04 Dec The Winter Wonderland of New York
Welcome to the city that never sleeps, the city that captures the world’s imagination as soon as you mention it. Not only is New York an all-year destination that satisfies everyone’s taste, it is especially beautiful in winter when all the Christmas decorations are out and the city is getting ready for the New Year.
An asylum for seekers, a refuge for artists, a financial capital, a haven for the rich and the poor, it stands as a symbol of freedom. It is truly a place that no one can forget, and I’m going to tell you exactly why New York is a perfect winter getaway.
The Statue of Liberty
Not only was she a gift from France, but Lady Liberty is the most famous symbol of freedom in the world.
An emblem of the USA and America, it now houses an interactive museum where you can discover the city’s history and understand its origins. You will need to catch a ferry out to Liberty Island, but once you get there it is so worth it.
Just think of all the immigrants who have arrived here on boats, for hundreds of years… it is truly amazing.
Christmas is a magical time of year, but it’s even more so at the Rockefeller center which is the home of the iconic Christmas tree that lights up New York every year. This center is a destination for shopping, dining and festive fun, as well as one of the city’s best attractions: the Top of the Rock observation deck. 70 floors up into the sky, you will discover the most breathtaking views of the city below, and observe the iconic New York skyline.
Then below, set in an enchanting décor under the majestic Christmas tree, The ice Rink is open every winter for people to lace up their skates and enjoy a twirl among the city visitors and natives. A Christmas tradition not to miss, I have to tell you that it will be very cold so be well prepared.
Here is the home of Sex and the City, the yellow cabs, Central park and some of the most famous landmarks in the world like the Empire State building. I feel like everything is a little bit extra here. Extra big buildings, extra expensive fashion, extra artistic people…
Hit the streets for countless unforgettable post-card moments, for an endless shopping spree or to just sit in Times Square and watch the passers-by. It is said that if you sit there long enough you could watch the whole world pass by!
The sights, the smells, the street performers, the subway, it is all a whirlwind that will turn your head as you walk in this fantastic place. Even the sky here looks extra big, like you could never reach it.
In such a big city, of course you have all kinds of fine dining and high end experiences. However, the most interesting is all the street food that are also so specific to New York. Hot dogs, bagels, falafel, pretzels, tacos and the most famous slice of pizza are sold from food trucks and in small shops all around the streets. New York is one of the best cities in the world for authentic cheap food. You could even stand in a queue for an hour waiting your turn to try the delicious specialties. You might even share your crumbs with a few squirrels and pigeons, but hey they also have to eat.
Also if you have time check out the Chelsea food market, one of the biggest food markets you’ll ever see!
You can find anything in this food market and shopping mall in Manhattan, and it’s open 7 days a week. From ethnic food to specialty stores to exclusive shops, there are constantly events and classes that you can attend. I especially recommend that you try the tacos at Takumi Tacos: they are a fusion of Japanese and Mexican. Don’t even ask, just try them!
This highly populated area of New York is visited for its diversified entertainment as well as its beach, and the famous Coney Island (the legendary beach with the boardwalk and amusement park). Eating, drinking, shopping, and especially biking around the neighborhoods of Dumbo and Williamsburg.
Connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn is the famous Brooklyn Bridge which will be a selfie-stop on your trip. This steel-wire suspension bridge was once the only one of its kind, and it was the longest bridge in the world.
The Apollo Theater
In the heart of Harlem, this iconic theater has seen the rise of the most famous comics and performers in the world. It has earned its legendary status because it was the first theatre in the city to allow black people to perform live, at a time when most African-Americans we not allowed to enter theaters.
It launched stars like James Brown and Ella Fitzgerald, but also many stand-up comedians.
So if you’re planning to be in New York, be sure to catch a show at the Apollo!
Statues, a running track, a pond, an ice-rink, a garden, and even a zoo are all within this urban space that constitutes the city’s lungs. It is the largest landscaped park and the original idea for it was to improve the population’s health by providing them with a green space. Can you imagine that the park is so huge that it requires the involvement of civilians to keep it green and clean? Today it has never been more beautiful, and it’s the perfect place for a stroll in every season.
This tourist attraction and active neighborhood in Manhattan is the perfect entertainment destination. With all the neon lights, bright billboards, shops, restaurants, it seems that there is never enough time to be here.
Here is where you can get great discounts on anything, and especially for theater tickets.
But what everyone in the world knows is that there is no party like the Times Square New Year’s Eve party! This is where the biggest and most famous street party takes place every December 31st, where the countdown to the New Year is shared by one million people all gather waiting for the giant New Year’s Eve ball to drop at the countdown to midnight. #balldrop
Be ready to freeze happily and not go to the bathroom for hours, but it’s worth it I promise!
Broadway Theater, or simply Broadway, refers to 41 theaters in the Manhattan Theater District that can seat 500 or more spectators. Musicals and plays that are performed here by the world’s best artists are considered to be the best that showbiz has to offer, and tickets for a show can be sold out as soon as one hour after they are available on the market. I love it so much here that people truly are fans of seeing live performances, of going to the theater, of encouraging the arts.
How to choose a show out of all the great performances? Well we have our favorites: for me it has to be a musical: The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King or Moulin Rouge.
After enjoying a show at Broadway your next stop will definitely be Hell’s Kitchen. This neighborhood is the home of actors and arts organizations as well as a vibrant nightlife and inexpensive restaurants.
While its history is gang-related, the Kitchen is a laid-back and unpretentious area bustling with culture, and it’s a perfect spot for bar-hopping. French style, drink and dine, pubs, gay bars, breweries, you will find anything you fancy at very affordable prices.
One of the city’s most exciting neighborhoods, the busy streets are packed with souvenir stores and noodle shops, as well as markets selling everything from dried fish to knock-off clothing brands. You will definitely dive into the Chinese culture, with a history museum, Buddhist temples as well as traditional Chinese music playing at the Columbus Park.
My favorite thing to try was the authentic dim sum (of course food is always my favorite haha) served in tiny bite-size, with the traditional tea which I loved.
Living it in the day as well as in the night, New York has so much for you to see and do that it will surely please everyone who visits. In one day it blew my mind, and I will never forget how it made me feel like the world is so big, and there is so much to explore.
So get your umbrella and let’s meet in New York, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.