Keeping up with New York City’s latest and greatest is almost as hard as Keeping Up with the Kardashians – just with way less drama. Yet in a city where trends are passé as soon as you’ve spotted them, some staples stay forever chic. Whether it’s a walk in Central Park, brunch with friends, or a night at the theater, taking a bite out of the Big Apple always satisfies. In honor of the most exciting city in the world and the locals who amplify its 24/7 creative current, let’s walk a mile (or 10) in a New Yorker’s shoes. Just remember to pack a comfortable pair capable of clocking multiple steps!
A Central Start
The 843-acre green space sashaying down the center of Manhattan offers a cocoon of calm amid the city’s steel and concrete facade. Built and meticulously maintained as place to picnic, play, stroll, run and rest, if you want a break from NYC’s hustle and bustle, Central Park’s got you covered. Kick off your Saturday with a walk through this living and breathing National Historic Landmark for a “nature-al” start, or join swath of roller skaters who groove to DJ music at the Skate Circle most weekends.
Next up, noshing NYC-style. Brunching in the Big Apple goes beyond eating, veering into something near a weekend sacrement. Due to this pastime’s popularity, it’s important to be strategic. Saunter into one of the city’s hottest haunts at 11:45 a.m. and you could wait two hours for your lox, bagel and bubbly. Get there early and your chances of savoring, stat, are better. For a classic take on the memory-making meal, head to Russ & Daughters Cafe, an upscale diner where wait staff wear white coats and the chow offers a throwback to the provisions—think: potato latkes, smoked fish, blintzes—that put brunching in each borough on the map.
Browse and Brew
Assuming you paired bubbles with your brunch, work off the morning buzz – or keep it going! – browsing SoHo’s never-ending supply of boutiques with a brew from the espresso bar at Saturdays Surf NYC, a “swell” shop specializing in boards, bags and apparel for the urban surfer. And, if you need to rest your legs from your weekend walkabout, take a seat at the wooden deck out back (and imagine you’re in Montauk!).
Think of the 5-7 p.m. window as a time to savor the city’s world-class cuisine and fuel your evening – while it’s still young – with bites and bevs. Since Broadway is the night’s main event (after all, when in NYC…) you’ll want just enough sustenance to get you through a three-hour show, but not so much that you’ll be stuffed (it’s a fine balance)! For a sure-thing meal, head to Upland for a California-meets-Italy menu stocked with hunger-satisfying plates like sausage and kale pizza, bucatini cacio e pepe, and whole crispy mushroom with herbs. If you have enough time, commit to a seat in one of the restaurant’s emerald-green banquettes. Or, for a quick and conversational feast, saddle up to the copper and oak bar which offers the whole menu, plus the bartenders’ take on which wine from the 500-bottle list should be paired with your sustenance.
Finally, serenade your Saturday night in New York with the sweet songs of Broadway. With forty Midtown theaters attracting top talents like Sean Hayes (currently staring in An Act of God) and Lupita Nyong’o (currently starring in Eclipsed) you’ll be spoiled for choice. First-timers will appreciate long-running fan-favorites like The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, The Lion King or Les Misèrables, while seasoned show-goers will want to hone in on Hamilton, Eclipsed, Act of God or Waitress. When the curtain closes, head back your Luxury Retreat, turn in early and toast the town with a Manhattan (obviously).