Canadians adopt a New York state of mind

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Posted June 18, 2015 by Sandra Williams-Herve in International Travel
New York City Skyline

Manhattan, as seen from Brooklyn, is always a calling card for Canadians during the summer, when the city is alive with theatre, arts and culture. (Julia Pelish file photo/Vacay.ca)

Vacay.ca occasionally publishes articles on destinations outside of Canada. In this article, contributor Sandra Williams-Herve writes about things to do and enjoy in New York City.

Story by Sandra Williams-Herve
Vacay.ca Writer

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK — New York is known as the global capital of cool, and for good reason. It’s hard not to be enamoured with the city — the bright lights, immense skyscrapers and fashionably hip people. It has an undeniably electrifying energy. And despite the unfavourable currency rate, Canadians are continuing their love affair with New York City. As summer vacation plans solidify, we know that the Big Apple will be a major draw for Canadians. More than 1 million visit the city annually, according to NYC & Company. Here is a quick and current guide to help you plan your trip.

Where to Stay

So, let’s begin with the number one question: where to stay in New York? Whether it’s your first time or 101st time, Times Square is a fantastic place to call your temporary abode. Yes, it’s crowded; however, this iconic part of town truly is the centre of it all. Here you’ll find street performers, giant TV screens, people milling about day and night, and a magical nighttime glow.

If you’re looking to capture the pulse of the city, my suggestion is to stay at the Millennium Broadway Hotel on West 44th Street. It’s located in the middle of the theatre and restaurant district and is walking distance to museums, Central Park, shopping on 5th Avenue, and of course world-class theatre. This high-quality hotel is moderately priced for the area and is a great option for both business and family travel.

The 626-room hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows, making way for some of the best views in the city. Young children will enjoy the kids’ concierge package, which includes a soft teddy bear named Alfred, and the Toys R Us (yes, the one with the giant Ferris wheel) is a stone’s throw away.

Where to Eat

If you’re on quest for a culinary experience, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Your wallet, though, may take a beating. But if you travel during Restaurant Week — which runs from July 20 to August 14 — you’ll hit the foodie jackpot.

Experience some of the city’s top restaurants like Tribeca Grill and Morimoto for a fraction of the price. And despite an unsuccessful foray, Toronto celebrity chef Susur Lee is giving New York City another try in 2015 by opening up a new restaurant and “grab ‘n go” eatery in Manhattan’s newly constructed One World Trade Centre.

What to Do

In New York the possibilities are endless, but your bank account most likely will have a limit. To get the most out of your time and to stretch your dollar, I’d recommend purchasing a CityPASS. This pass provides you with a discount to the city’s top attractions, such as the Empire State Building and Natural History Museum for a nine-day period. Another option is to buy a one-day, two-day, three-day or seven-day New York Pass.

tickets-new-york-city

Get your tickets! This ticket booth in Bryant Park was once a spot where visitors could purchase circus tickets. It’s not there anymore, but the attraction of shows on and off Broadway remains an indelible part of the New York experience. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Broadway bound? Canadians have a long history of starring on Broadway from “Call Me Maybe” hitmaker Carly Rae Jepsen to Stratford alumni Paul Nolan the list grows longer every year. Celine Dion’s former back-up singer turned Grammy Award-nominated and multi-talented performer Deborah Cox made her first appearance on Broadway in Aida in 2004. Since then she’s become a regular fixture on the Great White Way. Cox, a Toronto native, recently wrapped up a stint in Josephine, an original Broadway musical that is slated to run in the spring 2016. She is also scheduled to star in the theatre adaptation of the 1990’s film The Bodyguard, also due next year.

Hot productions this summer include Chicago, Les Miserables and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

More About Visiting New York City

Flights: Air Canada, Porter Airlines and WestJet offer daily flights into LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark (New Jersey) from Toronto and Montreal.

The Canadian Consulate in New York

Address: 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY
Telephone: 1-212-596-1628

Millennium Broadway Hotel

Address: 145 West 44th Street, New York, NY
Telephone: 1-212-768-4400
Room Rates: A recent search returned a price of $313 per night.

About Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week is a biannual citywide event that occurs between February and March and again around August and September. This is a perfect opportunity to dine at the city’s top restaurants for a fraction of the price.

About Broadway Week

Two-for-one tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway productions are available twice a year. This event typically takes place just after the start of Restaurant Week and runs over the same period during February/March and August/September. In 2015, it runs from September 7-20 and tickets are on sale on August 19.


About the Author

Sandra Williams-Herve
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Sandra Williams-Hervé is a writer, actress, and producer who divides her time between Toronto, Canada and Paris, France. She was bitten by the wanderlust bug early in life and has visited just about every continent. After growing up in Ontario, she hopes to visit all of Canada’s diverse provinces.

 
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