Russian and Arab languages now join English and Spanish in the streets.
Florida’s population grew almost 15 percent during the last decade—doubling the overall US population growth rate.
Miami, the state’s second most-populous city, is home to approximately half a million souls, including snowbirds, Latin American immigrants, and digital nomads.
All drawn by the irresistible combination of excellent weather, multiculturalism, and the lack of a personal income tax.
Gentrification has bridged South Beach with the mainland to form the sprawling city of “Greater Miami and the Beaches.”
On holiday weekends, the town brims with simultaneous events like Art Wynwood, the Miami Boat Show, concerts, fashion shows, and street festivals.
Driving back from Calle Ocho during the last President’s Weekend, I marveled at an unrecognizable skyline more reminiscent of Dubai than the place that welcomed me twenty years ago.
Back then, there were still remnants of the golden age that culminated with the assassination of Gianni Versace.
The mission was to become Urbe’s first foreign correspondent.
The increasingly popular Village Voice-inspired Caracas publication was annoying the new government of Comandante Hugo Chavez with a mix of irreverence and—especially—American pop culture.
We were looking to expand beyond borders, just as the “World Wide Web” began upending our trade by birthing what we know today as the online content industry.
As I executed my first assignments, I watched with trepidation how my country’s government amended the constitution to eliminate presidential term limits.
The writing was on the wall. I embraced my new American life.
Around the time I rented my first studio apartment, a friend gave me his old TV set. The first broadcast images were of skyscrapers collapsing after being hit by passenger jets.
Though early 2000s South Beach still echoed its former glamorous self—drag queens hung out with bodybuilders on Ocean and 12th, scantily-clad rollerbladers handed out flyers on Lincoln Road, and celebrities roamed Española Way—change was in the air.
Season after season, many of the Art Deco District hotels that lodged the rich and famous in the 1920s, soldiers right before WWII, and supermodels in the 1990s crumbled to Mother Nature and the indifference of real estate developers.
The MTV reality show starlet replaced the movie star. Rowdy spring breakers, online influencers, and crypto bros followed.
In Alton Road, a party-kid-turned-middle-aged-dad reminisced about Junior Vasquez’s and Tracy Young’s “dope” music sets of yesteryear at Level and Crobar. The party was officially over.
I became an exile yet again. I was sad to leave good friends and a promising career in hospitality behind. But I had to nurse a chronic tropical hangover and return to my roots as a writer—this time in English.
Three years later, I came back as a visitor. I was ecstatic about the warm weather after a ferocious New York City winter. I shed my coat while skipping like a madman upon landing. The Cuban ladies who sold cafecito in the airport terminal must’ve thought I was loco.
I’d witnessed the city struggle to regain footing on every subsequent trip since. Including during the pandemic, when the local authorities’ laxity might’ve attracted some of the ensuing holiday lawlessness we see in the news today.
But things are finally falling into place once again. Miami seems to be maturing into a world capital where development is ubiquitous and Russian and Arab languages join English and Spanish in the streets.
Old and new friends from around the world met at the heart of Little Havana this winter.
Gays, moms, Cuban refugees—and everyone in between!—danced away and sang along in the street to Miami Sound Machine’s “Conga” and Will Smith’s “Miami.”
Then, the sun beautifully set in this perfectly-unperfect Southern Florida piece of the American Dream.
New York’s 49th Annual Village Halloween Parade was one for the books!
The NYC Village Halloween Parade connects New Yorkers with their inner child. And, despite having wandered through the city streets and bars on Halloween night throughout the years, I had never experienced it properly.
It all changed this year. I finally understood why NYC Village Halloween is the largest and—should I add—most creative and inspiring of all the city’s yearly parades, including St. Patrick’s, Thanksgiving and LGBTQ Pride.
Part of the magic is the spontaneous nature. Individual marchers have been encouraged since 1974 to show up in costume at the starting point on Canal Street and 6th Avenue and join the fun without registering or paying a fee.
Unlike the boroughs, where kids go trick or treating, the New York City Village parade is almost exclusively an adult affair. Participants wear artistic outfits that’d give Broadway and Hollywood a run for their money.
Equally thrilling are the giant puppets volunteers maneuver throughout the parade’s 1.4-mile route (on Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street). This year, they preceded a colorful Dia de Muertos section, complete with mariachis—a testament to New York City’s proud multiculturalism.
And because—after all—we’re New York, there had to be a healthy dose of costumes with a social commentary, including someone campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin and a group of witches carrying the banner, “Witches Who Vote.”
The participants’ histrionic skills enhance the parade’s energy levels. Monsters, aliens and witches not only look but also act the part. The interactions with the spectators are hair-rising, like witnessing a horror movie in the flesh.
Since 2004, the Thriller Dance has been one of the most expected parts of the parade. The massive flash mob to Michael Jackson’s timeless hit “Thriller” is the parade’s apex of talent and the single most crowd-pleasing goosebumps-inducing moment.
I’ve already started to learn the “Thriller” choreography. Will you join me next year?
A global pandemic, civil unrest and a contentious election: never forget our Year of Discontent.
“Dear New York, I hope you’re doing well I know a lot’s happened and you’ve been through hell“
We were told to work from home—perhaps for a couple of weeks—to “flatten the curve.” I tossed the notebooks in my backpack but left photos and other corporate mementos in my cubicle while people around me were coughing and sneezing. Times Square started to feel like a ghost town.
Our favorite downtown restaurant’s closing party was our last hurrah before the lockdown. When we arrived, everyone was hand-sanitizing, social distancing and elbow bumping. By the end of the evening, the place was packed. There were babies on portable bassinets on top of the bar. People were tasting each other’s wines and taking cheek-to-cheek selfies.
Like Bill Murray’s Phil Connors in “Groundhog Day,” we soon were stuck on the same day of back-to-back Zoom meetings and bizarre presidential press briefings. Dinner was the highlight of our day, as was joining our neighbors on the building’s rooftop to salute healthcare workers.
We fell sick. Was it the last days at the office or our downtown soirée? Despite a shortage of tests at the time, we knew it was COVID when a loss of smell and taste was declared an official symptom. Luckily, we didn’t develop the dreaded shortness of breath that would’ve landed us in the hospital, where makeshift morgues in the way of refrigerated trucks started to crowd the surroundings.
Three weeks later, with our energy back, we left the house to encounter a world where you could hear birds chirping during rush hour. Grand Central Station, Madison Square Park and other city landmarks’ film aesthetic had turned post-apocalyptic. The Big Apple was eerie and unrecognizable without her huddled masses.
And yet, there was a budding sense of hope. We started to meet city friends for outdoor dining. As a post-911 New Yorker, I learned that how the city was pulling through this new crisis paralleled how it came back after the horrific terrorist attacks.
Things would take another wrong turn. I, like hundreds of thousands in the city, got laid off. Civil unrest, triggered by the murder of George Floyd, became the new normal. There was looting resulting in permanent police presence and the boarding up of businesses for months to come. We fell asleep and woke up to the sound of choppers. Was this Kabul or Manhattan?
Equidistant between Union Square and Washington Square Park, we had a front-row seat to the daily action. It started around 5 PM with what looked like students chanting against police violence. As the night fell, a different crowd emerged, welding bicycles and skateboards like weapons and provoking the cops by breaking glass and setting trashcans on fire.
With a contentious presidential election nearing, New Yorkers restored a temporary sense of normalcy by donning their Halloween costumes and marching on Greenwich Village. The iconic parade didn’t occur, but that didn’t stop aliens, harlequins, vampires and witches from making the most of it (refreshingly, there weren’t either pandemic or politics-related costumes).
After a global pandemic, the de facto militarization of the streets and a toxic political campaign, America would elect a new president. In hindsight, expecting a different administration to usher in a new era in this politically polarized world feels naive. The nation would witness more troublesome events, chiefly the insurrection at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.
But at least for a day, when the networks called the result, a sense of joy and catharsis descended upon New York City. Unseasonably warm and bright weather provided the perfect backdrop for people to take to the streets for the first time in months not to protest but to celebrate turning a corner in this Year of Discontent.
Traveling to the other side of the city or the world can be a transformational experience.
To Eric, my first editor
In third grade, a girl from my school died in a car accident.
I vividly remember hopping on the yellow bus with a few dozen other kids to go to her service without knowing what to expect. We probably were just vaguely excited about skipping class.
After seeing the face of a sleeping doll with pigtails in her open casket, the mood was decidedly different. On the way back, we were quiet and silent—profoundly changed by the funerary field trip.
Traveling to the other side of the city or the world on a sad or happy occasion can be a transformational experience: the physical commuting triggers an inner journey that continues unfolding for the rest of our lives.
In “The Philosophy of Travel, ” George Santayana wrote,” “Locomotion—the privilege of animals—is perhaps the key to intelligence.” Seeing the world with an open heart and mind, as kids usually do, is critical to transcend propaganda.
Visit the locations of our history books to learn what they don’t teach you in school. Being in “the room where it happened,” whether Charleston‘s Old Slave Mart Museum or Lisbon‘s Monument of the Discoveries, shatters stereotypes.
Like going to Mexico City and realizing its world-class museums and cosmopolitan rooftop bars have nothing to do with the dodgy picture delivered by American media, or traveling to Bourdeaux and finding the friendliest locals appreciative of your efforts to communicate in broken French.
“We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate,” wrote Pico Iyer in “Why We Travel.”
After visiting the Faroe Islands, online trolls scolded me. “Congratulations on supporting animal cruelty,” they said, referring to the ancient practice of whaling. But going beyond bloody YouTube videos and into the heart of the foggy Northern European archipelago was illuminating. It taught me their hunting is non-commercial, humane and environmentally sustainable.
Touring Seville‘s Bullring Real Maestranza Museum was uneasy until we discovered the chapel where matadors pray before facing the magnificent beast with reverence. Learning more about the solemn ritual shifted my perception. And, though I probably still wouldn’t attend a bullfight, I found myself capable of respecting a different cultural practice.
“The world never quits growing on us. It’s just as vast as ever, and it reinvents itself every day,” Bill Bryson aptly wrote in “The Best American Travel 2000.” And, though rewarding, the experience can be an unsettling one.
The images of the falling Wall from my teenage years colored my first visit to Berlin in 2007. I was delighted with a sense of optimism and possibility, different from my post-social media/COVID trip to the German city (photo featured), shaped by the historical and geographical proximity to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.
The French election of a lifetime, between President Emmanuel Macron and rightwing hardliner Marine Le Pen, was also momentous. Fresh off the Trump years, an American in Paris was an ominous walking-and-talking warning. So much was a stake for France, the European Union and the world. We dodged a bullet, for now.
The most important lessons? Progress is not a straight line. And, as John Steinbeck wrote in “Travels with Charlie: In Search of America,” “we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
At a trying time for millions of Americans’ rights, including women and LGBTQ+ families, celebrating the old USA’s birthday in Provincetown, the birthplace of American freedom, still committed to liberty after more than four centuries, was reaffirming.
I wish cultural warriors had a peak at so much love between people from all walks of life. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts,” wrote Mark Twain in “The Innocents Abroad.”
Perhaps, I’m overly optimistic and, as Maya Angelou said, “travel cannot prevent bigotry.” But even the legendary poet and civil-rights activist believed there could be hope. “[…] by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends,” she concluded.
The American experiment lives on in the land where the Pilgrims signed their first self-governing document.
Provincetown, Massachusetts, has been committed to freedom for over four centuries.
The New England town, located at the extreme tip of Cape Cod and where the Pilgrims drew up the Mayflower Compact, continues to be a safe harbor for immigrants, women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
P-Town is delightfully eclectic, as evidenced by the juxtaposition of its quaint architecture and political activism.
Take a quick stroll through Commercial Street, and you’ll see charming cottages with signs that read “shoot loads, not guns” and “48 years grateful for my abortion.”
Passing lobster shacks and pedicabs on one’s way to the Pilgrim Monument is like stepping on a time machine.
Turn of the century writers and artists flocked to the town, paving the way for 1960s hippies and 1970s gays who keep it bright and colorful—even during the bitter winter months.
Going back in time, one can almost see the sailors from The Azores attracted by the fishing industry, which explains P-Town’s Portuguese influence—as seen in restaurants, bakeries and the ubiquitous flags.
As a bonafide gay Mecca, P-Town boasts a vibrant nightlife dating back to the 1950s. A-House, The Vault, The Monkey Bar and the iconic T Dance at The Boatslip are favorites among locals and visitors alike.
Home to the late Anthony Bourdain, Provincetown is also one of America’s culinary capitals. The Mews Restaurant and Cafe, Strangers & Saints, The Lobster Pot, Governor Bradford and Joon Bar and Kitchen are some of the most famous eateries.
The area is also (in) famous for being the film location of the 1975 Steven Spielberg movie “Jaws.” In case you were skeptical of Hollywood “anti-shark propaganda” like me, a sobering sign will convince you.
For those willing to enjoy safely, the Cape Cod National Sea Shore offers gorgeous landscapes, like its dunes: a perfect place for a beach hike.
Five hot spots in the world, how they celebrate Pride Month, and what it all means.
It’s that time of the year again.
The celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally+ acceptance, achievements and legal rights is here.
The event, which takes place in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, has grown into a global phenomenon.
And, as the US and some parts of the world (d)evolve, some of these events continue to be part festivity and part resistance.
Here’s how I have experienced them in five global cities and my expectations for this year and beyond.
1. Miami Beach:
The State of Florida and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs sponsor Miami Beach Pride.
Its mission: “to envision, plan and execute a roster of events and activities as diverse as the community itself.”
And, like everything else in this part of the world, the parade through Ocean Drive has a bright and tropical flavor.
In late March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, banning public teachers from “holding classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity”—from kindergarten through 3rd grade.
The Trevor Project, and others, have criticized the bill, arguing that it erases LGBTQ identity, history, culture and students themselves.
They’ve also cited studies that show that LGBTQ youth face higher health and suicide risks than their straight counterparts and that the lack of safe spaces could exacerbate the trend.
Copenhagen Gay Pride dubs itself “Denmark’s largest human rights (and LGBTQ) festival” and the Danish pride themselves on being the first country to recognize same-sex unions.
The overall community embraces the celebration. It departs from Frederiksberg Town Hall, culminating with an open-air concert at Copenhagen City Hall Square.
The progressive Danish have been keenly aware of Russia’s law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values,” also known as “gay propaganda law” and “anti-gay law.”
Some of the pride festival’s kiosks displayed the “Gay Clown Putin” meme in what I see as an act of resistance.
Pride in London is the UK’s most prominent. Its mission: “to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and campaign for the freedoms that will allow them to live their lives on a genuinely equal footing.”
The event emphasizes the inclusion of “every race, faith and disability status.” The parade starts at Hyde Park Corner, continues to Piccadilly Circus, and culminates with a big Trafalgar Square party.
The United Kingdom has come a long way since the 1952 prosecution of WWII codebreaker Alan Turing for “homosexual acts.”
In 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized for the “appalling treatment.” Despite being hailed a hero by King George VI for helping defeat the Nazis, Turing died a “criminal” just for being a gay man.
In 2021, the Bank of England featured him in the new £50 notes.
Pride Amsterdam‘s focus for 2022, “My Gender, My Pride,” seeks to broaden Gay Pride’s traditional plea from “being allowed to love who we want” to “be allowed to be how we feel.”
Another progressive Northern European country where Pride is a city-wide affair. The parade takes place on boats over the canals, and everyone, from kids to grandmas (who place their chairs on the front porches of their homes), participates.
The Netherlands has been one of the most progressive nations regarding LGBTQ+ rights.
The country legalized same-sexual activity in 1811. In 1973, it declassified gay and bisexual people as mentally ill and lifted a ban on the military.
The Equal Treatment Act of 1994 banned discrimination on account of sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations, extending it in 2019 to include discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
5. New York
NYC Pride organizes Heritage of Pride, an event “to gather and engage in activism, protest, celebration, and advocacy.”
Its mission: is to work towards a future “where all people have equal rights under the law,” which still is a goal in the US.
Historically, the parade has started in midtown, working its way down through Fifth Avenue and finalizing on the West Village, near the historic Stonewall Inn.
As Pride has gone mainstream, and brands wrap themselves in rainbow flags, some Queer Activists have criticized what they see as an over-commercialization of the event, organizing alternative marches without corporate sponsorships under the motto “it’s a march, not a parade.”
Diverse landscapes, renewable energy and respect for your fellow human being: that’s my California dreamin.
Disclaimer: California is massive. So, I understand it offers as many experiences as inhabitants and visitors. This is mine.
We landed at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on a rainy afternoon, and I felt the same as I did all those years ago when I flew to the West Coast for the first time.
“Is this the same country? Even the same continent?”
After almost six hours in the air and landing in a different time zone, the common currency is a few of the welcome indicators that we’re still in the good old USA.
With its foundational Spanish past, eclectic architecture spanning styles and topographies, romantic cable car system and its status as the birthplace of social justice, St Francis feels neither American nor European. It is a unique utopia.
We stayed with family in San Jose, about 48 miles southeast of San Francisco. The largest city in Northern California and the de facto capital of Silicon Valley, it’s where the major global tech companies are headquartered. Proof that multiculturalism breeds innovation.
We were to spend our nights here and take day trips to “The City” (not me thinking all this time that the moniker applied only to New York) and to try some excellent wine in the world-famous Napa Valley.
As a testament to the area’s progressivism, I was elated to find front yard signs like the one below every time I’d go for a morning run.
One of my favorite day trips was to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) to see the Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective.
Born in 1887 in rural Wisconsin, the Mother of American Modernism was such a trailblazer.
At the age of 10, she had already decided to be an artist. And she lived life on her terms since and until her passing in 1986.
Her New Mexico landscapes touched me. I read she was fond of “peering through planes’ windows” as an avid traveler well into her 70s.
“I’ve been flying a lot lately […] I went around the world—and I noticed a surprising number of deserts and wonderful rivers. The rivers actually seem to come up and hit you in the eye,” she said in an interview.
I’m not the only one.
After the culture came the libations. We drove 99 miles north to Napa Valley. I couldn’t help but feel familiar with the road until it clicked! I realized it looked just like the classic Microsoft screensaver.
“Hey Siri, where was the old Windows background taken?”
The original Windows XP desktop image, known commonly to the tech world as ‘Bliss,’ was taken in 1996 on a road that cuts through California’s wine country.
The ranch was established in the late 1800s and thrived with vines, olive groves and dairy products. The property fell dormant during the Prohibition years and was engulfed by Mother Nature.
In 1989, the Hall family bought, rescued and turned the property into a farm-to-table establishment, popular for wedding receptions in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains.
But as good as the food and the wine were, the sunset that the region treated us with as we drove back home was spectacular.
The next morning, we took Alaska Airlines’ inaugural flight from San Jose to Palm Springs.
And, once again, I channeled Georgia O’Keeffe from my window seat as the lush Santa Cruz mountains turned into arid plains.
As we approached the Palm Springs International Airport, I noticed many windmills, especially at the airport’s periphery.
Later, when we drove back from Joshua Tree National Park at the end of the day, we were greeted by dozens of TV antennas with a red light on top.
They weren’t antennas. That’s how the windmills signaled their location, so nocturnal landing airplanes wouldn’t hit them.
The second thing I noticed was its unique landscape of tall and skinny palm trees and snowy mountain peaks in the background.
I learned that this land with rich pre-colonial history turned health retreat in the early 1900s and then Hollywood celebrity playground mid-20th century.
After enjoying brunch at the iconic Ace Hotel, we took a delightful drive through Indian Canyons, the Movie Colony, Sunrise Park and Vista Las Palmas.
We admired some of the beautiful and famous houses, including celebrity ones like Frank Sinatra’s and Elvis Presley’s (which recently sold and it’s undergoing renovations).
As another testament to its Golden Hollywood Bonafide, The Palm Springs Art Museum became the forever home of Seward Johnson’s 2011 statue “Forever Marilyn.”
The 26-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture depicts the beloved star in one of her most famous scenes, from the 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch.”
It was previously displayed in Chicago, Connecticut, New Jersey, and even Australia before making it to its new permanent home—where we saw it in all her splendor.
And finally, the day came: I would visit my first American National Park. Named after the Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) native to the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree became a National Park in 1994.
Slightly more extensive than the state of Rhode Island, the park includes varied ecosystems: wilderness, part of two deserts (Mojave and Colorado) and The Little San Bernardino Mountains.
We drove through Driving Park Boulevard, the best way to see the park highlights in about one afternoon. You can enter through the north (Twentynine Palms) or west (town of Joshua Tree).
Either way, you should be able to stop briefly at some of the highlights, which include stunning rock formations, the famous Cholla Cactus Garden and Joshua tree groves—which turn even more beautiful as the sunset hits them.
Joshua Tree was the icing on the massive and delicious cake that it’s California. And, as I said before, I realize this is nothing but a tiny slice of said cake.
As we headed back to the Northeast, I thought about how this beautiful North American continent was colonized: westwards. And about these mountains, deserts, valleys and rocky formations that were here before we thought about walking the face of the earth and will still be here way after all of us are gone.
Here’s your guide to 25 of the most recognizable places and how to get there via Subway.
Like everything else, social media has transformed the traveling experience.
For a few years now, the phrase, “if it’s not on the ‘gram, it didn’t happen,” has been the official mantra.
And nowhere it’s this more accurate than in New York City, the most Instagrammed place in the world.
1. Times Square:
Where: The intersection between 42nd Street, Seventh Avenue and Broadway.
Subways/Stops: 1, 2, 3, 7, A, F, N and Q to 42nd Street/Times Square.
Famous for: Brightly lit by numerous billboards and advertisements, New Year’s Eve Time Square Ball and the theater district.
Price: Free if you don’t shop, eat or go to the theater. Street performers pose for photos for tips.
2. Empire State Building:
Where: 20 West 34th Street (Fifth Avenue).
Subways/Stops: F, D and W to Herald Square and 6 to 33rd Street.
Famous for: Art Deco design, observation deck and featured in the film “King Kong” (1933).
Price: Observation Deck tickets from $44 up to $129.
3. The Vessel:
Where: 20 Hudson Yards.
Subways/Stops: 7 to 34th Street Hudson Yards.
Famous for: $200 million, structure with 16 stories and 154 flights of stairs offered “remarkable” views of the Hudson River until it was indefinitely closed to due to a series of suicides.
4. Grand Central Station:
Where: 89 East 42nd Street.
Subways/Stops: 4, 5, 6 and 7 to Grand Central.
Famous for: Has been the set and background of many films and its main concourse clock is depicted in NBC’s show “Saturday Night Live.”
Price: Free if you’re not taking the Metro-North or Subway.
5. Bethesda Terrace and Fountain
Where: Central Park (72nd Street).
Subways/Stops: B to 72 Street or 6 to 68th Street Hunter College.
Famous for: Designed by Emma Stebbins, the first woman to receive a public commission for a major work of art in New York City, in 1868.
6. Brooklyn Bridge
Where: East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Subways/Stops: 4, 5, or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall or J or Z to Chambers St.
Famous for: Scenic backdrops of the city for pedestrians, bikers.
7. Statue of Liberty:
Where: Liberty Island, New York Harbor.
How to Get There: Via ferry from Battery Park (New York) or Liberty State Park (New Jersey).
Famous for: Being a gift from the people of France, which metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel, and for the sonnet “The New Colossus” written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus (“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”).
Price:Tickets, including the ferry ride, are $23.80 for adults, and there are discounts for children and senior citizens.
8. Christopher Street Pier:
Where: Hudson River Park (west 10th Street and West Side Highway).
Subway/Stops: 1 to Christopher Street.
Famous for: Unparalleled views of the World Trade Center and Jersey City for pedestrians, runners and bikers.
9. Central Park:
Where: From 59th to 110th Streets between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West.
Subways/Stops: 1, 2, A, B, C and D to Columbus Circle or R, W to 5th Ave/59th St.
Famous for: Blueprint for American urban parks and most filmed location in the world.
10. Union Square:
Where: From 14th through 17th Streets between Union Square West and East.
Subway/Stops: 4, 5, 6, L, N, R and Q to 14th Street-Union Square.
Famous for: Historic surrounding buildings, statues, markets, street performers, artists, chess players and demonstrations.
Price: Free, though the Green Market is pricey.
11. Flatiron Building:
Where: 175 Fifth Avenue.
Subways/Stops: R, W and 6 to 23rd Street.
Famous for: Sitting on a triangular block formed by Fifth Avenue to the west, Broadway to the east, and East 22nd Street to the south resembling a clothes iron.
Price: You can enter the lobby for free, but can’t go upstairs.
12. The National September 11 Museum:
Where: 180 Greenwich Street.
Subways/Stops: 1 to Cortland Street, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J and Z to Fulton Street and R, W to Rector Street.
Famous for: Commemorating the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,977 people.
Price:Tickets go from $26 up to $46 for adults with discounts for children, college students, senior citizens and veterans.
13. Whitney Museum of American Art:
Where: 99 Gansevoort Street.
Subway/Stops: L and M to 14th Street-Sixth Avenue.
Famous for: Patron and socialite Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney founded it in 1930 to promote modern American artists tired of the Eurocentric Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum, which kept relegating her gifts to the storage room.
Where: 40th and 42nd Streets between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.
Subways/Stops: D, F and M to 42th Street-Bryant Park.
Famous for: Outdoor Movie Nights.
Where: 1000 Third Avenue.
Subways/Stops: 4, 5, 6, N, R and W to 59th Street-Lexington Avenue.
Famous for: 161-years old high-end retail store with iconic window displays and Christmas decorations.
Price: Free to window-shop.
Where: World Trade Center.
Subways/Stops: 1, R, W to Cortland Street or 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, Z to Fulton Street or E to Park Place.
Famous for: $4 billion Santiago Calatrava-designed World Trade Center PATH terminal station opened in 2016.
Price: Free, aside from the subway o PATH fares.
17. Moynihan Train Hall:
Where: 351 West 31st Street.
Subways/Stops: 1, 2, 3, A, C, E to 34th Street-Penn Station.
Famous for: Recovering some of the splendor of the original Penn Station, controversially demolished in the early 1960s by its builder Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), for the construction of Madison Square Garden.
Price: Free if you’re not using the trains or shopping.
18. Little Island:
Where: Pier 55 at Hudson River Park.
Subways/Stops: A, C, E, L to 14th Street-Eight Avenue or 1, 2, 3 to 14th Street-Seventh Avenue.
Famous for: $260 million artificial island park supported by 132 pot-shaped structures called “tulips,” one of the city’s newest landmarks.
Price: Free, although timed-reservations for peak hours are needed. Some amphitheater’s performances are paid.
19. Foley Square:
Where: Lafayette, Worth and Centre Streets, south of Chinatown and East of Tribeca.
Subways/Stops: 4 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.
Famous for: Also know as Federal Plaza, it contains a small triangular park named Thomas Paine Park and is surrounded by various civic buildings, including the United States Courthouse and the New York County Courthouse.
20. Little Ukraine:
Where: East Village between Houston and 14th Street, and Third Avenue and Avenue A.
Subways/Stops: 6 to Astor place or R, W to 8th Street-NYU.
Famous for: Historic cultural epicenter for Ukrainian Americans in New York City. It contains the St. George’s Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Museum and McSorley’s the oldest Irish Pub in the city (established in 1854).
Price: The Ukrainian Museum admission for adults is $8.
21. Washington Square Park:
Where: At the base of Fifth Avenue, bordered by Waverly Place, University Place, West 4th Street, and MacDougal Street.
Subways/Stops: A, B, C, D, E, F and M to West 4th Street.
Famous for: Downtown icon that serves as a meeting place for cultural activity, recognized by The Washington Square Arch, its Fountain and surrounded by various New York University buildings.
22. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt:
Where: East 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue.
Subways/Stops: 4, 5, 6, 7 and S to Grand Central.
Famous for: New York City’s fourth-tallest building with a glass-bottom observation deck.
Price:Tickets go from abut $30 and up to $70 depending on the “experience.”
23. Chrysler Building:
Where: 405 Lexington Avenue.
Subways/Stops: 4, 5, 6, 7 and S to Grand Central.
Famous for: One of the most recognizable buildings globally and classic American example of Art Deco architecture, it’s the world’s tallest brick building with a steel framework.
Price: Visitors are welcomed in the lobby for free.
Where: 30 Hudson Yards.
Subways/Stops: 7 to 34th Street-Hudson Yards or 1, 2, 3, A, B, M, N, W to 34th Street-Penn Station.
Famous for: It’s the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, with a protruding 100-stories-high observation deck, glass floor, and a 360-degree view of New York City.