Midtown Manhattan may be tourist central, but hidden in between and sometimes within the classics are authentic New Yorker experiences just waiting to be discovered.
You may think department stores are for shopping not chopping, but in Macy's Herald Square
you can do both. For the past 26 years, De Gustibus Cooking School
has called the eighth floor of this mammoth shopper's paradise home. Celebrity chefs and some of the great minds behind the hottest restaurants in the city come to De Gustibus
to teach amateurs some of their tasty tricks.
Julia Child's former right-hand man Jacques Pepin, TV cooking queen Rachel Ray and chocolate king Jacques Torres have all taken turns as teachers for themed seminar-style courses. Classes cost US$95. Go to www.degustibusinc.com to see what's on the menu and reserve your spot.
Two blocks from both Macy's
and the Empire State Building
is a neighbourhood that often gets overlooked by New Yorkers and tourists alike. Koreatown
sits between Broadway
and 5th Avenue
in the lower 30s streetsand a walk down its main artery of 32nd street
transports you to Seoul for the evening.
Cook your own dinner on a Korean barbecue built into your table at Kum Gang San. Belt out your favourite songs in English or Korean at a "Norae Bang", aka karaoke bar and then get a late-night snack at Bon Chon, or Kyochon, which serve crispy chicken with a kick well into the AM.
Sample sales without the search
New York fashionistas who cannot afford to buy their designer duds at full price often rely on the elusive sample sale to stock their closets. These high-end sell-offs pop up all over the city, and organisers usually advertise them by handing out flyers. That means if you're not in the right place at the right time you may miss your chance at sample-sale bargains. That is unless you know about Clothingline
Each week Clothingline hosts a new sale in their Garment District location just a few short blocks from Herald Square. Sales, which are listed on their website, usually feature multiple designers at 50 to 80 percent off their retail price. It's best to check out their stock in the morning or late afternoon as lunchtime and 5pm draw the biggest crowds.
Hit the Hudson
From May until October get a different view of the mighty Hudson River
by slipping into a kayak for some free, physical fun. The Midtown
location of the non-profit New York City Downtown Boathouse
is at 56th Street, but there are also two others at 72nd and Houston Streets. Each one offers free 20 minute turns in a protected section of the river to those that can swim and are wearing the right kind of clothes no high heals and designer jeans. The group also offers lessons and three hour trips.
Next: Picnic in the park
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