Three Day New York Itinerary – River, Road and the D Train
Day 1 – The Village and The River
Start your New York trio of days with a trip to Greenwich Village for a lazy 10am brunch of crab meat, avocado and egg white omelette with a complimentary glass of champagne at Pasticceria Bruno. Although this was once the domain of penniless artists and creative types The Village is now one of the most expensive areas in New York and so is a great place for wandering along leafy streets with a Fair Trade coffee (West 10th is rumoured to be the most beautiful block in the city). The influx of money here has meant that there are some well kept local amenities, such as Washington Square Park, with its pretty 19th century fountain, chess hustlers and noisy skateboarders doing tricks around the Washington Arch. Greenwich Village has always been something of a creative hub, sheltering poets, artists, writers and actors, and this is a great place to get tickets for an off-Broadway play or to see an independent film at Cinema Village (general admission $11).
After a lunch of spaetzle, Knackwurst and bratkartoffeln at Lederhosen German Wurst & Bierhaus take a cab north to Pier 78 at Hudson River and 38th Street and jump on a CitySightseeing – Midtown Cruise. This 90-minute boat trip will take you all around the southern tip of the island of Manhattan, past Battery Park, the Empire State Building, the Statute of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island and Ellis Island. When you disembark head for Hell’s Kitchen and experience some of New York’s hottest gay nightspots, or walk a few blocks further east to the Theater District and dine in the garden at Barbetta, New York’s oldest Italian restaurant and favourite of Bill and Hilary Clinton.
Day 2 – Fifth Avenue
Begin your second morning in the city in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue, one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. Start out at the Grand Central Terminal with a coffee and danish from Eli Zabar’s Bread & Pastry and wander through the imposing concourse with its incredible architecture. Head one block over on to Madison Avenue and then walk one more block to the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue. This 1,250 ft skyscraper is without doubt one of the most recognisable buildings on the New York skyline and has two observation decks where you can see the city from above ($42 adults, $36 children for the top deck). Back on ground level, walk north up Fifth Avenue to Bryant Park, where there are al fresco film showings in summer and an ice skating rink in winter, and at 42nd Street look out for the huge stone lions of the New York Public Library.
After a quick steak lunch at the uber stylish Aureole at 135 West 42nd Street, walk back east to Fifth Avenue and head north past Rockefeller Plaza, St Stephen’s Cathedral and Saks Fifth Avenue (stopping off to sightsee and shop along the way) until you get to the southeast corner of Central Park. If you’re not loaded down with shopping then take a Central Park Bike Tour and spend three hours pedalling slowly through the leafy paths and meadows. For dinner, go east out of Central Park to the 2nd Avenue Deli, a historic kosher restaurant that does the best hot pastrami in the city.
Day 3 – From Brooklyn to Chelsea
On your last day in New York take yourself out to Brooklyn in the early morning via the subway and see where the hipsters of Williamsburg and Gowanus live. Make for Tom’s Restaurant in Prospect Heights (782 Washington Avenue) and fill up on lemon ricotta pancakes for around $10. Sign up for the Real Brooklyn Tour and spend a couple of hours sightseeing the incredible architecture and history of the area that also brought us the likes of Jay-Z, Woody Allen, Al Capone, Neil Diamond and Mos Def. Finish your trip to Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with a wander through the picturesque bluebell woods. Grab a takeout slice of pizza before you leave and then jump back on the subway and head for Chelsea.
Spend the afternoon of your last day in New York exploring the trendy gay scene of the city, or all the biggest galleries – or both. The Gagosian Gallery and Pace Wildenstein are both located here, but if browsing for treasures at local flea markets is more your thing then there’s a great selection around 25th Street between Seventh Avenue and Broadway, particularly at the weekends. In the evening, head south down Sixth Avenue to the point where your trip started – the West Village – and browse the cobbled streets for the perfect candlelit restaurant in which to enjoy your last evening in the city – One if By Land, Two if By Sea is located in an 18th-century carriage house and fits the bill perfectly.
Photo credit: prayitno
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