New York can be a lot to take in, especially for visitors who have never spent a day in the city. Much of the time, tourists can be put off by some of the stereotypes surrounding NYC. With that in mind, here are five insider tips for making your visit a bit more personalized courtesy of travel expert Andreas Leuzinger, the founder of LOCALIKE New York.
1. There’s much more to New York than Manhattan and trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods
"We recommend that people should discover New York off-the-beaten path and find out what all five boroughs have to offer. Jackson Heights in Queens is a great example—more than 160 languages are spoken there, and you can take a trip around the world without ever leaving the city. Witness this first-hand and add the small, well-hidden restaurant Phayul to your trip, a real gem where authentic Tibetan cuisine is bursting with flavors. For a sweet treat, we recommend Cannelle Patisserie, a top-notch bakery in the area. End the day at Terraza 7, a charming music club with a program as diverse as its surrounding neighborhood."
2. Summer in New York is more than days in the park
"New York is the place to be during the summer, as there are more al fresco dining spots and activities than one can count. Try discovering great talents in a breathtaking setting with the summer concerts series Subway Sets, which takes the best subway musicians up to play on the rooftops across town. Sometimes the best things in life are free, like kayaking with the Red Hook Boaters and exploring the cove at the Louis Valentino Jr. Pier Park while taking in New York’s waterways."
3. Rainy days should be cause for celebration and further exploration
"New Yorkers love the city, but dread bad weather. Nonetheless, the dreary weather allows you to discover the city’s vibrant and innovative art scene with a mix of exhibition and performance like we find at New Museum or residency programs for a close look over the artist’s shoulder at Pioneer Works. And for a personal artistic keepsake to take home, stroll through one of the city’s many indoor markets like Artist & Fleas at its newest SoHo location and the neighboring The Market NYC, with mainly locally designed and manufactured products.”
4. Nights out don't have to be glitzy or expensive
“New York’s nightlife is not limited to Broadway – far from it in fact and it suits every budget and taste. Our recommendation: head over to Dumbo’s performing arts company St. Ann’s Warehouse with an avant-garde program, which is as diverse as it is fascinating. For an exceptional cinematic experience, we recommend Nitehawk in Williamsburg. You will find first-run and arthouse films and also be well taken care of with their nice dinner and drink options. From there, we recommend taking to the dance floor at one of Brooklyn’s warehouse parties and see a more edgy site of the city. Or have your nightcap at The Keep, a slightly quirky bar with a second life as a vintage shop and café during the day.”
5. There’s more than what meets the eye in NYC's restaurant scene
“The city’s 25,000 restaurants continually reinvent themselves, and new gastronomy concepts turn food into an experience. At the pop-up restaurant Wednesdays, the menu creations work their magic at communal tables in constantly changing locations, the idea: make the dinner conversation as interesting as the meal itself. For the quick bite take to Trapizzino: almost a reinvention of the New York slice. The pizza dough turnover filled with the best of Rome’s kitchen is the new trend about to hit the city! Another recommendation is Contra where Michelin gourmets on a budget know this insiders' tip – a six-course meal made from local and seasonal ingredients runs at only $74.”