15/09/2015 Tuesday, September 15, 2015; Romantic Reminders


By Romantic Reminders

New York, New York: its very mention brings to mind horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park, the shimmering Manhattan skyline and romantic strolls along ritzy Fifth Avenue. It’s no coincidence some of the most iconic movie love scenes of all time have been filmed in NYC – it’s the perfect place to fall in love all over again.

Rockefeller Center’s 70th-floor Top of the Rock viewing deck is an obvious choice for a sweeping Manhattan backdrop, but those opposed to waiting in line and paying an entry fee should think outside the box: Battery Park gives you views across the Hudson with the Statue of Liberty in the distance; a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge offers an unbeatable view of Manhattan; and of course you must take a snapshot in front of the famous LOVE sculpture in Midtown West (1359 Avenue of the Americas).

The best restaurants in New York are not necessarily the most expensive ones, but a special occasion calls for a little extravagance: book the tasting menu at the three-Michelin starred Eleven Madison Park, or reserve a table at celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s highly acclaimed Daniel, or the Michelin-starred Gramercy Tavern. Those who want an unforgettable view with their meal can try the 35th-floor Asiate restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental NYC, or the iconic River Café in Brooklyn, located right on the Hudson and offering incomparable views of Manhattan. For a romantic lunch, take your lover to the Central Park Boathouse, located on the park’s most picturesque pond.

Central Park is of course the quintessential spot for an unforgettable New York stroll with your amore, but for a more intimate option, head to the fragrant flowerbeds and trickling fountains of Central Park’s lesser-known Conservatory Gardens (enter at 5th Ave and 105th; closed Mondays). If you find yourself in Brooklyn, visit Prospect Park and walk through 585 acres of grassy knolls and tree-lined pathways. And for a romantic city-walk, and you can’t go wrong with the High Line, an elevated one-mile walkway that snakes through downtown Manhattan and offers views over the Hudson River – head back down to street level in Chelsea and go to Chelsea Market for a coffee and a sweet treat. For waterfront walking, explore Hudson River Park in Manhattan’s Lower West Side.

There are literally hundreds of hotels in New York City, so where you stay is really a matter of taste. Those who prefer to go boutique can try the Gramercy Park Hotel, The Nomad, The Mondrian, The Mark, or The Hudson. For old-school, five-star hotels near Central Park, book into The Plaza, The Carlyle, or the Ritz-Carlton Central Park. There are plenty of boutique four-star hotels in Manhattan, too: The Bentley is popular for its rooftop bar and views over the Hudson and Queensboro Bridge, while Hotel Giraffe offers guests complementary wine and cheese evenings in its lobby.

Designer-label lovers will want to hit the boutiques and department stores of Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Those who prefer boutique shopping and less mainstream labels should visit SoHo’s shopping district (running from Broadway West to Sixth Avenue), while NoLIta and Little Italy are great for designer vintage boutiques and lesser-known independent designers. The East Village is where you’ll find quirky hippie and punk-inspired clothing and furniture, and If you’ve got time to kill at Grand Central, check out the retail shops, selling everything from clothing and accessories to gifts, flowers and gourmet food.

NYC subways may not be glamorous, but even celebs rely on this trusty mode of transportation during New York’s peak traffic hours; you can purchase a subway pass at most stations. If you’re taking a taxi, it’s a good idea to check the location and address of your destination before you hop in; drivers are not as knowledgeable as you might expect. If you’d like something a little more upscale than a yellow cab, simply use your Uber app. To get to and from the airport on the cheap, consider booking one of the NY Airport Shuttle Buses, which depart every 15 minutes to and from Newark, JFK and La Guardia airports, picking up and dropping off passengers at major Manhattan destinations such as Grand Central and Battery Park.

Take your sweetie to a Broadway show and squeeze in another photo op with a walk through Times Square en route to the theatre district, or check out some live jazz after dark – Blue Water Grill in Union Square or Café Carlyle at the Carlyle Hotel are intimate and couple-friendly options. Sportier couples can get into the swing of things at Chelsea Piers driving range, overlooking the Hudson (open until midnight). Be sure to check out a few of New York’s sexy speakeasy bars, mostly found in the East Village and SoHo, offering plenty of dark corners to snuggle in as you sip your bespoke cocktails. Our favourite is Angel’s Share in the East Village, located behind a secret doorway on the second floor of a Japanese restaurant (8 Stuyvesant Street).

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