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Over summer I was lucky enough to travel through the US, with New York being first on my agenda yet again. After being bitten by the concrete jungle bug last year, I wanted to return and spend a bit more time in this magical city, except this time as a local. New York is such a densely interesting multi- layered city just waiting to be unfolded, but being a tourist and living as an actual New Yorker are 2 completely different things. It’s almost impossible to experience the city’s local life until you take the subway, chill on a random rooftop, get highly annoyed by the ridiculous amounts of traffic, do a gym class and attend happy hour at your favourite spot at least once a week. Here are 10 tips after my second trip to this iconic city, feeling a little bit more like a local, but still:
A TOURISTY NEW YORKER
- The gym life. Yes, if you want to live like a local you need to understand that seeing sweaty, topless men in the street is a real thing in summer. With a huge fitness culture, you don’t want to be finishing last in that gym session. The easiest way to get your squat on in this city is by downloading the Mindbody app. This application allows you to try out different classes at various studios and the best part about it – there are no contract obligations. You pay per class/package. I tried out Dogpound and absolutely loved it.
- Get cultured up. There is so much diversity and rising talent in New York, it’s almost impossible to not be intrigued by the huge theatrical presence in this city. If you go to Times Square and buy tickets from the TKTS boxes you can get 50% off same day shows. Watching a Broadway show is A MUST at any time in New York. Do it.
- Museums and art galleries are also a thing in NYC. If you want to be a cool kid, check out some of their mainstream museums: The Whitney, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET).
- Take a Statue of Liberty sighting tour, not a statue of liberty tour. Let’s just be honest. Not everyone wants to walk all the way up the biggest statue in NYC, but many want to see it. Take a sunset cruise that passes liberty island to get the best of both worlds – a stunning view of the woman that represents freedom in America and a cruise along the infamous Hudson River.
- Washington Square Park-live piano and free entertainment on a hot day with adults behaving worse than kids and slipping on their asses in the water fountain. Bryant Park: after work corporate drinks, free group yoga and free board games/table tennis.
- You aint been in the hood until you’ve eaten at Sylvia’s Soul Food in Harlem. Go to the area in the day with a few peeps if you want an authentic local, soul food experience.
- Whether it’s on drinks or food, happy hour will always keep your wallet smiling! Every day of the week, happy hour is a way of life. West Village, Chelsea and SoHo have many cool happy hour spots. You’re welcome.
- Citi Bikes. Taking an Uber during peak hour traffic can literally result in a nervous breakdown as a) its expensive and b) passenger rage is real! Like many others, I hate being stuck in traffic, so what do we do about this? Many New Yorkers have started to use Citi bikes. This is a bike sharing concept that makes traffic your biatch (evil laugh), doesn’t contribute to global warming and it’s affordable. You can read up more about it here: citibikenyc.com.
- There are many amazing restaurants in NYC, but there are 2 in particular (on either a Thursday, Friday or Saturday) that you NEED to try for a different, vibey experience. Bagatelle and The Box it is – I will say no more.
- Roof-topping. NYC has one of the most amazing skylines. You haven’t been to New York until you have chilled on a rooftop. The Standard, Dream Downtown, Bar 65 and The One Hotel are all cool rooftop spots but there are so many to choose from, just find one in your area and enjoy that “it was all a dream” sunset.
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