New York is considered the greatest city in the world. It’s loud, fast and full of tourist attractions. Times Square, the Empire State Building, Central Park and a myriad of other icons are always mentioned. However, hotspots have become so commercialised and packed that they’re impossible to enjoy. But there are ways you can enjoy a trip to NYC that don’t involve being sandwiched between two people scoffing deep-fried hotdogs in the TKTS line in the middle of winter. Here are 5 of them:
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New York is made up of five boroughs; Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. Manhattan is where most of the action is at; however, the outer boroughs are seriously underrated! Brooklyn is home to some fabulous eateries, boutiques, and of course the resplendent Prospect Park. It’s generally cheaper than Manhattan and doesn’t have that steady stream of people pouring through the streets. Williamsburg in Brooklyn is particularly cool; very hipster without being emo and populated by a surprising amount of celebrities, including Ed Westwick aka Chuck Bass (thank you, Gossip Girl!).
2. Trader Joe’s
Love chowing down on all the epic food in NYC but hate what it’s doing to your waistline? No problem! Head down to Trader Joe’s supermarket, most notably situated on 14th Street at Union Square. They have everything from bagels to almond/coconut milk to peanut butter cups, and best of all; they only sell products with zero high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup is a cheap sweetener found in lot of American food; it’s probably the worst possible thing you can put into your body. Shop at Trader Joe’s and get tasty, healthy, and inexpensive food in a flash!
3. Union Square
It’s a giant square (go figure) of cement tiles at the top of the East Village and is a little hive of shopping, food, and a super cool “sculpture” of sky high flashing numbers that I eventually found out was a sort of palindromic clock. Go around Christmas and you’ll get the Union Square Markets. It’s also a great point of reference if you get lost: “Meet you at Union Square?” Of course!
4. The rooftops
On a rooftop, any rooftop, you will find happiness in New York. Unless it’s January, then it sucks. But any other time is great! Because New York is so condensed, everything is sort of stacked on top everything. As such, you end up with these rooftop terraces, all of which have an AMAZING view of that iconic New York City skyline. They are the perfect place for a party, a barbeque, or even a quiet cup of coffee. You don’t know New York until you’ve seen it from the very top!
5. Night time
This may seem like a weird one, but it’s true. If you’re a night person, you will LOVE New York. Nothing in that city opens until 10am (shops, supermarkets, literally anything), which means that loads of diners, convenience stores, quirky shops, etc are open 24 hours. Have a 2am Ben & Jerry’s craving? No problem! Grab your coat and stroll down any street in Manhattan. You’re guaranteed to find at least three places still open. Aside from that, New York is just super cool at night. Something happens to the place, like a magic curtain has been drawn and all the fantasy creatures come out to play. I’ve found myself inexplicably in the middle of Union Square in minus 5 degrees, armed with a tub of ice cream, a fork and no regrets at 4am way too many times. New York at night is like nowhere else!
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