New York on a full moon

The News (New Glasgow) - - DESTINATIONS - BY STEVE MACNAULL

The full moon is aus­pi­cious. Perched at a corner table bor­der­ing the wall of win­dows on the 35th floor of Asi­ate restau­rant with the view spilling out to Colum­bus Cir­cle and Cen­tral Park, the lu­nar il­lu­mi­na­tion can only spell good luck.

I’d al­ready jogged ef­fort­lessly in Cen­tral Park, New York City’s forested gem, that morn­ing.

And now, my wife, Kerry, and I are din­ing in the sky in the Man­darin Ori­en­tal Ho­tel’s sig­na­ture resto over­look­ing it.

Louis Roed­erer Cham­pagne is sipped.

Foie gras and hal­ibut is con­sumed.

And plans are made to cy­cle the 10-kilo­me­tre cir­cum­fer­ence of Cen­tral Park the next morn­ing.

Back in our sump­tu­ous room on the 46th floor, with the same jaw-drop­ping vista, our re­solve doesn’t wa­ver.

An alarm is set for 9 a.m. (we don’t want to get up too early) and by 10 a.m. (af­ter a yo­gurt-and gra­nola break­fast at Asi­ate, of course) we’re on the ground procur­ing two-wheel­ers from BikeRent.NYC.

The re­sult­ing ped­dling is mag­i­cal.

We glide in dap­pled sun­light par­al­lel to Cen­tral Park South for a bit be­fore cruis­ing along Cen­tral Park East for a stretch, with dog walk­ers and the door­man pro­tected re­gal apart­ment build­ings of Fifth Av­enue to our right and lit­tle-league base­ball games to our left.

Cen­tral Park truly is an 843acre play­ground for all.

We pass Mu­seum Row, with its Metropoli­tan and the Guggen­heim, be­fore stop­ping at the Jac­que­line Kennedy Onas­sis Reser­voir for re­flec­tion.

Then it’s a mad ped­dle push past Har­lem, up and down the Great Hill be­fore we can stop at the fa­mous Tav­ern on the Green for rose wine on its live-jazz-in­fused court­yard.

We re­turn the bikes tired, but de­ter­mined to con­quer yet more of Man­hat­tan.

New York City is the kind of place that begs to be devoured, both high-brow and low-brow.

Thus, we en­joy pol­ished Brazil­ian jazz at Dizzy’s Club at the Lin­coln Cen­tre be­low the Man­darin Ori­en­tal and strolling through tacky Times Square.

We take in the hot new Broad­way show The Donna Sum­mer Mu­si­cal (Bad Girls, any­one?) and fol­low the hordes up the el­e­va­tor to the 68th-floor Top of the Rock ob­ser­va­tory at the Rock­e­feller Cen­tre.

Sated by Mid­town, we trans­fer to Lower Man­hat­tan and check into the new and trendy Four Sea­sons Down­town.

This isn’t your mom and dad’s Four Sea­sons.

It’s hip and bou­tique and the concierge there sug­gests we spend the af­ter­noon at the High Line.

It’s the aban­doned, el­e­vated rail line turned leafy, lin­ear park span­ning from the Whit­ney Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art through the Meat­pack­ing District.

We de­tour off the High Line to Chelsea Mar­ket at 15th Street to sip yet more rose at Cork­buzz, a wine bar by mas­ter som­me­lier Laura Maniec.

Then it’s back to the Four Sea­sons to swim in the stylish third­floor pool be­fore spruc­ing up to dine on filet mignons at Cut, the steak­house by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, just off the lobby.

Next morn­ing, to jog off the in­dul­gence, I fol­low the Es­planade along the Hud­son River from Tribeca to Bat­tery Park, say­ing hello to the Statue of Lib­erty on El­lis Is­land along the way.

That evening, we’ll re­turn to the river­front at North Cove Ma­rina to board the 35-foot wooden sail­boat Tara with Tribeca Sail­ing to ven­ture into the Hud­son, and ul­ti­mately New York Har­bor, to say hi to Lady Lib­erty again.

It’s a sur­real and in­ti­mate cruise, jux­ta­pos­ing serene out­door ac­tiv­ity with the sky­scraper-choked sky­line of Lower Man­hat­tan.

Be­fit­ting our be­spoke ex­pe­ri­ence of Man­hat­tan, Kerry I and ar­rived at the Big Ap­ple from Van­cou­ver via Air Canada’s Sig­na­ture Ser­vice, not in New York but in Ne­wark, N.J., which is the hand­i­est air­port for Man­hat­tan.

Air Canada flies into Ne­wark from five cities: Van­cou­ver, Cal­gary, Toronto, Ot­tawa and Montreal.

Sig­na­ture Ser­vice amps up busi­ness class with fast-track­ing through im­mi­gra­tion, so you can start en­joy­ing New York sooner. Check out NYCGo.com, AirCanada.com, Man­dar­inOri­en­tal.com and FourSea­sons.com.

STEVE MACNAULL PHOTO

A run­ner makes her way along the Hud­son River Es­planade through Tribeca.

STEVE MACNAULL PHOTO

Cy­cling along Cen­tral Park West past the art deco El­do­rado hous­ing co-op­er­a­tive.

STEVE MACNAULL PHOTO

The aban­doned el­e­vated rail­way High Line has been trans­formed into a lin­ear park through the Meat­pack­ing District.

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