There is so much going on in New York City that deciding what to do becomes a problem. Here to help is a selection of unusual things to do in New York.
New York has the distinction of being the city with more pieces of art than anywhere else. On the face of it, this may seem to be a great thing; but how do you locate it all and decide what you want to see most from the plethora of offerings?
This is where ArtMuse comes in. Natasha Schlesinger, who established the company and is also a working tour guide, will do all the hard work for you. ArtMuse offers a range of tours focussing on one out of over 25 galleries, exhibitions and museums. She offers a synopsis of the exhibits, gives the basic information about collections and links artworks together so you can see the themes and patterns or the story they are telling.
This is a far more interactive approach than merely looking at a lot of painting that one does not know the history of, and hence is a lot more enjoyable.
ArtMuse also arranges tours for children so they can have fun too, rather than the conventionally stuffy environment of your average gallery or museum where it is hands off everything.
The most famous pictures of New York, such as its skyline, Statue of Liberty etc., are known to everyone – either from a postcard sent back by a friend, or a photograph taken by someone who has already been there. The perpetual noise of the city that never sleeps is also familiar thanks to the many films that have been shot on its streets.
However, what of the unique tastes and culinary aromas of the five boroughs? When it comes to New York food, to know it is to have tasted it yourself. Enthusiastic Gourmet Tours, (245 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10065) led by Susan Rosenbaum, show lovers of food around the eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes and stalls in vibrant areas such as Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Specialties like pickles, cheeses, bagels, antipasto and dumplings are just some of what’s on offer – a sense of adventure and a good appetite are essentials.
To really get a sense of the spirit of New York, treat yourself to a dinner, lunch or champagne brunch cruise around New York Harbour while you feast your eyes on the gorgeous New York City skyline. Nothing can beat a date like this for romance, or to really make a good impression. The luxurious Bateaux New York is the ultimate in good living, with a climate controlled interior. Its four course meals include delicacies such as wild oven-roasted salmon, or free-range Tuscan chicken breast. A lively atmosphere is guaranteed by the live bands that play on board.
Very few of New York City’s districts can beat the unique energy and atmosphere of Harlem. Uptown you will find a range of fun dining and entertainment, as well as a host of buildings with stories to tell. Through an assortment of walking tours, such as ‘Champagne Jazz Safari’ and ‘Sights and Sounds Tours of Harlem U.S.A’, to name just a few, Harlem, Your Way! reveals the secrets of this neighbourhood to the visitor. You can also pop into a chapel on Sunday morning to soak up the gospel music, with tea or coffee beforehand and a bite to eat after. However, what if there is something in particular you’re interested in? Well, as the company’s name suggests, it will put together bespoke tours, and the Heritage bus will bring you to areas like Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn.
A Show Me Midtown walking tour is the way to go if you want to experience Manhattan as well as merely see it. With the help of a tour guide who is a veritable encyclopaedia of information, participants will travel on public transport to visit attractions like Grand Central Terminal, the Rockefeller Centre, Times Square and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, as well as many others. The tour guide provides a Metro Card which you will use to travel around. They will also lend you a set of earphones and an audio receiver that operates while on the subway, so no matter how noisy it gets, you’ll always hear what they are saying. They also put together custom tours on request.