New York City Travel Guide

New York City Travel Guide

David Durán

It’s the city that never sleeps, the city most dream about visiting once in their lifetime, and home to millions in a very condensed space. New York City can practically sell itself on name recognition alone, and visitors to the big apple can solely base their visits from television shows or blockbuster movies, and still manage to have a once in a lifetime trip. The city is quite literally filled with things to see and do, all in a compact space that gives the impression of a never-ending pavement of skyscrapers. If planned correctly, New York City can still provide those quirky tourist obligated experiences, but also elevate the traveller’s experience to a whole new level of exhilaration. Wondering what to do in NYC? Mr Hudson has got you covered.

Things to do in NYC

This city has something for everyone; there are a lot of things to do in New York. It seems like the world has been waiting for the rebuild after the destruction of the Twin Towers, and finally One World Trade Center is open, including the One World Observatory. This state of the art experience begins with an elevator ride that is practically worth the pricey ticket to the top. If you are going to pay for above the cloud views, the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building provide some killer views from the centre of it all, but this new skyscraper is providing that unique perspective from the bottom of the island, looking up into a sea of buildings. It’s definitely not the tallest building in the world, but for New York, it’s mighty impressive and for anyone who makes it up to the 102nd floor, the view is beyond magnificent.

The second view of the city doesn’t stand so tall. Actually, it’s not very tall at all, but it’s kind of the biggest deal in the city right now. The High Line, now a public park, until recently was an eyesore of about a mile and a half of abandoned, elevated subway tracks. It’s a beautiful stretch that runs from the Meatpacking District to Chelsea and has some sweet art installations and greenery to enjoy while taking a stroll. And almost as if attached to the tracks, the new Whitney Museum, which moved locations recently to become part of the momentum the High Line has created, is worth a stop as well. The stunning architecture and design are a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

For some smaller, lesser known, but equally worthwhile art galleries and museums, spend some time adding these to your “to see” list. The Noguchi Museum, once a printmaking facility, is now a testament to sculptor Isamu Noguchi. The Museum at FIT is a haven for fashionistas, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, which showcases African heritage inspired work, is located a block from the infamous Apollo Theater, on the famous stretch of 125th Street.

The High Line

The High Line

Places to visit in New York

The best hoods in NYC to spend time in are some of the classics as well as some of the areas you might have never thought to check out (Brooklyn). But let’s start with the familiar. Chelsea and SoHo are the hippest areas to be seen and to sip on martinis or shop for expensive threads. Chelsea was once the premier gay area but has now undergone a commercialized transformation, leaving it with a few scattered bars but mostly with some great Sunday brunching spots, any of which can be stumbled upon by simply walking down the main avenue. SoHo is filled with perfectly preserved cast-iron fire escapes and industrial facades that are now home to designer shops like Prada and Chanel. Worth a stop are places like Birchbox, which is all about samples, so you’ll find plenty of product testing stations throughout the store. COS is H&M’s pricier and prettier sister. Evolution is just a weird experience of taxidermy and whatnots, but actually has some neat stuff.

But let’s get back to Brooklyn. It’s the land of overpriced barbershops that serve cheap beer while trimming overgrown hipster beards. And the place to sip on craft bourbon cocktails with an oversized ice cube most likely chipped off an iceberg somewhere deep in Antarctica. A lot of Manhattan’s top chefs have found homes in Brooklyn and since the borough is the mecca of freelance workers, expect to wait for a lunch table at a hot spot, even on a Tuesday.

Williamsburg used to be the area of Brooklyn where everyone wanted to be – and it still is – but it’s now more yuppie than hipster, and it still has some spots worth visiting. The weekend flea market is always a trip. Grab a cup of vegan ice cream and wander the market aimlessly looking for something you never knew you needed. Afterwards, walk down to the river to get some epic shots of the Manhattan skyline. Nearby is also Brooklyn Brewery and The Whiskey Brooklyn, two spots that have lots to drink, with the latter having adult carnival-style games next to the bar. In nearby Park Slope, now mostly dominated by families, there are still some really fun places to hang. Zombie Hut, a ridiculously themed tiki bar, has the cheapest and strongest drinks in Brooklyn, and just across the way is Cubana Café, if you get bored of tiki drinks and need a mojito. If you are adventurous enough to stay out late in Brooklyn, Bushwick is where all the hip kids hang out. And although the overpriced craft cocktails served by true Brooklyn hipsters might put a dent in your wallet, the people watching will more than make up for it. The gay-ish bar in those parts is Happyfun Hideaway, while The Narrows will have the best cocktails…so pick and choose wisely.

Photo: Andrew David

Photo: Andrew David

Shopping in New York City

If you made it over the bridge to Brooklyn, spend some time shopping a bit. The streets are filled with boutique stores selling everything from designer to recycled goods. Creativity runs wild in BEAM, a corner retail store that sells all sorts of home furnishings and accessories that will make your dinner guests envious. Brooklyn is oversaturated with wonderfully unique shopping. Antler & Woods is a very Brooklyn type of clothing store and during “Rosé Saturdays,” shoppers can sip on beer or wine while shopping. Heading back over to Manhattan, the island is full of men’s boutiques. In the East Village, The Lodge Man Shop sells scented balm for beards, candles with manly scents and even fashionable baseball caps, with all products made in the U.S.A. Alter offers dapper, traditional threads with independent brands being the shop’s bread and butter, while Ministry of Supply offers high-tech gear like dress shirts with NASA heat-regulating custom blends that are, apparently, out of this world.

Where to eat in New York City

Located in an obscure location near the northern border of Chinatown, Birds and Bubbles is a tiny gem of a restaurant which features Southern cuisine, such as fried chicken inspired dishes, in addition to champagne. The bubbly menu is extensive and ranges in price from affordable to ridiculously worth it. Space is limited and reservations are encouraged. Tom Colicchio’s Craft has a combination of comfort and gourmet food, making it irresistible, and has a menu that is ever-changing and adapting with the season as well as whatever the chef’s culinary team’s creative minds can come up with. Chef Daniel Boulud’s French-inspired restaurant, Daniel, also follows the seasons as far as the menu offerings. The award-winning restaurant has an elegant ambiance, exceptional service and delectable menu items.

If you need to take a quick mid-day bite during your trip, try power lunching at upscale Triomphe, where it’s possible to receive an over the top three-course meal in under an hour. For an unusual escape in Hells Kitchen, the narrow space of Room Service is a good option for decently priced Thai food in an extravagant setting – the restaurant is just crawling with ornate mirrors and chandeliers. Conveniently located across the way, and located next to most of the best gay nightlife in the city, is a tiny hole in the wall 24-hour empanada restaurant. Empanada Mama is a perfect pre-bedtime snack when making your way back to your hotel after a night out.

Crosby Street Hotel | Photo: Simon Brown

Crosby Street Hotel | Photo: Simon Brown

The best hotels in New York City

The British interior design phenomenon that is Kit Kemp brings her contemporary and vibrant aesthetic to a property outside the UK for the first time with the Crosby Street Hotel. Situated in the lively Soho neighbourhood, it boasts 86 generous rooms and suites, a secluded garden and even a cinema, and provides the perfect base for some serious local shopping. Also in Soho, SIXTY Soho has 97 stylish rooms and suites with specially curated reading material for guests and artwork by Harland Miller. During the summer months, the rooftop bar, A60 has some uncompromised views of Manhattan. Robert de Niro’s Greenwich Hotel is not only filled with glitterati and media moguls, but the bedrooms are fitted with Carrara marble and Moroccan tile. And over on the Lower East Side, The Ludlow Hotel tricks passer byers with its intentionally gritty outside, but wows once entered with its gold chandeliers and brilliant red leather accents.

Did you enjoy this article? Then join Mr Hudson's A-list. You'll be the first to discover exciting new places to explore and beautiful new places to stay.

go back
Share
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+

Explore more

Copenhagen Travel Guide

Copenhagen Travel Guide

Hop on your rented bike and discover the hippest neighbourhoods, the cosiest coffee shops, the best Nordic restaurants, and the coolest shops in Copenhagen.

Read more
Richmond Travel Guide

Richmond Travel Guide

Richmond, Virginia might not be the first gay-friendly city that comes to mind, but this unsung treasure is earning its status as a gay travel destination.

Read more
Calgary Travel Guide

Calgary Travel Guide

You won’t find a gay district per say, but what you will find is that most places in Calgary are filled with all walks of life. Sharing makes much more sense then having designated spaces for certain groups. People are nice and like to spend time together; they are Canadian after all.

Read more
x

By joining Mr Hudson's A-list you'll be the first to discover exciting new places to explore and beautiful new places to stay!

we promise to never share your details or bombard your inbox