journeyPod’s Winter Guide to New York City
By: Carly Felton
From the decorative lights on the buildings to the powerful energy in the air, New York City is simply buzzing with vibrancy during the winter/holiday season. So many seasonal and cultural activities abound that, when combined with the Big Apple’s superb dining and entertainment options, it’s an easy decision: by bus, train or plane, a New York City winter weekender is an absolute must! Here are the highlights:
Central Park’s Wollman Ice Rink: The quintessential winter activity, ice-skating in Central Park’s famous Wollman Ice Rink is nothing other than picture-perfect. Sure, it’s freezing outside, but being out on the ice in the middle of the Park’s greenery with the City’s skyscrapers peaking out from behind the trees provides an immense adrenaline rush. Great for groups of friends, families and romantic partners, ice-skating at Wollman is an enjoyable way to soak up the winter and embrace the spirit of the holidays.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular – The Rockettes: A dazzling display of singing and dancing in sync, The Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular is spectacular indeed. Just the height and rhythm of the leg kicks is fascinating in itself and when you add in the eye-catching costumes and mood-boosting music, this is one show you don’t want to miss. Holiday highlights include the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “Living Nativity” scenes.
Grand Hyatt New York: While in the city, there’s no better place to stay than the center of it all: Midtown! The Grand Hyatt New York is adjacent to Grand Central Station and within walking distance of Broadway shows, Central Park and Fifth Avenue—you can’t get much more convenient. The lux hotel offers private bathrooms (a rarity for the city), pillow-top mattresses, European-style bedding, marble showers, stone floors and flat-screen TVs. There’s also a restaurant, grill and lounge, and coffee bar; so after a busy day outside in the cold, you can relax in comfort without leaving the hotel.
Ess-a-Bagel: A hole-in-the-wall-type bagel shop, Ess-a has been baking hand-rolled bagels and making gourmet spreads for more than 30 years. Stop in for a casual breakfast or lunch, and the friendly staff members will make you feel right at home, serving massive bagels with the perfect balance of crunchy outside and doughy inside. They’ll even “scoop” it for you if you’re trying to conserve calories. Try an everything bagel with cinnamon apple cream cheese and order a black and white cookie on the side. Just beware: You may end up with a few extra bags for your trip home—as these bagels are nearly impossible to resist!
Magnolia Bakery: As featured in Sex and the City, Magnolia Bakery is the place to indulge in winter treats. Best known for its melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes, Magnolia also makes preservative-free bars, brownies, tarts, cookies, pies, cakes and cheesecakes. In other words, if there’s a treat that you fancy, Magnolia makes it. There’s usually a line at the original location on Bleecker Street, but it moves quickly and is well worth the wait. The original vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting is by far and away the go-to treat, but for a traditional holiday flavor, try the red velvet with cream cheese icing.