Visiting New York City, NY - Jim Flynn's BestWeekends

New York City, NY

New York City, NY Overview

New York is called the “Greatest City in the World” for good reason. No other city has so much to offer in so many areas. World champion sports teams, Broadway theater, world renowned museums, opera and ballet, leading fashion designers, top rated restaurants, shopping for every budget, beautiful parks and so much more.

Since the time I was about 7 years old when my grandmother took me to the City every weekend for some event until today, my pulse still quickens as I enter Manhattan. New York exudes a vibrancy, an excitement like no other city. With the possible exception of Paris (but who goes to France anymore?), there is no more romantic city than New York and no better place for a weekend getaway.

While to an insider, New York is manageable and exciting, to those unfamiliar with the City, it can be intimidating. Crime is virtually non-existent to the traveler as New York ranks today as one of the safest major cities in the country.

Like many cities, New York is made of neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive character and appeal.

Lower Manhattan.
Financial District. Wall Street. New York Stock Exchange.
Civic Center and South Street Seaport. 
City Hall and the cobblestone streets of the old Seaport, now filled with boutiques, museums and restaurants.
Little Italy and Chinatown. 
Colorful ethnic sections with exotic food shops, outdoor cafes and authentic bakeries.
Lower East Side and East Village. 
Orchard Street is the place for bargain shopping.
Soho and Tribeca. 
Tribeca is the center of the city’s movie industry (Tribeca Film Festival) and its lofts are home to many celebrities. Soho boasts restaurants, art galleries and chic boutiques. It is also the favorite spot for Sunday brunch.
Greenwich Village. 
Home of the beat generation, the bohemian lifestyle, jazz and folk music. Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary all started here. Tree lined streets, cafes, clubs, 60’s shops.
Union Square, Gramercy Park and Flatiron. 
Union Square Greenmarket, home of a host of the City’s top restaurants. Beautiful and serene (and private) Gramercy Park.
Chelsea and Herald Square. 
Center of the City’s gay population. Chelsea Piers; boat docks and all sorts of recreation (skating, basketball, bowling, golf and more. Macy’s at Herald Square.

The hub of the City; Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Broadway and the theatre district, Grand Central Station, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall. 5th Avenue Shopping includes Saks, Tiffany, Trump Tower, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales. Museums include the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney and the Museum of Television and Radio.
“Hudson Yards is New York’s newest neighborhood and home to more than 100 diverse shops and culinary experiences, offices for leaders in industry, significant public art and dynamic cultural institutions including The Shed, modern residences, 14 acres of public plazas, gardens and groves and the world’s first Equinox Hotel®.”

Upper East Side.

The address for the City’s wealthiest people. Exclusive boutique shopping on Madison Avenue. Many of the City’s most elegant restaurants and hotels. Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Central Park.
Upper West Side. 
Lincoln Center, home to the ballet and opera, American Museum of Natural History. Zabar’s food emporium.
America’s best known African American community. Columbia University. Jazz. The Apollo Theatre. Southern style cooking.


When To Go

Unlike resort communities, major cities have no real seasonality. There is so much to do all of the time, that any season is suitable for a visit. New York is as beautiful in the Fall with the leaves turning colors in Central Park as it is in Winter when a snowfall throws a hush over the City. A carriage ride in Central Park is as enjoyable in Winter with a blanket over your legs as it is in the warmth of summer. I have spent many wonderful days strolling through the park or down in Soho in every season.

Getting There

New York is served by three major airports; Newark, NJ (Liberty), LaGuardia and JFK. All are a short distance from Manhattan by cab or shuttle. LaGuardia is closest, then JFK, then Newark.

The City is about a 5 hour drive from Boston, 2 hours from Philadelphia and 5 hours from Washington DC.

Amtrak train service to New York is available from just about anywhere in the country.

Getting Around

You do not need a car to get around in New York and wouldn’t want one. Taxis and Uber/Lyft are plentiful and subway and bus service is reliable and inexpensive. Car and limousine service is readily available.

Things To Do

New York has so much to offer it is hard to know where to begin. For sports fanatics, the City boasts some legendary teams; the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, Devils, Knicks and Nets. Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center host the City’s finest music and dance. Madison Square Garden is home to the Knicks and Rangers and the site of many popular music concerts. Radio City features the Christmas Show and the famed Rockettes and also many concerts.

There is a museum for just about anything, amazing art collections and the best live theater in the world on and off Broadway. Huge Central Park is an urban haven like no other where you can walk, bike, skate, horseback ride, sunbath, dine, take a carriage ride and even rent a boat. The neighborhoods each hold their own charm and there is no better city for shopping. The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty are sights known the world over. With the possible exception of golf, there isn’t much that you can’t do during a wonderful weekend getaway in New York City.


Central Park ranks up there with the greats like Stowe’s Recreation Path and Newport’s Cliff Walk. This wonderful 843 acre oasis in the middle of the greatest City is something you won’t want to miss. The terrain changes throughout the park from flat to hilly, there are lakes and rocks and open fields and quaint bridges. It is quite spectacular at any time of year.

The outer loop of the Park is about 6 miles, middle loop about 4 and the trek around the Reservoir about 1.58 miles. You can rent bicycles at the Loeb Boathouse 74th/East Drive Bikes are $8 for the first hour and $4 each  1/2 hour after that.


You can rent rowboats in Central Park at Loeb Boathouse 74th/East Drive $10 for the first hour and $2.50 each quarter hour after that or head over to the boathouse in Riverside Park at 72nd Street and you can cruise the Hudson for free in a kayak. Manhattan Kayak Company, 23rd Street and the Hudson River offers guided tours of the Hudson. (212-924-1788)

Ice Skating

Most people think of Rockefeller Center for ice skating, but it is a relatively small arena and generally very crowded, especially during the Holidays. Wollman Rink in Central Park at 62nd Street is much larger and has snack bar facilities.Within the last few years skating has been available in Bryant Park, 6th Ave. and 43rd Street. Good facilities.


Belmont Park, site of the third and longest leg of the Triple Crown and the Breeder’s Cup is located in Elmont, NY just a short distance outside the City. There are two meets, May-July and September/October. Aqueduct, also in Queens, is open January-May and November and December.

Spectator Sports

New York has had more championship sports teams than any other city. Mets and Yankees in baseball, Knicks and Nets in basketball, Giants and Jets in football, Metro Stars in soccer, Rangers, Devils and Islanders in hockey. The U.S. Open Tennis Championships are played at the USTA National Tennis Center in Queens, The Millrose Games are run in Madison Square Garden in February and the pre-Derby Wood Memorial is at Aqueduct Raceway in Mid-April. Visit Tickets for schedules and tickets.


Radio City Music Hall– Art deco design featuring The Christmas Spectacular with the famous Rockettes and other musical performances.
Carnegie Hall-The world’s greatest musicians play in this landmark concert hall.
Madison Square Garden– Sports, rock concerts, ice shows, the circus, boxing and dog shows.
David Geffen Hall– Home of the NY Philharmonic, the oldest symphony orchestra in the world.
Beacon Theatre-Features many of the world’s greatest artists representing all types of music. Visit Tickets for schedules and tickets.

The Arts

Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. Everything a world class opera house should be. Visit New York City Ballet for info on this company.


There is so much to do in New York on your own, that tours almost seem somewhat of a waste of time. The Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Grand Central Station and Central Park are sights not to be missed. You can take tours of Broadway theaters, Carnegie Hall, Central Park, Gracie Mansion (Mayor’s home), Grand Central Station, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, NBC Studios, Radio City Music Hall and more. Depends on what your interests are. If you enjoy exercise with your touring, I suggest Bike the Big Apple, 3-5 hours tours ($69-$79) covering a lot of NY ground. For Seinfeld fans there’s Kramer’s (the original Kramer) Reality Tour. $37.50 and for general TV fans, try the On Location Tours which take you to the sites seen in many TV shows. ($30-$40).

Accomplice New York is part interactive theater, part scavenger hunt and part walking tour. Cloaked in secrecy, you don’t find out until hours before where you are meeting. “Accomplice: New York thrusts you into the middle of a well-crafted criminal plan you never thought you’d be involved in, taking you on a journey that will lead you everywhere from historical monuments in epic locations to exotic out of the way shops. And, like any good wiseguy, you’ll eat, drink and laugh along the way.” $45 for 3 hours.April-October

James Smythe’s “My Kind of Town” tours are customized to what you want to see and do. Choose specific destinations or things like “eating” tours, pub crawls and more.Length varies, 4 hour is most popular. Travel in style in a Mercedes Sedan. This is the way to see New York!

TakeWalks is a great source of tours for NYC.


Broadway, Off Broadway and Off, Off Broadway. There is no better theater in the world. Saturday matinee at 2pm, Saturday evening performances at 8pm and Sunday matinees at 1-2pm. Visit Tickets for shows and tickets. For discount tickets visit Broadway Box.


There are literally hundreds of museums in the five boroughs of New York.  Here are the ones you won’t want to miss;

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5th Ave at 86th. One of the world’s great art museums with many of history’s greatest artists represented.
Guggenheim Museum, 5th Ave. at 89th. Frank Lloyd Wright spiral design houses an amazing collection of abstract art.
American Museum of Natural History, CPW, 77/81st. Dinosaurs, mammals, ocean life and more.
Ellis Island Immigration Museum, Ellis Island. The arrival point for 12 million immigrants. You may be able to find your ancestor’s sign-in sheet.
Museum of Modern Art, (MOMA)11 West 53rd between 5/6th. Recently renovated with spectacular results. This is not to be missed.
Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, Pier 86, 12th/46th. WW II aircraft carrier, a submarine and a destroyer, plus a collection of aircraft telling the history of aviation.
Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison at 75th.20th century American art.
9/11 Memorial. 180 Greenwich Street. This needs no introduction and is a “must see”. Take Walks is a good source of tours.

Art Galleries

Seems like the gallery world has abandoned Soho and moved to Chelsea.or elsewhere. Among the best; Gagosian, 555 West 24th, Paul Kasmin, 293 10th Ave. at 27th, known for nurturing new talent, Paula Cooper, 534 W. 21st at 10th, Marlborough, 211 W. 19th and Mary Boone, 745 5th Ave. between 57th/58th and Pace Wildenstein, 534 W.25th St.Oliver Kam/5Be   621 W. 27th, drawings, photographs from emerging artists, Andrea Rosen, 525 W. 24th, media art, Sonnebend Gallery, 536 W.22nd. Works by the biggest around, David Zwirner, 525 W. 19th, hot new artists.


Lots of small stores throughout the City, but try the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, 1050 Second Ave. between 55th/56th or The Showplace, 40 W. 25th between Broadway and 6th.


Macy’s (Herald Sq./34th St.) Bloomingdales (Lexington/59th), Bergdorf (5th/57th) and Saks (5th/49th) are the department stores every shopper won’t want to miss. Madison Ave. from 59th to 79th houses the designers like Valentino, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren. Because these are their showpiece stores, they are quite spectacular. SoHo features the trendy boutiques favored by the City’s chic and celebrated and is a great place to just wander around. For real bargains, head to Orchard Street on the Lower East Side.

Some great bargains on amazing designer clothing. can arrange incredible shopping expeditions to any part of the City.


There are many parades celebrating many different events and ethnic groups. Among the most famous are the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Easter Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with all its inflatable floats. My favorite, though, is the Feast of San Gennaro, a 10 day event starting the 3rd week of September in Little Italy where all the restaurants open their doors to the sidewalks and you can enjoy the people watching while sampling great food and wine. See Parades.

Dont Miss

  • Central Park
  • A carriage ride in the Park
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Rockefeller Center
  • A Broadway Show
  • Saks, Bloomie’s
  • Drinks at the Boathouse
  • Radio City
  • Afternoon snack at Balthazar
  • Union Square Greenmarket
  • Dinner at the River Cafe
  • After dinner drink at the Campbell Apartment

The Best Of...

News and Resources

The New York Post and New York Times are the best newspapers in town. Time Out New York and New York Magazine are the best magazines.

Food & Drink


Soho’s Balthazar is a little touch of Paris and our favorite all-around restaurant,  Norma’s Parker Hotel, W. 57th St. is acknowledged by many as the best breakfast spot in the City. It’s said that the chefs in town, head to Good Enough to Eat 483 Amsterdam at 83rd Street for a great breakfast. Everything is fresh and homemade. Bakery stuff is legendary. Long lines on weekends, bring a newspaper. Other favorites include Soho Aurora on Broome Street where you get crusty bread, a salad, an entree and a Mimosa or Bloody for $15!. Lafayette Grand Cafe and Bakery, downtown, serves all meals and is a wonderful people watching place. B&B Wine Pub offers limitless Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Beer or Wine for $19 with a brunch item.

A particular favorite, especially in the winter (they have a wood burning fireplace in the bar) is the Waverly Inn in Greenwich Village. Eat in a cozy book in the restaurant or the bright and cheerful Garden Room.


Some of the best restaurants in NYC offer surprisingly priced lunches (at least compared to their dinner prices) during the week. Le Bernardin has a three course lunch for $93. Bouley at Home presents a $55 Tasting menu. Marea has a two course lunch at $67 and Del Posto features three courses for $69.

Two great choices in the Village; cozy and popular, The Little Owl and for delicious Italian food and a romantic setting try Corbone. You can get the best Chicken Parm ever at Primola on the Upper East Side and Danny’s Meyer’s Union Square Cafe is still one of the best restaurants in the City.

French bistro. Balthazar. 80 Spring St. is one of my favorite places in the City. Make their own breads. I like to go here in late afternoon after a day in Soho or Little Italy, sit at the bar, order the cheese plate and a glass of wine. Boathouse, Central Park (E. 72nd St) Whatever the season, this place right on a lake in the heart of Central Park, is magical. May not be a more romantic lunch spot in the City. The food good, not great. but who cares with this view. If nothing else, go for a drink.  Michael’s. 24 W. 55th. (5th/6th). “Power” spot in mid-town for media types and celebrities. Elegant, cheerful setting with striking modern art collection. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is a Friday spot so you’ll see some famous people. Upscale dress. B&B Wine Pub. Great atmosphere, delicious food and lots of good inexpensive wine choices. Avra Estiatorio looks like an authentic Greek Taverna, has wonderful Mediterranean food and wine and is delightful both inside and out on the patio.

Another fun lunch option is to visit Eataly (locations in the Flatiron and downtown). This wonderful “foodie” destination has restaurants, markets and vendors offering cheese, bread, pasta and more. Grab some food, a bottle of wine, sit at a table and people watch.


burger joint, Parker Meridian Hotel, W19 West 56th Street. Hard to believe this great little “Joint” and joint it is, resides in the luxury Parker Hotel. You enter the lobby and are directed behind a curtain and down a dark hallway to a neon sign outside the little café. Juicy burgers served on soft rolls, with cheese if you want. Fries served in small brown bags. Great shakes and beer too! Danny Meyer’s Shack Shack has 5 locations in Manhattan, you can tell where they are by the long lines. Followers are obsessed. The Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern is to die for. and locals swear by J.G. Melon’s cheeseburgers. Love the cheeseburgers at P.J. Clarke’s and the cheeseburger at 4 Charles Prime Rib comes from the Chicago burger legend Au Cheval.

Oyster Bars

No trip to NYC would be complete without a visit to the Grand Central Oyster Bar, opened in 1913. Worth the trip just to see the decor. Love the vibe at the Pearl Oyster Bar in the West Village and AquaGrill, in Soho has outdoor seating in nice weather. Also, when the weather is nice, hop aboard the Grand Banks Schooner, parked at Pier 25, Hudson River Park, and belly up to their outside oyster bar.

Hot Dog

Gray’s Papaya. Many locations, but one on W. 43rd Street. Can’t leave the City without having one along with the papaya drink.


BBQ has invaded the city in the last year and there are now a host of great spots. I haven’t tried them all, but the brisket sandwich I had at Hill Country at 30 W. 26th Street was the best I ever had. Dry rubbed and cooked slow over post oak wood shipped from Texas. Lots of great stuff from brisket to ribs to chicken. Looks like a Texas roadhouse too. Live music Wednesday-Saturday.

Bloody Mary

Legend has it that the Bloody Mary was brought to the U.S. by Fernand Petiot who invented it at Harry’s Bar in Paris. Petiot took a job at the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis hotel in NYC and the rest is history. Prune . 54 E. 1st Street. Lots of choices, but I like the Bloody Bull with beef bullion. Great place to get over a hangover.


There are some wonderful pubs that have been around for a hundred years, literally. The best are: P.J. Clarke’s, Third/55th Midtown. Around since the late 1800’s. Hang-out for Kennedy, Sinatra, Plimpton, Breslin and more. Great bar. Good pub food. Excellent burgers. Red checkered tablecloths. Check out the urinals…No reservations necessary. McSorley’s, 15 E. 7th Street. Sawdust floors, swinging doors, choice of light or dark ale. This is old New York at its best. The Long Room (formerly St. Andrew’s) 120 W. 44th Street. Convenient to theater district. Excellent selection of single malts and beers. Wonderful fireplace with couches around it. Great lunch spot, too. Molly’s in Gramercy Park is a true step back in time, a wonderful old Irish bar. The White Horse Tavern in the Village was Dylan Thomas’ “last call.”

Wine Bars

Aldo Sohm Wine Bar is helmed by Sohm who is Le Bernardin’s master sommelier. Great list, small plates, comfy. Corkbuzz, multiple locations. Run by Master Sommelier Laura Maniec, one of only 3 female Master Somms in New York. City Winery in Soho has a great selection, including some they make themselves. Excellent live musical entertainment. Bar Boulud on the Upper West Side focuses on wonderful French wines.


This is a city with probably the best collection of steakhouses you will find anywhere. Most people will tell you Peter Lugar’s is the best steak…but Brooklyn is a trek and I don’t like the decor, attitude or the prices. If you assume all the steaks are pretty good, and they are, how to choose? I like steak houses that offer something different than the norm. Spark’s, E. 46th between 2nd/3rd.has always been a favorite and it’s the quintessential NY institution. It’s where mob boss Paul Castellano was killed, seemingly at the direction of John Gotti. Del Frisco’s, part of a 16 restaurant national chain, has the only Wine Spectator Grand Award for their wine list, among the City’s steakhouses.But the competition is heating up. Keens Steakhouse, opened in 1885 has a wonderful clubby atmosphere and the best mutton in town. Delmonico’s, downtown, opened in 1837 and is credited with inventing Eggs Benedict, Baked Alaska, Lobster Newburg and Chicken A la Keene. A new favorite is the Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village. Excellent steaks, fantastic old New York atmosphere. Hard to get in.

Maloney & Porcelli serves dry aged steaks and has a wonderful wine dinner. $90 for an appetizer, entree and dessert, paired with good wines that are poured generously.


COLD WEATHER/ANYTIME Campbell Apartment, Grand Central Station, Vanderbilt/42nd St. Amazing décor. Former offices if 1920’s rail tycoon John Campbell. Midtown. Boathouse in Central Park, 5th at 74th. Whatever the weather, a perfect place for drinks. Best view. Upper Eastside. Hudson Hotel Library 356 W. 58th Between 8th/9th. Fireplace. Chic. Cool. Midtown. McSorley’s Downtown. Old time New York. Been there forever. Sawdust floors, their own beer. Downtown. Bemelmans Bar, Upper East Side.Carlyle Hotel. Sophisticated and upscale. King Cole Bar. Mid-town. Popular after work spot for high powered execs and their “nieces”. If you happen to be in downtown in the Flatiron district (Gramercy Tavern, Craft) here are some great places for a drink either before or after dinner; Flute, E. 20th Street, dark, couches, amazing champagne menu. Attaboy, opened in the old space of Milk & Honey by two of its bartenders. Truly artisan.
WARM WEATHER/OUTDOORS Salon de Ning, Peninsula Hotel. Great view of the City. Midtown. Boathouse in Central Park. See above. 230 Fifth. 230 Fifth Ave. (26/27th). Spectacular penthouse Lounge and Rooftop Garden. Amazing views of the City. The crowd is as close to “Sex and the City” as you can get. PHD Terrace. Dream Hotel. Mid-town. Uptown and up high. 15th Floor Garden with Times Square, Central Park views.

Afternoon Delight

You know that time in the afternoon just before you head back to the hotel to nap or relax before dinner? Any of the oyster or wine bars mentioned above are great for a snack, or try Rosa Mexicano. Homemade guacamole made in stone bowls in front of you served with hot chips. Have the pomegranate margaritas. Cheese plate and white wine or the raw bar at Balthazar. in Soho. Italian small plates at Frankies Spuntino .


After Dinner Fun

If you are not going to the theater, opera or Carnegie Hall, or a sporting event here are some other great things to do after dinner.
COCKTAIL BAR: Bo Peep. Fantastic cocktails. Nightly entertainment.
 Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. South at 11th St. Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St.. Birdland, 315 W. 44th between 8th/9th.
BLUES: BB Kings, 237 W. 42nd between 7th/8th.
CABARET: Feinstein’s at 54 Below. Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St. between Astor/E. 4th. Cafe Carlyle, Madison at 76th.
COMEDY: Caroline’s Comedy Club. Midtown.  Gotham Comedy Club. Downtown
THE PIANO BARS: Don’t Tell Mama, Midtown. Brandy’s Piano Bar, Uptown
DANCING: Swing 46, Midtown. Live bands, lots of dancing. The Cutting Room, Downtown. Owned by Chris Noth (of Sex and the City, Law & Order fame) and Steve Walter, this hot Flatiron venue has a great bar and a wonderful back room for live music you actually want to listen to. Lots of stars drop by to drink and/or perform.
PIANO BAR/CABERET/COMEDY. The Duplex. Downtown. All in one place. Fun gay/straight crowd. Great vibe. Servers grab the mike and sing.

Day Spa

Most of the better hotels have spas of their own, but Elizabeth Arden, is still the queen behind the red door, and this article will give you some other ideas.

Face Lift

The no face lift, face lift. Tracie Martyn , 59 Fifth Ave., Suite 1. Your friends will swear you had a face lift. Celebrity facialist.


Georgi Dimov often sits outside the Metropolitan Museum or you can visit him on-line. Delightful watercolors at very reasonable prices

Cheese, Cheese, Cheese

Found this delightful shop a while back downtown on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village; Murray’s Cheese (#254) may be the best cheese store I have ever seen and they’ll ship to you. Great sandwiches, too.

Special Things

Gondola Ride

Take a trip to Venice right in Central Park on the Daughter of Venice, an authentic Venetian gondola donated to New York by the city of Venice, Italy. Every evening from 5pm to 10pm (11pm on weekends), Andres Garcia-Pena will take you on a leisurely 1/2 hours glide on the lake to the sounds of Italian opera. When your ride is finished, head over to the Boathouse on Central Park for cocktails before heading out to dinner. Reservations are required. Loeb Boathouse (5th Ave. 72nd Street entrance)

Picnic in the Park

First stop at Whole Foods in the Time Warner Building for your picnic fixins. They’ll fulfill just about any food fantasy you may have…then cross the street and find a little spot by the pond and while the day away. When the weather cooperates, there is no better way to spend an afternoon.

Ferry Cross the Hudson…

A trip on the Staten Island Ferry at twilight and the return 30 minutes later as the City lights come alive, may be the most romantic thing to do in New York. Leaves from the tip of Manhattan, downtown.

Sailing the Harbor

The sunset cruise on the 82-foot, 1929 schooner, the Shearwater, is a breathtaking experience. Bring a snack, cocktails are served on board. North Cove at the World Financial Center, downtown.

A Day at the Cloisters

Located on 4 acres in Fort Tryon Park, high over the Hudson, The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a magnificent structure with elements from five French medieval cloisters, a 12th century Spanish chapel and a Romanesque hall. It houses an amazing collection of medieval art from 1000-1500 and its beautiful gardens have over 250 species of plants, trees, herbs and flowers known to have grown in the Middle Ages. This is an extraordinary place.

Where To Stay

Greenwich Hotel

OVERVIEW of The Greenwich Hotel

The Greenwich Hotel exudes so much charm. There is a "soul" to this place that you will find in few other places. The small sign marking the entry is indicative of the hotel itself…unobtrusive and unpretentious. The lobby foyer is small,…

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Loews Regency Hotel

OVERVIEW of The Loew's Regency Hotel

The Regency is a Loews Hotel, located on the Upper East Side near some of the City’s best shopping, museums and restaurants. With 379 rooms and 58 suites, it is one of my favorites for a number of reasons; great location, a wonderful bar, large…

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Mandarin Oriental

OVERVIEW of Mandarin Oriental

The Time Warner Center has become a mecca for New Yorkers seeking the hottest restaurants and shops. Occupying floors 35-54 of the Center, the Mandarin offers stunning views of Central Park, the Hudson River and the City and its bars and restaurants are the “in” places to be seen. View Property Details

Ritz Carlton Central Park

OVERVIEW of Ritz Carlton Central Park

The Ritz Carlton Central Park is a magnificent hotel ideally located on Central Park West, overlooking the Park. The service is impeccable, the rooms beautiful and the views of the Park are just spectacular. We first saw this hotel in the…

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OVERVIEW of Sofitel Hotel

I have become a real fan of the French inspired, Sofitel Hotels, having enjoyed them in New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago and LA. They are sophisticated and stylish with the amenities and design of a 4-4 ½ star hotel, but with very reasonable prices. (except maybe Peak Season) They are…

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The Lowell

OVERVIEW of The Lowell

Every list of the most “romantic” hotels in New York City includes the Lowell at or near the top. This is our choice for any special occasion.  With only 47 suites and 21 rooms, it is small, intimate and ideally located on a tree lined street just off Madison Avenue…

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The Roxy Tribeca

OVERVIEW of The Roxy Tribeca

This "has it all" hotel came up in a search one weekend on Hotwire when we were looking for last minute accommodations in NYC. That weekend and one other we were able to get rates under $200. The Roxy Tribeca, formally…

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The Surrey

OVERVIEW of The Surrey

The Surrey, the only Relais & Chateaux property in NYC, is an utterly charming hotel just a block from both Central Park and Madison Avenue and is everything a sophisticated hotel should be.  Built in 1926 as a residence hotel, the original…

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Where To Eat

Aretsky’s Patroon

We have said often that the best dining experience is when food, ambiance and service come together to create a magical experience. That doesn’t happen as often as we’d like, but it did when we visited Arestsky’s Patroon in NYC. Two of our favorite authors, Stuart Woods and Linda Fairstein use Patroon in their books…

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Avra Estiatorio

Avra is a wonderful Greek gem on the East Side and a favorite for fresh Mediterranean seafood. The beautiful space is so cozy and warm you feel transported to a Greek Isle home. Whitewashed walls, limestone floors, fresh flowers everywhere, comfortable couches in the bar area, intimate booths, a bountiful raw bar, rough hewn woodwork…

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Balthazar is my favorite all around restaurant in the City. I have eaten every meal here, breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner. When we are New York for the afternoon, we always stop for wine and a cheese platter or some delights from the raw bar. When we want really good bread, we get it from…

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There may be no more perfect restaurant in New York for a very special occasion than Daniel, Daniel Boulud's eponymous Upper East Side salon. Earning near perfect marks for food, decor and service from Zagat, Daniel stands at the top of a very impressive list of world renowned New York restaurants. If you are truly…

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Gramercy Tavern

There is good reason for the Gramercy Tavern to have been rated among the Most Popular Restaurant in New York by Zagat's for the last few years. First, it's not stuffy or pretentious, second the atmosphere is warm and inviting and third, well, third, is the amazing food. With soft jazz playing in the background,…

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Keens Steakhouse

In 1885 Keens Chophouse was opened by Albert Keen, a noted figure in the Herald Square Theatre District. Keens soon became the lively and accepted rendezvous of the famous. Actors in full stage make-up hurried through the rear door to “fortify” themselves between acts at the neighboring Garrick Theatre. Keens Steakhouse owns the largest collection…

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La Grenouille

Sadly, the era of the formal, traditional French restaurant seems to have passed. Lutece and my old favorite, La Cote Basque are just two of the standards who are no more. Happily, however, La Grenouille remains and flourishes. For a glimpse of old New York/Park Avenue money, this is the place to go. Everyone is…

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Le Bernardin

Fish is not usually my first choice for a meal when I dine out, but that may be because I had never experienced Eric Ripert's cooking before. This is unlike any seafood you have ever had. But, I'll get to the food in a minute. I knew that Le Bernardin has been the top rated…

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Minetta Tavern

Keith McNally and his team have a particular genius in creating themed restaurants fashioned after another time or place. Balthazar, Pastis Pravda and Schiller's to name a few. Excellent food, a casual atmosphere and moderate prices make these restaurants favorites of many New Yorkers. Testament to their popularity is that they are always busy, any…

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One If By Land, Two If By Sea

Housed in a restored carriage house once owned by Aaron Burr, One If By Land is a favorite romantic restaurant in the City. Piano music in the background, fireplaces, brick walls, French windows onto an illuminated garden and tables with a single candle and a bouquet of fresh pink roses make you want to pop…

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One of our favorite authors, Linda Fairstein, writes crime novels based in NYC. Her lead character and friends frequent a number of restaurants in the City and Primola is one of them. She made the Clams Oreganta and the Chicken Parmesan sound so delicious, we had to try it. Known for its celebrity, politician and…

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Quality Meats

I don't know anyone who doesn't love a good steak and in New York a new steakhouse pops up virtually every day. The pure male bonding haunts still draw them in, but a new breed is emerging that keeps the basic tenets intact, but adds some nuances that expand the appeal to a larger audience.…

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River Cafe

Just across the Brooklyn Bridge, a short cab ride from Manhattan, is the magical River Café and the best view of any restaurant in New York. Go an hour before sunset and watch the skyline transform itself from daylight to evening. Sun splashed buildings give way to a twinkling light tableau. It is quite spectacular.…

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Scalini Fedeli

Slightly off the beaten path, downtown, the romantic Tuscan delight, Scalini Fedeli, embraces you from the minute you enter. The warmth is reflected in the greeting at the door and the vaulted ceilings, recessed lighting, soft background opera, huge Corinthian columns and hanging tapestries set the mood. The elegance of the room is further carried…

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The Polo Bar

In a city with hundreds if not thousands of restaurants, how do you stand out from the pack? ....attention to detail. Seems easy, but few get it like Ralph Lauren's Polo Bar on East 55th Street. Start with the decor; just what you would expect from Lauren; wood paneling, leather booths, hunt pictures and murals,…

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The Waverly Inn

I have known about the Waverly Inn in the West Village, purchased by former Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Grayton Carter in 2006,  for some time, but for a long time it was almost impossible to get a reservation. In fact, if I remember correctly, for a time they didn’t have a public phone number, only those…

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Union Square Cafe

Union Square Cafe has won five James Beard Awards and also earned Zagat Survey’s #1 ranking as New York’s Most Popular Restaurant an unprecedented nine times. Pretty amazing. USC, was Danny Meyer's first venture in the City, he then went on to open Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park and The Modern to name just a…

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