E.g., 04/05/2020
E.g., 04/05/2020

Experience the Essence of New York: The Best Picks for your Conference Travels

By: Sascha Wagner, President - Wagner Consulting LLC

29 February 2016

Although New York City is home to over 8 million people, there are millions of others who pass through for just one day or maybe stay for few months. For those who are traveling for less than a week, such as to attend GALA's 2016 Conference, it can be difficult to pick and choose what are the most important things to see and do in a limited time span.

Your New York experience and itinerary can be as varied as your preferences and tastes dictate. Below is a curated list of some of the best spots in NYC that both out of towners and New Yorkers can appreciate and enjoy. Pretty much anything listed is guaranteed to leave you with the essence of life in the city. Bon Voyage!


  1. The Highline (look out for “The Kiss” mural.)
  2. Rockefeller Center, great view of Empire State Building and downtown nighttime, daytime great view of Central Park
  3. Times Square
  4. Flatiron Building
  5. Financial District, Wall street Bull, Stock Exchange
  6. Central Park, The Boat House, Strawberry Fields
  7. Lincoln Center (Ballet, Opera, Theater)
  8. Broadway (Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, Kinky Boots, etc)
  9. Statue of Liberty, take a ferry
  10. Meatpacking District for high end shopping, trendy dining and nightclubs
  11. Columbus Circle, restaurants Robert for good views of the circle and corner of central park both day and night
  12. Brooklyn Bridge, walk to the middle to take pictures
  13. Soho
  14. Little Italy
  15. Korea Town, sing karaoke or have Korean BBQ at Miss Korea
  16. The Met – The Metropolitan Museum
  17. The Museum of Natural History
  18. Washington Square Park, people watching and arch monument
  19. Lower East Side
  20. TriBeCa
  21. Hop On Hop Off Bus, or take the Metro
  22. MoMa – Museum of Modern Art
  23. Manhattan Bridge to Williamsburg, great shot of China town through a hole in the fence
  24. Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial
  25. Empire State Building
  26. Grand Central Terminal
  27. Staten Island Ferry for great views of the city, free!
  28. Chrysler Building
  29. Guggenheim Museum
  30. New York Botanical Garden
  31. South Street Seaport
  32. Union Square – great metro connector
  33. Battery Park
  34. Whitney Museum of Art
  35. St. Patrick’s Cathedral


  • Prospect Park
  • Williamsburg, and Williamsburg Waterfront
  • Coney Island
  • Brooklyn Botanical Garden
  • Brooklyn Museum


High End: Restaurant Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, The River Café (In Brooklyn with Manhattan Skyline), Gotham Bar and Grill, Le Cirque

Trendy Upscale/Casual Trendy:

Uptown (Above 59th Street) – The Boathouse (In Central Park), Boqueria Uptown, The Penrose, Uva, Bondurants, Seamstress, Telepan, Restaurant Daniel.

Midtown (59th Street to 34th Street) – Lavo, Tao Midtown, The Villagio on the Park, Nobu Midtown, Beautique, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, Hillstone Restaurant, The Smith.

Downtown (below 34th Street) - Tao Downtown, Cipriani Downtown, Nobu Tribeca, The Heath, Beauty and Essex, Spice Market, Momofuku, Buddakan, The Smith Downtown, The Stanton Social, Barbuto, Degustation, Employee’s Only, Hillstone Restaurant, Catch Restaurant, Morimoto, Balzem, Boqueria Soho, Fig & Olive, Eataly, Duet, ABC Kitchen, Bagatelle, Balzem, Laduree Soho, Blue Ribbon Brasserie, The Dutch, Waverly Inn, Felix, Agave, Dos Caminos, Beaumarchais, Miss Korea, Aurora Soho, French Roast, Mondrian Soho, 12 Chairs Café, Little Prince, Novecento, Emporio, Perry St. Restaurant, Morandi, De Santos, Delicatessen, Mulberry Project, Sofia Wine Bar and Café, Aldea, MAMO Restaurant, Flatiron Room, Lupa, STK Downtown, The Standard Grill, Montmarte, Westville, Alta, Claudette, Da Andrea, Cafeteria, Ill Corallo Trattoria, Tartine, Lillie’s Victorian Bar and Restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, Gotham Bar and Grill, Tipsy Parson, The Cupping Room, The Grey Dog, Jane, Mr. Chow, The Mercer Kitchen, Gradisca, L’Artusi, Freemans, Buvette, Gato, Salina’s, Babbo, Lure Fishbar, La Esquina, Ofrenda, The Meatball Shop.

Department Store Restaurants best for Lunch: Le Train Bleu in Bloomgindale’s and BG Restaurant in Bergdorf Goodman


Rooftop Bars (Great Views!):

230 5th Avenue, Le Bain or the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel, Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar (Financial District), Plunge (Gansevoort Meatpacking District Rooftop Bar), Top of the Strand Hotel, Roof at the Viceroy Hotel, The Ides (Williamsburg, Brooklyn), Hudson Hotel Rooftop.

Speak Easy Bars (Prohibition Style, Hidden): Back Room, Please Don’t Tell, Little Branch, Bathtub Gin, Dear Irving, The Campbell Apartment, The Raines Law Room

Alternative Shows & Performances (Interactive): Sleep No More, Queen of the Night, Speakeasy Dollhouse, Fuerza Bruta

Have a great time at the GALA conference and in your New York travels!

Sascha Wagner

Sascha Wagner serves as President of Wagner Consulting LLC. Sascha is experienced in providing successful localization solutions, deploying technology innovation, and implementing software development processes. Sascha has over a decade of experience ranging from patent expertise to IT security and project management expertise. He also has a vast expertise in business, with a diverse cultural background and expertise level. His international experience include projects in Ukraine, Asia, and Europe, where he executed successful projects onsite in France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.