New York Beyond ManhattanIf you go on a short break to New York, the chances are you will spend most if not all of your time in Manhattan. After all, it is where all of the most famous sights of New York are found. You’re bound to want to see the Empire State Building, Times Square and Central Park. But Manhattan is only one of five boroughs that make up New York City and while the other four may not grab the headlines, there are plenty of reasons why it’s worth planning a trip to the Outer Boroughs, as Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx are known.
You’ll probably be familiar with the Brooklyn Bridge from The Fantastic Four and countless other movie scenes (it’s even been blown up in a few). It is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and a walk across the bridge is a good way to walk off a slice of pizza or a piece of New York Cheesecake. Apart from anything else it’s worth getting onto the other side to get a fabulous view of that famous Manhattan skyline.
For a fun day out in Brooklyn, head out on the subway to Coney Island, New York’s popular beach. On a sunny day the beach gets very crowded with local families. The funfair is in a sorry state and the rides are mostly closed down although there have been recent moves to bring it back to life. For a truly revolting sight you should come here on July 4th when the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest takes place. Stand well back as things tend to get very messy!
The largest of the New York boroughs, Queens is where you’ll find many of the city’s ethnic neighbourhoods. Fancy some authentic Greek food? How about Indian, Polish, Filipino or even Albanian? There’s a place in Queens for all of these and more. Some are just a few cafes along one street, while others stretch out over several blocks. If you fancy a curry while in NYC you should head over to Jackson Heights in Queens. There are plenty of great restaurants while a wander through the streets could have you wandering if you’ve been transported to Delhi or Karachi.
The Bronx gets a bad rap as a place not to venture out after dark. While some of the reputation may be well deserved there is certainly no reason to avoid the area altogether. The Bronx is home to the city’s main zoo and botanical gardens, both of which are well worth a visit. It’s also the place where you can enjoy that truly authentic American experience: a baseball match at the Yankee Stadium. Plan ahead though, as tickets are not easy to get hold of.
The smallest and least populated borough, Staten Island is known best for the ferry service that links it to Manhattan. It’s a free ride that gives you the best views of Lower Manhattan and is really spectacular around sunset. If you have the time, get off at the other end and have a wander around Staten Island. Although a mainly residential neighbourhood there are several parks to wander around as well as historic Richmond Town, a collection of old buildings that do a good job telling the colourful history of early New York settlers.