Whether you know it as The Big Apple, Gotham, The World’s Capital, The City That New Sleeps, or just New York, New York - the city so nice they’re named it twice, there is no place else on Earth like it and everybody needs to visit at least once in their life.
Last week I was in New York City for a conference at a posh Manhattan hotel. While there I took advantage of my free afternoon for a little self-guided tour. It’s amazing what you can find just by following a few apps on your mobile phone these days.
Any trip to New York City is incomplete without a stop in Times Square. The city’s plan to ban cars and turn it into a pedestrian friendly space has been a huge success. In fact, it reminds me of a twenty first century version of Main Street USA at Disneyland.
It’s hard to tell, but that’s a hotel. In fact, it’s one of the hottest destinations in town. So, I was very pleased when I heard I’d be staying at The Hudson Hotel. Located on 58th Ave between 8th and 9th, you are smack dab in the middle of Midtown, while also being just steps away from Central Park. (Search for 4 Star Hotels in Midtown - New York, NY)
Guests arrive into the illusion of an open air lobby via an escalator that rises up through a green hued tunnel. The effect is transporting and you are instantly in a happier place. Located just off the lobby are three great spots for relaxing during the day and partying at night.
The one comment I hear most about The Hudson is that the rooms are extra-tiny. Which, when compared to the rest of the country is true. But for New York, they’re okay. I think the idea is to get you out in the great open space of the hotel lobby or 15th floor garden terrace.
If you stay at the Hudson, there are both a Pinkberry and a Starbucks just steps away. Across the street is the Time Warner Center (pictured above) that looks out over Columbus Circle and Central Park. I found that the Whole Foods market in the Time Warner Center was the perfect place to pick up some delicious prepared food. Then you can just walk across the street for a picnic or bring it back to your room for a delicious meal. No one cooks in New York anyway.
The other wonderful thing I found in New York this trip was all the glorious little farmers markets (some not so little). This one was set up on the sidewalk just around the corner from The Hudson on 9th. I was able to get some farm fresh cheese, organic fruits (the apples from New Jersey were dee-lish!) and a breakfast roll that rivaled my great grandmother’s best efforts.
Also on 9th street, about two blocks down, was Thai Basil. If you’re a fan of Thai cuisine I recommend a visit the next time you’re in town. While the Pad Thai was not as sweet as I like it, it was very tasty. But the real star were the curries. The Massaman and the Jungle Curry both had so many flavors I found myself constantly pausing to enjoy them. I also really enjoyed the Mee Grob appetizer.