Off Duty: New York


Why?


New York is so full of thrills and new experiences that it would be a criminal waste of a transatlantic business trip not to take a bite out of this unique city. For fashion lovers, there's the new Gucci store (
www.gucci.com) on Fifth Avenue.

In true Big Apple style, this towering glass edifice claims to be 'the biggest Gucci store in the world' and, to celebrate its opening, a host of special New York-branded apparel is on offer for those who want to take home something a little swankier than a Yankees cap. When it comes to department stores, it's hard to beat Bloomingdales ( www.bloomingdales.com): everything from children's clothes to jewellery to shoes and homeware is here, and most of it for much cheaper than you would find in the UK.

Broadway shows have been drawing tourists to New York for decades but that changed at the end of 2007 when a strike by stagehands virtually closed the famous old thoroughfare down. Thankfully, an agreement was reached and Broadway is back in full flow again. Young Frankenstein ( www.youngfrankensteinthemusical.com/), Mel Brooks’ latest effort, is the pick of the productions currently playing. For tickets to all shows, go to either of the TKTS booths, located in front of the New York Marriot Marquis Hotel and at the South Street Seaport ( www.tdf.org).

What?

The jewel in the crown of the city’s museums is the Metropolitan Museum of Art ( www.metmuseum.org). The sheer range of art, sculpture, glasswork, historical items and decorative art on show will take your breath away, and during 2008 there’s an extra special reason to visit: ‘Jeff Koons On The Roof’. Sculptures by the American artist will be on show in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, which offers a spectacular view of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline.

Manhattan today is incredibly rich and exclusive, but that hasn’t always been the case. The Lower East Side, for example, was once the hub of the city’s large Jewish working class community and that history – as well as the history of New York’s many other immigrant communities - is remembered at the Tenement Museum ( www.tenement.org). The museum operates on a guided-tour only basis and booking ahead is advised

For a comprehensive look at the city, get on board a Circle Line Cruise ( www.circleline42.com) at Pier 83 on the Hudson River. A three-hour tour circumnavigates Manhattan and you’ll get a great view of all of New York’s most famous sites - and some of its less famous ones too.

Where?

Eating in New York is a 24-hour business: this is the city, after all, that decided breakfast and lunch just weren’t cutting it and invented brunch instead. To get a real taste of that open-all-hours flavour, head to the 2nd Avenue Deli ( www.2ndavedeli.com/), which, rather confusingly, is not situated on 2nd Avenue. Why? The original venue closed in 2006 following a dispute over rent. Plenty of grown men wept salty tears over that but their pain became joy at the end of last year when this NY institution re-opened in a new venue. Try the house-cured corned beef.

Fashion dictates much of what gets eaten in New York’s more exclusive venues but some places are oblivious to that. One such venue is Brooklyn’s Peter Luger Steak House (www.peterluger.com), whose porterhouse steak is a city institution. Equally impressive if less storied is L’Ecole, the restaurant of the French Culinary Institute in New York ( www.frenchculinary.com/lecole).

American beer has a terrible reputation that it no longer merits. Head for the Blind Tiger in Greenwich Village (212-462-4682), which offers a wide variety of microbrewery beers, including some from local legends the Brooklyn Brewery. For those who fancy something a soupcon more refined, try the Sajitos (sake mojitos) at the Orchid Lounge (212-254-4090), a worryingly chic Asian-themed bar in the Lower East Side.

After that you’ll need somewhere to lay your head and the Philippe Starck-designed Hudson Hotel ( www.hudsonhotel.com) fits the bill perfectly with its small but stylish and well-stocked rooms. A more boutique option is the wildly glamorous Mercer ( www.mercerhotel.com), the sister hotel to Los Angeles’ legendary Chateau Marmont, which occupies six floors of a Romanesque-style building in Soho.

Wow!

Many visitors to New York never get leave Manhattan but the four other boroughs offer plenty for the inquisitive traveller. A good way to get a taste for the rest of the city is to jump in a cab with Famous Fat Dave ( www.famousfatdave.com), New York’s resident food expert. He’ll take you on a culinary tour of the city’s lesser-known food highlights from Sicilian rice balls in Brooklyn to jerk chicken in the Bronx.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living