Iconic, majestic, grand and romantic, New York City is one huge and mercurial melting pot. This cosmopolitan capital is fashion-forward, status-conscious, food and culture epicentric, exasperating and exhilarating in equal measure… but NYC is never, ever out of vogue. Welcome to the fabulous Wintour Wonderland.
‘Outer’ boroughs include the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, but NYC for most conjures the vivid skyline of Manhattan (though upcomer BK isn’t far behind). But wherever you go, expect a vibrant, 24/7 megalopolis made up of dynamic neighbourhoods, each with different faces and casts of characters.
Need to Know
- Getting Around: Don’t spend the day with your head stuck in a map, just remember above 14th St in Manhattan = an easy breezy grid plan; avenues run north/south and streets go east/west (divided by 5th Ave)
- Transport: Get ready to walk – NY is very pedestrian friendly, and besides, you’ll need to burn off your bagel bot. Or if you’re brave, get your leg over a Citibike and cycle in style
- Sales Tax: Among the highest in the US (a whoppin’ 8.875%), but waived on clothing and shoes under $110 (what, shoes for less than $110?)
- Going Out: Locals and clued-in visitors hit bars, restaurants and clubs on weekdays. On weekends the bridge and tunnel set come out to play… Consider yourself warned
- Service: Tipping is a matter of life and death. In restos and cafes add 1520%, in bars add a dollar per drink. If the service really sucks don’t tip, but be prepared to explain yourself and/or run fast
- Reservations: Essential at most restaurants, but savvy New Yorkers dine at the bar, early or late. And take your ID everywhere, lest you be denied entry – no, they are really not flattering you
- Local (non-political) showdown: Take me out to the ballgame… But be careful who you choose. Yankees (Bronx) or Mets (Queens)?
- Do: Keen to see the city from above? The Empire State is indeed silver screen pretty, with whopper views over Midtown and Central Park, but trust us – head to Top of the Rock instead
- Don’t: Let anyone hear you gabbing about visiting Staten Island or Liberty Island – though if you simply must, the best way to get a squiz is aboard the free ferry. In general, visit Ellis Island instead
- Events: Tribeca Film Festival runs Apr, June is Gay Pride Month; summer sees the truly lovely Shakespeare in the Park theatre series in Central Park, the US Open serves up action from end of Aug to mid Sep. Architecture buffs shouldn’t miss Open House New York weekend in Oct