48 hours in new york city - step off the tourist path

New York, New York - there will be never enough time to explore this vibrant and incredible city on a visit. But you can always try. Every time in NYC I try to see nothing new, watch how the city has changed but at the same time visit my all time old favorites which haven't changed for ages. Sounds challenging, rights? Especially when there is no so much time involved.

This time was no exception - I tried to squeeze in my a bit longer than 48 hours visit quite some program, which I have to say worked out better than I expected it to. 

If it's your first time in the Big Apple you might want to do some cultural sightseeing - after all NYC has some of the Worlds best museums and sights. So by no means miss them. 

But if it's your second, third or whatever time in NYC and the obligatory program is done, than you might want to consider my tips for getting to know the city from another perspective.  

Here are the places and things one could do in 48 hours. I must say that these are mostly Manhattan suggestions - one day I might come up with a separate post about Brooklyn ones. So please take your time, don't rush - enjoy and take the city in.

Sightseeing

Sunrise on the Brooklyn Bridge.  6 hours difference between Dortmund and NYC took care of us getting up before the sunrise, to be exact at 05:30 a.m. Staying in Tribeca neighborhood and being just 20 walk min. away from Brooklyn Bridge we couldn't have found a better place to greet the day. Arrive there before the crowds do - early in the morning just when the sun rises and you will have a great opportunity to have it almost for yourself (come on, it's a huge city, nothing is ever for oneself there).

 

The High Line - if the weather is good another great way to start your day is to walk or jog the High Line. The earlier you get there the emptier it is. On a week day in the morning you will have a nice walk without the feeling that the whole city is walking alongside with you. Oh, and for those who are unfamiliar with the High Line - it is a former elevated railroad  which was taken care of and transformed into a green park with sports and recreation facilities. Originating in the Lower West Side of Manhattan, the park runs from Gansevoort Street – three blocks below 14th Street – in the Meatpacking District, through Chelsea, to the northern edge of the West Side Yard on 34th Street near the Javits Center.

P.S. There are open air meditaion and yoga sessions one could join - just Google them.

 

Whitney Museum of American Art - a relatively new addition to the NYC skyline the new building of the museum which opened in 2015 is worth having a look at, especially if you like modern architecture and works of Renzo Piano. It is situated between the High Line and the Hudson River and has great views of the city from the open space decks. Honestly, I wouldn't go for the collection unless you are a huge fan of the American Art, but for the architecture.

 

Carrie Bradshaw Apartment (64 Perry St, New York) - I just have to leave this here for "Sex and the City" generation. But please, be respectful, people live there!

 

"Friends" building (90 Bedford St, New York) - another "must" for the series lovers. I had to see it too =)

 

Brooklyn Brewery (79 N 11th St, Brooklyn) - hip beer with a worldwide acceptance. Tours and tastings are to be recommended, as is the beer!

 

Oculus (33-69 Vesey St, New York) - World Trade Center transportation hub greatly designed and full of light and space. One of the new "must see" in the NYC state-of-the-art scene.

 

Eat/Drink

Terra (222 W Broadway, New York) - a casual and cozy Italian restaurant with comfort food and great selection of Italian wines (if you are more than 2 take a bottle, it will save you some bucks). When it's warm there is a nice outside area where it's great to do the people watching.

 

Eastwood Eat (200 Clinton St, New York) - it's more of a bar with beer and wine on tap than a restaurant, so come here not too hungry. But it's nice and many locals go here. Snack are great!

 

Bakeri Cafe - sweet little simple coffee shops with good coffee and baked goods with a nice location in the East Village, Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Greenpoint.

 

Ost Cafe (511 Grand St, New York) - Bad news - the original Ost cafe located in the 441 East 12th Street with those small cute tiles which were all over Instagram has closed. Good news - the Lower East Side shop is still open and does it's job in serving great coffee and baked goods. The interrior is not as spectuacular and photogenic though.

 

Jajaja Plantas Mexicana (162 E Broadway, New York) - mexican, modern, vegan. Great interrior, food and cocktails. Worth visiting when in the area.

 

Tompkins Square Bagels (165 Avenue A, New York) - we were not hungry, but the long line infront and inside the shop meant that these bagels have to be good. And they were, oh how good they were! I had the one with lox. But the simple ones with cream-cheese only (there is a huge selection of them) are as good (and cheaper as well). Great bagel breakfast spot. 

 

Freemans Restaurant (Freeman Alley, New York) - I had to go check for myself what all the social media fuzz about this place was. The inside decore is quirky and all about wood, stuffed animals and plants, which looks quite unique. Book in advance or come early rule applies here during the lunch and diner hours. Nice place with mostly american food. Cocktails and drinks are overprised, so if you want to save just stay with water. 

 

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream (2 Rivington St, New York) - the name doen't lie - ice cream here is really good. Modern flavor creations include black coconut ash or whiskey, but I had strawberry cheesecake and mint one and it was brilliant

 

La Colombe Coffee Roasters - with plenty of coffee shops all over the city, la Colombe serves great coffee in very photogenic cups =)

 

Sun in Bloom - with locations in Brooklyn and Tribeca this is great choice for vegan, raw and gluten-free fans. 

 

Cha Cha Matcha (373 Broome St, New York) - as the name says it's all Matcha here with nice interrior.

 

Chalait (1216 Broadway, New York) - another delight for matcha lovers. Although this is a very tiny place which is more suitable for to-go than staying inside option. No cash payments accepted.

 

Juice Press - if you heard about "juicing" than you probably heard about the Juice Press which offers cold pressed and organic juices. Not all are tasty, but if you are in desperate need of the liquid vitamins than stop by at one of their shops.

 

the Spaniard (190 West 4th Street, New York) - great place and interrior in West Village with good drinks (they specialize in whiskey, but cider on tap was just great!). American food, friendly staff - perfect for a lazy afternoon. 

 

the City Bakery (3 W 18th St, New York) - it looks like the place hasnt changed since 60-s - a self-service bar, round old tables and the feeling of canteen, but it serves the best hot chocolate with marshmallows in greatly designed paper cups (to-go) or just old-time favorite snacks and bites to stay.

 

the Vine (851 Avenue of the Americas, New York) - say yes to the Vine's plates and cocktails. Pricey, but oh, so good!

Hudson St between W Houston St and W 12th St - this area is full with great coffee shops and eating options as well as iconic shops such Magnolia Bakery (401 Bleecker St, New York) with amazing cupcakes. 

 

I will recommend these places even though they are in Brooklyn (as I mentioned above this post is mostly about Manhattan). But these two are just under the bridge, so somehow they count =)

 

Marlow and Sons (81 Broadway, Brooklyn) - a great place with a long history and tasty american food. It's an old time favorite Williamsburg spot.

 

Diner (85 Broadway, Brooklyn) - next door to Marlow and Sons this quirky diner looks funky and cozy. It's a hipster nest one shouldn't miss.

 

Shopping

I don't have many suggestions here, because you could spend days shopping - NYC is a shopping paradise. I didn't plan to do any, but some places were so inviting that I couldn't resist having a look:

 

Canal Street Market (265 Canal St, New York) - a lovely under-the-roof market with food and designer stalls featuring small businesses. It looks like a pop-up with vendors selling their creations. Nice if you search for something unique.

 

Malt and Mold - craft beer paradise for craft beer lowers with two shops located on Lower East Side and Gramercy. Anything from tastings to gifts suggestions. 

 

Monocle shop (535 Hudson St, New York) - i don't think I have to introduce this one. All things Monocle here.

 

Madewell - with locations all over the city this is my old time favorite. Wonderful selection of clothes and accessories - always worth a visit.

 

 

Tips

Citi Bike NYC - for the first time in NYC I moved around almost without taking the subway, seriously! Decided to try the bike option available at every corner and it was very easy and convenient (if you download the App it's even cheaper). For 12 $ per 24 hours (not per day) you could ride as much as you want to - pick up/drop off stations are on every corner. NYC is still not the most friendly what concerns bike riding (Europe talking here), but there are plenty of bike lanes and as long as you stay at the Lower Manhattan you are fine with traffic. I made a mistake at rode all the way to the Times Square and it was way too much - what annoyed me the most was not the traffic, but the people crossing the streets without paying any attention. 

 

If you want to stay on budget stay with water - yes, drinks are expensive over here. If you are on a budget, don't even think of ordering anything consisting alcohol in a bar, reastaurant or even in a corner shot - it will cost a fortune (I guess, Europe talking here again). But in the best American tradition you can always drink tap water and you will always get served a glass of it is a restaurant, cafe or bar - just tell that tha's what you are staying with and no questions will be asked. Water is free and is for eveyone!

 

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