NEW YORK ― What’s romantic? Taking your sweetheart to New York City.
The most exciting metropolis in the world packs a lot of living into every hour.
Here, even hicks from the sticks feel like they’re Somebody from Somewhere.
It all starts with your hotel.
My advice is to cut your stay by a night ― and pay a little more for the room each night. Two of the most romantic hotels in New York are diametrically opposed in location and their charms ― the cuddly Hotel Elysee near Central Park and the sexy Standard in the Meatpacking District.
Ice skaters in New York’s Central Park.(Detroit Free Press/MCT)
Beyond that, here are a few suggestions for lovey-dovey moments:
Taking taxis or walking.
Save the unromantic subway for schlepping point-to-point. A subway is as romantic as a root canal.
Unless it’s rush hour, taxis swoop you around like a VIP to make the most of the precious moments you’ve got.
Walking lets you see the sights up close.
Taking her to see Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” at the Museum of Modern Art.
It’s on the fifth floor of the amazing museum. You don’t have to spend all day. Just go in, take the escalator all the way up, and see the greatest modern art collection in the world. Van Gogh. Matisse. Pollock. Warhol.
Taking him to the Little Lebowski Shop in Greenwich Village.
The shop stocks everything he’s ever going to need in the way of “Big Lebowski” movie memorabilia, including “The Dude Abides” T-shirts and action figures of Walter, Donnie and Jesus. Bowlers, unite.
Having a Big Apple martini at Harry’s New York Bar in the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, opposite Central Park.
You can sit on the same stool that the Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley, used when she came to visit her property. This bar is a New York icon.
Taking the tour boat to the Statue of Liberty.
If you have time to walk up to the pedestal or crown, go ahead, but the most romantic part is the boat. As it approaches Lady Liberty, snap a photo of yourselves in iconic New York. You even get a second chance for Liberty pictures when the boat swings back around toward Ellis Island.
Watching skaters in Central Park.
Skating there is not particularly romantic because of all the adorable screaming children on the ice, but from a distance, it’s pretty. If you want to skate, Rockefeller Center has more adults.
Finding “your” restaurant.
New York has eight zillion chichi restaurants, but it is possible that the one you’ll want to go back to every time you come to New York is a deli on the corner. Just find a restaurant that calls to you, or ask your hotel concierge for a romantic idea.
Seeing Times Square at night and going to a show, but not one that he will hate.
Broadway is full of girly musicals like “Mamma Mia” and “Mary Poppins.” Instead, try “Billy Elliot” or at least something with more guys in it.
Going to a club you can get into.
It is sadly unromantic to promise to take her to the hottest club in the city, then get the cold shoulder at the entryway. Either a) skip it; b) know someone; c) be willing to spend $1,500 on bottle service; or d) sorta-kinda get the experience. For instance, the Top of the Standard is one of those beautiful-people clubs, entered by invitation only after 11 p.m. But hotel guests and other riff-raff are welcome from 4-9:30 p.m., sort of the early-bird special of clubs.
You still get the amazing views from the 18th floor, and the waitresses still look like (and maybe are) supermodels.
And there are bound to be some pretty cool people there, including you.
If you go:
Getting there: A taxi from the airport to Manhattan hotels is $30-$35.
-Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53d Street ($20; 16-under free; www.moma.org, 212-708-9400)
-The Little Lebowski. 215 Thompson Street in Greenwich Village (www.littlelebowskishop.com, 212-388-1466)
-Top of the Standard, Standard Hotel, 848 Washington St. (www.standardhotels.com, 212-645-4646). Call ahead for hours that it is open without invitation.
-Harry’s New York Bar, 36 Central Park South, in the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel (www.helmsleyparklane.com, 212-371-4000). Try the Big Apple martini, $19.
-“Billy Elliot the Musical,” The Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St. Opened 2008, winner of 10 Tony Awards. Tickets start at $41.50 (www.billyelliotbroadway.com or Telecharge, 800-432-7250)
-Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor. Because trips sell out quickly, buy tickets online in advance. ($13, $10 over age 62, $5 ages 4-12; www.statuecruises.com, 877-523-9849)
Romantic eats in NYC:
According to the restaurant reservation site Open Table.com, these are New York’s most romantic restaurants:
-One If By Land, Two if By Sea (American, Greenwich Village, www.oneifbyland.com, 212-255-8649)
-Antibes Bistro (French, Lower East Side, www.antibesbistro.com, 212-533-6088)
-Erminia Ristorante (Italian, Upper East Side, www.erminiaristorante.com, 212-879-4284)
-The House (American, Gramercy, www.thehousenyc.com, 212-353-2121)
-Carlyle Restaurant (French, Upper East Side, www.thecarlyle.com, 212-744.1600)
For details, see www.opentable.com
By Ellen Creager
(Detroit Free Press)
(McClatchy-Tribune Information Services)