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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

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Buzzing with life - City guide New York

It’s where dreams come true and has dominated film, song and the written word for longer than most of us can remember. New York, with a cultural influence that reaches far beyond its borders, is a giant among cities. It was SAS’s first destination 70 years ago, and it is still one of SAS’s top destinations today.

Photo: The Lucky Bee

New kids on the block

While saying which New York restaurant is the hottest right now is like saying which cheetah in Africa is the fastest, there are always a few contenders. The Lucky Bee has garnered serious buzz serving extraordinarily good Asian farm-to-table food on the Lower East Side. All furnishings were found within a three-block radius of the restaurant, and for every “karma cocktail” sold, one dollar is donated to the New York City Beekeepers Association.

The Lucky Bee

252 Broome Street, Manhattan, New York

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Tried and true

The Peter Luger Steak House sits in the shadows of the Williamsburg Bridge, but it hasn’t always done so – it opened in 1887, almost a decade before the bridge was built. This eatery has been serving some of the city’s best steaks for over a century, but make sure you bring cash – they still don’t accept cards.

The Peter Luger Steak House

178 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York

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Spotted by locals

For a local experience full of the culture of the Dominican Republic, try the breakfast special at the Mambi Steakhouse in the Bronx. Four dollars will get you fried eggs with the Dominican fried cheese specialty queso blanco, fried sausage, pickled onions, and a puree made from plantains. It also comes with a glass of juice but we recommend a freshly squeezed one.

Mambi Steakhouse

4181 Broadway, Manhattan, New York

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Eco luxury

1 Hotel was developed by Barry Sternlicht, the man behind the legendary W hotels. The first 1 Hotel opened in Miami, followed by a second in Central Park. A third is set to open at Brooklyn Bridge Park in late 2016.The hotel features recycled materials, low-energy lighting and heating, and a timer that tells you when it’s time to get out of the shower. Environmental thinking in luxury packaging.

1 Hotel

1414 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan, New York

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Standing the test of time

The Waldorf Astoria, the elegant Art Deco giant on Park Avenue, has been one of the Big Apple’s flagship hotels since first opening in 1931. Every US President since Herbert Hoover has stayed here as well as Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Frank Sinatra. When visiting, keep an eye out for Jillali Elidrissi, a bellhop who has been on the job for 50 years, and Emil Ekberg, a young Swede who is Director of Guest Services.

The Waldorf Astoria

301 Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York

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Another side of New York

For a beach bum hangout, visit the Rockaways, a seaside neighborhood that is home to beautiful old wooden houses, a long sandy beach and a boardwalk. African American and Latino cultures intermingle with a surfer vibe, hipster overtones and some denizens of the New York art scene. Planes fly low on their approach to JFK, while the waves lap at your feet. You’re still in New York, but sometimes it feels like somewhere else entirely.

Rockaways

Rockaway, Queens, New York

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City cycling

Bicycling is the best way to experience New York – if you’ve got strong nerves. Rent a bike and pedal your way around – and if you like the thrill of busy traffic, whiz down any avenue. For a good workout and a bit of speed, cycle across one of the bridges. For a quiet ride, Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn both have excellent cycle routes. There is also a great cycle route/walking trail along the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan. It’s particularly lovely at sunset.

Breathtaking views

For the most spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline, walk from Dumbo (the ultra-hip neighborhood of Brooklyn that’s Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) along the water to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The pier dedicated to basketball courts attracts players from all five boroughs and is an added bonus to this adventure.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

334 Furman Street, Brooklyn, New York

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Photo: Shutterstock

Pause for a moment

The Bushwick area of Brooklyn has experienced gentrification at breakneck speed. Once seen as a dangerous neigh­borhood, then later as a prime spot for artists, it more recently has gained a reputation as up and coming. Today, Bushwick is a restaurant paradise, full of trendy eateries and popular bars that almost feel passé – or at least mainstream. With wide, quiet streets and a handful of fantastic vintage boutiques, it’s a nice place to take a break from all the madness of the city.

Bushwick

Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York

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New York at its finest

Marie’s Crisis Basement Bar in the West Village is where Broadway actors and fans gather in the evenings to drink watery beer and lifeless cocktails while belting out tunes around the piano in the middle of the bar. Hits from musicals are sung in the tiny cramped room that has been in business since 1850. In the early days, it was a hangout for neighborhood prostitutes, then it became a “boy bar” and for the past 40 years, the action has revolved around that piano.

Marie’s Crisis Basement Bar

59 Grove Street, Manhattan, New York

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Last edited: August 8, 2017

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