I’m writing this blog post on a plane, returning home from what’s probably my 25th trip to New York. After so long, they begin to blur together into a mess of lights and cabs and street meat, albeit a beautiful and exciting one. This isn’t a bad thing, but I decided I didn’t want to waste any of my time in such a great city. I made it my mission to make my most recent trip worthwhile, to rediscover what New York has to offer.
1. Find a New Museum: As a bit of a museum nerd, every trip I find myself wandering the Met or MOMA for hours—this trip was no different. But I decided to try something new, so I visited the (aptly named) Neue Galerie. Its collection of early 20th century German and Austrian art is housed in an elegant Upper-East Side building, right across 5th avenue from Central Park. Their current exhibition (Degenerate Art: The Attack On Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937) isn’t one to be missed. The museum is small and digestible—perfect for a last minute excursion. If that weren’t convincing enough, they have a great cafe with the best apple strudel you will ever eat.
2. Enjoy the Real Central Park: Right across from Neue is Central Park—an icon of the city. I visited the park with a group of family and friends, and after seeing the disastrously long lines for the zoo and then for renting a boat, we decided to just roam around the park, and let me tell you, it was a lot of fun. We had a great time rediscovering the simple beauty of the park and the people in it. Watching the street performers it always a blast, especially for younger kids (tip: a lot of times, they’ll let you join in if you can, like the man pictured above that was creating huge, cartoonish bubbles, and let us all try.) We came across and followed some almost-hidden dirt paths—who knew these were here? They completely take you away from the city, and are great for a few reflective minutes.
3. Eat New Old Food: Little Italy’s Parm NYC, a relatively new sandwich joint, is what every traditional Italian restaurant should aim to be. They make the food synonymous with New York—Italian American classics like mozzarella sticks, chicken parm, fried calamari—but with the freshest, highest quailty ingredients. And the food is so good. It’s a place worth trying, even just because of their mind-blowing ice cream cake.
4. Explore a New Area: There is no better way to rediscover New York than to actually venture into a new part of the city. My family and I took the 34th Street Ferry to Brooklyn, where I’d only been twice before. It’s a beautiful part of the city—calmer, quieter, and slower-paced than Manhattan. Taking the ferry makes the mundanity of getting there an adventure of its own. You see the city from (literally) another perspective and with a view like that, you can’t help but fall in love with the city all over again.
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