If you have not been to New York City in a while, prepare for a treat from the city that never sleeps and is constantly changing. Fill your Metro Card upon arrival and prepare to walk a lot as you eat your way through a city with culture and history like no other. Following are suggestions for three very filling days in New York City.
Day 1: Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial
Visit the new 9/11 Memorial, museum and Freedom Tower. Admission is free to the memorial, and you need tickets from their web site to enter. However, they do not turn anybody away, so if you arrive without tickets you must stand in a different line. They will advise you when you can return. You must purchase tickets to see the museum. Expect an incredibly moving experience. Follow your time there with something calm and soothing, like a visit to one of the local churches or synagogues to get grounded, then lunch at any of New York City’s great restaurants. The Fulton or Wall Street subway stations will get you to the memorial. Expect airport-style screening as you enter. Remember, the tragedy this memorial commemorates is why airport security is the way it is world-wide. Celebrate life in the evening with a Broadway show or at a jazz club.
Day 2: The Lower East Side
New York City’s Lower East Side is filled with so much history, you can spend a full day there. Visit the Tenement Museum and sign up in advance for one or more of their various food, culture, or historical tours which run hourly. The tours are largely unique from each other. You will get a first hand glimpse of life in immigration America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the challenges the families faced. There is a great book shop in the Tenement Museum with an area for children to play as well, so enjoy your time there. After your tour of the Tenement Museum, go to Katz’s Deli around the corner where they filmed “When Harry Met Sally” and the famous orgasm scene. Along the way, you will notice many small shops to visit in the area such as Russ and Daughter’s Appetizers, a unique shop with appetizers only. You will also find specialty desert shops and clothing stores, all in a short radius from one another. The Lower East Side is a place like no other, from a very unique time in American history.
Day 3: The Upper East Side
No visit to New York City is compete without a visit to the Upper East Side, Central Park East, and the many museums that are in walking distance to Central Park. You can fill an entire day at the Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Jewish Museum, among others. The 86/4/5/6 train will put you in the vicinity. A little further away is Cloisters, a museum which has primarily Renaissance Art and beautiful gardens. It is accessible by bus or taxi and is part of the Metropolitan Museum.The founding curator for Cloisters was one the Monuments Men, who saved priceless pieces of European art from destruction during World War 2.
If you still have time left or even extra days planned, there is always the newly revitalized Haarlem (around E 125th street or so), the High Line on the West side, or a trip outside the City to Hyde Park in the Hudson River Valley.
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