Monday, 31 December 2012

New York - Street Art and Eating Out

Whilst walking the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens I found some wonderful street art. From installation art to graffiti, New York has it all!!! One of my favourite places to relax in Manhattan is on the High Line. This former freight rail line is elevated above the street and stretches from West 30th to West 10th street, along 10th Avenue. It has been transformed into a park. I like it because it removes you from busy tourist areas and with its seating and food stalls it is the perfect place to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon reading a book. Various artists have been commissioned to create artwork that can be viewed from the High Line and the streets below are home to some of New York's best galleries. The famous Whitney museum is soon to relocate to a space at the end of the High Line, moving from its current location on the Upper East Side.
Over in Queens, you should visit Moma PS1, this is the sister gallery of Moma (Museum of Modern Art) in Manhattan. I visited both, but Moma PS1 is quieter and still has some superb art. On the day is visited Courtney Love was hosting an event there. Almost right next to Moma PS1 is the famous '5 Pointz' graffiti site. The graffiti covers the entire building and street, and is so vibrant. It really has to be seen to be believed. The site has been used as a location in films and photo-shoots.
In Madison Square Park, light installation artist Leo Villareal has created a piece of art entitled 'Buckyball'. On a night the structure is illuminated in different colours.
If you do stop by Madison Square Park on East 23rd street, then why not grab something to eat from 'Shake Shack' which is located in the park. This place has the best burgers and milkshakes in Manhattan. Expect to wait to get your food as it is extremely popular, but it is worth it. This food chain is also located in various other places across the city. My favourite restaurant has to be 'Beauty and Essex' in Lower Manhattan. Making a reservation a few weeks in advance for this lower east side restaurant is essential, a hit with Grammy award winning singers and actors. I was lucky enough to be invited to the restaurant for my friend's birthday dinner. Expect lobster taco's, roasted bone marrow and scallops, as well as beautiful desserts and cocktails. The interior of the restaurant is equally as fabulous as the food.

If you fancy watching great live music whilst you eat, then be sure to go to Ashford and Simpsons 'Sugar Bar' on West 72nd. Established by legendary Grammy award winning song writing duo Ashford and Simpson, this venue has hosted the likes of Stevie Wonder and Liza Minnelli. I went on Open Mic night which was great but they also have Blues night and monthly guest entertainers. For food, I can also recommend 'Guy and Gallard' which has several locations around the city - great for soups, salads and cakes. Or why not go to 'Cafe Cluny' at West 14th Street, great for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I must also recommend walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. With its iconic structure and fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline, you really cannot go to New York and not walk over it. Of course a sunny day would be ideal, or why not walk over as the sun is setting. 
I also discovered Roosevelt Island, a thin strip of land between the Upper East Side and Queens. Stop by Dylan's Candy Bar on 60th Street and 3rd Ave to marvel at the most amazing sweet shop in New York and then walk one block over to take the tram across the river to Roosevelt Island.

Phillippa x

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