If you’ve been to New York City, you may well understand that it is never possible to see every part of the city over a period of few days. Even the repeat visitors to NYC end up finding new areas and attractions to explore. But what to do if you are in NYC and have just two days? We pick and choose some not-to-be-missed experiences that you can cover in a matter of 48 hours, and that pretty much gives you an overall experience of the Big Apple,
10am – Breakfast in a Gilded Room
The historic Villard Mansion was commissioned in 1882 by railroad magnate Henry Villard. The ornate Gold Room – aptly named for its gilded ceiling – originally served as a music hall. In September 2016, it was thrown open to the public as a breakfast-only restaurant inside Lotte New York Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue. VILLARD by Chef Oscar Granados stands as a living tribute left to the Gilded Age, and the menu here is inspired by rustic farm-to-table ingredients, served in a fine-dining setting. Inspired by the bygone era of opulent hotels in New York City, VILLARD serves breakfast Monday through Friday from 6:30am to 11:30am, and brunch over the weekend.
12 noon – NBC Studios Tour
Experience behind-the-scenes access to the studios where your favourite shows – such as Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon or Late Night with Seth Meyers – are made. An NBC Page will serve as the host during the 40-minute tour and take one through the historic halls of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. One gets to learn about the entire TV production process – from writing and production to the ways TV content gets home. Saving the best for the last, the group of visitors produces their own show, which can be downloaded later for keeps.
2pm – Personal Styling, for free
Whichever part of NYC you are in, chances are you will come across one of the 35 Macy’s departmental stores in the city. So why not use 2 hours of the afternoon – when there’s not much else to do – to get some tips on personal styling from a fashion guru, and even get his/her assistance in selecting the clothes as per your body type. Macy’s free personal shopping service will pair you with an in-store expert who’ll help you find everything you want. The good part – the personal stylist knows what’s on sale and knows exactly where everything in the store is located. And the best part – there’s no pressure to buy anything. Meanwhile, if hungry, the café at Macy’s is brilliant.
6pm – Theatre in Central Park
If you’re there in summer, you may get to enjoy some of the Bard’s plays as open-air theatre performances in the heart of the city. Shakespeare in the Park is an annual event held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and the entry is free. The event includes two productions each year and is one of New York City’s most beloved summer traditions. Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are free and up to two tickets per person can be acquired in-person on the day of a performance, when the box office opens at noon, up until curtain time.
8pm – Power dining at Le Cirque
It’s one of the few restaurants with a Wikipedia entry – Le Cirque has earned its place on New York’s gastronomical landscape for over 40 years. Restaurateur Sirio Maccioni has given it a brand new address – on the East 58th Street in the trendy Bloomberg building. Inside this modern, circus-themed dining room, is where all the power brokers of NYC come to wine and dine, and talk millions and billions. So obviously, shorts and open shoes are not permitted here, nor are the hats.
Overnight and early morning – View from the Top
For those who don’t want to miss any moment in the life of the sleepless city, even while inside the hotel room, the best option is to book a hotel that offers uninterrupted views. For instance, The Towers at Lotte is one of Midtown’s most elegant accommodations – with 909 guest rooms starting at Floor 41 and going on to Level 53, thereby, combining comfort with stunning skyline views. Look out the window to witness a stunning view of the St Patrick’s Cathedral located right across the street. Even the Rockefeller Center is just a few steps away.
10am: Weird food mash-ups
Where else, but in NYC, can you satisfy your craving for something as out-of-the-box as Ramen Taco or stuffed ice-cream?! At Ichiba Ramen (Union Square, Manhattan), you don’t need to master chopsticks to enjoy a unique dish. Ichiba’s tacos contain ramen noodles – within the fried nori shells and also tucked below the other fillings. Meanwhile, Stuffed Ice Cream at East Village, Manhattan, is inventing new ways to eat ice-cream – as a roll, between funnel cakes, or even wrapped in a waffle. Doughnuts are the latest ice cream-vehicle – decked with gummy bears, coconut and mochi.
1pm: On the Deck
There may be thousands of things to do in NYC, but if you are there for just a couple of days, there is one way to see them all at once – from the One World Observatory. Located on the top three floors (100-102) of One World Trade Center, this offers a 360-degree view of the entire length and breadth of the city, along with its major landmarks. As you ride to the top in a superfast elevator, there’s a chance witness the 500-year-long evolution of NYC in under 60 seconds. The floor-to-ceiling LED technology in the lift surrounds you with an immersive virtual time-lapse. Once on the 100th floor, explore the panoramic views in every direction – discover Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey and the surrounding waters from an entirely new perspective. There’s also a cafe at the top.
5pm: Rooftop Bars
The best way to soak in a typical NYC evening is by enjoying a drink at its one of the many iconic rooftop bars, as the sun goes down. The best views can be cherished from a Midtown property. For instance, the family-owned Roger Smith Hotel offers a good vantage point to enjoy the remarkable city skyline from Henry’s rooftop bar, in the company of fresh air and creative cocktails. The popular rooftop bar is a cool spot where tourists and locals mingle together beneath the twinkling string lights and admire the uninterrupted city views. Henry’s is a seasonal space, open from May until October.
7pm: Broadway at Times Square
What is a visit to NYC without a mandatory stroll through its most touristy spot – Times Square. And while you are there, an ideal time to spend the evening would be to catch a musical on the Broadway. Phantom of the Opera is about to complete a 30-year run on the Broadway and is still going strong. Based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, its central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius. What stuns here is the sheer scale of the sets, the costumes, and the props. Interestingly, it is the longest-running show in Broadway history and celebrated its 10,000th performance in 2012 – becoming the first production ever to do so. Watching a Broadway show is a fitting finale to a short NYC trip.