A New Yorker's Guide to New York

The Queensboro Bridge sets a magical and romantic glow over Manhattan and Queens every evening. //Photography: Wes Tarca

If we had our perfect day at Luxury Travel Advisor, it would most definitely include a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art set on Manhattan’s upper Fifth Avenue.

We suggest taking a cab but jump out about 10 blocks south (at 72nd street) to enjoy a stroll up Fifth Avenue along Central Park. This is New York at its best; you can check out the posh apartment buildings on one side and the park on the other. Along the way, stop at vendors selling books, art prints and other unique items.

The Met Breuer (above) is at Madison Avenue and 75th Street. Admission  will also get you into the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few blocks north. // Photography: Tagger Yancey

We’re excited about the Delacroix exhibition, running September 17 through January 6. It’s a joint project with the Musée du Louvre, comprising more than 150 paintings, drawings, prints and manuscripts — many never before seen in the United States. The upcoming Dutch Masterpieces exhibition promises to be amazing; it’s going to include 65 pieces from the Met’s permanent collection. Best part? It runs October 16 through October 1, 2020.
The special exhibitions at the Met are dazzling but perhaps even more so are its standard offerings. Its gallery rooms will take you days and days to properly explore. Our quiet place in New York are the rooms with the Alex Katz paintings; they’re on the top floor and tucked away. Note: Do save time for the Met’s museum store; it’s huge and has some of the most fascinating books you’ll find anywhere. There are so many unique items on offer, you’re sure to do some fun holiday shopping and find some unique goodies to bring home as useful mementos. 

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Central Park is used for all types of recreation, including the arts. // Photography: Tagger Yancey

Dining

The Met recently opened up its “Members Only” dining room to everyone; it provides beautiful views and a subdued, classy environment in a very busy corner of New York. But, we have other plans for you, if you really want to live like a local.

After your Met visit, descend the grand outdoor staircase and stop at one of the hotdog carts at the bottom. Yeah, yeah, we know, hot dogs, but these are really good, as only New York City hotdogs can be. The carts sell other sinful foods, such as French fries covered with cheese. Yes, please.

Tip: If you’re having a museum day with the kids, there is a playground next to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’ll give them a chance to run off some of that pent-up energy from behaving inside all day. (You can also run off the hotdogs and fries).

Just a few blocks north is the iconic Guggenheim Museum, on Fifth Avenue between 88th and 89th. Worth a visit just to see the uniquely round Frank Lloyd Wright structure that houses some of the top artwork in the world, the Guggenheim is currently showing off the sculptures of Constantin Brancusi from its permanent collection. We’re also in love with the museum’s permanent Thannhauser Collection, which includes 30 works from Picasso.

The Jewish Museum is just a few blocks north at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street. Coming up is Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922, on loan from the Centre Pompidou in Paris, running September 14 through January 6. We love that the Jewish Museum is also running Scenes from the Collection on its third floor. It’s a rare view of about 600 works from antiquities to contemporary art, and some of them are on view for the first time.

Note: All of the above museums have fantastic gift shops where you can purchase unique items to take home, for children, art lovers or just to share a taste of New York’s art scene with.

Shopping: Take a stroll along 57th Street to visit the flagship stores for some of the world’s top fashion designers. // Photography: Christopher Postlewaite

Where to Stay 

To keep that uptown vibe while you’re museum hopping, we suggest booking the Penthouse Suite at The Lowell; it’s at 63rd Street at Madison and will put you in close proximity to some excellent boutiques. The Penthouse Suite is close to Central Park and has three bedrooms; in fact, its overall square footage is 3,000 square feet. We love the four terraces overlooking upper Manhattan; if there’s a chill in the air you can always head inside to sit next to one of the suite’s wood-burning fireplaces. Celebrating with family? A full kitchen and dining room set the scene for a most upscale Manhattan holiday.

The Metropolitan Museum of art is a New York icon inside and out. // Photographer: Kate Glicksberg

Hair and Makeup, Please!

Since you’re in such a chic part of Manhattan, you’ll want to look your best. We can share that the best haircut you’ll ever get is from Edward Tricomi at Warren Tricomi at the Plaza. Once he styles your hair, you won’t want anyone else to do it. Word is that the character Edward Scissorhands was modeled after Tricomi — that’s how adept he is with hair-cutting. He also has a storied past, having made his name for his work on supermodels and celebrities. You can catch him in New York almost any day of the week; call 212-262-8899. While you’re at it, and this will really polish your look, have your brows shaped by Maral.

Feeling fabulous? Walk across the street to Bergdorf Goodman and take the escalator down to the ground floor to refresh your makeup stash. Here, you’ll get incredibly personal service in a most elegant environment.

Need a break after all this refreshing? Head back upstairs and catch a film at the famous Paris Theatre on 58th Street, adjacent to Bergdorf’s and just feet away from The Plaza. It always has the most sophisticated first-run films on view and it’s a very New York thing to do.

While we have you…nothing revives you more from a sprint around New York than a really good European facial. Our go-to spa is Sothys at 37 W 57th Street. It’s tiny, it’s elegant and it’s the real deal. Treatments are administered by long-time facialists who will show you the ultimate concern and care. Plus, you’ll walk around for the next week wondering why the heck you look so good.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's great halls are worth visiting again and again. // Photographer: Christopher Postlewaite

Holidays at the Museums

Headed to New York for the holidays? The American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West celebrates November 20 through January 7. It’s known for its Origami Holiday Tree, with more than 800 hand-folded paper models created by local artists. Check out the museum’s website (amnh.org) for family-friendly activities. There’s also an international marketplace for unique shopping, performances and an international marketplace are also included. 

An easy train ride north, to see some classical modern trains, the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show runs from November 1, 2018–January 21. It’s so popular, it’s been extended another two weeks in to the new year. Take Metro North out of Grand Central Station for quick train ride; the gardens have a dedicated stop.

While you’re at Grand Central Station, you can actually see some more trains at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal Holiday Train Show. It runs from November 15 through February 3. Of note is the 34-foot-long track where vintage trains from the museum’s collection travel through a miniature New York City and countryside scene all the way to the North Pole.  

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