Few people in the world would turn down the opportunity of a free trip to New York City, and millions pay for the privilege. New York is instantly recognisable thanks to the efforts of Hollywood and television studios who love to use the cosmopolitan multi-cultural city as the backdrop to romances and thrillers, light-hearted comedies and intense tragedies.
There are some sights that you must go and see and you will not need to be told about them. The Statue of Liberty stands in the harbour, holding her torch aloft to welcome visitors from all walks of life, Times Square with its fabulous neon and brightly coloured screens is well worth a visit, and the Empire State Building allows the visitor to see the city unfolding below. These are the iconic sights of New York and definitely should be included on the itinerary. But there is a hidden New York, one not so well frequented by the tourist trail and it is this hidden city that will give you a clearer understanding of the area, and the people who live in it.
Central Park is simply enormous, and it is easy to spend an entire day in the park without seeing even a quarter of what has to offer.
Central Park is simply enormous, and it is easy to spend an entire day in the park without seeing even a quarter of what has to offer. Take a two hour cycle tour, or simply hire a bicycle and explore the park on your own to get a real idea of the immense scale of the park.
Walk through the West Village and sample the world-famous cupcakes, pizzas and even try a hotdog from a vendor – with ‘the works’ if you feel daring! New York is justly proud of its pizza and you can get excellent pies from many shops and cafes, but the city is home to Grimaldi’s whose pies were so popular with Frank Sinatra that he had them flown to Las Vegas!
Browse Bergdorf’s, admiring the exquisite clothing for both men and women, and if you can afford it, buy something! Bergdorf’s is the last large department store that can be found only in New York, all the others have branches in other cities or towns.
Go to see and explore Grand Central Station. Not to pass through on the way to somewhere else while leisurely enjoying their package holidays to New York, but rather to actively examine and admire the building! It may come as a surprise to many of NYC’s visitors but bustling Central Station is a major New York attraction in its own quiet way! Many movies, especially those about terrorist threats, base their plotline along lines that have the bad guys trying to detonate high explosives, bombs or even release weaponised viruses in the station, only to be foiled in the nick of time by the movie’s protagonist! Because of this, and because the station is such a beautiful and fascinating building, people come to the station to admire the graceful architecture and the recently restored celestial ceiling that curves away unfolding the zodiac across a blue background. The symbols are reversed on the ceiling and there are two schools of thought on this: some claim it represents God in heaven’s view of the sky, other say it was an error!
New York City is a fabulous place, somewhere for dreamers to realise their ambitions and for businessmen to make or break their companies. Visit the fast-paced city that never sleeps and enjoy your own small bite of the Big Apple!