In a city of over eight and a half million people, taking on the great city of New York can be a daunting task…at least on your own. Along with some of my favorite views of the west side and downtown Manhattan, I’ll walk you through some top spots to visit and the best way to navigate your way there.
First, you have to formulate a travel plan. Below I included some of my checkpoints:
- Download Via, Lyft, and Uber. Trust me, sometimes you just can’t take a subway and make it home in one piece.
With a home-base in Harlem, I was able to access the 1 2 3, and A C trains that run on Broadway and Saint Nicholas, going to Uptown/The Bronx and Brooklyn/Downtown. (To go downtown on the subway, enter the station on the westernmost side of the road and east for uptown) The Broadway metro opens up stops such as Columbia University, Times Square, NYU (Washington Square Park), Penn Station, Soho and the shopping district, Tribeca, and the One World Trade Center. The Saint Nicholas metro opens up Central Park West and the Museum of Natural History along with many of the more local stops into some of the districts on the West Side.
Yes, the metro system is extremely confusing, but once you have an image of where you’re going, you will make it there eventually!
- Times Square – tourist-y for sure, but classic!
- Central Park. Don’t plan out a route through the park. Take a page from my book and get completely lost with your camera and walking shoes for hours admiring the countless vegetation, picturesque bridges, and serene water fixtures.
- The M.E.T. reminds me of the Louvre in Paris, but much more of a modern twist. The exhibits are constantly changing and there are endless rooms and hallways so you never find yourself growing bored of a art style.
- Soho and the shopping district. With pop ups and box stores and chains that you never imagined existed in real life can be found here.
- The Museum of Natural History. Yes, you can find the Mayan figurehead from the movie “Night at the Museum.” It may take you getting lost a few times on the way, but he is there, along with rich historical exhibits that appeal to both child and adult.
- Chinatown and Little Italy. I found that the smells were culturally rich and the open markets may not be for everyone, but there are so many authentic options for cuisine and small boutiques that you can’t help but try a bite of it all!
- To Eat: Dumplings, ramen, and oysters
- To Shop: Pearl River Mart
- Hudson River Park. This is a gorgeous walk in the evening as the sun sets over the water and is in the neighborhood of shopping centers and Wall Street.
- Wall Street. Even if you aren’t a stock broker type of person, the feeling of walking on Wall Street is one-of-a-kind!
- The One World Trade Center is absolutely stunning! As is the oculus, the mall and sculpture at the tower’s base. I was fortunate enough to see the blue sky reflecting on all of the polished windows.
- The Statue of Liberty and Staten Island. Need I say more?