This week, JICUF director of accounting Virginia takes us to her five favorite spots in NYC!
I was born and raised in New York, but I still enjoy coming into the city to take in all that it has to offer. Below I have summarized five of my favorite spots in the city for various reasons. NYC is an exciting and fun place to visit with many places to see. My summary focuses on Manhattan, but the other boroughs have a lot to entertain visitors as well.
99 Gansevoort St.
New York, NY 10014
NYC is fortunate to have some of the greatest museums in the world. While it’s hard to pick only one as my favorite, I will simply state that the Whitney Museum is one of my favorites and one that I would recommend to those visiting NYC for several reasons. For example, it is located in the heart of the historical meatpacking district of New York City and it is a museum dedicated to contemporary American Art. The Whitney Museum was initially located on the Upper East Side and relocated to the meatpacking district in 2015. It is unique in its use of outdoor space. I visited the museum with one of my closest friends in the summer time and we started at the top floor and worked our way down, viewing each floor. My favorite is the outdoor terrace, which has a beautiful view of the city skyline.
Gansevoort St. to West 34th St. between 10th and 12th Ave.
After enjoying the Whitney Museum, you can walk over to the entrance to the High Line, which is another one of my favorite spots in the city. One reason is that the High Line has such an interesting history. In 1847, the City of New York authorized street level railroad tracks along 10th Avenue to ship freight. The railroad hired workers known as “West Side Cowboys” to ride along the trains on horses with flags to wave pedestrians away from the trains for safety. Even with the implementation of the cowboys, numerous accidents occurred and earned 10th Avenue the nickname “Death Avenue”. In 1929, the West Side Improvement Project was started, which included construction of an elevated train line designed to go through the center of blocks, and it connected directly to factories and warehouses, allowing for unloading inside the buildings. Despite these improvements, the growth of interstate trucking led to a drop in rail traffic, and the last train to ride on this line was in 1980. In 1999, the nonprofit group Friends of the High Line advocated for re-use of the line as a public open space similar to the Promenade Plantée in Paris. The first section of the High Line opened to the public in June 2009, and subsequently two additional sections have opened. It is a beautiful park, which still has the old railroad tracks and foliage from around the world, believed to have been transported by the many visitors to NYC. The walkway is especially beautiful in the autumn. It is not uncommon to see numerous photo shoots taking place while you enjoy a stroll through the park.
3. Holiday Markets NYC
NYC is known for its beautiful decorations during the holiday season. I particularly enjoy the opening of the many holiday markets after Thanksgiving located at Bryant Park, Columbus Circle, Grand Central Station and Union Square. It is fun to walk around the various shops and look for unique gifts for family and friends. Many of the vendors offer locally made gifts created by the numerous artists who call NYC their home. The Bryant Park location also opens an ice skating rink to enjoy after viewing the various shops. The markets also house some food vendors to quench your hunger with a wide variety of choices.
111 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012
When my girls were younger, they used to enjoy watching the reality show “Georgetown Cupcakes,” so once the store opened a location in Soho, we ventured out to try the cupcakes. We now make a yearly pilgrimage to the location and enjoy a cupcake with a nice cup of coffee. The SoHo location allows for the visitor to enjoy a look at the historic architecture of the older buildings along the cobblestone streets. It is home to many of NYC’s finest stores which are very pricey, but nice to window shop. After eating your cupcake, if you want to walk off some of the calories, I suggest walking to Washington Square Park. The park has many photo opportunities for native New Yorkers and visitors such as the Washington Square Arch and the Washington Square fountain. For "Friends" fans, unfortunately the fountain is not the one in the opening credits.
64th Street and 5th Avenue
Finally, my fifth favorite spot in NYC is the Central Park Zoo. The zoo is especially pleasant on a warm spring or fall day, but also enjoyable in the summer time. The zoo is small in comparison to the Bronx Zoo, but perfect if you are not looking to spend the whole day. For those that enjoy more interaction with the animals, the price of the ticket includes the petting zoo. It is primarily goats and sheep, but a lot of fun to feed the goats and interact with them. My girls enjoy feeding the goats while taking a selfie. After enjoying the zoo, it’s nice to walk through Central Park. The park has many bridges and arches to view while taking a leisurely stroll. The park is so spacious and relaxing you will feel that you have left the city.
All of the above activities can be done with a free walking tour of NYC, which is very informative for those looking for more history on the city while seeing the above sights. I have done the walking tours numerous times and find them to be a lot of fun and helpful for finding some of the hidden gems in the city, for example best ice cream such as “Mikey Likes It” located on 199 Avenue A, NY, NY 10009.
About Virginia: Virginia enjoys baking, going to museums and reading. She lives on Long Island with her two teenage daughters and her husband. Feel free to contact her with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.