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Undiscovered New York: top 5 hidden gems in the Big Apple

A truly great city offers visitors an ongoing evolution of experiences, surprising even its avid fans with new and exciting things to do just when you think you’ve seen it all. These world-class cities are hard to come by, and no other fits this description like New York City. This is a place where the hustle and bustle of the day stretches out into the night, with both New Yorkers and those visiting embracing the electric energy that pulses through the city’s veins. Nothing is off limits – the latest trends in art, fashion, cuisine and live performance are on display at all hours of the day, glistening in the sparkle that has kept New York as one of the most exhilarating cities in the world for generations. It’s not hard to fall in love with this beguiling metropolis, but it isn’t always easy to discover hidden gems in a city frequented by travel enthusiasts. So here’s a guide to discovering the undiscovered New York! 1. The High Line and the Lowline In a crammed city like New York, no space goes unused. In recent years, sustainability has been a driving force behind some of the most innovative creations of public space. The High Line is the perfect example of how New York is taking its disused spaces to create its sensational places! What was once run down train tracks heading to the city’s west is now a public park set above the stylish streets of the Meatpacking district, with unmatched views that allow you to enjoy the skyline up close and personal. The success of this has led to the creation of the Lowline, which will be the world’s first subterranean park. The official Lowline will open in 2018, but a makeshift version is currently up and running on the Lower East Side. The Lowline Lab is open every weekend with various events, such as yoga, meditation and even a Subway Symphony. Check it out for a sneak peak of what’s to come! High Line Resized 2. Live comedy New York is home to some of the best live comedy in the world, and is the birthplace of the careers of some of the greats, like Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer. While the city is home to some well-known comedy clubs such as The Comedy Store and Caroline’s On Broadway, the city offers some world-class, quintessentially New York comedy clubs. The Comedy Cellar has a rotating line-up of pro comics, with very regular guest appearances from household names. The Gotham Comedy Club is Chelsea’s resident club, with a diverse line-up of comics every night. To see the rising stars of improv and sketch comedy, head to the UCB Theatres in both Chelsea and East Village. Both theatres provide multiple shows each night, from improvised plays to stand-up specials to experimental theatre. Comedy Cellar 1 3.  First Street Garden A hotbed of creative expression, New York is home to some of the world’s most revered galleries, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the masterpiece architecture of the Guggenheim. But for an alternative art experience, head to the First Street Garden Park. In 2008, a derelict building was converted into a living art space for locals to express their creativity. From edgy street art to contemporary architecture, the park is full of incredible pieces and hosts ongoing cultural activity with emerging artists, architects and cultural groups. This is a refreshing look at modern art and an intriguing glimpse into how residents of a global city are bringing the local community together through creativity. First Street garden Resized 4. Rooftops Views of Manhattan’s skyline are like tattoos on our mind – it’s a place we’ve seen in so many TV shows and films, in so much art, music and photography, it is imprinted in our minds like a childhood memory that stays as crystal clear as the day it happened. Not making the most of this spectacular view of some of the most famous skyscrapers in the world would be criminal, so head to some of the city’s off-the-beaten track rooftops. The Pod 39 Rooftop Bar is a spot of calm in the storm of activity that is Manhattan, offering unseen views of the city amongst Neoclassical Italian architecture. You are able to sit back and sip on a Manhattan (in Manhattan!) at Rare View, a cocktail bar surrounded by lush green bush and the concrete jungle of midtown. For a year-round vistas of the city from the top, the Refinery Rooftop is the perfect place for some lunch overlooking the Empire State Building. Rooftop 5. Michelin mecca The best advice for those travelling to New York? Arrive with an empty stomach. The cuisines of the world collide in this melting pot of flavours, allowing you to try every dish from every corner of the globe and all the fusion your heart desires. With this choice comes a variety of the world’s best restaurants, which has made New York somewhat of a Mecca for Michelin lovers. There are umpteen restaurants with Michelin nods, from honourable mentions to the full 3-star experience. For a taste of some tantalising Spanish tapas, head to Mario Batali’s Casa Mono near Union Square. If it’s French you fancy, head to the elegant Triomphe near Bryant Park. To try some Asian-American fusion in an intimate space, go to Momofuku Ko in the East Village. No matter which cuisine appeals, you won’t go hungry! Food Resized Filip Boyen is Chief Executive Officer of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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One Comment

  1. Indeed undiscovered for me, I have been to live comedy shows and also experienced the varsity of cuisine, but the rest is new. I would love to visit the public park. Such a fantastic use for a run down train track, I love the idea. I also have yet to explore the First Street Garden Park. You are right; it is not hard to fall in love with New York.

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