Is it possible to see New York within a couple of days? Given all of the meetings, conventions and layovers that happen here, a lot of people have found themselves with the opportunity to discover just how much they can see. That’s just happened to me. I did what needed to be done at my trade show and had two days to spend in the Big Apple. I had already been here a couple of times and done all of the touristy things. I wanted to experience New York as locals do. It’s what learning a city or any other place is all about. Of course, I needed somewhere to put my things, as my company wasn’t going to pay for my hotel for two more days. I’d worry about getting around after that step was complete.
Fortunately, I have used HotelTonight for last-minute lodging needs many times in the past. I opened up the app, checked the options for New York hotels and selected my ideal hotel. Within two minutes, I was all set. My room was booked, and I had a headquarters for my adventure in the biggest city in the United States. I went to my old hotel, grabbed my luggage and put together a plan to see New York. As I dropped my things in my new room, I decided on the subway.
Before heading to Grand Central Station to start my tour, I thought I’d spend my first portion of time in Manhattan. I’m into art, so I’m happy when I realize that Chelsea is nearby. I walk through the area and take in a couple of galleries. I decide to grab a snack in Greenwich Village. As I sit in this place with such a rich cultural history, I wonder if Bob Dylan ever did the same thing I’m doing now. That is, eating in this same place before moving on to the next. Heading towards the station, I remind myself that Hell’s Kitchen may be a good place for dinner.
I took the subway to the next borough over. The Bronx is filled with an intriguing history of its own. That history is being shaped every minute, as a lot of new investment is occurring here. I’m glad I only had a snack earlier, because I’m hungry when I get here and the Bronx is becoming the foodie capital of the entire city. I munch away and think about what to do next. It’s difficult to become excited by food so soon after a meal, but as I stroll down Arthur Avenue I realize that I need to stop at a bakery to have something later. I do that and decide it’s time to move on before I can’t resist eating again.
Who knew you could come to New York and stumble upon one of the nicest beaches in the entire region? Rockaway Beach isn’t some tourist destination either – locals have been coming here for generations. I grab a cool drink and start to wonder if I’m in New York or Southern California. The reason I have these thoughts is because there are surfers dotting the water as though we were somewhere else. That’s right – people surf here. From here I head back to my hotel and grab some dinner nearby before calling it a day.
I arrive in Brooklyn the next morning and suddenly have gone from a beach to end the previous day into breathtaking botanical garden to start the next. Brooklyn Botanic Garden is not only gorgeous, but admission is free on Tuesday and Saturday. It’s as if I’ve discovered some sort of quiet oasis in the middle of an enormous city. I realize at this point that I should buy some knickknacks for my family. Fortunately, the Brooklyn Flea is in full swing so I have hundreds of vendors from which to choose. No problem – gifts purchased, and I move on.
Staten Island may be somewhat overlooked compared to the other boroughs, but it may also be the most “local” as a result. I’m in the mood for a bit of history, so I start at The Conference House, the place where Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and others sat and shaped our country. I stop in a café and have a coffee before having a delicious lunch at one of the many local options available here. These are family-run establishments that just feed you right.
Of course, you can’t experience all that a place like New York has to offer in two days. You can, however, get a small taste of what it’s like to live here and take that experience with you if you ever find yourself with time in New York.