We’re in a New York State of Mind. New York City has to be among the greatest, if not the greatest city in the world. Having grown up in metro NYC, it is near and dear to our hearts. Documented history of the island began in 1524 when Giovanni da Verrazzano visited the region. European settlement began in 1609 when Henry Hudson sailed through the Narrows in Upper New York Bay. NYC, has five boroughs (Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island) and is 469 square miles, with a population of 8,405,837. The Island of Manhattan is 33.77 square miles, with a population of 1,626,159. The five boroughs each has its own diversity of culture with historic and new sites ready for exploration. The focus of this journal will be on how to see the best of Manhattan in 5 days. Total exploration of NYC is a lifetime event. Even having lived there and frequented the city thousands of times we still have not seen or experience it all. Planning a five day trip to NYC will give you a good overview of NYC. New York has it all and we will give you a very brief, day by day of what you might do to get a good flavor of this mega city. Day 1: Begin your stay in NYC with a trip to one of the cities and world icons, The Empire State Building, located in midtown Manhattan on 34th Street. From there you can see Macy’s block long department store and start your stroll up 5th Avenue. You will come to the New York Public Library where you can experience the spectacular main reading room and Bryant Park, the beautiful green space behind the library. From there venture to Grand Central Station, a magnificent example of Beaux Arts architecture. You will then move on to the Chrysler Building, a masterpiece of Art Deco architecture. As you continue east toward the East River you will arrive at the United Nations Building. Making your way west across 49nd Street you will arrive at Rockefeller Center. In this area you have the massive gothic architecture church, St Patrick’s Cathedral, tons of shopping, eateries, street vendors and a short walk to the bright lights of Times Square. After all that waking you will need to rest your feet. NYC has a very efficient and safe subway system. Get a transit map, and it is pretty easy to navigate. Cabs are also plentiful and meter controlled. If you use the Yellow cabs you can’t go wrong. Day 2: If not within walking distance from your hotel, take the subway or cab to Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. There you can catch a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, or one of the five boroughs, Staten Island. Take a walk through the financial district around Wall Street. In this area you can have some food and drink at the colonial era Fraunces Tavern. St Paul’s Chapel is at the footsteps of the 9/11 tragedy and the new World Trade Center Memorial. City Hall is also in this area. If you visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island plan on about 6 hours. A great area to eat dinner close by would be in Tribeca. Who knows, you might see Robert DeNiro or Harvey Keitel who both reside there. Day 3: Heading back uptown you can visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the world class art museum. We have spent hours there as children and adults marveling at the vast collections of the masters. Behind the museum is Central Park. This huge, beautiful park has enough areas for you to picnic or just collapse and rest your feet and mind. The park is very clean and safe with areas that provide incredible views of the east and west sides of Manhattan. Be sure to visit the Plaza Hotel and Waldorf Hotels on the south side of the park. Finish your day with a shopping spree unlike anything you could imagine on 5th Avenue and 57th Street. You might want to get tickets for a Broadway show preceded by dinner at anyone of the thousands of restaurants ranging from very reasonable to very expensive. Day 4: Head back to the Central Park area and visit the American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium. You may also want to visit Strawberry Fields in Central Park. This was designed as a tribute to John Lennon who was murdered at his residence in the spectacular Dakota apartment building across the street on Central Park West at 72nd Street. If zoos are on your agenda visit the Central Park Zoo (well worth it). Take a walk over to Lincoln Center and Julliard School of Music. This is a cultural mecca for performing arts. Carnegie Hall or Radio City Music Hall await you for an afternoon or evening performance. Day 5: Spend this day wandering. Wandering in Manhattan is a true New Yorkers past time on days off and on weekends. If you are a photographer you will feel like you were dropped off in heaven. If you are not you will get the same feeling of inspiration by just opening your eyes and soaking it all in. Make your way to Greenwich Village, the center of Bohemia, art, music, cheap food, and Washington Square Park. The main NYU campus is there as well. Greenwich Village is divided into the West and East Village. We would need volumes to talk about this amazing area. SoHo (South Houston) is filled with art galleries and chic boutiques. On the West side you will want to visit the Chelsea neighborhood and on the East side the South Street Seaport. In that vicinity you also have the neighborhoods of Chinatown and Little Italy with the incomparable Da Nico Ristorante for some of the best Italian food you have ever had. For our best picks for brick oven pizza try Lombardi’s Pizza on Spring Street or John’s of Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. For Falafels our number one choice is Mamoun’s Falafel in Greenwich Village on MacDougal Street. The restaurant has seating for about 5 people so grab your sandwich and walk up the block to Washington Square Park. Last stop would be the Flatiron District where you could eat dinner in one of the neighborhood restaurants. Wow, this 5 days is only the head on the pin. We left out truckloads of things to see and do in Manhattan, let alone the other 4 boroughs. Give us a call if you want us to personally be your tour guides on a trip to NYC, the “greatest show on earth”, we would welcome the opportunity or we can plan an amazing trip to NYC for you. The most amazing thing about NYC is that even after spending most of our younger lives there we still get chills every time we go back and see that skyline from the Jersey side of the Hudson River. It takes your breath away. “Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today, I want to be a part of it, New York, New York”.