It’s the city so nice they named it twice. But if you don’t fancy a sec­ond visit, here’s a cheat sheet on what to do and see on your first trip to THE BIG AP­PLE

Esquire Middle East - - TRAVEL - BY THOMAS SHAM­BLER

NO MAT­TER HOW MANY TIMES YOU GO, there re­ally is no city quite as ex­cit­ing as New York. And de­spite its well-pub­li­cised quirks (if you’ve not seen it yet, don’t Google the words ‘pizza rat’ and ‘NY sub­way’), the fact re­mains that there’s few bet­ter places for fun, food and frol­ics.

But with more than

300 dif­fer­ent ho­tels to choose from, 1,000 dif­fer­ent restau­rants and more than 2,000 things to do and see; first time vis­i­tors run the risk of tourist over­whelm. For­tu­nately, there are a few must-visit lo­ca­tions that of­fer a large bang for very lit­tle buck. And it all be­gins at Grand Cen­tral Ter­mi­nal.

It’s the largest — and ar­guably the most fa­mous — train sta­tion in the world. There’s loads more to do than watch the trains go by, too; there’s 35 restau­rants and 68 shops, not to men­tion The Van­der­bilt Ten­nis Club (owned by none other than a cer­tain Mr. Trump). There’s some fan­tas­tic views to be had; the in­tri­cate ex­te­rior façade is topped with its fa­mous “Glory of Com­merce” statue, the enor­mous and metic­u­lously painted ceil­ing of the main con­course, and most im­por­tantly the sta­tion’s world-fa­mous four­sided brass clock (which pur­pose­fully runs a few min­utes fast, to hurry along com­muters).

New York has a highly re­garded art scene, and one which most peo­ple as­sume is best ex­plored at The Met. It’s the largest art mu­seum in the US, and while it boasts some truly world-class ex­hibits, the sheer num­ber of tourists — as well as its gar­gan­tuan size — can make it a chal­lenge to nav­i­gate (es­pe­cially on the week­ends and dur­ing hol­i­days). In­stead, em­brace the full story of twen­ti­eth-cen­tury and con­tem­po­rary Amer­ica at The Whit­ney Mu­seum. It boasts an un­ri­valed col­lec­tion of some of New York’s most in­no­va­tive pieces, and where spe­cial fo­cus is given to liv­ing artists. More im­por­tantly, it puts you within spitting dis­tance of some of the city’s best restau­rants in Down­town New York.

When it comes to com­fort food; there’s no bet­ter place to be­gin than Balt­hazar. Beloved by celebrities and food­ies alike, head down for break­fast and you’ll skip the need for a din­ner reser­va­tion. And no visit to the US would be com­plete with­out a visit to a proper, old-school diner, and Ge­orge’s has been serv­ing Amer­i­can clas­sics since the 1950s. Don’t be put off by the well-heeled salad menu, the res­tau­rant boasts one of the best steak sand­wiches this side of Brook­lyn.

For a city that never sleeps, New York does of­fer some su­perb op­por­tu­ni­ties to get some shut­eye. And while ho­tels range from the five star to the de­crepit hos­tel, the most im­por­tant as­pect to any New York ho­tel is its lo­ca­tion. The Con­rad Ho­tel New York is lo­cated just off Man­hat­tan’s fa­mous Bat­tery Park, close to some of the city’s most iconic land­mark neigh­bor­hoods, such as the fi­nan­cial district, Tribeca and Soho.

The ar­chi­tec­ture and pace of New York gives it an un­matched en­ergy

The Con­rad Ho­tel

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