A few months ago I made my seventh trip to Manhattan. I love that city. I love the energy. I love that you can walk, literally, everywhere. I love that there views upon views of cool things. You could spend the entire day people watching if you wanted to.
Now, I realize that New York City is probably not considered a minimalist haven by many. I used to go to NYC and want to shop and find good deals and visit as many stores as possible. Wall Street is capitalism in the flesh. However, you can also experience the people, the culture and the food!
So here are my top five things to do in NYC without ever stepping into a store. Caution: There will be a lot of walking in this list.
- Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I finally did this on my last trip and I’m so glad I did! It was wonderful. It gave us a glimpse of Manhattan from the outside. We got some exercise and it let you take in the sights and sounds of everything NYC. Notes on directions: I would definitely take the train to Brooklyn and walk into Manhattan. You can do this by taking the 2 or 3 and exiting at Clark Street Station. Walk left onto Henry Street and head downhill towards the bridge. You’ll need to cross Henry Street at Cranberry Street and take a path through the Coop houses there. Walk through Cadman Plaza Park to Washington Street and then take the underpass on the left. There’s a stairway there to the bridge. It was a short walk with lots to see.
- Spend the day in Central Park. Central Park is huge. In February, we walked from the top to bottom. We visited Belvedere Castle. We ate some roasted nuts. We hung out on Bow Bridge and witnessed a wedding photographer try to get some photos without bystanders in the background. We also headed around the corner to see a wedding proposal taking place at Bethesda Fountain. There were people and bubbles everywhere. It was kind of magical.
- Walk the High Line. The High Line is old elevated railway tracks that have been converted into a linear public space/park. It’s located on the Lower West Side of Manhattan and is really a nice escape from the pavement walking. There are different art installations, there’s a space where you can look over traffic as it runs underneath you and there are views of the Hudson River in certain areas. After, take a walk to Chelsea Market to get your grub on.
- Go to Harlem. This was by far one of my favourite neighbourhoods to walk around in. There’s SO much history and who wouldn’t want to get a glance at the infamous Apollo Theatre? If you are going to NYC soon, I would check out the shows there. Unfortunately, there was nothing on the weekend we went. There’s also the Studio Museum, which we didn’t visit. While we were walking, I was also on the look out for Hotel Theresa. This hotel was opened in 1913 and it was a popular place for socialites and stars in the 1940s and 1950s. It’s now an office building but you can find it at the corner of 7th & W 124th Street. To get to Harlem, we also walked through Columbia University.
- Comedy Cellar and Greenwich Village. Ok, so you’ll have to spend money at Comedy Cellar and you’ll, most likely, have to book in advance but it’s worth it! It’s located in the heart of Greenwich Village, which is an amazing place to walk around in itself. So, book tickets in advance, head to the Village early and take a walk around. We headed to Washington Square Park (When Harry Met Sally, anyone?) and people watched, before a drink in a nearby bar (there are tons!).
And there you have it, my top five and, not one mention of shopping. Now, go!