Hi East & readers! My name is Kelly and I blog over at Sparkles and Shoes. I write about whatever pleases my fancy that day, fashion, lifestyle, current events, or life in the Big Apple. Today I wanted to share with you my backstage pass to New York City. These are eight places and things to do you will not find when you type in “TOP NYC THINGS TO DO”.
I grew up in the suburbs of New York, went away for college, and am now back in New York City. After two years of living here as an adult I still have not scratched the surface of all of the things there are to do. For example, tonight I am taking a cooking class with a friend in a converted sweat shop. I am constantly being surprised by this magical city. Today I wanted to share with you my backstage pass – eight things you won’t find in the guide books and that are what the “locals” do.
( 1 ) Visit the Alamo – No, I am not suggesting you go to Texas. Instead, we have our very own Alamo in the heart of the city. The Alamo, also known as the Astor Place Cube, is in the heart of Greenwich Village. Once you see the big cube, it is hard to miss, bar hoping in the Village is a true must. I am not going to give you a list of my favorites – simply walk into a bar, feel the vibe, and do not be embarrassed to turn right back around and pick the next one if it does not suit your fancy.
( 2 ) Check out TKTS – TKTS is where you can go to get discount tickets to the top Broadway shows. The only catch is you have to get them day of. The Times Square location is probably in the tour books but there are two much less crowded locations that have the same tickets – South Street Seaport or Downtown Brooklyn. If you want to see a play check those out. My recommendation? Get tickets to see Kinky Boots if you can, it is the best show I have ever seen on Broadway.
( 3 ) Take A Tour – In the city that never sleeps I have heard of at least 50 walking tours that I would like to go on. If you want to see the sights recommend the SoHo, NoLita Shopping tour or one of Central Park so you do not walk around the 778 acres unguided. In the past two years I have gone on a chocolate tasting and a cheese tasting tours both of which I would suggest to anyone and everyone. Whether you want to walk, eat, or bike your way through a tour NYC has something for you. You can check them out here.
( 4 ) Staten Island Ferry – I am so surprised how many born and bred New Yorkers have never been on the SIF. The boat takes a 5 mile, 25 minute ride from Manhattan to Staten Island and provides a majestic view of New York Harbor. It is an absolutely stunning ride any time of year! Check out the schedule to find out when you can take your free ride!
( 5 ) Walk the High Line – Not all of New York’s parks are green spaces. The High Line Park is actually on an elevated disused freight rail line in Manhattan’s West Side. It’s a great place to view the city, chow down on a picnic, or just relax. It is open daily, between 7am and 10pm, there are various entry points on the mile long stretch. I brought my parents to The High Line in August and they loved it!
( 6 ) Take a Break in Green Acre Park – New York City’s secret gardens are a terrific place to escape the noise and bustle of a major city. Once such is these little pockets of green is called Greenacre Park on 51st Street between Second and Third avenues. I visit this little midtown oasis at least once a week on my lunch break and it features a 25 foot waterfall.
( 7 ) Experience Smorgasburg – Smorgasburg is a gigantic Saturday food market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, hosted by The Brooklyn Flea. In the summer it is outside and truly magnificent, in the winter it is not quite as large but still pretty spectacular. The fare ranges from elaborate chocolate truffles and s’mores to gourmet grilled cheese and pulled pork sliders. If you decide to take my advice and visit, make sure to arrive hungry and bring cash!
( 8 ) Dine at Fig and Olive – I found this spot during Restaurant Week and it was so good I have gone back numerous times and paid full price. My favorites include the Prosciutto, Ricotta, Fig, Olive, Walnut crostinis and Yellowfin Tuna ala Provencale, but you really can’t go wrong. There are three locations, Meatpacking, Fifth Avenue, and Uptown all of which are great.
Well there are you go, eight of my favorite spots in New York City.
Make sure to check out at least a few on your next trip to the big apple or even look me up for a blate!