The epicentre of the world according to every Armageddon-themed movie ever made, New York’s also a welcoming, walkable city which begs to be visited when the days are long, the spirits high, and the air-con’s omnipresent. Its familiarity belies a forever changing chameleon of a personality, as the heaving bulk of an 8m-plus population spawns endless new fads, fashions and foodstuffs.
Newly-opened Innside New York NoMad sits on the Manhattan grid between trendy Chelsea and the flower district. A quiet neighbourhood mostly home to (you guessed it) florists, nearby streets are lined with six-foot walls of green flora for sale, an ethereal jungle shielding pedestrians from traffic. The hotel’s raison d’etre is to give guests tips on ‘hidden’ New York, sharing Innsider knowledge on what’s fresh and different in the city. Great for those who’ve visited the Big Apple before, but it’s also on the cusp of touristville, a few blocks from the Empire State building and Times Square, making it a good choice for first timers, too.
Where to eat:
New Yorkers didn’t invent brunch, but they’ve mothered it so well it’s basically theirs. Brooklyn’s residents head to the outdoor Smorgasburg every weekend through the summer, a veritable feast of food stalls taking in every kind of cuisine from 11am onwards. Chill on the grassy Williamsburg banks of the east river, taking in the Manhattan skyline opposite.
Come dinnertime, head to the hip Lower East side via a stroll across the Brooklyn bridge. The Fat Radish is popular with locals. It started life as a British restaurant, but now there’s nary a mashed potato or pie in sight and the menu’s morphed into hearty east coast fare with an international twist. Start with Long Island clams, followed by roasted Pennsylvania trout and wild rice, finish with homemade cinnamon donuts.
The hotel's Impero Caffé is also a destination restaurant in its own right, run by American TV chef Scott Conant. It transforms into an Italian coffeehouse in the mornings, and has outdoor seating too.
Get out and active:
Summertime is for fitness and Manhattanites take to it with gusto. Join a morning SoulCycle class, a high-octane version of spinning mixed with a weights workout, beloved of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Attendees are offered earplugs (best to accept, you’ll need them), but over pumping hip-hop the instructor delivers a motivational soundtrack of her own – exercise therapy if you will.
Very American, but it has cult status for a reason. A less sweaty option is the Fit Tours sunrise yoga walk around Central Park. Tours are led at a heart-raising pace around the key sights while listening to a commentary from the leader, with frequent breaks to make simple yoga poses at beauty spots.