Get the local scoop from New York Lindy Hoppers, Lainey & Voon:
New Yorkers are creatures of habit and tend to stick around their neighborhoods. Just the proximity of where they are – so much is available to them – that we often feel spoiled with the temptations and offerings. For example, you can spend an entire day walking around a few neighborhoods and still experience many different sites, shopping, and cuisine. This is one sample itinerary in the day-in-the-life-of-a-New-Yorker.
Right in Flatiron/Chelsea area, you could spend your morning picking up a pretzel croissant from City Bakery (3 W. 18th Street www.thecitybakery.com) or try their infamous insanely rich hot cocoa with handmade giant square marshmallow to start the morning. Follow this up with a stroll on Madison Square Park to burn away the calories or to picnic. In spring and summer there is fun people watching, neat art installations, and there’s also a dog run. Shake Shack is a great spot for burgers and fries, but prepare yourself for long lines around lunchtime. If you just want to get a milkshake or ice cream, step into the quicker C line: http://www.shakeshack.com/location/madison-square-park/.
Before leaving Madison Square Park, snap a photo of the famous Flatiron Building. Head over then to the Chelsea Antiques Garage Flea Market (open only on weekends) where you could get lost for hours. (112 W 25th St, between 6&7th Avenue http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-antiques-garage-flea-market-new-york)
Drop into Eataly for an incredible lunch experience. Eataly is at 200 5th Avenue with entrances on 23rd Street between 5th & 6th Avenue (http://www.eataly.com). They have quite an array of food stations or even special private dining events and a rooftop beer garden (make reservations for the rooftop). They also have incredible gelato on a hot day.
Next, start making your way west towards the Highline Park. However, make a pit stop at Doughnut Plant (220 W 23rd Street http://doughnutplant.com) for some gourmet doughnuts (the rose cream doughseed is just one of many creative flavors), or perhaps try their chai latte or specialty drinks.
Or for cupcake fans, Billy’s Bakery is a homey stop (184 9th Ave, www.billysbakerynyc.com). They have ingenious flavor combos like strawberry lemonade and banana nutella cupcakes. Their muffins are amazing or try their refrigerator cake.
Close by is La Grainne Cafe (183 9th Ave, www.legrainnecafe.com/), a great crepe and mussels place with a nice brunch atmosphere. Walk further west to explore the High Line Park that features gorgeous perspectives of the city and lush perennials and some art installations (http://www.thehighline.org/). You can also spot the Statue of Liberty from afar. If you pick the right time, you could catch a sunset on the Hudson River.
On the High Line, you can head in two directions. If you head further north there’s a mini lawn for picnicking and (on a Thursday) you could head to Yehoodi’s Frim Fram (412 8th Ave) for some social dancing! If you head south there are various seating areas and a water feature to cool your legs. You will want to exit into the Meatpacking District at the southernmost end. The Standard Hotel is host to hot jazz bands like The Hot Sardines (check schedule http://standardhotels.com/high-line and http://hotsardines.com/shows/). This rooftop bar has pricey drinks but if you have a group and share a bottle of wine it is not so bad. Dancing is encouraged here and take some time to check out the beautiful view.
While in the Meatpacking District, check out the Gansevoort Hotel (18 9th Ave between 13th St & Little W 12th St), which has a beautiful rooftop that also affords some city views and is more accessible during the week. On peak evenings there will be a bouncer and it is much more difficult to get in. There are many great restaurants in this area as well. Spice Market (403 W 13th Street) is just one of many hip places in this area. This neighborhood is also great for art gallery-hopping and window shopping at high-end fashion designers boutiques like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, or drool over the really expensive shoes at Jeffrey’s.
Somewhere near the south end of the High Line Park, you could exit to Chelsea Market, which has become a great hub for shopping and dining (http://www.chelseamarket.com). Located on 15th street and spanning an entire avenue, the building used to be a biscuit factory before becoming a mecca of local purveyors and art installations.