New York City is a fascinating destination where the lights are on and flashing all day and all night long, and the streets are always bustling and lively. It certainly deserves its reputation as the city that never sleeps. It’s also a walking city where subways and taxis offer a reprieve to the preferred mode of transit – feet.
There are endless things to explore in NYC, in any of its boroughs and neighborhoods from Harlem to Queens, from the Bronx to infamous Times Square in Manhattan. For today, we will focus on Manhattan. The hardest thing about touring the city is prioritizing because there is so much to see and do. Some will enjoy walking through Central Park, others might wander south to the World Trade Center. Obviously, there is no right or wrong choice, but here are a few of the more unique things that I like to encourage everyone to see and do while they are in the city:
View the Portrait of an Unidentified Woman
This portrait can be found in the collection of The New York Historical Society. Despite the mystery of its name, there are clues to the portrait’s identity. Governors are expected to pose for official portraits. The governor of both the colony of New York and New Jersey was Edward Hyde, the 3rd Earl of Clarendon. This particular governor happened to be Queen Anne’s cousin and he looked a lot like her. All the more so, as he loved to wear dresses and jewelry and often would dress up as the Queen. Which is what some believe he did for this portrait.
Visit the Ramble Cave
The Ramble Cave is one of the oldest features within Central Park. Visitors can find it near the 79th Traverse if they are looking hard enough. Although there are steps near the lake to climb down to see the entrance of the cave, because those steps blend in so beautifully with the rest of the landscape, it is hard to find. Anyone who does discover this natural beauty will want to snap a photo as proof that they did manage to find this little gem.
Experience Traditions and Culture in Chinatown
Chinatown is located in lower Manhattan and beckons anyone who wants to have an authentic Chinese experience. There are unique shops and restaurants in this district that are worth wandering around. Although naturally, visitors can see this area and any corner of NYC on their own, it can be a little overwhelming. I therefore strongly recommend visitors to take a CityPals tour of Chinatown for the best experience. That way they avoid missing out on the details and background only locals and experts know about.
Cut a Trim at the NYC Barber Museum
There used to be a barbershop on almost every corner of New York, but those days are long gone. However, in NYC locals and visitors alike can still visit a real barber shop for both a haircut and a walk down memory lane. Arthur Rubinoff is a fourth-generation barber who doesn’t want to see this part of history disappear completely, so he opened this relic of a shop and museum. Antique barber chairs, razors and shaving paraphernalia abound including a few of those old striped poles that used to spin outside every shop in days gone by.
Visit the New York Society Library
The New York Society Library opened in 1754 on the Upper East Side. This five-story mansion is considered the oldest literary destination in the city. The library was first located in the old city hall, but once its collection exceeded five thousand books, it needed to move to another location. That spot was on Nassau Street where they have been located since 1937. Included in the three hundred thousand book collection is the original charter that was granted by King George III.
Anyone visiting New York City whether for the first time or the 20th time, can benefit from taking a guided tour. After all, there is so much to see, why not have a local share curate?