New York City

 New York City in a heart beat

Image courtesy MIIMAGES

Monty&Me spent nearly two wonderful weeks in NYC. During our stay we flew to Niagara Falls and trained our way to Washington DC for a couple of days. With so much to do no one could possibly say they've seen NYC unless they've lived there for a lifetime. It's an ever changing potpourri of sights, sounds, smells...once you've been bitten by the 'I Love NYC' bug there's no turning back. My blogs will provide more information on key NYC touristy destinations and cool hot spots, but this   list, albeit cruelly culled, makes NYC when time-poor doable.

Times Square. Nothing says "You've Arrived!" more than standing in Times Square. Breathe it in. Soak up the vibe. It's indescribable. It heightens your senses. This mind-boggling, billboards-to-the-max, people-crazy destination must be experienced both day and night.

Rockefeller Centre - Top of the Rock during the day. The best vantage point to capture the sweeping views of this beautiful city, gaze over Central Park and get your bearings. Once your feet are back on the ground getting around NYC will be easier to read.

Empire State Building. THE place to go at night. The city is ablaze with glitter. It's a fantasy world floating below you and as far as your eyes can see. It's a complete buzz.

Brooklyn Bridge. Don't just look at it...walk along it and over to the other side. You'll get a different perspective of NYC. And Brooklyn for that matter.

Statue of Liberty for free. Great for tight budgets. Jump on the Staten Island ferry which travels between Staten Island and Manhattan. Grab a good possie (aka spot or location) on the deck. During your 25 minute ride you will view a breathtaking panorama - Lower Manhattan's skyscrapers and bridges, New York Harbour, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - all for free! Remember to check peak hour rush times to avoid getting caught in the masses.

American Museum of Natural History. Fabulous for history buffs and those who appreciate and are eager to learn about the country's roots. If you're going to Washington DC, you may choose to skip this attraction as the Smithsonian's offer is far more comprehensive.

Grand Central Terminal & the Oyster Bar No one should come to NYC without free flowing around Grand Central and then making your way to the Oyster Bar for freshly shucked oysters and chilled vino.

Art Galleries: The Metropolitan (aka The Met) & the Guggenheim. There are dozens of others but if you're time poor I recommend you visit these first. The former because there's always a world-class exhibition garnering admiring gasps from far and wide backed by seriously impressive collections on tap year round; the latter because simply winding your way on foot from ground level to the top of this snail-shell-like structure is an experience in itself. NYC is full of extraordinarily good boutique art galleries. And don't dismiss the ultra-contemporary MoMA, and the divine Frick Collection housed in what was formerly a private residence.NYC is an art lover's nirvana.

Parks to chill out in: Central Park, Union Square Park and Bryant Park. All different. All with their own reason for being.

Ground Zero. It's your duty as a human being to visit this tranquil, solemn place. 9/11 will never be erased from our memories.

The Plaza. We all need a touch of luxe. If you are a foodie you must slip into the New York Plaza darling! Most won't be able to afford a meal in The Palm Court Restaurant (no prices on the ladies' menu I believe) but a glass of wine in The Champagne Bar is doable while a fine meal in The Todd English Food Hall is not only affordable, it is a must.

No point listing the remarkable collection, high calibre and overwhelmingly drool-worthy boutiques, high-end department stores and quirky shops. They just go on, and on, and on...