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New York city guide

ABC Kitchen

For the next-level brunch

Brunch is a serious sport in New York City and this Jean-Georges restaurant inside ABC Carpet & Home brings its A game. The seasonal doughnuts are a great place to start, but consider the crab toast, roasted beets, pretzel-dusted calamari or mushroom pizza with farm egg. The one thing beyond debate: Leave room for the salted-caramel ice-cream sundae.

Bakeri

For the Scandinavian custard buns

At this tiny Williamsburg café, watching the bakers make the day’s treats is only part of the fun. Choose from a display case full of Scandinavian pastries, from coconutty skolebrød to apple pies. You will also find a few global additions, like French-toast bread pudding and lamingtons, the beloved Aussie cake. The vibe is cozy, both in size and style, so if you’re travelling with little ones, leave the stroller at your hotel.

Scarr's Pizza

For the simple yet special slices

Outside this tiny, otherwise ordinary-looking pizzeria, expect to find a long lineup – seating is scarce in the wood-panelled, retro-inspired joint. The wait-worthy draw: seemingly simple slices, starting from US$3.50, made special with organic tomato sauce and grains stone-milled daily on-site. (Also: a mean vegan Caesar salad.) If you can’t snag a table, grab a slice to go from the counter.

The Long Island Bar

For the nostalgic cocktails

A local fixture for its fried cheese curds and classic burgers, this bar also specializes in drinks that would make anyone nostalgic: boulevardiers, gimlets, martinis. With dim lighting and tall booths, the space itself dates back to the 1950s and hasn’t changed much since.

Tokyo Record Bar

For the *izakaya* fare

This Greenwich Village spot is as boisterous as a 22-seat restaurant can be. Owner Ariel Arce took his love for Tokyo’s record-listening rooms and combined it with a seven-course *izakaya* tasting menu. Each guest chooses one song to be played by the vinyl DJ during the meal, which gets people talking. Reservations are a must.

Jajaja Plantas Mexicana

For the buffalo-flower tacos

This Lower East Side restaurant may look inconspicuous from the outside – aside from the line commonly snaking out the door – but inside you will find a true rarity: an entirely vegan menu even omnivores can enjoy. Try the buffalo-flower tacos, black-lava rice bowl or jackfruit tamale.

Flora Bar

For the fine dining

Inside the Met Breuer art museum, this acclaimed restaurant from Ignacio Mattos – the chef behind Estela and Altro Paradiso – specializes in elevated small plates, like potato and raclette croquettes, and lobster and crab dumplings. Don’t miss dessert: Pastry chef Natasha Pickowicz works wonders with a pear tarte tatin, and her chocolate parfait alone is worth the trip uptown.

MoMA

For the upgraded art appreciation

The Museum of Modern Art has always been popular, but its recent $450-million expansion gives even more reason to go, over and above increased space for the stellar exhibitions. Additions include the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio, dedicated to live and experiential programming, as well as the Paula and James Crown Creativity Lab, a space for conversation and art-making.

Tenement Museum

For the immigrant history lessons

New York abounds with monumental museums, but this one takes a singularly intimate approach to its area of focus: the history of immigrants from the 1860s to modern day. Guided tours are the only way to enter these restored tenement buildings, where you will see personal artifacts and hear stories of migration.

Governors Island

For the family-friendly day trip

This 172-acre island is the perfect way to while away an afternoon, especially for families, requiring less than a 10-minute ferry ride (catch it from Manhattan’s Battery Maritime Building daily, or from Brooklyn Bridge Park on weekends, from May 1 through October 31). Rent from Citi Bike or Blazing Saddles and wheel around the car-free paths, relax in the hammock meadow, or try your hand at minigolfing. Head to the Hills, opened in 2016, for scenic overlooks and a 17-metre slide, the city’s longest.

Prospect Park

For the lush side of Brooklyn

The architects behind Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert B. Vaux, also designed Brooklyn’s defining green space – and ranked the latter their real masterpiece. The 585-acre urban playground is now home to a zoo, a skating rink, a boathouse, and a bandshell for live performances. In the summer, locals flock to the meadows to socialize, play sports and grill out – you won’t find a friendlier spot in the city.

Music Box Theatre

For the Broadway shows

Everywhere you look, there is a jewel-like detail to notice at this neo-Georgian theatre, built in 1920. It’s a more intimate venue than Times Square’s massive performance halls, but no less worthy of attention: The Tony-winning musical *Dear Evan Hansen* opened here in 2016.

Books Are Magic

For the escapist lit

Novelist Emma Straub opened up a bookstore in Cobble Hill aimed at giving people a place to discover new titles, escape into one of the reading nooks, and attend readings and panels (there’s almost always something to see each night). The result is a bright hub for book lovers that feels every bit as enchanting as the name suggests.

Rachel Comey

For the effortless statement wear

New York designer Rachel Comey is known for her wearable, trend-proof womenswear, from day-to-night jumpsuits to wide-leg, raw-hem denim. It’s effortless chic that will nevertheless have admirers asking, “Where’d you find that?”

Coming Soon

For the bold home decor

At this gem of a shop from vintage collectors Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria, reupholstered Mies van der Rohe chairs, abstract wool rugs by NYC-based Cold Picnic, and sculptural wineglasses from Sophie Lou Jacobsen are just a few of the bold home accessories in the ever-rotating inventory.

Dover Street Market New York

For the fashion-forward splurges

At this outpost of the London-based department store/concept shop, you will find a deep-pocketed fashionphile’s dream closet, including multiple sub-brands in the Comme des Garçons universe, Raf Simons, Supreme, Jil Sander and Gucci. Even if you’re not splurging, the eight floors feature plenty of fashion-as-art to admire.

Kith

For the hard-to-get sneakers

The SoHo shop’s stark interiors underscore that it’s all about the merch – in this case, sneakers. All the big names – Nike, Converse, Adidas and others – are represented, but what makes Kith truly stand out is the stock of hard-to-get styles, including highly sought-after Air Force 1s.

Freehand New York

For the budget-friendly rates

With single Artist rooms starting below US$100, Freehand’s affordability still comes with frills. It doesn’t skimp on interesting design – Roman and Williams (of Ace Hotel fame) handled the interiors, while Bard College artists hand-painted custom murals. Amenities include five restaurants and bars, and a 24-hour fitness facility.

The William Vale

For the Brooklyn-style luxury

The address is in trendy Williamsburg, but this luxury hotel’s features rival what you would expect in Manhattan: a 22nd-floor bar with incredible city views, restaurants by an acclaimed chef (James Beard Award winner Andrew Carmellini), and balconies off each room. The 60-foot-long rooftop pool draws a crowd in the summer, and there’s an outdoor rooftop rink for skating in the winter.

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca

For the in-house entertainment

Arriving at this Tribeca boutique hotel, you will feel transported to a mid-century-modern dream, with art deco flair – and the drama doesn't end there. You don't have to leave to take in your choice of entertainment: watch an indie movie inside the 118-seat Roxy Cinema, or sip craft cocktails while enjoying almost-nightly live music at its Django jazz club. (Your stay includes complimentary entry to both venues.)

Public Hotel

For the Instagrammable vibe

Chances are you’ve spotted the neon escalator synonymous with this Ian Schrager-designed hotel all over Instagram. But there’s a lot more, too: stylish rooms sunlit by floor-to-ceiling windows, a see-and-be-seen lobby bar, and a landscaped rooftop terrace with 360-degree views. Plus, the Lower East Side location puts you in a prime neighbourhood for nightlife.

The Plaza

For the iconic New York experience

From its 5th Avenue location to its star-studded guest list (Marlene Dietrich, the Beatles, too many dignitaries to name-check) to afternoon tea beneath palm trees, everything about this grande-dame hotel – and National Historic Landmark – is legendary. Don’t miss the chance to check out the Betsey Johnson-designed Eloise room.

Info about getting from the airport, public transportation and more.

Getting From the Airport

From John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)


The least expensive way to get into the city from JFK, located in Queens, is taking the AirTrain (US$7.75) and then the subway (US$2.75). The AirTrain connects to all six terminals, and then links with NYC’s subway system at Jamaica and Howard Beach stations. You can also access the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) from Jamaica Station.

Taxis at JFK charge a flat fare of US$52 (plus a US$4.50 surcharge during peak hours, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays) for trips between the airport and Manhattan.

The other option is to use a rideshare app. But if there’s rush-hour traffic, the trip can be long and easily cost you US$75. The subway is often quicker, especially if you’re heading into Manhattan (about 50 minutes to reach Penn Station, in Midtown).

From LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

Getting to and from LaGuardia by public transportation is trickier than JFK Airport, although buses provide service between the airport, Manhattan, Queens and beyond with connection to the subway. If you’re staying nearby in Queens, the LaGuardia Link Q70 SBS or M60 SBS connects directly to the airport terminals.

Taking a cab or rideshare like Uber or Lyft is a more straightforward option. If you’re requesting a pickup at the airport, follow the rideshare signs on your way outside, and you will be guided to a designated parking lot. There, you will find Uber and Lyft representatives, who can help you find your driver.

Public Transportation

New York’s network of subways and buses is extensive, getting you virtually anywhere you need to go, for US$2.75 per fare. Unlimited MetroCard passes are also available, costing US$33 for seven days.

Taxis

Outside rush hour, you won’t have to wait long to get a bright-yellow cab – an “on" roof light signals it’s available. To avoid excess charges, hail a taxi going the direction you wish to travel. During peak traffic and taxi shift changeovers (4 p.m. to 5 p.m.), however, you will find it easier to use a rideshare app. Uber and Lyft are widely available in the city, and often less expensive than taxis. Via is another rideshare app, known for only offering shared rides.

Bikes

Many hotels offer complimentary bike rentals for guests, and the Citi Bike program is simple to use and available citywide. However, drivers can be aggressive, so biking is only recommended if you’re a confident cycler.

By Caleigh Alleyne and Stacy-Ann Ellis

Filmmaker Stella Meghie’s career has taken her all over the world. Born and raised in Toronto, she has lived in New York City, London and Los Angeles and travelled to countless locations in between. Her projects have turned the former fashion publicist into a Hollywood mainstay – Meghie is one of the few black women directors making major studio film waves. For the Jamaican-Canadian filmmaker, everyday stories are the most remarkable. That’s what her films are all about, like her debut Jean of the Joneses, a romcom featuring a Jamaican-American family, and The Weekend, which follows a comedian’s B&B getaway with her ex, his new flame and a handsome fellow guest. Much of her latest film, The Photograph, which stars Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield, was shot on location in New York City. We caught up with Meghie to talk about her favourite spots in the city to go between filming.


What is your ideal day in New York City?


My ideal day in New York City probably starts and ends with food. I love the energy of the city as you walk around, grab a coffee, get food, meet up with friends, see a movie and then go and meet someone else for more food and drinks.


What is your favourite season in New York City?



My favourite season in New York City is summer. Even though it can get too hot and the subways can be gross, there is nothing like being in New York City in the summertime. The vibe is like nowhere else.

What is your favourite restaurant in New York City?


My favourite restaurant is Bar Pitti, in the West Village. It’s a little Italian restaurant that’s been there for so long. There are no reservations, but the food is my favourite.

Favourite bar in New York City?


I was at Sel Rrose a lot when I was shooting on the weekends. It’s a little bar in the Lower East Side that has very strong drinks and great oysters.


Best spot to grab a coffee in New York City?



There is a little café called Café Angelique on the corner of my old street in NoHo that I just loved. They knew me, and when I walked in they would have my order ready.

Where is your favourite spot to watch a film in New York City?


It would probably be the Angelika Film Center. It has so much history and plays all the great independent films.

Weather in New York

Monday broken clouds
21°C Jun 01, 2020
Tuesday overcast clouds
19°C Jun 02, 2020
Wednesday moderate rain
24°C Jun 03, 2020
Thursday light rain
25°C Jun 04, 2020
Friday light rain
25°C Jun 05, 2020
Saturday moderate rain
25°C Jun 06, 2020
Sunday sky is clear
22°C Jun 07, 2020
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