This open-air food fair takes place every Saturday right on the waterfront in Williamsburg. There are around 100 stalls selling delicious street food, from ramen burgers and tacos to grilled cheese and doughnuts. It’s a great way to taste the different flavours of New York. Get there when it opens at 11:00 to beat the crowds, especially if you have little ones. It can get very busy by mid-afternoon, with long queues for the most popular stalls.
Most people go for the Empire State Building because it is so iconic, but the observatory at the newly built One World Trade is exceptionally well done for both adults and kids
There are botanic gardens and there are botanic gardens – and Brooklyn’s is particularly beautiful. There’s something in bloom at all times of year, of course, but it is most famous for its cherry blossom in April. The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden makes for a very tranquil walk and they have fun educational activities for kids to get their hands dirty (if they so wish). The best entrance is right next to Brooklyn Museum, which is also well worth a visit while you’re there.
You can also enjoy Smorgasburg on Sundays (11:00-18:00) at Prospect Park – Breeze Hill.Discover NYC food markets
Brooklyn in bloom
Why not take a guided tour of the gardens? Guides will show you the best parts and what’s currently in bloom.Discover New York
On the wire
When the weather gets very cold, the wires of Brooklyn Bridge contract raising it up by up to three inches.Find a hotel in NYC
You’re going to want to go up a tall building when you’re in New York. Most people go for the Empire State Building because it is so iconic, but the observatory at the newly built One World Trade is exceptionally well done for both adults and kids. In my opinion, it has better 360-degree views, from the Statue of Liberty to the BMW (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges over the East River) to the Empire State Building in Midtown. It’s also very much worth spending some time of quiet reflection at the 9/11 Memorial and also walking through Oculus, New York’s insane-looking $4bn train station meets shopping mall.
You’ll see a lot of people wearing work out gear around town. Boutique fitness classes are all the rage and I would heartily recommend taking a SoulCycle spin class or a Barry’s Bootcamp class as a classically New York experience just to check out how good the trainers are. That level of frenzied enthusiasm needs an American accent – and you’ll get swept up in it.
Go for a drink at this rooftop bar atop the new William Vale hotel in Williamsburg. The view at night is the best view of any bar in New York – you can see the whole of the Manhattan skyline illuminated in front of you. It really takes your breath away.
Did you know…
There are a total of 40 Broadway theatres, even though only four of them are actually located on Broadway.Explore NYC Theatre
Street corner Mexican
Café de la Esquina opens seven days a week, Sunday to Wednesday (11:00-23:00) and Thursday to Saturday (11:00-00:00).Find New York cheap eats
The first New York City Marathon in 1970 was held entirely in Central Park. These days, racers start in Staten Island but cross the finishing line in Central Park.Find free things to do
I never liked Mexican cuisine until I came to New York, and now I can’t get enough. One of our favourite local spots for our regular Thursday date night is Café de La Esquina in Williamsburg. It’s in a classic retro diner with booth seating, but my wife and I love to sit up at the bar, order a spicy Margarita (her) and an ice-cold Corona (me) and keep the tacos coming.
Sipping and sightseeing
The rooftop bar opens Sunday to Wednesday 16:00-00:00 and Thursday to Saturday 16:00-02:00.Discover NYC’s best bars
This disused freight train line has been turned into a beautiful elevated public park and was recently extended to make it a much more worthwhile walk up the west side of Manhattan. It gets very clogged up with people at weekends so visit on a weekday. Walk from north to south and then when you get to the end you’re in a good spot because the new Whitney Museum of American Art is right there, and you’re close to the West Village, which is such a joy to walk around and get lost in.
You can’t come to New York and not go to Central Park. I like to combine it with a visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, aka The Met, which is situated on the periphery of the park on the east side. Get the 4, 5 or 6 Train up to 86th Street and walk a couple of blocks over.
Tickets sell out for this Broadway show months in advance, so be sure to buy tickets as soon as your book your flights. It really is worth the hype – it’s the best stage show I’ve ever seen, and that’s coming from someone who isn’t a fan of musicals as a rule. We now have the soundtrack on loop.