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Exploring NYC As a Tourist…For Now!

Even though I am not a native New Yorker, this city is my home for the next four months. Some find it strange to visit the tourist attractions in their own city, but I say ‘why not?’ These places are popular for a reason. Here are some NYC sites I visited this weekend, and it was fun to be a tourist because I won’t be one for long!

1. Museums: Any of the museums would be great to visit on a free afternoon, but the American Museum of Natural History was at the top of my list. Admission is free with a suggested donation, and who doesn’t love learning about dinosaurs? My favorite exhibit was the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems with the beautiful displays of gold, sapphires, aquamarines, and more.
2. Tours: Going on a tour is the essence of being a tourist. Though tours can be quite expensive, the Radio City Music Hall tour was only $20 with a student discount. The only other way to get a view of the stunning interior is to buy a ticket to a show, and this way I was also able to learn about the construction of the building and history of the venue and Rockettes. I went on the right day because America’s Got Talent was holding a dress rehearsal for its live show the following day. As a bonus I was able to watch a few acts before anyone else would see them live.

america talent
3. Food: One of the best ways to become familiar with a city is to try the many different foods. This weekend I satisfied my stomach with three delicious restaurants. I had brunch at Philip Marie which offers a cute outdoor patio and a delicious bunch menu! I picked up a late-night dinner at Dukes, “New York’s Original Roadhouse.” This restaurant boasts a menu full of meaty entrees and a fun, lively atmosphere. Lastly, I stopped by Caliente Cab Co. for a cheap, filling lunch. This Mexican restaurant offers options for both die-hard Mexican cuisine lovers and those of us who like to keep it simple.
4. Parks: Located at the southern tip of Manhattan, neighboring the financial district, Battery Park is a great place to take a relaxing stroll while having a great view. The flowers are beautiful at this time of the year and there is a great, free view of the Statue of Liberty from the park.

5. Exploring: Sometimes the best way to be a tourist is to walk with no plan in mind. My friends and I had a great time wandering around Midtown and stopping in shops for free samples and window shopping. Some of my favorite activities from this weekend were ones I simply stumbled upon. The High Line, an elevated linear park built on an old railroad track, was a beautiful location to walk while enjoying great views, conversation, and people watching. I loved reminiscing about my childhood when my friends and I happened upon the American Girl store. We loved watching all the kids who were just as excited about the dolls and books as we used to be. My favorite find from the weekend was the Grand Central Market. Although the prices are steep, some great artisan foods can be found here including gorgeous desserts and chocolates, fresh cheeses and breads, and my favorite, an olive bar.

grand central
Sometimes acting like a tourist is the best way to get to know a city. I now feel much more like a New Yorker after the exploring I did this weekend.

Liesel Rickert, Newhouse NYC student and senior PR major

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