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Do New York Like A Local

by margaret 19. July 2011 11:51

New York City. It’s the one city in the world that everyone seems to want to live in… and if you live here it feels like everyone does live here! New York is always easy to get to, with a lot of cheap flights leaving on a daily basis. But while most people traveling to New York hit the tourist hot spots, why not go off the beaten path and see New York as a local? So forget Times Square (trust us, no New Yorker goes there unless forced!) and try to blend in a little more. 

Central Park 

Ok, yes, we know this is a big one on everyone’s list. But locals go there too; they just don’t take carriage rides or guided tours through it! One of the best uses of Central Park for locals is for working out. Walking through the Park (the best ways to see it, rather than by carriage), you’ll see people roller blading, running and biking. There are also areas of the park for baseball, soccer and volleyball games. One popular thing you tend to see on the weekends is group activities, like outdoor yoga. You can take part in this for free during the summer months on Saturday mornings. Of course, another popular pastime during the summer months is to just lie out on the grass and take in the sun. Another low budget activity New York offers!  

Going Out

While the guidebooks might tell you to eat somewhere like Little Italy (all three blocks of it), New York is a culinary goldmine. With chefs like Mario Batali and Bobby Flay owning several restaurants and many unknowns bringing authentic flavor from their own country, there’s no need to eat at an Applebee’s on your trip out here. Taking the subway downtown (another experience, with somewhat low fares) will get you into culinary paradise, whether you choose the east or west side. Heading to the East Village will put you around St. Marks Place, which is also known as Little Tokyo, giving you an authentic taste of Japan without having to pay extra for plane tickets. Head a little further down St. Marks for a famous hot dog spot, that just might have a speakeasy in it (but we didn’t tell you that!). Alphabet City is a neighborhood that takes up Avenue A-D on the east side, and is full of smaller bars and restaurants that are always packed with locals on the weekends.  

 Travel to Tokyo without even leaving New York in the East Village's Little Tokyo


If you choose to head west, stop by Murray’s Cheese down on Bleeker St. A neighborhood staple since 1940, Murray’s actually offers cheese classes to teach you about pairing cheese together and with different beverages. Check before you go as classes tend to fill up quick, but it's definitely worth the experience. Bleeker St in the West Village is also home to several different bars that feature live music. Many now famous musicians got their start at Kenny’s Castaway, so who knows what musicians you’ll see there now that could be big someday! And finally, for the West Village, if you’re dying to try Magnolia’s Bakery, skip the line that wraps around the tiny little shop and head up to Grand Central in Midtown. Magnolia opened a spot there in the last year, and while it’s still busy, it doesn’t get the crowds the downtown spot does. 

 Impress your friends back home at your next party by taking a cheese course at Murray's Cheese in the West Village 



Ok, we’ll give you another one. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. A little touristy yes, but once you’ve crossed over, skip pizza hot spot Grimaldi’s (unless you enjoy waiting in line for over an hour) and pick up a pie at nearby Ignatio’s. Take it over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoy spending the time you would have spent in line relaxing on the grass in the park with all the other Brooklynites. While you won’t experience the historic pizza parlor, alternative pizza places in the area are still great and will save you time during your vacation to New York.  


  Taking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, while a bit touristy, is a great side trip out of Manhattan


A view of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park 



Stop by another one of the five boroughs by taking the 7 train out to Queens. Getting off by Citi Field, you’ll find Flushing Meadow Park. While there, you’ll find Arthur Ashe Stadium (home to the US Open), The Queens Museum of Art (which houses a great Panorama of New York City) and the Unisphere (built for the 1964/1965 World’s Fair). You’ll also find bike rentals that are much more affordable than in Manhattan and a Pitch & Putt golf course. Obviously summer and fall are great times to visit this area of the city that not many tourists ever venture out to.  


The Pitch & Putt golf course at Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, New York


While we could go on and on about where to eat and what to do when you’re in New York, we’ll leave the rest to you. Check out your favorite review site and see where the other locals are going and what they’re doing on a regular basis. If they love it, chances are, it’s not a tourist trap!

And don’t forget, you can always find cheap flights to New York at!  

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Tags: cheap airfare, cheap flights to new york, new york

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