in the city, the haute couture of patisserie. The green tea mousse and the draughts ones are simply unique.
- Penhaligon’s of London
620 5th Avenue
This British brand specialised in perfumes has just opened the first store in New York, designed by the Al-Jawad Pike architecture studio. Walking through the doors is like crossing the Atlantic: British spirit all over.
50 Rockefeller Plaza
Clothes, accessories, shoes, household and decoration… All on offer at Anthropologie, the big sister of Urban Outfitters, boasting a vintage and bohemian style.
- Bene Rialto
13 W 38th Street
This marketplace amazes visitors with a panoply of clothes from up and coming designers, male cosmetics, accessories, etc. The fourth floor is an exhibition room, and the fifth floor a space for events. There is also a coworking area.
- Rita Hazan Saloon
720 5th Avenue Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger, Michelle Williams and Jennifer Lopez are among the customers of this hairdresser specialised in dyeing
- Midtown Comics
200 W 40th Street
Graphic novels, adventure series, comics, magazines and all kinds of collectible items for comics lovers.
- Bouchon Bakery
Rockefeller Center, 1
Sandwiches, soups, salads and cakes with a French touch are the main attractions in this establishment managed by chef Thomas Keller
- Le Bernardin
155 W 51st Street
This branch of the famous Parisian restaurant has three Michelin stars and has been nominated several times by the Zagat guide as the best restaurant in New York. Their seafood is just the best in town.
- La Grenouille
3 East 52nd Street
Everything is impeccable in this restaurant: the refined French cuisine, classic decor and exquisite service. Their crepes flambéed with Grand Marnier are unforgettable
- Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
41 West 42nd Street
The sommelier of Le Bernardin, Aldo Sohm, opened this wine bar so you could feel you are hanging out in his living room, sharing a glass of some of the best wines in the world, surrounded by art books and vintage objects.
- Shake Shack
691 8th Avenue
For many, the best hamburgers in New York. The unbeatable pricing (you can eat for under $10) and quality (fresh Angus veal) are the keys for such success. Try one out together with a fifty-fifty (half lemonade, half ice tea).