New York – Off The Beaten Track

New York is one of  my favourite cities in the world and have been many times.  However what do you do when you have exhausted the shopping and standard sightseeing tours of the Statue of Liberty and Times Square.  Here are some ideas of what you can do.

Visit Brooklyn Brewery

When i started coming to New York this beer was only found in local bars here but is now a standard pint or bottle in many London bars.  So why not visit where it all started and go the the Brooklyn Brewery.  It does tours most days which you don’t need to book and also allows you to explore the low rise of Williamsburg.  It is easy to get to from Manhattan via the L train to Bedford Avenue.  It is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and is free.  While here explore the rest of Williamsburg which is great for a wander round second hand and vintage shops.

Visit the Moma PS1 & 5 Pointz

You might have visited the MOMA in New York but have you visited the smaller offshoot and the nearby Graffiti gallery 5 Pointz on Long Island.  This is a smaller MOMA PS1 gallery and has some unique events on if looking for them.  While I was here a few years back i got to play the worlds biggest video game.  5 Pointz is a street graffiti exhibition with various shows and installations around a old abandoned warehouse.  You can get here via the Court Square metro stop which is accessible via various lines, most likely the E if coming from central.  If want to stay in town then check out the actual MOMA, this does a late night free entry once a month but you’ll need to get there early and queue.

Buy a Burger

All the rage in London now but this was the original place to get them and still is.  I might write a blog post on this alone but for now here are two recommendations.  Go to a old school bar called Corner Bistro (where i started my obsession) in West Village or one of the original burger joints such as Shake Shack in Madison Square.  There are hundreds of places to eat and you can find most of them in Timeout New York.

Smorgasbord for food

This place is awesome and open from April to November at weekends and is the place to check out some of the artisanal food scene from around New York selling everything from vegetarian to burgers.  There are a few of these locations now around New York but last one i went to was while in Williamsburg.  Get the L out to Bedford Avenue and it is on the waterfront in East River State Park.  This is a offshoot from the Brooklyn Flea market which is also worth exploring.

Happy Hour

Find some local bars doing Happy hour.  Pretty much all of them do and is a post work ritual for most New Yorkers.  You can’t go wrong around the University area and Bleecker Street.  Just wander till you find a bar you fancy.

Go for a run/walk along the Hudson

So if you are not dog walking then you are running and there are a few good places to do this of a day in New York, it also allows you to soak up New York life while getting fit. The best places to run are either along the Hudson River (if early then is a good opportunity to run the Highline, a raised rail line running north from Chelsea to 34th street which is now a converted walkway and park with various exhibits).  If running along the river then look to run from West Village and see how far you can get, The Intrepid naval museum is a good target.  If you get tired then stop off in Chelsea market for a quick snack or coffee.

If not along the river then run the reservoir in Central Park.  This route is about 5km and is a ritual run for anyone getting fit in new York.  Watch out also as it has one way signs, so don’t be a tourist and go the wrong way.  If you don’t know where Central Park is then you will once you get there.

Finally how about switching and doing the East river, featured recently on Made In Chelsea where they spent most of their time working out.  There are some great running routes listed here for most of New York.  If you are really fast then try and break some of the park Strava times.

Become a Ghostbuster or Vist your favourite film location

There are lot’s of places you can check out in New York which have been in your favourite film.  Whether that be Crocodile Dundee or GhostBusters or Sex in the City (don’t do the tour just walk).  Best place I’ve visited was the Ghostbuster HQ, down in Tribeca just up from Franklin Metro stop.  It is still a working fire station and they have the original logo from Ghostbusters 2.  If you are lucky or brave knock on the door and ask to use the pole.  If that doesn’t float your boat then check out these film locations

Be a Local

You can stay at lot’s of cheapish mid-town hotels but nothing beats being a New Yorker and it is worth trying out some of the Air BnB locations across the city.  Check out the area you fancy living in and then grab a room.  My personal favourite locations are Chelsea for Meatpacking, West Village for more classy bars and chilled out streets, East Village for the nights out in Manhattan, very much like London and Shoreditch. Or get off the island and try outliving the hipster life in Williamsburg.  Click on the link to the left to find a location (you’ll get £13 off as a result!).  You can then experience the morning dog walking rituals or grab a bagel at one of the local stores or just grab a coffee and brunch.  Seriously beats those mid-town diners.

Watch a Basketball Game

Go and watch a Knicks game at Madison Square Gardens while you are here.  Great evenings entertainment and you can eat hot dogs and see what celebs are in the house tonight.  Loved the game and listening to the run down on events by some of the locals watching the game.

Leave New York

Why not get away from New York for a day and explore some of the countryside around New York.  This is my next trip so stay posted for a update.

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