Friday, December 6, 2013

Free NYC Travel Guide from a Local

Having lived in New York City, I have visited many a time. However it never ceases to amaze me the great places in New York that so many people seem to overlook or not know about. 

Therefore I feel it is my duty to become a travangelist and recommend these places to everyone I hear that is visiting my favourite city in the States – New York. 

Malfunctioning Signal NYC - Photo: Francis Shenstone
One of the secrets of Grand Central that I discovered on my own years ago, and has since been written about yet many New Yorkers are unfamiliar with is the “Whispering Gallery”, located in front of the Oyster bar. To summon its magic a couple must split, head to a separate corner, face the corner and whisper.

There is also the famous Junior’s cheesecake to be had in Grand Central and some nice chairs to sit in and admire all the people passing by.

While in New York you have to try the NY style pizza which is available by the slice for a very reasonable price. Just go in a pizza place and ask for a "slice" this means a slice of margerita style pizza. 

If you want to avoid the mayhem of Central Park when the sun is out, head to Grosvenor Island on the free ferry for the day. You can rent a bike or relax on the “beach” and gaze out at Manhattan from this great car free vantage point.

To enjoy a barbecue while in New York you can get the metro to Roosevelt Island and use the barbecue’s that they have in the park. You just need to bring charcoal and food to cook, and preferably something to light the charcoal with. From Roosevelt Island a great view of the Upper East Side can be seen all the way down to Midtown.

A great view of Manhattan can be found at the many rooftop bars, my favourite being the aptly named - The Rare View Rooftop Garden - which is located at 37th and Lexington and is accessed by an unmarked side door around the corner from the restaurant “Rare”. To ascend to the top you must be over 21, knock on the door and show ID. It seems so secretive and I guess it was, maybe after this article is published it won’t be so secretive anymore.

For some late night dining in style you can head to what my friends have nicknamed “The Lifestyle” it is a gyro stand on 53rd and 6th, the only one I have seen with a line than can extend half a block, yet hands out food more efficiently and rapidly than any other street food stand I have ever seen. With a cult following and a fan created website, the food speaks for itself. The tasty “platter” which consists of gyro meat of your choosing on a bed of rice with salad, with a delicious white sauce and/or the spicy red sauce, is perfect after a good night out on the town.

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