If you're spending your J1 in New York you are one lucky fecker. New York City is made up of 5 boroughs; Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Each borough is full of interesting places to go visit during your summer stay. Here are some of the best New York spots to visit on your J1:
1. Times Square
It's crazy busy, full of noise and you'll lose control of your senses but it's well worth, at least, one visit. If you're staying in Manhattan or working nearby chances are you'll come across this epicentre of madness at least daily. In that case run and hide.
Get your tickets to all the best shows like The Lion King, The Colour Purple and Matilda (a personal favourite). Now I know some of you are thinking dollar, dollar but it's a lot cheaper if you go to the ticket booth in Times Square and queue for discounted/half price tickets. The only thing is you have to go the day you buy the discounted tickets.
Williamsburg in Brooklyn is one of my favourite places to go in New York. Walk Bedford Avenue on a Saturday and look at the stalls of books and vintage finds. Try all of the food places around as the area has some tasty as hell cafés. Get the best burger of your life from Blue Collar on Havemeyer Street. There's always outdoor free events like movies and concerts in different spaces around Brooklyn. End your day with a water taxi, literally a taxi on the water, and go across to Wall Street. If you're feeling up to it cycle across the Brooklyn Bridge. If you're living here during your J1 appreciate its amazingness!
4. The New York Public Library/ Bryant Park
Remember in the Sex and the City movie when Carrie nearly marries Big in that gorgeous marble library? Well, this is the place! Not only is the inside a gorgeous building you can sit on the outside between two giant lion statues. Sit in the park is behind the library and has a reading area where you can divulge in a free book, that you return before you leave the park, as Manhattan buzzes around you.
5. The Rockafeller Centre
There are a couple of mega high rise buildings you might want to see when you're on your J1 but this one trumps, the irony, them all. Go to the "top of the rock" and see Manhattan in all its splendour. The views of Central Park are stunning.
6. Central Park
Free events, free concerts and lots of greenery awaits you in Central Park. Walk around after dusk and see the fireflies come to life. Rent out some bikes and cycle around the park and the city. The park also has it own zoo and the American Natural History Museum. The museum has an impressive collection of prehistoric animal and dinosaur skeletons including a giant T-Rex.
7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art/ The Museum of Modern Art
If you love fashion you'll love the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The history museum has an exhibition of some of the Met Gala red carpet pieces you'll have seen in all the magazines and impressive historical exhibitions such as the Egyptian one below. The MOMA is a modern art museum that has a wide collection of pop art such as Andy Warhol and surrealist paintings by Dalí.
Not only does Chelsea have a buzzing art scene and boutiques but the Chelsea High line is a stunning walking space. The brilliance of the space is that it's essentially a garden in the sky that it is connected to multiple buildings around Chelsea. The Chelsea Market is just a stone's throwaway and it's well worth the visit. Go to Greenwich Avenue and have afternoon tea in Tea and Sympathy - you'll have the best sausage roll in your life. Also, the shop next store stocks all your home comforts.
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9. The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is a short subway ride away from Manhattan. The zoo has some incredible exhibitions including a monorail which is a train in the sky that overlooks the animals and the male conductor is hilarious. It's free on Wednesday's but to avoid the queues I'd probably pay full whack and enjoy having the space.
We're very jealous of anyone spending their J1 in New York. Can I move there now please...