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When most travelers think of New York, towering skyscrapers and throngs of tourists packing Times Square might come to mind. But in recent years the city’s planners and residents have opened their eyes to the city’s surrounding waters and patches of grass.
Now extending well beyond Central Park, Riverside Park or Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, New York has been converted to a playground for those who love the great outdoors.
The High Line
A talented young artist named Xaveria Simmons showed us the magnificent High Line.
Once an elevated train line used to transport dangerous goods along Manhattan's West Side, the eyesore sat abandoned for decades. Then, on the verge of destruction, the High Line was converted to a park and opened to the public in June of 2009.
It's since been extended even further. I'd argue that it's one of the best urban walks in the world today. You can find out more here: www.thehighline.org
Xaveria then escorted us over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, where we picked up in DUMBO with Singer & Author Alina Simone.
The neighborhood, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, has seen a boom over the past decade.
Michael White's foodie kingdom
Michael White is red hot these days, opening a slew of restaurants across town and even overseas. He recently opened Al Molo in Hong Kong.
We stopped in to sample the cuisine at Osteria Morini. www.osteriamorini.com
Top of the Strand
Also worth noting from our mad dash through New York, we popped into one of the city’s most acclaimed rooftop bars these days, Top of the Strand, at The Strand Hotel. www.thestrandnyc.com
Don’t get that mixed up with the Strand Bookstore, which was where we met Designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty of the fashion label Suno.
The Strand, as it’s known, is located about 25 blocks south, just off Union Square. www.strandbooks.com
Hudson River Greenway
New Zealand-born, California-raised Hotelier Sean MacPherson strolled with us along the revitalized park down the west side, these days known as the Hudson River Greenway.
It’s thought to be the longest bicycle and pedestrian path New York City has ever seen, stretching 11 miles from Battery Park all the way up to the George Washington Bridge.
After meting Tony-nominated Actor Joshua Henry in Times Square, perhaps the biggest mass of tourism in the world, we high-tailed it up to Harlem, where we paid a visit to the Sylvia’s Restaurant.
The New York institution is hardly new on the scene. It’s been serving diners for nearly 50 years. www.sylviasrestaurant.com
Admittedly, while we covered a lot of ground in five days of filming, we only scratched the surface of a city with so much to offer.