i have been lucky enough to visit new york three time in the past year and a half. while i'm no expert on the city, i have found some great things to do and see. my friend aubrey is visiting the city for the first time next week and asked me to make her a list, so here it is!
1. the one thing that i have done and loved every time i go to new york is make a trip to grimaldi's (go to the one underneath the brooklyn bridge). they literally have the best pizza ever. they use fresh mozzarella and have the best roasted red peppers ever. we usually order the antipasti plate and one pizza and have more than enough for the two of us. oh, and it's cash only- they have an atm, but it's generally better to just bring it. supposedly the lines can get really long, so we have always tried to get there super early (they open at noon) and have always gotten right in. near here is an awesome view of the city, just walk down the street to the docks and you can get some great pictures.
2. after we eat at grimaldi's we walk across the brooklyn bridge. on clear days you can see the statue of liberty (which is the closest we have been to it). the bridge is amazing and you can get one of the typical pictures of all of the steel wires that hold the bridge up.
3. walk (or eat) through soho. i have decided next time i go to new york i want to stay in soho. there are so many shops and food places, you will leave penniless and fat. and oh so happy. last time i went i was introduced to rice and riches, which is a rice pudding shop. now i have never eaten rice pudding in my life, because it sounds absolutely disgusting, but this rice pudding is to die for. it has actually been on my mind a lot lately, and i have been contemplating spending a lot of money to have it shipped to my house.
4. walk through the high line park. it is an old railroad turned in to a park. it is literally raised off the streets, so you can get really interesting views of the city. there is great architecture to be seen and some interesting sculptures along the way. last time i went it rained the whole time, but was still totally worth it.
5. towards the end of the highline is chelsea market. i know half of the things i have told you to do have to do with food, but you really won't regret this one. there are tons of little food shops and cute little boutiques (and anthro:). our favorite thing to get is the crepes. they are kind of hidden, but find them and eat one. our favorite is the brescaola- italian meats, arugula, goat cheese, lemon dressing... need i say more?
6. the museum of modern art. this may be the greatest museum i have ever been to. it makes me so happy to see so many amazing artists in one place. the work that is probably the most famous is starry night, but take time to look at all of the art. you can also see jackson pollock, marc rothko, kandinsky, matisse's dance, picasso's les demoiselles d'avignon. these are the artists that make up modern art books/classes.
7. see a show in times square. it's totally worth it. even if you choose something totally random that you wouldn't normally choose- last time i saw macbeth and it was amazing! if you haven't bought tickets beforehand, you can download the tkts app and see which shows will be available that day. at 3 o'clock they open the windows for the evening shows. there can be really long lines, so be prepared to wait.
8. walk through central park. parks in the middles of cities make me so happy. i love that although new york is crammed and crowded, they still have space for a massive park. next time i go i'm hoping to see the bethesda terrace, for one embarrassing reason.
9. the met. you just have to go. my favorite spaces were the 18th and 19th century rooms where there are tons of impressionist works. they have had the greatest exhibits the last times i have been too, so be sure to check out what is currently being shown.
10. eataly. it is a large italian market that is divided the way that stores are divided in italy. there is a gelateria, pizzera, pesceria, etc. my favorite is to order cheese and meats at the bar tables, it feel so italian. the gelato is legit too. also, close to this is a shake shack, another new york must.
my last bit of advice pretty much goes for any new city that you vist: walk as much as you can. you will see so much more and get such a better feel for the city. your legs will hurt, your feet will be tired, your ankles may swell, but keep walking!
i know that these things are pretty common/typical, but for your first time in new york i think that you have to do all of them. i pretty much want to do each of these things every time i go, but i try to branch out as much as i can.