Heaven help if you only have 24 hours in Manhattan but, if the travel gods have done you dirty, here are a few things to see and do during your whirlwind tour.
If you’re in Manhattan over the weekend, you’re gonna need to brunch. A New York rite of passage and an essay in patience as lines extend out the door, brunch in NYC is a thing of bottomless Mimosas and eggs benedict every way you can imagine. Try Lilly’s Craft & Kitchen in Hell’s Kitchen for bottomless Bellini’s, an easy vibe and a barman who looks like Luke from ‘Gilmore Girls’.
No trip to New York is complete without a stroll through Central Park. Head here to walk off your brunch time food baby while being serenaded by the park’s myriad acoustic buskers, jazz players and hip hop dancers practicing in the shade. A sprawling 3.57 square kilometers situated in upper Manhattan, the iconic park is a thing of lakes and ponds, a zoo, an ice-skating rink, Belvedere Castle and a quaint carousel. Rent a bike, watch the horse drawn carriages, get your portrait drawn or simply pass out on the grass to rest up for what’s next.
Museum of Modern Art
If you’re in New York on a Friday, head to the Museum of Modern Art. Generally charging a significant U$25 entrance fee for adults, on UNIQLO Free Fridays Nights, entrance to MoMA is free from 16h00. Get there early or after 18h00 to avoid soul-destroying lines and make a beeline for Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali and Kahlo because everyone and their sister will be trying to selfie up a storm.
One you’re all all cultured out. Its time get some more culture. Drinking culture. And New York has it all. Irish bars, tequila bars, cocktail bars, burlesque bars, big ones, small ones, some as big as Havana. Situated on 151 West 46th Street in Times Square and positively jumping with Cuban décor, flair and flavour, Havana Central is just one example of how a holiday in immigrant inspired New York can be a holiday to pretty much anywhere.
It’s New York City for dummies but, amidst a first trip to The Big Apple, Times Square is essential.
Dizzying, live and filled with street artists, performers, impersonators and comedy club touts enticing until the early hours of the morning below larger than life billboards featuring the world’s biggest entertainment stars, Times Square is spectacle at its finest and a people-watchers dream. Take a stroll down Broadway to catch a glimpse of the famous theatre district or take a seat in the ruby red TKTS Pavilion and watch people from all over the world go “Wow!”
*This article was originally published in The Namibian Newspaper.