Luxury hotels, jaw-dropping architecture, and a glorious neighborhood renaissance—even die-hard Sox fans will want to take a bite out of the Big Apple this summer.
Many visitors to New York suffer from the abject terror of looking like a tourist. After the past year and a half, though, maybe being a tourist is exactly what we need—especially in a place like Manhattan, which has continued its eternal metamorphosis. Chelsea and its surrounding neighborhoods, in particular, are the epicenter of much that’s new in the city. Thanks to an infusion of media, fashion, and tech companies, the area is abuzz with new dining, retail, and recreation opportunities.
Your first stops, though, are all about sightseeing. One major new monument is the grand Moynihan Train Hall across from the existing Penn Station, which even has jaded Upper East Siders venturing downtown for a peek. The other new buildings in this formerly nondescript area turn a simple stroll into a scavenger hunt for extraordinary architecture by the likes of Zaha Hadid, Neil Denari, Jean Nouvel, and Frank Gehry, whose IAC Building on the waterfront, inspired by a sailboat, is best viewed from Chelsea Piers, the 28-acre sports-and-entertainment complex.
Of course, Chelsea’s centerpiece is the High Line, the 1.45-mile park built on old elevated train tracks. If you start at its lower end in the Meatpacking District and head toward Koreatown, you can sample one of Manhattan’s most under-appreciated ethnic neighborhoods. Casual spots like Her Name Is Han, and more-elegant ones such as Gaonnuri (with its skyline views) serve the most innovative Korean food this side of Seoul. Perhaps the area’s least-known gem, however, is the flower (or garden) district. A block-long market on West 28th between Sixth and Seventh, it’s the place where you can literally tiptoe through tulips and every other blossom known to man, and most New Yorkers have no idea it even exists. How’s that for not looking like a tourist?
Hop on Amtrak’s Acela train for a three-and-a-half-hour ride to the city—or get there even faster on a one-hour nonstop to JFK.
One of Manhattan’s newest luxury hotels, Pendry Manhattan West, opens next month with a restaurant, cocktail bar, and rooftop lounge. Visiting sooner? The High Line Hotel offers a hip take on a guesthouse, with a Parisian-style forecourt and a coffee shop housed outside in a London double-decker bus.