The famous silhouette of Central Park's south rim, including the restored Plaza hotel, comes into view. Just below it, at 57th Street, I turn west at the white-glove Bergdorf Goodman department store and surrender to the fashionable throngs darting in and out of the clothing and jewelry boutiques. At Carnegie Hall, I check the posters out front for concerts I'll be attending – if only in spirit.
Now it's time to subway down to Chelsea, my neck of the woods, for a casual lunch overlooking the Hudson River at Jason's Riverside Grill (Pier 60). Afterward, a riverside walk south reveals some of the sweeping architecture (including Frank Gehry's nautically inspired IAC headquarters) transforming this part of town.
At West 14th Street, I behold the water's edge. Today, this former wasteland is a showplace of bike lanes, gardens, benches and wide walkways – a testament to what happens when cities decide to make spaces more people-friendly.
The Meatpacking District
I tear myself away from the dog walkers, joggers, cyclists and yuppie-pushed strollers to cross the West Side Highway into the Meatpacking District. The only things slaughtered here these days are credit card limits in Jeffrey, perhaps the priciest of this neighbourhood's super-expensive shops. Enjoy this window into the hedge-fund world ($1,100 polo shirts, anyone?).
Next I wander the undulating Chelsea Market, a converted 1890 biscuit factory at 15th Street and Ninth Avenue. Visitors always feel like locals amid this homey collection of kitchen shops and bakeries (I always take home something sweet from the Fat Witch Bakery). If I haven't made a dinner reservation long ago at nearby Pastis, a true French bistro where celebrity watching comes with the frites, I amble through a cozy patchwork of Greenwich Village streets to find all manner of restaurants. (One of the best values is the bar and burger joint Corner Bistro, at West 4th and Jane).
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As night falls, making my way to Seventh Avenue South, I'm tempted to see who's headlining at the Village Vanguard, a legendary jazz spot. But Broadway is beckoning, so I taxi up to Times Square. The excitement here on a theatre night is electric. If I don't already have a ticket and I get to 46th Street and Broadway before 7:30, I'll look into half-price tickets at the TKTS booth.
After the show, the unapologetic tourist in me weaves through the hordes to the Marriott Marquis. I press the elevator button for the 47th floor, where The View Restaurant could not be more aptly named. In the time it takes for a leisurely nightcap, my city's only revolving restaurant/lounge has swept me through 360 degrees of the most compelling skyline this side of Dubai.
Back on terra firma, it's been another spectacular day in New York City.
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