Despite the general abruptness of the service industry (more a kind of ‘faux sincerity’) it’s gourmet gems are world class, the nightlight is random and varied in all the right ways, the weather is definitive in it’s seasonal splendour and the people are as diverse as you’ll find in any engaging city. Hyped by the sheer pace of city life the residents are buzzing 24/7 with either an early morning jog in Central Park or all night partying in the copious late night haunts sprawled across the city.
A five day trip is sufficient if you want to sample New York’s taster menu but for an a la carte experience try to make it ten. Hell y’all! Why not really push the boat out and stay for two weeks? You could permeate the city limits and take a mini break to The Hamptons or fly to Upstate New York and visit Niagara Falls. See details for a two day trips below: * with http://www.touramerica.ie/
Buns in Chelsea Market!
If there was a list of important things to remember when visiting NY City, the top tip every time would be to wear comfortable shoes! You’ll walk for miles without even realising, but later on, when you feel inexplicably tired you’ll realise it was the fancy footwear that did the damage! At the risk of sounding like a concerned mammy, you won’t look a bit out of place wearing flashy white trainers with your stylish outfit – it seems no self respecting New Yorker would leave home with out them.
Of course if you’re on your honeymoon, you wont want to wear ‘sensible trainers’ so the upside to wearing ‘sex in the city’ shoes is that taxis are pretty cheap & darting about (as long as it’s not peak time for traffic) can be done for half the cost of Dublin. It’s a surprisingly small city so you can hit most of the shopping districts in a day if you were truly focused!!!
I realise not every honeymoon is about shopping, but if you’re in New York City, I have it on good authority that it’s sacra religious not to spend at least one day visiting Broadway between Bleeker St and Canal for your high street fix, then head to the East Village for the more boho style independent stores (Most are closed Monday & Tuesday & only open after 12 til late)
American based products are definitely cheaper (by about 20 %) so pop into Bloomingdales 59th Street & Lexington Avenue to stock up on your basics. They do a visitors discount card if you queue up and show ID, but be mindful they don’t allow you use this card on cosmetics or denims (Possibly your main reason for going there!)
Soak up the delights of Fifth Avenue, popping in to the many chic stores like Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave. (There’s also a Bergdorf Men's at 745 so no one is left out!) For the perfect tailored look try Kenneth Cole, 610 Fifth Ave. and of course the exclusive, fashion pioneers at Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave are always worth a reverent browse.
I’ll leave the last word in shopping to make-up and beauty heaven Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/
A native New Yorker will tell you to steer clear of The Statue of Liberty as there is no entry anymore due to security measures. They’ll suggest The Rockefella Centre http://www.topoftherocknyc.com/ as it has much better views of the Empire State and Central Park. If like me, not seeing the Statue of liberty every visit seems fundamentally wrong, then grab a Circle line Boat Tour around the island (get the one that goes half way around - takes two hours and you get a good history. www.circleline42.com/index.ihtml?page=semicircle
As for Ground Zero, it’s probably best avoid it at present, as it's just a building site.ACTIVITIES
Visit Central Park even if you have a phobia about exercise! It’s immensely entertaining watching all the joggers hit ‘the wall’ as you sit and eat your cream bagel and sip your double shot cappuccino! If you have an ounce of spare energy, hire a bike and take a spin around the park. A lap only takes 45 minutes but maybe you fancy booking a couple of hrs and resting along the way! Try Bite of the Apple TOURS 310 W 55th St. (approx $30) There are many to choose from but this company is very close to the park.
GOING OUT The Box
If you enjoy events like The Tassel Club or la Clique then you might try Spiegelworld’s most popular show ABSINTHE.
Tickets are about $70 but for that you gain entry to Spiegelworld which has two tents, bars and a large restaurant so you can wander around the carnival style village for an evening checking out different shows. See http://www.spiegelworld.com/ @ Pier 17, South Street Seaport, South Street & Beekman Street. If this whets your appetite for adventure then maybe THE BOX is the next step! http://www.theboxnyc.com/ 189 Chrystie Street and Rivington. It’s a brash, saucy show set in a venerably styled theatre (believe it or not, it’s just a couple of years old!) There are a series of musical, comedic and sexual performances all the while serving food, booze and plenty of people watching! Pay about $60 for the first show and stay for the three later shows on special nights. It gets quite raunchy as the sun goes down so be warned!.
For the more conventional kind of clubbing try your luck getting into to Mansion. It’s a truly lavish night club with decadence written all over it. http://www.mansionnewyork.com/
EATING OUTWhat can I add to all that has been written about NY dining except list a few personal delights I discovered. Try booking your favourite choices in advance with http://www.opentable.com/ as many of the best are booked well in advance. Trestle on Tenth http://www.trestleontenth.com/ 242 Tenth Ave (@ 24th Street) and Little Giant http://www.littlegiantnyc.com/ 85 Orchard Stare both stylish, mid priced and great for lunch or dinner. Buddakan http://www.buddakannyc.com/ 75, 9th Ave, is elegant, slick Asian food and a happy alternative to over priced Budda Bar 17 Little West 12th St # 315 (which had appalling service and average food on my last visit) If you fancy going casual one night and going for more traditional New York food then check out Burger Joint in the Parker Meridien Hotel, 57th st. If every blog in New York is to be believed then it’s certainly the best around. Read for yourself here: www.blogsoop.com/nyc_rid_506.htmlBARS
The Otheroom www.theotheroom.com/room.html in The East Village is one of five slick bars or ‘design spaces catering for independent artists and lovers of all things boutique’. The same group own The Room Soho and Another Room in Tribeca. Ideal if innovative art exhibitions and dark, cosy corners are your idea of a perfect night out.
Hotel on Rivington’s bar 105 www.hotelonrivington.com/105riv.html for the ultimate expensive but flawless NY bar. (see also recommended places to stay)
The last work in originality goes to Happy Ending Lounge http://www.happyendinglounge.com/ 302 Broom St, which has to be one the most unique bars in the city. Set in a former brothel, (don’t say I never send you anywhere nice!) the interior of Happy Ending is a modish maze of stylised booths, so don’t be fooled by the innocuous, lacklustre frontage. The basement has private areas (formally the steam rooms!) and the DJ booth used to be a shower room! Not at all sleazy, this is a fun place to visit.
WHERE TO STAY:
The highly recommended Hotel Grace formally Hotel QT (www.room-matehotels.com) 125 W 45th St. is just one block from Time Square so if you want to be in the thick of it for a night or two this hotel is a mid price, mid town gem. Good size rooms with a great breakfast included & good coffee served all day, It has a stylishly designed indoor pool at entrance level with seating for cinema viewing and party nights! It also has a sauna and steam room with full bar service, so no surprise locals and tourists come from afar to party till late. It’s a young lively crowd but if it’s not your thing, don’t worry – the noise doesn’t travel to your room! 125 WEST 45TH STREET, firstname.lastname@example.org
Voted one of ‘The World s best hotels’, ‘ The Worlds hippest Hotels’ and ‘Best hotel pool in 2007’, Hotel Gansevoort has a fine reputation to uphold! Sadly, it’s actually quite an average hotel, but it does have one outstanding feature: The rooftop pool. Their brochure advertises jet pools and a Jacuzzi but they haven’t been in use for over a year. Everyone seemed oblivious to this, staff and guests alike because of that glorious coveted aqua oasis on the roof! Justly deserving the ‘best pool award’, but not truly worthy of the other accolades, Hotel Gansevoort is ideal if relaxing by the pool is a big part of your holiday and you want to be based in the spacious Chelsea area. Although you don’t quite get everything you need from Hotel Gansevoort, if you have good weather, you’ll forgive it almost anything. Hotel Gansevoort 18 Ninth Ave. http://www.hotelgansevoort.com/
It’s designed to an inch of it’s life but what a glorious, lustrous life it is! Hotel on Rivington is one of those places where compromise isn’t necessary and celestial architecture rules. The bathrooms get the most attention to detail and boast glass shower walls on the buildings exterior. The ‘conceal and reveal’ element gives you spectacular views while you shower and still protect your privacy! Some rooms even have a two-person Japanese style soaking tub. Full in-room spa services are available with honeymoon extras! http://www.hotelonrivington.com/ 107 Rivington St
Beacon hotel – Package deal
Do it all with one phone call and get return flights with Aer Lingus and a five night stay in the Upper West Side at the consistently dependable Beacon Hotel, 2130 Broadway on 75th st. http://www.blogger.com/www.beaconhotel.com The Beacon offers a free upgrade from standards to a suite for honeymoons booked by 31 Dec ( *subject to availability at time of booking) and include return limo transfers. (€999 per person) Because it’s the far side of Central park the guestrooms and suites (all with marble bathrooms) are some of the largest you’ll find in this range of hotel.
Getting Married in New York:
It’s getting more popular by the day. ‘Licence and Go’ is a basic wedding package including minister and licensing fees and costs just $620! The list of optional venues include The Empire state Building and The All Souls Church. Choose extra s like a wedding planner, flowers & limo rides! For all you can imagine and more see www.getmarriedinnewyork.co.uk
Buy all your essential food snacks at Wholefoods http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ the posh supermarket that makes Fallen and Burn look like Asda. Avoid Dean and Delucia http://www.deandeluca.com/ as it has become totally over priced and over rated.
Go crazy in Victoria’s Secrets, there are stores strewn about the city like lose change! Very reasonably priced http://www.victoriassecret.com/ Just don’t join their mailing list when you purchase unless you want to receive a mail every two days!
Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man
“Chocolate is not just about taste. It’s a symbol of different aspects in our lives of romance, of sensuality, of decadence.” says Max Brenner, the man behind the eye catching and mouth watering chocolate enjoyed by mere mortals and superstars alike. Chocolate pipes run throughout the entire shops making them worth a visit! Mary Kate Olsen, Puff Daddy and Hilary Swank are all fans. Just incase you want chocolates delivered to your hotel!
Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man http://www.maxbrenner.com/
Aer Lingus operate twice daily direct flights between Dublin and New York, and daily direct flights between Shannon and New York. One-way fares start from €199 including taxes and fuel surcharge*
You can now fly to the USA from Cork with Aer Lingus and Aer Arann. Fly Aer Arann to Dublin and connect to New York with one-way fares starting from €238 including taxes and fuel surcharge*
*Special offer - Book by Monday 6th October for travel from November to February. For more information on fares and schedules and to book, log on to http://www.aerlingus.com/
* NIAGRA FALLS TRIP:
2 night trip to Niagra Falls from €339 per person
Includes return flights, transfers and accommodation with Days Inn Clifton
Hill Casino, Oakes Overlooking the Falls Tour includes the famous Maid of the Mist Boat Tour
62/63 Middle Abbey Street
Tel: (353) 1 817 3500 Fax: (353) 1 878 0269