The New York State of Mind

No better way to know the what's where of things in New York than from a New Yorker himself. By Aaron Leizerovici
People’s Pops stationed on the Highline

You’ve strolled through Central and Bryant Park, embraced the breathtaking view from the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty crown. You’ve dreamed about seeing Times Square and Grand Central Station, and participated in every tourist activity possible, including downing an over-priced pretzel and a bottle of water. But after you’ve seen the NYC tourist sights, what’s there to do? I grew up and lived in New York City for most of life, and I would like to share some of my favourite places to visit.  

The Highline
New York, NY 10011, United States

What was once used to carry carloads of goods to and from Manhattan's largest industrial district, has been repurposed into one of NYC's most beautiful green spaces. This public park’s design was inspired by the native greenery. 


If you’re visiting NYC during the summer (or any season for that matter), it's the perfect place to stroll, relax and just enjoy the weather. You can appreciate the surrounding architecture and view of the city from angles photographers can only dream of. 


I highly recommend watching the sunrise and sunset. Other than the scenery, there's a plethora of events held here including Highline art, stargazing, public tours, tai chi, morning meditation and more. And if you’re hungry, do check out some of Highline’s vendors that boast amazing food -- such as People's Pops.

The Highline is one of my favorite places to frequent, because this beautiful, sustainable park was created out of something old and unused. It’s also one of the few places in NYC where you can slow down time and enjoy the little things in life.

Multiple locations

One word -- food coma (okay, maybe two). This outdoor, weekend-only food event hosts over a hundred food vendors across Brooklyn and Queens.

Smorgasburg is part of Brooklyn Flea, which features hundreds of vendors that sell local crafts and jewelry, vintage clothing and furniture — but is an all-food market. 


Smorgasburg is a foodie’s haven. Spend an afternoon here if you want to smack around your taste buds on fusion foods and international cuisine in one sitting.

My tip: Bring your appetite and cash. They have non-branch atms nearby, so depending on your bank, you might be charged additional fees in addition to international withdrawal fees.

Aaron's Advice
Make A Friend

One of the best things (in my opinion) someone can do when they're traveling is to befriend a local. Not only will they show you parts of the city from your average  “top-things-to-do in New York City”, meeting new people in an unfamiliar place brings your travel adventure full circle. 


Keeping Connected 

Bringing your phone on your trip to NYC will make getting around a hell lot easier considering occasional MTA delays. Having data to check delays will keep stress levels to a minimum and adjusting plans won’t involve pulling your hair out. (Also, keep local rush-hours in mind when traveling around town; you can beat the morning and evening rush by leaving your hotel or #Airbnb early). 


Yelp It!

Yelp is great for searching small, locally-owned businesses. It's also a great way to see what New Yorkers' do. The NYC Yelp scene is very active; check out the events section for both free and paid events. It’s also a great tool to use to when planning your trip and to interact with New Yorkers. Yelp has up-to-date contact information of businesses, as patrons post changes, reviews (take them with a grain of salt) and tips (i.e. some places only accept cash). So Yelp it! And go where your heart desires!