One of the reasons I love New York is that it’s so easy to find your way around! No need to zig zag though streets, getting lost thousands of times! For example if you take 42nd street you can find some of the most touristic and fascinating sights in the city! Before its renovation in the 90s the street used to be infamous, as the words of the opening song to the musical ‘42nd Street’ say:
Little nifties from the Fifties, innocent and sweet,
Sexy ladies from the Eighties who are indiscreet,
They’re side by side, they’re glorified,
Where the underworld can meet the elite
Naughty, gawdy, bawdy, sporty, Forty-second Street!
Start your day at the United Nations Headquarters on first Ave and 42nd street (Visitors Check-in Office at 801 First Avenue, corner of 45th Street), personally I’ve never had the chance to visit but I’d love to see the General Assembly Hall.
Take 42nd street and it will lead you right to the Chrysler Building (corner with Lexington
Ave), one of New York city’s symbols. With its characteristic Art Deco style, you will recognize it also as the building from which Will Smith jumps off to time travel in Men in Black 3!
Between Park and Lexington Ave you’ll find yourself in front of Grand Central Terminal, one of largest train stations in the world with a magnificent atrium (the Main Concourse) on whose ceiling are depicted the constellations. Take the escalators to the Dining Concourse to find about 50 different restaurants, but I recommend you walk through the Grand Central Market which is one of the best food emporiums I’ve seen!
Moving on you’ll find yourself back on 5th Ave, here on the corner with 42nd street you can see the New York Public Library. A beautiful building which I recommend visiting! The Main Reading Room is majestic.
A few more blocks will take you to the most characteristic location in the whole city: Times Square. Sit on the red steps of the TKTS booth at sunset to see how the atmosphere of square changes from day to night. If you’re lucky you can also find tickets for Broadway shows with discounts!
In Times Square there are so many places to see: of course you must check our the theatres of the district, but you also have the Madame Tussaud wax museum, the M&M store, the Hard Rock Café and the Disney Store.
Don’t spend all of your money shopping around here though, Macy’s is a few blocks away! Located on Herald Square, for nearly 90 years Macy’s was the largest department store in the world. If you need a coffee while shopping there stop at the Herald Square Cafe that offers Starbucks Reserve coffee, where baristas brew individual cups for customers (but it costs more than normal Starbucks).
Last but definitely not least you must visit the Empire State Building. The most iconic New York City landmark from which you can enjoy the most stunning view over Manhattan. I’ve seen many views over cities but the one from the Empire was something else; best if you keep this visit planned for a sunny day! The view from the 86th floor is more than enough, I don’t recommend spending the extra $20 to get to the 102nd floor. Not only is the view stunning, also the building’s architecture is magnificent with its Art Deco style, but if you don’t believe me then trust the American Society of Civil Engineers that named it one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
“It’s like New York is a miniature replica of New York, which is nice, because you can see what it’s really like, instead of how it feels when you’re in the middle of it.”
– Jonathan Safran Foer
Another thing to see is the Morgan Library and Museum on Madison Ave and 36th street, which holds Mr. Pierpont Morgan’s collection of rare manuscripts, books and art collection, in what used to be his office and library.
Where to Shop:
- M&Ms store: 1600 Broadway, 7th Ave and 48th street
- Hershey’s Chocolate World: 1593 Broadway, Broadway and 48th street
- American Eagle Outfitters: 1551-1555 Broadway (Times Square)
- Disney Store: Times Square, 1540 Broadway
- Forever 21: Times Square, 1540 Broadway
- Sephora: Times Square, 1500 Broadway
- H&M: 1328 Broadway in Herald Square (there is also one closer to Times Square, but here you can also find H&M Home).
- Macy’s: W 35th St/ Herald Square
- Victoria’s Secret: 1328 Broadway, near 34th street
Eat & Drink:
- Shake Shack: 691 8th Ave, corner with 44th street
- Dining Concourse (Grand Central Terminal)
- Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant: 42nd street and Lexington Ave
- Hard Rock Café: 1501 Broadway (Times Square)
- Counter Burger: 7 Times Square between 41st and Broadway
- Junior’s Cheesecake: Grand Central Terminal 89 E 42nd St or 1515 Broadway, near 45th street