Taking a Bite of the Big Apple

The New York skyline as seen from the Hudson River

The New York skyline as seen from the Hudson River

I’ve had family in New York for many years, but this is the first time I’ve actually spent a weekend in the city. All I can say is, wow, what an exciting, walkable, delicious international metropolis. Where to begin?

They say location is everything, and I discovered the Omni Berkshire Place has it all. Located on the Upper East Side in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Omni is steps away from Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square. Combing the latest technology with contemporary décor, this luxury hotel is like an oasis in the city. Staying at the Omni made our getaway convenient, relaxing, and so much richer since we could walk everywhere and didn’t miss a thing.

Flags of many nations line Rockefeller Center

Before you head out to see the sights, stop at an Official NYC Information Center to buy your New York CityPASS, which will save you money on popular attractions. The book offers six admission tickets for a variety of experiences, with attractions including the Empire State Building Observatory, Top of the Rock, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Statue of Liberty has recently reopened for visitors

As part of our New York CityPASS, we took a glorious one-and-a-half hour boat ride along the Hudson with Circle Line Cruises. We sailed past the Statue of Liberty, the rising Freedom Tower, and Wall Street. It’s a wonderful way to take in all of the city’s famous sights and see where you want to explore next.

Tourists come from all over the world to experience a ride on the Hudson River

New York City is a gastronomic delight with every cuisine imaginable. Ellen’s Stardust Diner features yummy diner food and a singing waitstaff in the heart of Times Square. We loved watching the soon-to-be-stars as well as authentic 1950s television. We just had to return to Carnegie Deli, with its matzo balls the size of cantaloupes and corn beef sandwiches as tall as the Freedom Tower. We had more than enough to tote back for a midnight snack. Tommy Bahama is a newbie to the Manhattan dining scene and offers a dazzling menu of fresh seafood and exotic drinks. Hunker down and eat, drink, and shop!

Freedom Tower stands tall and proud at Ground Zero

No trip to NYC is complete without seeing the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. My daughter has been there three times and says it’s always different as they continue building. While the outdoor monuments are complete, they’re still working on the adjacent museum. To me, the thundering waterfalls represent the towers falling and millions of tears shed. A free, set-time reservation is recommended to get through the line faster

The September 11 National Memorial

For theater discounts, go to TKTS for same-day tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. SideTour offers unique experiences such as Unearthed Ghost Stories and Hidden Secrets of Central Park. Want to see a free taping of a popular TV show? Request tickets in advance, although some shows offer standby tickets.

The exciting, always-changing theater district of Broadway

Loaded down with goodies from street vendors and stylish new duds, I got a taste of the Big Apple in just a New York minute!