Visiting New York City can be tricky. A short trip only allows for a taste of the city, and the quest to make every moment count can add a strong dose of pressure. There is a multitude of things to see, do, and eat in the Big Apple.
Every visitor might as well start at the ultimate tried-and-true place to visit: Katz Delicatessen. This deli has been in the same spot since 1888 and still attracts locals and tourists alike to the Lower East Side. The long line is worth the wait. Once inside, skip the counter and head straight to a table (as Harry and Sally did). The must-try is a simple, juicy pastrami sandwich that’s big enough to feed two, especially with any sides.
Heading back uptown to check out a museum? Don’t just walk past Central Park. Make it a destination. Designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, the park’s 843 acres are home to a diversity of landscapes. There is a zoo, a castle, an old fort, a lake, an observatory, a carousel, an obelisk, and a public swimming pool. Sports fans can enjoy multiple baseball fields, two skating rinks, and tennis courts. Check out the park’s website for a calendar of events before visiting.
For those still wandering through Central Park on an early Friday or Saturday evening, go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Head straight to the roof, where the museum hosts an outdoor martini bar in the warmer months—a happy hour with a view that can’t easily be beat.
That’s enough of Manhattan for now; it’s time to hit the Brooklyn Bridge. This landmark is a sight in itself and offers a great chance to take in the skyline from across the East River. The wide pedestrian walkway above the car traffic makes it one of the nicest bridges to travel on foot.
Upon landing in Brooklyn, visitors will surely be ready for some food, and there’s no need to travel far. For those just looking for a treat, heading to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is the way to go. There are only eight flavors here, keeping the focus on the small batch production and the cream. Take a cone and stroll around the Pier, or wander down Furman Street into Brooklyn Bridge Park.
For a full meal, there are two options to choose from for great pizza: Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s. Take advantage of their long-standing pizza feud, and pick the establishment with the shorter wait. For people who have eaten too much to walk back, the Water Taxi is ready to take them across the river.
If there is time to head out of town, take the Long Island Expressway to the end of the road. Travelers will find themselves on the North Fork of Long Island, a bucolic peninsula bordered by the bay to the south and the Long Island Sound to the north. The North Fork has worked to retain the East End’s farming heritage and offers a beautiful combination of old architecture, beaches, rolling farmland, and an abundance of farm stands and wineries. This old world, agrarian community made up of an interconnected series of small towns and hamlets will take visitors back in time.
To gear up for a day of wineries, start off with a stop at The Village Cheese Shop. Find all the fixings needed to pack a picnic or just snacks for the day. Be sure to try the Catapano goat cheese—a product made at a local dairy farm in Peconic.
While still on Love Lane, don’t miss the Roanoke Vineyards tasting room. The wine is produced by two men that some consider the best on the East End: owner and grower Richard Piscano and winemaker Roman Roth. Make sure to get a tasting of Gabby’s Cabernet Franc—this signature Long Island grape is exemplified in each vintage.
Farther afield, rent a bike in Greenport and head east on Main Road (Rte 25) to Orient Beach State Park for an idyllic ride. Take a detour into the small village of Orient, past Oysterponds Farm for berries for those lucky enough to visit in the summer, and onto the lighthouse. Once back in Greenport, end a day of adventure at The Frisky Oyster with a cocktail and a dozen Pipe’s Cove oysters.
Places to Visit in New York
Written by Carolyn Bennett
Photography by Daniel Garcia
This article originally appeared in Issue 5.1 “Sight & Sound”