When someone mentions New York to me, I always find myself saying “OMG, I love love love NYC!” (faster than they can finish saying New York), and think of the many times I had spent in Manhattan and Times Square and awed at the sheer awesomeness of the place. I don’t immediately think of Brooklyn, Astoria or “the other side” of New York. I mean, New York means Manhattan right? The concrete jungle where dreams are made of, as Alicia Keys said.
The last time I was in New York (two years ago – too long!), I managed to explore some of “the other side” of New York. I did the whole MoMA, Central Park and yes, stand in the middle of Times Square again (in my opinion, it’s just something you have to do every time you visit! – ignore the disproportionately wide child-bearing hips).
But I also added a bit of the Bronx (houses the largest suburban zoo!), Coney Island and Brooklyn. To my surprise, it was the real New York. This was where the real people lived their daily lives and where most of the action happened.
In the news it mentions many places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting; Grimaldi’s, Nathan’s Hotdogs, Williamsburg, they’re all great non pretentious places to eat, chill and people watch (especially Williamsburg). And other places which I’ve put onto my list for next year (Fish Market? Hell yes!).
By no means should you be skipping Manhattan on your visit, whether it’s your first or your twenty-first, but be sure to head down south of the Brooklyn Bridge and actually spend the afternoon or the day there.
You’ll wish you went there sooner!