There’s no place like New York. It’s a statement that has been repeated and heard countless times, and for good reason. It enchants, and enthralls, surprises and satisfies everyone who visits (well, almost everyone). With all the time in the world one could not explore and experience everything the city has to offer, but any time at all is just enough to be memorable.
With only a day in New York, a plan isn’t necessary, but it can definitely help maximize what can be taken advantage of. Whether it’s the arts, parks, food, or just plain sightseeing, the choices really are endless. Considering everything the city has to offer there are no wrong choices, but what follows is a suggested itinerary that is guaranteed to please.
BREAKFAST: They say it’s the most important meal of the day, so don’t skip it. Start your day off at Café Sabarsky on the Upper East Side. It specializes in Viennese pastries and coffee, as well as offering standard breakfast options. If you like iced coffee, and ice cream, and always imagined how well they would go together, then ordering the wiener eiskaffee is a must. With all that energy, it’s time to move on to the next part of the trip.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the premiere cultural institutions of the city. The building itself is quite a sight to see, and since admittance is pay-what-you-wish, viewing the treasures inside make the museum arguably the best bargain in the city. The collection is vast, ranging from sculptures, to arms and armor, to an entire portion of an Egyptian temple. If weather permits, the roof is also open to the public, and offers sweeping views of central park and the city. Have fun exploring!
LUNCH: After all that walking, it’s definitely time to eat again. A short walk from the museum is J.G. Melon, a storied eatery on the Upper East Side famous for its burgers. That’s not the only thing on the menu though, and you can be assured anything you order will be delicious, and won’t hurt your wallet either. It has been on the Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list since the guide came to New York, which means it’s great food at a reasonable price. Be advised though, it is cash only.
Grand Central Terminal is a short subway ride away once lunch is finished. Aside from being an insanely busy train station, the terminal is also host to restaurants, shops, and an underground market. The main concourse does not disappoint, but if one is looking for a little more adventure, there is also a hidden tennis court in the station as well as a bar. There is no such thing as a bad time for a drink.
The New York Public Library is two blocks away from Grand Central. Even if the idea of visiting a library seems boring, be warned: this is no ordinary library, and is worth the visit. In addition to being a world renowned research library, there are always exhibitions going on, as well as tours of the building. Most people do not know this, but most of the books are actually underground. 84 miles of subterranean shelving storing 2.5 million books. If that’s not cool enough, then the famous lion statues named Patience, and Fortitude guarding the entrance are definitely worthy of photos.
DINNER: Literally across 42nd street from the library is Gabriel Kreuther, and upscale French restaurant offering a 4 course prix-fixe, or tasting menu in the main dining room, or a la carte dining in the lounge for something more casual. Do not deny yourself a world class meal while overlooking Bryant Park. You deserve it after all that walking.
If exhaustion has begun to set in, calling it a day at this point is more than welcome. A lot was accomplished. If exploring is still an option, go for it. There is always something happening regardless of time, which is one of the many great things about New York. After all, it’s the city that never sleeps.