I love being a tourist in my own city. That's a good thing since I'm usually the one that takes visiting family and friends around Manhattan, going off a list I've put together of places to see and places to eat.
My cousin was in New York, for the first time, on a business trip from Korea, and he had a free day to do a little sightseeing with me. MoMA was on his list, as was going to the Empire State Building, so I filled in the rest and here's how we spent the perfect day being a tourists in New York City.
We met up at MoMA and the museum was bustling. When visiting a museum, I usually like to start at the top floor, and work my way down, so that's what we did. I like to linger in front of Rothko paintings (my favorite!) and always stop by the third floor to take in this view:
I have a thing for mansard roofs so I love seeing the row of buildings overlooking the sculpture garden across the street from the museum.
If you're hungry, grab a bite to eat inside MoMA since they have excellent food options. Go to Terrace 5 on the fifth floor if you want something light like tea and dessert but go to Cafe 2 on the second floor for something more substantial. When I worked a couple of blocks from MoMA, I used to go to Cafe 2 for lunch since my work ID got me free admission into the museum.
After MoMA, off we went to the Top of the Rock! The admission is a bit steep at $29, but it's totally worth it for these spectacular views. Forget the bottom two levels of the viewing deck and go straight up to third level where you get these amazing, unobstructed (no glass) views.
LOVE this view of Central Park. It's breathtaking.
We were starting to get hungry, so we headed to Le Bernardin for an early dinner. No need for jackets for men if you sit in the Lounge for dinner, and seating is walk-ins only. It's a more casual (no tablecloths) dining experience, but with the same 3-star Michelin service and food.
I can't go to Le Bernardin without getting The Egg, their signature off-the-menu dessert. Perfectly salty and sweet, The Egg is a chocolate pots de créme with caramel foam and a little sea salt, served in an eggshell.
Completely full from dinner, we walked down about 20 blocks to the Empire State Building so we could be there to take in the views at night. It was PACKED and dark up there. And super windy and cold (in August!). I was afraid I would lose my phone when I was holding it out to take photos over the ledge since the wind was so strong. Admission is $29, which is pretty pricey, but the Empire State Building is so iconic it should be visited at least once.
MoMA, Top of the Rock, Le Bernardin, and the Empire State Building. This is how we spent one perfect day in New York City.
INFO: Museum of Modern Art | 11 WEST 53rd STREET | NEW YORK, NY 10019 | 212.708.9400
INFO: Top of the Rock | 30 Rockefeller Plaza | New York, NY 10112 | 212.698.2000
INFO: Le Bernardin | 155 West 51st Street | New York, NY 10019 | 212.554.1515
INFO: Empire State Building | 350 5th Ave. | New York, NY 10118 | 212.736.3100