Business Travel Blog

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New York: summer in the city

If your experience of New York is limited to a rush around the main sites on a business trip, now is the perfect time to think about returning. Summer is downtime for corporate business to the city and airlines have premium cabins to fill, so rates are at their lowest. High-end hotels too, are used to slashing rates to attract customers, so there’s no excuse.

If your first visit was distinctly Empire State, Times Square and Broadway, then your second or third can be distinctly Off Broadway. That said, it’s always a good idea in a city as crowded as New York to start off at a viewing point to get your bearings and there’s now a rival to the Empire State and Top of the Rock in the form of the One World Observatory, which opens on May 29.

This new attraction spans floors 100, 101 and 102 of the One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan - the tallest building in the western hemisphere - and at 1,250 feet will be some view. Working your way back uptown, the recently extended High Line is much closer to earth. This 1.5-mile stretch of disused elevated railway, now an urban park, slices through the west side of the city from the Meatpacking District at 14th Street to 34th Street. The pay-what-you-like Free Tours By Foot offers an excellent guided walk along its length.

Keeping with the railway theme, the 1913 Grand Central Station was thankfully saved from the wrecking ball in the 1960s and is now an attraction in itself. In fact, with 68 shops and 35 dining options, including the gorgeous Oyster Bar Restaurant, it warrants an excursion at any time of the day or evening.

If Ellis Island was not on your first visit hit list, make sure you go this time to see the moving site where millions of immigrants that founded New York first stepped ashore. For the story of how they later lived, head to the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. Here inside a four-storey time capsule is a recreation of Irish and German immigrants’ lives. A visit here can be supplemented by a guided neighbourhood walk.

Like most major cities, immigration has made its mark on cuisine and this applies to New York more than most. Eating out can be as cheap or expensive as you wish and Italian must top the list of specialities. Some New Yorkers regard Lower Manhattan’s Little Italy as too touristy and will point you towards mini versions in the fashionable neighbourhoods of Greenwich Village, Tribeca, Brooklyn or The Bronx.

The title of hippest neighbourhood in New York regularly changes hands, but is held for the moment by Williamsburg, arguably the birthplace of Hipsters and their beards. A ferry crossing under the iconic Brooklyn Bridge provides fabulous views of the east side of the city and lands you in Williamsburg, where the beard count will be extreme. If cutting edge design, bars and restaurants are what you want, you’ll find it here.
Hipster, foodie, or just tourist, New York has it all.