About New York
New York City has come a long way since 1614, when Dutch traders sailed up the Hudson river to settle in modern-day Manhattan. Iconic structures like the Empire State Building (www.esbnyc.com) and Rockefeller Center (www.rockefellercenter.com) now spike the Manhattan skyline, one of the wonders of the modern world. Get a great view from the High Line (www.thehighline.org), a 1.5-mile stretch of reclaimed rail track. For a wide angle camera shot of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, catch the ferry to Staten Island (www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/ferrybus/statfery.shtml).
Cycling around Central Park (www.centralparknyc.org) is a joy, and you can take in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org) en route. Leave Manhattan to coo over Siberian tiger cubs at the Bronx Zoo (www.bronxzoo.com) or to explore hip Brooklyn. For a taste of the USA's technological prowess, visit the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (www.intrepidmuseum.org), which now hosts the space shuttle Enterprise.
The Big Apple (as New Yorkers never call it) is a shopper’s paradise. Barneys (www.barneys.com) is one of the world’s great department stores, though bargain hunters may prefer to rummage for antique collectibles and vintage garments at Brooklyn Flea (www.brooklynflea.com). Union Square Greenmarket (www.grownyc.org/ unionsquaregreenmarket) is the place to go for just-picked fruits and artisanal cheeses.
Whether it’s a hot dog in Times Square or a $300-per-head banquet at Thomas Keller’s Per Se (www.perseny.com), New York boasts one of America's most thrilling culinary scenes. Order a classic American steak at Morton's (www.mortons.com/newyork/), conveniently set between the shopping streets of 5th and Madison Avenues. For modern American cuisine with a more delicate touch, treat yourself to the 16-course tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park (www.elevenmadisonpark.com), which features "the extraordinary agricultural bounty of New York" – or at Gramercy Tavern (www.gramercytavern.com), a favourite of New York City's well-heeled residents. For the best of New York producers at the other end of the price scale, drop into Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg (www.smorgasburg.com), where you’ll find up to 100 local vendors and great views across the East River.
Let New York’s inexhaustible nightlife suck you into other parts of the city. If the zebra-skinned walls of Harlem’s Lenox Lounge jazz club (www.lenoxlounge.com) could talk, they’d drop names like Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Malcolm X. The Lincoln Center (www.lc.lincolncenter.org) is a cultural hub, with 29 auditoriums including the Metropolitan Opera House. For downtown bar and club hopping, try Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.
Where 5th Avenue and 58th Street intersect, so do art and commerce in the shape of Bergdorf Goodman’s fabulous holiday season window displays (blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows). Sports fans have myriad events in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs: the US Open Tennis Championships (www.usopen.org) takes place in Flushing Meadows in Queens between August and September, while the Barclays Center (www.barclayscenter.com) in Brooklyn opened in 2012 to host major sporting events and big-ticket concerts.