I moved to NYC when I was 23 to become a make-up artist. I left my really great paying
Military Intelligence job to do so. My Lieutenant Colonel thought I was "bat shit crazy"... He didn't say that, but he did say that it was on the other end of the spectrum of what I was currently doing. When I got to NYC, you guessed it, I didn't become that make-up artist (blog for another time). However, they do say you can mess up before you're 30 and then you have to get your life together. Or is it 40 now? I can't keep up! And who is "they"? Anyhow, between working waitressing jobs, military honors (funerals) and going to school full time, I finally got to return back to New York as a tourist. Here is what knowledge I can impose:
Go on Groupon and get yourself a NYC boat tour for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. It was totally worth it. I loved all the information and enthusiasm that our tour guide gave. After taking tours this past vacation, I'd highly recommend tours to anyone-- you learn a whole lot more. There are options that are available for you to travel all the way up to the crown but those take a few months to process. Otherwise, you can go on the view deck. Honestly, everything was perfect about it. The scenery, the ride, and our tour guide.
Maybe you need to park your vehicle? Make sure you book your parking lot before hand or check the local rates. If you google parking garages in NYC, and input the dates you need, you may be able to find great deals so you are paying $38/ night over $75. We drove our car into the city. If you fly in, car rentals are unnecessary. Take the subway or taxi. You can get anywhere pretty easily.
This may be a shout out, but I worked at Restoration Hardware for the holiday- always loved
that store- but in NYC they have an RH located in the Chelsea neighborhood and if you go to the top, they have a really great restaurant up there. For all you bacon lovers, they have a side for about $8.00 for 4 pieces of bacon. You may think, "HA! Over my dead body!" But listen, "TOTS WORTH IT DUDE". I wouldn't change that experience for the world. In the summertime, they have an outdoor balcony that you can sit on. Simply warm, cozy, upscale (don't let that word scare you) and inspiring.
Additionally, we had dinner was at the Redeye Grill, google rates it "$$$" and it's accurate. The food was REALLY GOOD. I would recommend going to this place! It's located at 56th street and 7th ave. Address: 890 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019. They give you wine while you are waiting and the manager was outstanding. I would take a look at what festivities you are partaking in and gear where you are eating around those activities. We boom-a-ranged around the city. We hit our restaurants and got our physical activity in! Two-for-oner!
My recommended area of stay is by Central Park. I say this from personal experience for several reasons. First, you want to have a relaxing "quiet" stroll with some coffee in the morning. Maybe, maybe not. But there is going to be less traffic around that area compared to Times Square. Be real. Flashing Lights, Traffic, Parties... if you are mid thirties like me, and I'm pretty sure I've been mid-thirties since I was 21, you would prefer somewhere quiet to sleep. Also, they have several bikes to ride North to South Manhattan. Maybe I was oblivious when I was younger, but they do have bike lanes. Aggressive drivers so beware, but a bike lanes no less.
Shows are obviously huge in NEWWWW YORRRRRK. That's why it's so important to see one while you are there. HUGE HUGE HUGE SHOUT OUT to the Aladdin cast. I have seen Guys with Dolls, Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella, Book of Mormon, Wicked and Aladdin is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. It will NOT disappoint. TRUST ME! Also, they had Harry Potter playing, Wicked, you can pretty much find anything there to suit your liking.
Hope this little blog helped with some sort of activities. If you are in the "still partying crowd", make sure to bring $50 cash with you to get in the dance clubs and drinks usually range about $25+ when going out. Also, if you are bringing a large group of friends, call and see about bottle service to divide and conquer the night life. Dress codes may be enforced so best to review the night club's dress policy. Enjoy!