It’s very easy to give you a long list of my top picks to see in Manhattan. But, chances are that travel books or other travel bloggers covered them already. Instead I’ll tell you about my favorite time of day to walk Manhattan. After dark. Due to recent events (explosions in Chelsea) this might seem a little reckless, but trust me: crazy people aside, most of Manhattan is quite safe.
After going to the movies on Friday, my classmates and I leave the ice-cold theater and walk into the evening rush with a much nicer temperature. I decide to walk from 13th Street to 77th Street, which is a little over 65 blocks. Buildings are iconically lit and people are out and about. Mysterious underground fog comes to the surface, expensive window displays look serene and men delivering take-out drive their bicycles like kamikaze through the evening traffic.
While setting the pace to Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel (Ta Ta Ta Ta, Hi, Hi!) – and secretly moving with the rhythm, I’m witnessing it all and really enjoying the hell out of this moment. I took a lot of pictures on the way home, so you can judge for yourself if you find Manhattan after dark just as appealing. Click the picture below to see the slide show.
My top Manhattan picks
Just in case any of the following tips were forgotten by your city guide or blogger of choice: here are some of my top picks:
- Take the East River Ferry from Wall Street/ Pier 11 to Brooklyn Bridge Park. If you go towards the end of the day, you can relax a little bit in the park before walking back by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and seeing the Manhattan skyline light up;
- The Empire State Building is a beautiful landmark, but if you want to have a good view of the city ánd the Empire State Building, and you also want more room to move around, you should go to Top of The Rock (Rockefeller Plaza, 50th Street, between 5th & 6th Avenue);
- Have drinks or eat steak in the Meatpacking District and walk High Line Park from Gansevoort Street (10th Avenue) to Midtown after dark. Much less people and the High Line is beautifully lit at night;
- Rent a Citi Bike at West 22nd Street & 10th Avenue (or the Citi Bike station of your choice) for $12 a day and unlimited 30 minute rides. By using the bike lanes from Chelsea Piers (West 24th Street and 12th Avenue) passing Hudson River Park to Battery Park and all the way up to the East Side, you get a beautiful ride without getting hit by a car. Just remember: when you take a regular avenue or street, cyclists have to ride on the left. First Avenue from East 65th Street to East 72nd Street offer a wide selection of bars and restaurants where you can nurture your saddle pain;
- Take a walk through Greenwich Village and Chelsea. Throw away your map (so to speak) and enjoy a walk without aim;
- Eat a delicious cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes (111 Mercer Street);
- Take breakfast to go at Dean & Deluca (560 Broadway). Best grilled cheese sandwiches with fancy cheeses. A single strawberry costs 3 dollars, but it’s totally worth it;
- Avoid Starbucks all together, except if you need free wifi. There are much better coffee places across the city, especially when they aren’t part of a chain;
- Ask a New Yorker for restaurant tips. They love to share their best finds and they are much more up-to-date than any city guide.