I often wonder, what’s the point of all of these points? Every place you go someone wants to give you a card to start collecting points. I normally pass them up as I don’t want another thing to keep track of – or the reward really isn’t something I want or can use. However, thanks to Intercontinental Hotel Groups, who awarded me with 68,000 rewards points, I was recently able to experience a day out in NYC, and see what these points were all about. The cool thing is that the points didn’t have to be used for a hotel; it could be used for experiences – which opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to points! Simply use their concierge to book experiences wherever you are traveling – or even in your own home city!
One Day in NYC
I constantly get asked by travelers what to do in NYC, and here’s a perfect day to add to your list of options for one day in NYC that will get you a dose of art, street life and food. I chose to do two things I rarely get to do when I’m in NYC – visit a museum and go out for a special dinner.
It had been years since I checked out my favorite museum in the city – the Museum of Modern Art. When I lived in NYC I was a member there and loved the museum not only for stretching my brain when it came to art, but also loved it for it’s design and architecture of the building itself. It’s one of my favorite places to photograph due to the beautiful lines and layers of the building. And there’s nothing better than skipping the line and having a ticket waiting there for you.
Take a Walk Down 5th Ave
Next I was off to check out a food institution in NYC that I had never been to before but had heard oodles about – Eataly. On such a beautiful NYC Fall day I decided to walk from the MOMA to Eataly in Madison Square Park (about a mile and a half). It’s the perfect way to experience 5th Ave. From high-end shopping to the Bryant Park Library, to the Empire State Building, it’s a great way to see a North/South slice of the city by foot.
La Scuola Grande Eataly
I’ve been to Italy a number of times, however I had never made a trip into Eataly in NYC before. You can shop for Italian foods, cheese, produce, and wine, in the marketplace of Eataly, which is massive and chaotic. You can also choose to eat dinner there at one of the seven restaurants. Or, for a real treat you can attend a special experience at the la Scuola Grande and have an Italian chef prepare a meal right in front of you or view cooking demonstrations and do wine tastings. I decided to make one of my IHG experiences all about food…and there’s no better food than Italian!
The evening’s 4 course meal focused on food from Napoli and was served with wine pairings. The Chef would explain each dish before serving and we were free to go up to the counter and watch her in action and ask questions. And you don’t even need a date as the seating was a big communal table, which is perfect for the solo traveler, or if you simply want to be social and meet people. In fact, I ended up having an epic night out, meeting a couple that were celebrating their 11th Anniversary…and yes, I crashed their anniversary celebration. I figured that I’ve crashed a honeymoon in Italy before …so why not an anniversary too! After dinner, head up to one of the few rooftop bars in the city and have a beer at La Birreria.
Art and food is a perfect experience if you have one day in NYC!
You can read more about my experiences (and see some more terrific photos on the IHG Rewards website).