A Native's Guide to New York City

In a city where you can live your whole life and still not see everything, we have put together an insider’s compilation of must-do and must-see things, as told by our intern Maddy from New York.

It isn’t a trip to New York without . . .

A Broadway show! It almost goes without saying. There are 41 large theatres all centered around Times Square showing a countless amount of shows a day. Some of the best ones at the moment are easily Hamilton, Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen, Les Misérables, and Waitress. A favourite spot to grab a bite before your show is Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where your servers are aspiring performers who sing and put on a mini-show for you in between tables. If a Broadway show is your five-course meal, then Ellen’s is your flavourful appetizer, giving you a taste of New York’s theatre culture. However, if you’re looking for a less-touristy and more elegant place to dine, The Lamb’s Club at The Chatwal Hotel offers exquisite cuisine that is still within the heart of Manhattan and the Theatre District, but far enough away from the intensity of the “tourist traps.” Their Nova Scotia Lobster “a la Plancha” will have you daydreaming about it for weeks after you’ve had it.

Another great place to stop during your trip is Rockefeller Center, where you can go to Top of the Rock and take an elevator to the rooftop to get a stunning panoramic view of the entire city. Most people agree that this view is even better than the one from the Empire State Building. A visit to the World Trade Center (or the Freedom Tower) is also a great experience, and don’t forget to visit the 9/11 Memorial!

Refreshing Buffers from the Bustling City

With all the built-up anticipation for spring after a seemingly endless winter, the New York Botanical Garden is a great and refreshing way to spend a warm afternoon and take a break from the buzzing city life. Exploring this beautiful museum of plants will feel like a relaxed slow-down from navigating the diverse neighbourhoods. The garden exhibits a charming, artistic creation and there is no doubt that much thought was put into designing and composing each section into an aesthetically pleasing and creative arrangement.

Central Park never fails to brighten up someone’s day, no matter the time of year. Covering over 150 square blocks, it is filled with plenty of walking and bike trails, or horse and buggy rides if that is your preferred mode of transport. Nonetheless, you can spend hours here and it still would not feel like enough. Enjoy a nice picnic on the Great Lawn, soaking up the sun, or even take out a rowboat and admire the picture-perfect view of the city’s skyline. In the summer time, a popular activity is to see Shakespeare in the Park, New York’s very own open-air theatre, putting on free Shakespeare performances throughout the summer.

If you’re looking for a pause from walking, Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan would be a perfect place to do so. It’s a trendy and stylist area, and a great place to wind down. There are often small cultural performances beneath the gigantic arch in the square. Don’t leave the area without succumbing to your inner-foodie and stopping at Murray’s Bagels or Murray’s Cheese Bar to indulge in your guilty pleasures.  

What is something you love about New York? Tell us about your experiences!