New York City is a dynamic force to be reckoned with by the daring and the brave, and for many it can end in blood, sweat and tears. From the various stories I have been told, I heard it could wreck you, belittle you, and crush you to your weeny core. Those, however, are just stories. New York City has this undefinable magical ability to blissfully sweep you off your feet without your permission that, I think, is the most beautiful part about the Big Apple. Close your eyes for a moment and before you know it, you’re falling into a whirlwind of sights and sounds that really cannot be experienced elsewhere.
I first started my love affair with the island of Manhattan back in the 2012 when it was my first destination traveling all by my lonesome. I was anxious, scared, and I cried. A lot. I was so used to having the comfort of having someone watch my bags while I used the restroom, having someone to sit next to me on the airplane so I can share my snacks (without it being awkward because I supposed I could just share it with a stranger), and simply having someone to talk to. Despite all my insecurities, taking on the city alone turned out to be a very liberating and empowering experience. For the first time, I was anonymous — I could do whatever I want on my own accord. I could venture off into the unknown to battle the lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) of the concrete jungle. I could be whoever I wanted to be.
Not only was I a more confident traveler the second time around, but I was accompanied with an excellent companion who at the time would be his first time tackling the big old busy streets of New York. Immediately, we were swept into the big crowds of Central Park and people were skating circles around us and I mean literally — we went ice skating. Coming from sunny southern California to NYC in the middle of February is already asking for a lot of trouble for us sun lovers, but participating in the foreign behaviors of managing the cold left me perplexed. Do I really have to wear two pairs of long socks? All these layers make me feel bloated. Why does my face hurt? My fingers are too cold to text.#firstworldproblems
Nevertheless, I truly felt like a local exploring Manhattan this time (I am a true Cali girl at heart and I know I could never earn the mighty title “New Yorker”). The reasoning behind this is the following: I really tried to visit spots that enhanced my experience not because they were particularly popular, but because there was something special about them despite being a local or a tourist. It’s all about finding places that are sensuous (pertaining to all of the five senses) by being wary of how a particular environment makes you feel. Hence, does your environment, whether it is a coffee shop or a playground, attempt to feed all of your senses to bring you a unique, and novel experience?
With that being said here are my top 5 New York City spots my heart fell for during my second chance with the city:
1. Central Park
This one is a given, but it is truly a breathtaking work of art and a masterpiece of human design and innovation. It’s so well crafted that anyone (young or old, rich or poor, boring or fun) can retreat to it for a period of rejuvenation, relaxation, and recreation.
2. Chelsea High Line
Unfortunately, the winter is a poor time to walk this restored railway park, but even in the snowy abyss I could envision High Line’s maximum potential and serene beauty. With a rich history and a marvelous story to tell, this park has so much charm and personality that you cannot help but be entranced by it.
3. Chelsea Market
An absolute MUST for foodies, Chelsea Market is an indoor market that is almost designed to make you feel like you’re outside. It certainly has it all and it is exceptionally attractive! By means of attractiveness, I include the rustic decor and atmosphere itself but in reality, I mean the food. Oh, the food! I can go on for days; however, I can assure you that even if you did not plan on eating while visiting, you will leave with something delicious in your stomach.
4. Rudy’s Bar and Grille
Cheap $8 pitchers and FREE hotdogs in a dive bar in middle of Manhattan. That is all I need to say about that.
5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Truly a 5 star museum in my book (and I’ve had my fair share of museum experiences, especially overseas). The MET boasts various galleries of admirable collections such as Greek and Roman art, Medieval art, American art and much more. Also, the Egyptian wing is breathtaking! Admissions are donation based.
I love New York City and all it has to offer! It does such a satisfying job of feeding my all my senses, making sure my belly is nice and round and ensuring that I dose off into a deep and wonderful food coma not leaving any room for dessert. Okay, maybe some dessert!
For more NYC Sensuous Spots, visit my Spottly account.