Jay Z, Frank Sinatra, Modern Talking, Duke Ellington, Prince and Bruno Mars all have one thing in common; their impeccable taste. Each of these artists has become famous for their flavorful songs about the astonishingly prodigious New York. These musical geniuses wouldn’t sing just about anything so why is it that thousands of singers, old and new, are dedicating their songs to New York, specifically NYC? The reasons are overwhelming.
[singlepic id=114 w=450 float=center]
Every trip to New York City has to start with Times Square (you will thank me later). First of all, it’s not a square; instead, it is almost a district that has become a robust tourist attraction that attracts more than 26 million visitors each year.
Time Square is named for the fact that it changes with the times and even though it seems to change by the minute, that’s part of its consistency. There’s always something new to see, do, hear, touch, experience, watch. And that’s just the obvious. Add its historical significance, underground connections to other parts of the city, and energy radiating from the crowds and you’ll begin to understand why it’s nicknamed as “The Crossroad of the World.”
[singlepic id=107 w=360 h=360 float=right]
What happens in New York stays in New York. Meaning, if you feel like indulging in a few caloric treats, it’ll be our little secret. Voted the best pizza in New York (and an iconic NY landmark) by NY Magazine, GQ, Shecky’s Best Pizza List and even has a Zagat, Joe’s pizza is on every New Yorkers indulgence list. Why is there all this hype about an antique 1975 pizzeria? The secret lies in their thin crush, handmade sauce, and the perfect ration of cheese (don’t try this at home, it’s purely scientific).
Home to the future stars of the stage can be found at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. The 1950’s themed diner is filled with singing waiters and some of the best diner food in the country. And if it’s your birthday, they will sing to you! But if your parents are planning on surprising you by asking the waiters to sing Happy Birthday to you, make sure you don’t shovel a whole pancake into your mouth right before…learn from my mistakes.
[singlepic id=115 h=360 float=left]
The most recommended bus tour by visitors (me included) is the City Sights NY double decker bus tour. They allow you to “hop off” at any of the stops to explore the city before “hoping on” at the next bus stop. City Sights includes the Downtown Tour (Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Ground Zero) and the Uptown Tour (Lincoln Center, home to the largest Metropolitan Opera House in the world and the oldest symphony orchestra in the USA).
You can enjoy a narration by licensed guides pointing out architectural masterpieces, homes of the rich/famous, cultural institutions, landmarks, and that “green wonderland” known as Central Park. Finally a tour where you don’t have to wear those uncomfortable headphones! http://www.citysightsny.com/
Next stop is Broadway. You can’t go to NYC without seeing a Broadway performance. It’s the equivalent of going to Paris and forgetting to see the Eifel Tower. There’s just no excuse for it. Now come closer, I’ll tell you a little secret. There is a large set of ruby red stairs in Times Square. You can’t miss them; they are right in the middle of the Times Square.
They are actually the roof of a TKTS ticket booth that sells Broadway tickets at discounts of 20-50% off. But you need to have a musical in mind because when we came up to the window and said we wanted 2 tickets to Chicago, they asked us, “One way or round trip?”
[singlepic id=108 w=450 float=center]
If you are planning on going to see the Statue of Liberty…wait, let me rephrase that. WHEN you are planning on going to see the Statue of Liberty, one of the most trusted tours is Circle Line Sightseeing, a boat that takes you right up to the statue! http://www.circleline42.com/new-york-cruises/home.aspx
[singlepic id=110 w=450 float=center]
The Rockefeller Center is, as you might have heard, where they set up that gigantic Christmas tree every year. I always imagined how difficult it would be decorate that 75 feet elegant beast. But during the summer time, the center is filled with bustling people and plenty of artists waiting to draw a self-portrait of you. And if you were planning on negotiating for a painting, this would be the time and place to do it (I talked mine down to $10).
[singlepic id=112 w=450 float=center]
Now, the men can go watch a Yankees game (or whatever it is that men do) while the ladies hit up Soho and shop in the finest boutiques in New York City. Antique, vintage, designer, European, the choses can make any girl drool. Not to mention the chiseled male window models.
[singlepic id=109 w=450 float=center]
Now that some of the New York energy has sunk in and you are feeling more daring and rebellious, that’s when it’s time to buy something from the street vendors. I’m not talking about the knock off designer bags, because you should have already done that, I mean the food. Specifically shish kabobs. Go big or go home, as they always say.
It will take months to explore all that New York City has to offer, but this should help you cover the main bases. Now you can return home with your new “Prada” bag and “Gucci” sunglasses and share exciting stories about eating meat off the streets and riding the subway at night.
[singlepic id=116 w=450 float=center]