Curious New York: a weekend guide


By Danielle Contray

Фотографии: Alexander Spatari/Getty

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Updated December 2018

New York is a magical place, even if it’s your second, third or fifth visit to the city. From immersive adaptations of Shakespeare in Hell’s Kitchen to discovering Michelin-starred Mexican food in Queens, here’s a 48-hour guide for curious travellers seeking the unexpected in NYC. The best part? You don’t have to use any holiday time.

Пятница

Вечерний рейс в Лондон

With up to 15 flights to New York from London departing every day, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the British Airways schedule. You can minimise your holiday leave and maximise your first evening in Manhattan by catching the 18:00 flight from London Heathrow to JFK. You'll land just after 21:00 and you'll get to the heart of the city soon after.

22:00 - Nightcap

Drop your luggage off at The Westin Grand Central and head straight back out to Grand Central Station. If a trip New York's biggest station doesn't sound like a particularly 'curious' recommendation to you, look again – the station has a 'secret' bar that's the perfect Friday night spot. Book ahead for a quiet table on the mezzanine at the delightful Campbell Apartment. Once a private office, it was restored in 2017 and the sound of cocktail shakers has replaced the clack of typewriters. Hidden in a side room off the station, it's a novel way to take in a classic New York landmark.

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  • The new Whitney Museum of American Art has reopened in the Meatpacking District

    Art attack

    The museum’s 21,000-plus works of art are on exhibition in its fancy new designer digs near the High Line – which has twice the space as its previous home on the Upper East Side, meaning that much of the collection can now be on full-time display, which was never possible before.

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  • Tuck into Michelin-starred Mexican fare at Casa Enrique

    Michelin magic

    Casa Enrique is New York’s only Michelin-starred Mexican restaurant – and with good reason. Chef Cosme Aguilar’s most popular dish, cochinito chiapaneco – tender baby pork ribs marinated in guaillo chillies – is worth the trip to Queens alone.

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  • Sleep No More, an immersive adaptation of Macbeth, at The McKittrick Hotel © Driely S

Суббота

08:00 - A breakfast of super chefs

Woken up bleary eyed? The lovely dining room at Café Cluny will lift your spirits after your long flight. Over in West Village, it serves a brunch menu with everything from oatmeal to a towering Breakfast Club Sandwich. Fill up ready for a big day – you're just a short hop from New York's hippest museum: The Whitney.

10:00 - Get arty

The Whitney Museum of American Art sits in trendy Renzo Piano-designed digs just round the corner. The expansive galleries display more than 2,000 painters, sculptors, architects, film makers and performance artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. You'll discover some new artists to love, but the galleries also house their fair share of Mark Rothkos and Georgia O'Keeffes. Look out for Circus by Alexander Calder, a delicate sculpture that includes a pom-pom lion. The Whitney's major exhibitions are always popular, so remember to reserve tickets in advance.

13:00 - Live the high life

The Whitney sits at the southern end of the High Line – an urban park that stretches along an old elevated railway track from the Meatpacking District up 22 blocks to Midtown. Take in the views of the Hudson River and the city as you stroll north through the sustainable park where indigenous plants grow around the old tracks – with stops at the gelato stands and bars along the way, naturally.

  • The wildflower field on The High Line runs between 28th and 30th Street. Photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy of The High Line.

    Green belt

    Since it opened in 2009, the High Line has been one of New York's most popular parks. The wild grasses and plants on the section you see here are a nod to the disused West Side Line, and the plants that grew there once it fell into disrepair.

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17:00 - Foodie quest to Queens

The High Line descends to street-level at 34th Street - and you can walk from here to Hudson Yards to catch the 7 train. Ride it all the way to Hunters Point Avenue in Queens and you'll be in the heart of New York's new hipster district: Long Island City. You’ll need to make a reservation beforehand at Casa Enrique, but it’s worth it. It serves Michelin-starred Mexican food, from enchiladas to mole that's so bold that it, to quote the guide itself, 'thrills palates' and 'tempts wanton thoughts': get booking.

21:00 - Shakespeare in the city

After you’ve had your fill, make your way back to Manhattan for an only-in-New-York experience: Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, an immersive adaptation of Macbeth, is a theatre event held at The McKittrick Hotel. You’ll be given a mask and be allowed to wander through 100 rooms, coming upon intricate scenes and interacting with the mysterious cast. Not for the faint-hearted.

Воскресенье

  • Swap Fifth Avenue for the West Village’s quirkier boutiques – such as Alexis Bittar

    Go west

    West Village is full of quirky boutiques. Just make sure you save room in your suitcase for a few bits and bobs to bring back.

    Бронирование рейсов

10:00 - Brunch bunch

New Yorkers take brunch seriously, but most restaurants don’t raise the gate until noon. Maximize your time by heading to Buvette, a sweet French spot in the West Village where service starts at 09:00 (give yourself a bit of a lie-in and head there for 10:00, when the queues are still light). Order the much raved-about croque-monsieur or the fluffy steamed eggs, made via the espresso machine’s steam wand and served with prosciutto on country bread.

Noon - Boutique therapy

Forget the chain stores that have proliferated in SoHo and on Fifth Avenue. The West Village is still the place to find unique shops – some only found in New York – that stock both homegrown designers and imported goods. Fragrance shop Aedes de Venusta has Frederic Malle and Diptyque scents as well as their own label; Darling is a favourite for day dresses; Odin stocks high-end menswear; while Alexis Bittar is a jewel-box of a store displaying the designer’s signature Lucite pieces – New York style icon Iris Apfel is a fan.

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16:00 - Homeward bound

There are plenty of high-frequency flights back to London to choose from – hop on the 19:25 from JFK, which touches down in Heathrow at 07:20 – leaving you enough time to grab a caffeine fix on your way into the office.

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