The Big Apple – Off To New York City!
As the city that never sleeps, the Big Apple welcomes millions of tourists year after year. New York City is considered to be one of the most beloved cities in the world and fascinates visitors with impressive skyscrapers, a world-renowned skyline and a lot of diversity. Besides the well-known sights like the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building, the Big Apple also has many secret and unknown places that you must visit. This article will give you the best tips. Ready to depart for New York, New York?
Fact Check – What is the Big Apple?
The Big Apple is a famous nickname for New York City. Did you know that most local New Yorkers never use this nickname? Rather, they endearingly just call it “the city.” No one knows exactly where the nickname comes from. Some say that the term emerged in a journalist’s column. Others claim the jazz scene coined the phrase. Whatever it is, today the Big Apple is the official nickname for New York City.
NYC is on the East Coast of the United States, in the state of New York. The metropolis is split into five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The most famous of the five is certainly Manhattan. It is home to the world-renowned Broadway, the One World Trade Center, and Central Park. Manhattan offers several famous dining options, such as New York-style pizzerias and hot dog restaurants. Besides the tourist hotspots, what are some hidden gems of the Big Apple?
The Best Unsung Spots in the Big Apple
Smorgasburg Food Market
In the summertime, you can find the trendy food market, Smorgasburg, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They have many products that are always freshly prepared. You can choose from a wide range of delicious food and refreshing drinks and take in the stunning view of Manhattan’s skyline over the East River.
Vendors offer not only several kinds of Street Food, but also sweet treats and healthy snacks. Dietary restrictions are also respected: Many stands sell, for example, gluten-free and lactose-free products. From tacos to pulled pork to donuts – this food market elevates the Big Apple to a whole new culinary level. You can even find all kinds of rare delicacies from other countries, like a German Döner Kebab stand, for example.
Besides the good food, it is especially delightful to take in the unique view. Enjoying spicy French fries while sitting outside and looking out at the skyline of Manhattan? An absolute dream. When it’s warm, you can cool off in the East River after you eat. The riverbank is directly below the market. This is a great location for a small photoshoot. Not everyone has pictures with the Empire State Building in the background to brag about.
Pier 25 – Sunset over Jersey City
In south Manhattan, directly on the Hudson River, you can find many piers. Some of them host chic bars and restaurants, but Pier 25 is the perfect place to admire the sunset over Jersey City in peace. This is a great activity in the summer months, when you can sit on one of the benches and take in the play of colors in the sky. Not many people come here, so typically, it will be quite peaceful. In case you enjoy videos, it might be worthwhile to take a time-lapse! The way the sun disappears behind the skyline as the windows begin to light up one by one is absolutely spectacular. You could bring something to eat and drink, dine comfortably and enjoy the spectacle of nature.
Battery Park City – A Speck of Nature in the Big Apple
If you seek a bit of quiet in the turmoil of the metropolis, the Big Apple offers some beautiful parks. We were especially ravished by Battery Park, near the One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Here, you can stroll through the streets and avenues or walk directly along the river. When the weather is nice, you can spot the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Depending on the street you take, the impressive One World Trade Center might suddenly appear between the other buildings. It is a great photo-op, maybe especially because you’re a bit further away!
Pier A directly connects to the park. Keep an eye out for the ice cream truck! A delicious soft serve with colorful sprinkles will surely sweeten your day! On the opposite end of the park, you will find the Staten Island Ferry. You may have heard of this famous boat. Since 1817, the ferry has traveled between Staten Island and Manhattan, transporting dozens of people every day. Every 15 minutes, you can climb aboard the orange ferry and travel for free. An absolute must for your trip!
Bike Tour and Picnic
In New York City, you will likely use the subway a lot. This makes sense, as it allows you to get from point A to point B quickly. However, you will miss a lot that is happening on the surface that way. Our tip: Rent a bike! You can get one at many different places in the city for very little money. Throw on your backpack, grab a couple of delicious snacks, and let’s go on tour.
You can ride through the streets or head towards Central Park. It is worth it to take a break on one of the big lawns and enjoy a delicious picnic. We have two more small recommendations for you though:
- Pay attention to the flow of traffic. New York City has a lot of one-way streets!
- Rent your bike on a sunny day, so that you won’t need a splash guard. If you don’t want brown mud stains all over at the end of the ride (which definitely did not happen to us…), take a peek at the weather report.
Top of The Rock
You can enjoy the entire beauty of the Big Apple best from above. Naturally, you can do this at the observation deck of the Empire State Building. But what is even more beautiful than being on top of the Empire State Building itself? Standing on top of its neighboring building and admiring the skyscraper in its full glory. The Rockefeller Center is the perfect place for that. You probably know this building for the famous ice-skating rink and the world-renowned Christmas tree in the winter. However, you can always buy a ticket to the Top of The Rock, the observation deck in the sky of the Big Apple. On one side, you can see Central Park in its entirety, and on the other, you’ll get a perfect photo opportunity For the Empire State Building.
Insider’s tip: Look for a ticket you can use twice within 24 hours. That way, you can enjoy New York City once in the daytime, and then you can return at sunset and stay until the city gleams with millions of lights.
The Streets of New York City
The Big Apple can be hectic, loud, and fast-paced. Sometimes it might be worth it to pause for a moment and look around. You might catch a great view if you stop for a second in the middle of the crosswalk and look down the street you are crossing. Because the city is organized in blocks, you will get expansive views through the spaces between buildings. If you manage to capture one of these views, show it to your friends when you go back home, and it will knock their socks off. THAT is New York City, so simple and yet so wonderful. But be careful, New York City drivers are sometimes in as much of a rush as the city itself, so don’t stand in the road for too long and always pay attention to your surroundings!
The Big Apple has many faces: a metropolis, an urban jungle, and sometimes a small, quiet oasis. Besides the grand sights, that everyone knows, the city also has many spots that are relatively unknown. From delicious food with a fantastic view of dreamy sunsets to the best panorama of the entire city – there is surely something here for you. Escape the turmoil of the city at the wonderful Battery Park, jump on a bike and explore NYC on your own, or stop for a moment in the middle of a crosswalk. Sometimes the most beautiful moments of your trip to the Big Apple will be found in the most inconspicuous places.