How to avoid FoMo
It’s fair to say that most visitors to the Big Apple experience a certain degree of FoMo (Fear of Missing Out). The exciting city is home to many of the world’s most-visited tourist attractions – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grand Central Terminal and Central Park – to name but a few. However, there’s much more to discover in New York City than the obvious attractions. You’ll find a rich cultural melting pot that’s constantly reinventing itself as the city soars even higher. Here are some insider tips and insights to help you get the most out of your trip.
Getting around like a local
- Don’t be daunted by New York’s big and busy façade; for a city so full of restaurants, museums and iconic sights, it has the advantage of being extremely easy to navigate.
- Manhattan is laid out on a simple grid system meaning you can pretty much walk everywhere. Walking is the New Yorkers’ preferred method of transport and one of the reasons they tend to stay so slim.
- If you tire of walking – and window shopping – yellow cabs are plentiful and inexpensive, just be aware that New Yorkers don’t give exact addresses. Instead tell the driver which street you need as well as the two cross streets of your destination. For example 52nd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.
Seeing the sights like a local
- For a cultural and arty fix, don’t miss the numerous galleries on 24th Street in West Chelsea.
This former edgy, industrial patch is now home to New York’s leading contemporary art galleries, and shows work by up-and-coming artists and exhibitions from art-world celebrities. Favourite spaces include the Gagosian Gallery, Gladstone Gallery and Unix Gallery. The added bonus here is that most of the exhibitions are completely free.
- Close by you can grab a bite to eat at foodie hot-spot Chelsea Market, the former home of the National Biscuit Company – yummy vendors include Jacques Torres, People's Pops and Ronnybrook Dairy.
- Take in the cityscape from Top of the Rock observation deck at night time. Catch the Rockefeller Centre’s final lift of the day at 11pm and you’ll be rewarded by the twinkling lights of the city that never sleeps.
Dining like a local
- New York is a paradise for foodies and with more than 20,000 restaurants to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The locals tend to eat dinner late – between 8 and 10 pm – so skipping lunch isn’t recommended. If the restaurant you’re eyeing up looks full, you can often get a spot at the bar to eat like the locals. You’ll enjoy the same delicious food and it’s great for people watching.
- A favourite for fine dining with the locals is Colicchio & Sons on 10th Avenue, celebrity chef Tom Colicchio’s chic American offering. Try the Tap Room adjacent to the main dining room for the same excellent food at a better price.
- Red Farm in the West Village serves innovative and inspired Chinese cuisine in a modern yet rustic-style setting. You can’t reserve a table, but if you’re nearby, ring up and they’ll text you when there’s a table available.
- Enjoy al fresco eats at open-air market Smorgasburg on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Popular with the locals on Saturdays, vendors sell handmade sweet, savoury and salty bites from New York’s doorstep as well as Colombian, Ethiopian and Uruguayan treats. If there’s a queue at a stall, the food’s usually worth the wait.
Partying like a local
- It would of course only be fitting to round off the evening with a cocktail (or three) at one of New York’s stylish bars.
- Do as the locals do and try Entwine Bar with its cute courtyard garden, Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel with its sublime roof terrace or the Jane Ballroom at the Jane Hotel, with its bohemian interior and old-world ambience, just a few blocks from Sarah Jessica Parker’s front door.