Home World A Local’s Travel Guide to New York: What to Eat, See and Do in Three Days

A Local’s Travel Guide to New York: What to Eat, See and Do in Three Days

0 comment
A Local's Travel Guide to New York: What to Eat, See and Do in Three Days

I first came to New York by accident, after a miscommunication with my father led me to believe that my (long-deceased) mother was desperate to visit the city before she died.

Years later, I discovered that my mother actually wanted to go to Paris. But I still had a great time in New York and ended up moving here a few years later.

On that first trip, I did all the major touristy things that, due to a miscommunication, I had thought my mother wanted to do: I went up into tall buildings, I looked at tall buildings, I drank in bars under tall buildings.

It was great and all, but there’s much, much more to do here – especially if you like to eat, travel on subways and ferries, and haggle over knockoff luxury goods.

Day 1: Boating and brownstones

Many people have heard of the Staten Island Ferry, and for good reason. It’s free to travel on the big orange boats between the southern tip of Manhattan and Staten Island. The route passes right by the Statue of Liberty and offers stunning views of Lower Manhattan.

As a boat enthusiast, I would also recommend taking the new York ferry. It has a flat rate of $4 and travels along the East River, passing under bridges and allowing passengers to poke around in waterfront buildings.

If you’re starting in Manhattan (which you probably are), take the southbound ferry from East 34th Street to Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, which means “down under the Manhattan Bridge Viaduct.” This is where everyone with an Instagram account takes photos of the Manhattan Bridge and the (older and more famous) Brooklyn Bridge. Many people will visit this neighborhood and then turn their back on Brooklyn, but I recommend staying in New York’s most populated and, depending on who you talk to, hippest neighborhood.

The Brooklyn Bridge. Photograph: Jeenah Moon/The Guardian

Go through there Jane’s Carousel, a beautifully restored 1922 carousel that sits between the bridges, then walk south through Brooklyn Bridge Park. You will pass several piers, formerly working quays, now transformed into green picnic and sports areas. There are magnificent views of Manhattan. This is a fun place to propose to a partner, like my little brother did last year. If you don’t want to do that, but enjoy playing soccer, basketball, or roller skating, you’re in luck.

After reaching Pier 6, where there is a pleasant, if expensive, rooftop pizzeria called Forninwalk up Atlantic Avenue for shopping and coffee at the Goose, an independent clothing store with a hidden bar in the back. The owner, Dave Alperin, a fourth generation Brooklynite, is very friendly and knowledgeable about the area and can give you advice on everything from where to buy the best sandwich (Lillo Cucina Italian – try Mamma Roma) in the location of a semi-secret underground speakeasy (Boudoir) close.

From there, I would take a bus or taxi to Fort Greene, a very nice neighborhood whose townhouses look like the Brooklyn ones you see in the movies, and I would have dinner at Olea. If you arrive before 6:30 p.m., there is a great happy hour.

Day 2: Rude T-shirts and not quite Rolexes

Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood is full of chic boutiques, so if you have the money or enjoy looking through windows at expensive clothes and bags, walk east along Prince Street from West Broadway. There are also some pretty buildings to admire around here – the newly constructed towers that abound in the city are largely absent in this area. Stop at Cafe Fanellia neighborhood mainstay that has been around since 1847, for a coffee or meal, then head south along Broadway to Chinatown.

Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photograph: Jeenah Moon/The Guardian

There are many great places for dim sum, including Golden unicorn, whose large, refined dining room is located on the second floor of a marble building. From there I wandered along Canal Street, dipping into side streets to buy cheap souvenirs – snow globes, little statues and that sort of thing – and weird T-shirts (many of which are very gross).

Chinatown also does a thriving trade in imitation watches and handbags. So if, like me, you don’t want to and can’t spend $30,000 on a watch but have about $100 to spare, you can get (in my eyes) a pretty good knockoff. The Canal Street food markets also sell some really nice watches – they even work – if you feel like sticking to the big watches. You will also find many “designer” bags.

I hope you’re still hungry, because Super NYes Noodle Town is, as the name suggests, awesome – especially the roast pig over rice.

From there I would head further south and stop at Whiskey Tavern, the friendliest bar I’ve ever been to in my life (and I’ve been to a lot of bars). They print personalized welcome signs that they will stick to your table or behind the bar, which sounds a little cheesy, but isn’t. The real reason to come is to chat with the locals and regulars. It’s also one of the closest bars to City Hall, which means there’s a steady stream of “Just Married” couples drinking glasses of whiskey and eating chicken wings.

If you still have energy and like to sing or shout, go to Upstairs, a karaoke bar tucked behind a nondescript door on Canal Street. Drinks are cheap and there are lots of party people.

Day 3: Seaside shenanigans

If, like me, you’re a fan of once glamorous seaside attractions that are now in a state of faded glory, then take the F train to Coney Island. People seem to overlook the fact that the city is surrounded by water, and while Coney Island isn’t the best beach for swimming (for that, try Fort Tilden or Jacob Riis Park), there is plenty to do .

Start things off by watching a Brooklyn Hurricanes Thursday. The Cyclones are a feeder team to the New York Mets. They play at Maimonides Park, tickets are usually very cheap and easy to get, and you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean. If you want a stylish souvenir, buy a beer in a foot-long plastic baseball bat. Sometimes they let the crowd “run the bases” after the game, which is a lot of fun, especially if you’ve had more than one beer at the baseball bat.

The Coney Island Boardwalk. Photograph: Jeenah Moon/The Guardian

After the exhilaration of playing second-tier baseball, walk east toward the Cyclone, one of the oldest and, as far as I know, ricketiest roller coasters in the United States. The wooden walk – described as “quite extreme” by Coaster Review – will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2027, and it sounds and looks its age. Buyer beware.

Once you’re off the ride, go grab a drink at the at Ruby, the oldest bar on the promenade. You can admire black-and-white photos of Coney Island in its 1930s splendor and, if you’re feeling brave, buy a cardboard box full of clams.

Every Friday evening from late June to September, there is a fireworks display on the beach, which attracts a large crowd. You can consume it while eating borscht and sipping coffee or vodka in a restaurant. that of Tatianaa Russian restaurant-nightclub 10 minutes walk along the Cyclone promenade.

Small note: you don’t have to wait until summer to visit. I went there one day after it snowed and it was awesome.

Question time

How many days does it take to visit New York?

Three would be good. If you want to check out all of Instagram’s favorite destinations, then maybe four.

What is the most visited attraction? Is it worth it?

Times Square. And not really. But it’s close enough to other attractions that if you’re going to a Broadway show, you might as well walk through it.

When is the best time to visit?

Peak summer can be hot and winter can be freezing. The months of May to early July and September to October are generally a safe bet.

How much does it cost ?

New York City is expensive. If you’re staying in Manhattan, you’d be (very) lucky to get a hotel room for around $200 a night – but keep in mind that there will usually be hefty taxes on top of that. A standard bog coffee will cost you around $5, a pint between $6 and $10. The subway fare has recently increased: it now costs $2.90 per trip.

You may also like