1. Shopping in Nolita and Soho
My favourite spot for shopping is in these Downtown neighbourhoods of Nolita and Soho, where you’ll find unique small boutiques. Two must-shop spots are Josefina’s, which features handmade shoes from Portugal, and Gas Bijoux, where you can find gorgeous, colourful jewellery from St. Tropez at reasonable prices. Be sure to check out the Soho branch of Bloomingdale’s, which has a far more boutique feel than the Midtown store – and it’s a lot easier to navigate.
Be sure to check out the Soho branch of Bloomingdale’s, which has a far more boutique feel than the Midtown store – and it’s a lot easier to navigate
While you’re downtown, check out one of NYC’s many stylish cafés to take an Instagram-worthy latte art shot. Cha Cha Matcha will have your social media followers green with envy: all of their clever concoctions are made with finely-milled Japanese green tea leaves. Whether you go with the coconut matcha latte or the iced lemonade matcha, you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated to stay focused on your shopping.
Secret shopping streets
While Fifth Avenue may be better known for its luxury retailers, the boutiques around Soho and NoLita are definitely worth checking out for unique finds, says our insider Dina.Read our weekend guide
Full of beans
Did you know that New Yorkers consume more coffee – or should that be cawwfee? – per capita than anywhere else in he country? After the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, Manhattan became one of the biggest centres of coffee roasting in the USA.Discover New York
It’s not easy being green
Made of copper, The Statue of Liberty was the colour of a brand new shiny penny when she first arrived in New York as a gift from France in 1885. It took about twenty years for the green hue to develop due to oxidation.Book a Statue of Liberty cruise
3. Bargain hunt
Explore some of the many off-price retailers the city has to offer. Tourists know about Century 21, but there are many others with fantastic deals and fewer crowds. The new Saks Off Fifth on 57th Street and Lexington has a vast selection of brands at truly amazing prices, complete with a GILT shop inside.
Hop aboard the Staten Island Ferry for a sunset ride. This commuter ferry is always free and runs all day and night. In my opinion, this is the best way to experience the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. Stand on the starboard (right) side, near the outside rail, on your way to Staten Island to get the best views.
5. The Oculus and Brookfield Place
New York’s newest and most stylish indoor shopping plaza and transportation hub is worth visiting for its extraordinary architecture, designed by Santiago Calatrava. The pristine white Westfield shopping mall is home to retailers such as Breitling, John Varvatos, L.K. Bennett, Bose, Aesop, and Dior. The mall also connects underground to Brookfield Place for even more shopping opportunities. The concept of a mall is not super-New York, but the vendors here make the experience so unique and enjoyable. It’s a less crowded and more convenient way to shop in the city – especially when the weather isn’t cooperating.
Try it for yourself…
Experience a slice of la dolce vita for yourself at Eataly Flatiron, which is open daily from 09:00 to 23:00. Nearest subway: 23 Street Station (R, W).Read a chef’s guide to NYC
Did you know… ?
This six-storey museum – which houses an impressive collection of Himalayan art and artefacts – was once home to a Barneys New York department store. Look out for mindfulness meditation classes, which are sometimes held at the museum.Book a hassle-free NYC holiday
Full steam ahead
This historic tea parlour has been serving delicious dim sum in New York’s Chinatown since 1920, when it was known for its almond cookies and moon cakes. Nowadays, locals love the fluffy roast pork buns, fried shrimp balls and crispy egg rolls.Discover NY neighbourhoods
Chinatown restaurants can be hit-or-miss, but you can never go wrong at this no-frills, authentic dim sum hotspot. This historic neighbourhood gem serves excellent dumplings, fried shrimp balls, and steamed roast pork buns. It’s cash or Amex only, and they don’t take reservations, but the wait is definitely worth it. Each plate only costs $5-$10, so order a feast to share with your friends.
Enjoy the public art and architecture of Madison Square Park and feast inside Eataly, which offers an unbelievable selection of products imported from Italy. In addition to the many restaurants, dessert stations, and wine bars, there’s also a rooftop microbrewery, La Birreria, which has spectacular Downtown views.
This is my Zen zone in the city, where I can get in touch with my spiritual side. The Rubin is home to some of the finest Himalayan, Hindu and Buddhist works of art. I love that it explores Eastern practices with a modern-day sensibility. There’s always something interesting on exhibit that will allow you to see the world with a fresh perspective.
9. Prospect Park
Visit my neighbourhood and take a stroll through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, which is always beautiful, particularly in spring and fall, as you can watch the seasons change. If you’re in Manhattan, take the F train to Park Slope and walk from the southwest tip all the way through to the Grand Army Plaza side where you can catch the subway back to the city (or visit the Brooklyn Museum or Botanical Gardens). They also have a wonderful summer concert series – in June, the New York Philharmonic plays under the stars in the Long Meadow Ballfields. It’s my favourite free event of the year, culminating in a gorgeous fireworks display. Get there early and enjoy a picnic with friends.
10. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
I love visiting this beautiful Midtown cathedral because it feels so accessible and inclusive to so many different religions and cultures. It doesn’t feel like a church – it’s more like a place where everyone can go to get some peace and reflect. Make sure you spend some time with the Virgin Mary Sacrament near the back, where you can light a candle and quietly reflect on your trip.