- Lifestyle & Sports
- 09 Dec 13
Whether you’re looking for a spot of sightseeing, relaxing, clubbing or some Christmas shopping, there is something for everyone in the Big Apple.
Where exactly is it?
New York City is in the state of New York in the northeast of the United States. Located on one of the largest harbours in the world, it is made up of five boroughs – The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan. It’s the most populous city in the US, home to more than 8.3 million people.
How do I get there?
Return flights are available for around €600 from Dublin airport. “Air trains” to Queens run from the airport 24 hours a day for the affordable price of $2.50. Taxis also offer a $52 flat fare to any Manhattan destination.
What language do they speak?
English is the official language of the United States. However, so many cultures coexist within NYC, it’s safe to say it’s multilingual. Expect to hear a number of different tongues walking down any given street.
What’s the local beer like?
Check out the Otto Huber Brewery in Brooklyn for a tour and tasting session. It dates back to the 19th century and is found along the famous ‘Old Brewer’s Row’. The brewery produced over 100,000 barrels of beer during its peak and is still going strong today (urbanoyster.com/brewedin-brooklyn-tour.html). Also make sure to check out its Williamsburg neighbour, Barcade, which combines a massive list of American craft brews with dozens of old-school gaming machines (barcadebrooklyn.com).
Depending on whose story you believe, the Long Island Iced Tea was invented by Robert ‘Rosebud’ Butt back in 1972 at the Oak Beach Inn, NY. There’s no better place to sample the highly potent drink than in its birthplace. It changes on an almost weekly basis, but the city’s hottest cocktail spot is currently The Pegu Club at 77 West Heuston Street in the heart of still ultra-cool SoHo (peguclub.com).
What is the transport like?
New York boasts one of the largest subway systems in the world, running 24 hours a day. It might initially seem intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, the subway is a most useful and affordable way of getting around. Rest assured, the recent derailment in The Bronx, which claimed four lives, is a rarity.
You can find just about anything you’re looking for in NYC in terms of food. Most ethnicities are represented in their own respective areas and neighbourhoods. Sopranos fans should head to Arthur Avenue in The Bronx. The real ‘Little Italy’, it’s full of Tonys, Juniors and Sils, as well as stunning old school restaurants like Roberto’s at 603 Crescent Avenue (arthuravenuebronx.com). Forget Peter Luger, which has been resting on its meaty laurels for at least 20 years, and go to The Strip House on 12th Street for the ultimate steak experience (striphouse.com). This year’s big thing is street food, with Daisy Mae’s BBQ Cart on 50th between 6th and 7th Avenues the goto place for Tex-Mex deliciousness, and Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart on 46th between 5th & 6th Avenue satisfying all your fishy desires.
What’s the nightlife like?
Frank Sinatra called New York the “city that never sleeps” and that is still true today. NYC has all the nightclubs, jazz rooms and hipster dives to satisfy your needs. Areas such as Chelsea, Greenwich Village and the meatpacking district have some of the city’s best bars, where you’re sure to find something to tickle you fancy. Gig-wise, you can’t beat New York’s answer to the Olympia, The Beacon on Broadway and 74th (beacontheatre.com).
When should I go?
New York becomes a winter wonderland around Christmas time and the city attracts a lot of tourists in search of shopping. The ice rink at the Rockefeller Centre is an affordable and fun means of getting into the spirit of the season while there are plenty of holiday markets and craft fairs to wander about at Bryant Park or Union Square.
What are the touristy things to do?
Tourists are spoiled for choice in NYC. No visit would be complete without a visit to the “crossroads of the world”, Times Square. The Empire State Building might no longer be the world’s tallest building but it is still an impressive sight at night time. Take a trip out to the Statue of Liberty, still standing at over 150 feet tall in New York Harbour. Big faves of ours are the Paley Center For Media at 25 West 52nd Street where you can gorge on 50,000 archived TV and radio show (paleycenter.org) and the newly-expanded Comedy Cellar at 117 MacDougal Street between W 3rd Street & Minetta Lane (comedycellar.com) remains the best place to check out up and coming funnypersons. If you like your sport blue collar, check out a New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden where tickets start at $58 (rangers.nhl.co).
Why not take in a show at one of the theatres along Broadway. Expect to see some of Hollywood’s leading actors taking a break from the silver screen and getting back to their thespian roots. Some of this season’s highlights include Ethan Hawke in Macbeth, Daniel Craig in Betrayal and Orlando Bloom in Romeo and Juliet. Getting especially rave reviews at the mo is Motown The Musical, the Berry Gordy-penned show, which is running at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre 205 W. 46th Steet (motownthemusical.com).
What should I bring home?
Your Christmas shopping. There are so many stores and such a wide selection that you would be a fool not to take advantage while you’re there.
Avoid the temptation of an ‘I Love New York’ t-shirt.