After a summer visit to New York City last year, I was happy to return and see more of this great metropolis. Once again, there’s so much to see and do here, you really need at least a week. From live theatre to museums to great restaurants and more, New York City really is the city that never sleeps.
Row NYC – a front row to everything
This hip hotel just made its debut a few months back after undergoing a 2-year, $140 million renovation. In the heart of Times Square, this is New York City’s 5th largest hotel, some 21 floors high and more than 1,300 rooms. For us, it was the perfect place to stay as Row NYC has a great location, front and center, to all that NYC has to offer. With stadium seating in the lobby just like Times Square, and urban murals decorating the halls, Row NYC really makes you feel like you’re in Gotham. Amenities include an elegant lobby with Imac computers, state-of-the-art fitness center, and a Bosco Photo Booth that takes your NYC pictures and turns them into an animated GIF of your trip. We grabbed a quick bite at District M, a European express café by day and a Neapolitan pizza bar and cocktail lounge at night, featuring live jazz. Opening soon is City Kitchen, a food truck-style emporium that serves up the buzz from New York’s most famous digs. It gives hotel guests a taste of New York City without ever having to leave the property. And, yes, that’s Lizzy Jagger you see on billboards welcoming you to stay at Row NYC. Check out their website for special holiday shopping and theatre packages, www.rownyc.com.
TKTS in Times Square
This is the place for tickets to Broadway shows at a day-of discount. Of course, not all shows are available and you’ll have to wait in line, but there’s no better deal and you’ll probably make a few new friends. We waited in line for an hour and scored tickets to Idina Menzel’s “If/Then,” a lively urban romp, well worth the ticket at any price. Read through Broadway Today magazine while you’re standing in line to learn more about the complete list of Broadway shows.
NYC CityPASS Saves Time and Money
A New York CityPASS will save you money on popular attractions as well as let you skip the entrance lines. It includes admission to the Empire State Observatory, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Top of the Rock Observatory or Guggenheim and more. The CityPASS also includes Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island or your choice of cruises aboard Circle Line Sightseeing, which is great way to see New York’s famous skyline. You can purchase your book online or at any of the participating attractions. www.citypass.com/new-york.
A Somber Remembrance — 9/11 Memorial Museum
Opening in May of 2014, the 911 Memorial Museum is built on the grounds of the World Trade Center and pays tribute to the 2,977 victims of the attacks as well as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The 911 Memorial Museum uses multi-media displays and personal accounts that explore the events leading up to the attacks, what happened on that day and the aftermath that continues to impact our world today. We saw remnants of the building, burned out fire trucks and the Vesey Street stair remnant with the historic “Survivors’ Stairs.” where hundreds escaped with their lives, fleeing down this stairway. The Memorial Exhibition shows a “Wall of Faces,” with images of the men, women and children who died. The Foundation features a surviving retaining wall of the original World Trade Center that withstood the devastation of 9/11, representing American survival and determination. After walking through the museum, we spent some time at the 911 Memorial, outside with its thundering cascade of fountains. www.911memorial.org
New York is a vibrant city that leaves you wanting for more. Indeed, I will be back.