Having survived the first and worst COVID outbreak in the United States, New York City has since fallen into a safe rhythm of Al Fresco dining, masked shopping and outdoor adventures.
With a lot of relocation and few tourists, the city is easier to get around in than it has even been. Streets aren’t clogged with traffic and taxis and people aren’t on top of one another on the sidewalks or on public transportation.
Even with some venues closed, there are some things to see and do that continue to be the mainstay of a New York City visit.
Central Park has 843 acres to explore between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan. There are lots of iconic spots in the park.
There’s even a new sculpture of Women’s Rights Pioneers, the first monument in Central Park to depict actual women.
The Ramble, located on the west side of the park between 66th and 79th Street is a favorite. The 36-acre “wild garden” was created for strolling, exploration, and peaceful contemplation. It features twisting pathways, quiet coves, giant boulders, bridges, benches and migrating birds.
The Meatpacking District is a hip commercial area on the far west side. It’s home to the Whitney Museum, high-end designer clothing stores and a stretch of the High Line, an elevated park built atop former railroad tracks. At ground level, the cobblestone streets are filled with trendy restaurants and clubs that were once meatpacking plants.
The Vessel, opened in 2019, is a $200 million climbable structure and visitor attraction built as part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project. British designer, Thomas Heatherwick, designed the elaborate honeycomb-like structure with 16 stories, 154 flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings for visitors to climb. Vessel is the main feature of the 5-acre Hudson Yards Public Square.
Soho is a trendy shopping destination with designer boutiques, fancy chain stores, high-end art galleries and restaurants. Buildings have cast-iron-facades and there are cobblestone streets throughout the neighborhood. During the day, street vendors sell everything from jewelry to original artwork.
Chinatown is home to a dense population of Asian immigrants that draws foodies and tourists for dumplings, pork buns and noodles. The sidewalks are packed with souvenir stores, bubble tea shops, and markets selling everything from fresh and dried fish to herbs and spices.