A New York Dream with Peter Greenberg
Travel Editor for CBS News
Emmy Award-Winning Journalist
I'm constantly moving, only sleeping four hours a night, traveling on a plane at least three days a week. My travel cravings all have to do with water – on it, in it, looking at it, sleeping near it. I define a great place by where I sleep the best – even if it's just four hours – and I sleep the best near or on the water. My earliest travel memory is taking the subway and the Madison Avenue bus to school, and realizing the possibilities if I just stayed on and how far I could go.
I would spend my perfect day in NYC because it is one of the three cities I call home. I would stay at The Pierre uptown and Soho Grand or The Greenwich Hotel downtown. My most memorable moment here was leaving the windows open in my room at The Pierre one summer night so I could hear all the animals at 2 in the morning from the Central Park Zoo. Talk about an amazing lullaby.
The places you should definitely see
1. Central Park – Go uptown above 72nd and away from the tourists at 59th Street. Instead, check out the Conservatory Gardens in Harlem. Also walk to the top of Belevedere Castle at 79th Street.
2. Brooklyn Bridge – go on foot or bike, you can't beat the views or the experience, just watch your back for bikers and don't walk in the bike lane.
3. One of the city's ethnic communities. Bypass traditional Chinatown – go for Koreatown, Brighton Beach, Jackson Heights or Flushing.
The activities that can't be missed
3. Kayaking on the Hudson River
My favorite places to eat
1. Authentic New York Chinese at Pig Heaven – you can't miss the sauteed string beans and the ribs.
2. Three Guys – it's the ultimate New York diner and coffee shop. It may sound weird but they have the best cheeseburgers in New York (after The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien) and the Rice Pudding is the best I've ever had.
3. New York Pizza is a classic. Yes, Grimalidi's, John's and Lombardi's are all great, but pass on the pizza every once in awhile and go to Fresco for their homemade melted gorgonzola-topped potato and zucchini chips.
My favorite "hidden gems" are
1. Sables – Upper East Side old-school New York Deli. Here's where you get the New York bagel and no one leaves without a taste of the lobster salad. And for die hards – Barney Greengrass on the West Side for sturgeon.
2. Better Being Underground – Hidden sandwich shop in the West Village.
3. And my top secret gem is about 50 miles east of Manhattan – Fire Island, my most special place. 32 miles long. Never more than a third of a mile wide, this incredible barrier beach is accessible only by boat. And once you get there, you walk, bike, swim. I've gone there since I was six months old, and it's where I always go to relive my youth, freedom and innocence.
The most romantic thing you can do here: Walk. Walk everywhere, who couldn't fall in love in New York? The view from the Mandarin Oriental makes me swoon a bit too.