Chapman Freeborn blog


City guide: New York | Private jet charter

New York, what is there left to say about this city so full of life and character? From songs extolling its virtues and exposing its seedier underbelly, to movies where every shot feels so familiar. Everyone is a tourist in New York, but the city is more than just the bright lights of Times Square and the shopping mecca that is 5th Avenue. Head out of Manhattan and discover the four other districts that make up a destination that attracts 33 million tourists every year.

Discover a cultural offering that acts as the perfect antidote to its devotion to consumerism and find another face of New York.

Getting here

The good news is that you have three airports to choose from in the form of JFK International, LaGuardia and Newark International. The bad news is that all three are frequently congested and the subject of delays.

JFK is the most popular landing point for international arrivals, commercial and private charter, with more than 100 airlines from 50 different countries touching down here. The airport is located in the borough of Queens and is serviced by an air train that connects directly to the New York subway.

The first commercial airport in North America, Newark is located in New Jersey around 12 miles from central Manhattan. Jump on an Amtrak train into New York or the commuter train out to New Jersey destinations.

Finally, there is LaGuardia which serves mainly domestic journeys and flights to Canada. This airport is found in North Queens, six miles from Manhattan.

There are several other smaller airports dotted around the region that mainly serve private charter flights.

Things to do, places to go

Empire State Building? Check. Statue of Liberty? Check. These iconic structures do not disappoint but hardly need mentioning as items for your wish list. Instead, take a look at some of the more under-the-radar attractions that make this city the kind of destination you can visit over and over again and still find something new and fun to do.

High Line, Gansevoort Street

This cross between public park, art space and nature reserve opened in 2009 on top of a disused freight rail line running high above the local west side neighbourhood of the Meatpacking district. Saved by residents and the City of New York, the line was transformed into a 1.45-mile long area of greenery, gardens and art installation.

You’ll find access points at several locations along Gansevoort Street including wheelchair-accessible elevators at three of those entrances. Along the line, you’ll find lawns, formal and informal planting, art installations including videos, water features and space to play. A perfect way to spend a tranquil afternoon.

Open Air Concerts, various parks

Covering all musical tastes and genres from opera to rock and everything in between these free concerts are the perfect way to get the most from NYC’s open spaces. Join Patti LaBelle or Hozier when they hit Central Park or a festival celebrating all things LGBTQ with an evening of music and comedy. It’s all free, so grab a drink and a picnic and enjoy some top-quality music in some beautiful locations.

Bronx Zoo

Opened in 1899, this well-loved zoo is a much-appreciated wildlife hub in the middle of the urban sprawl. Spanning 265-acres and home to more than 6,000 animals there is also an onsite animal hospital and plenty of opportunities to learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts across the globe with some of the world’s most endangered animals.

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, West 42nd Street, Hell’s Kitchen

For a night of total hilarity, head to this bastion of improv comedy. Performing group sketches and solo sets you’ll find seasoned professionals and young start outs acting out zany comedy, all made up on the spot. Book in advance.

Queens Jazz Trail

There are a lot of reasons to go to Queens, home of some of the finest food in NYC, with an impressive Chinatown district and plenty of street food options. One other reason to go to Queens is because of its deep associations with jazz. Home to Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown, follow the jazz trail around the largest and most ethnically diverse borough in New York.

Where to eat and drink

Night and day, every day of the year, you will find every type of food under the sun. The very best way to find that killer restaurant or a bar with all the atmosphere and best cocktails is simply to let your feet take you. Wander around Greenwich Village or Midtown and you’re going to stumble across any number of eateries that catch your eye. Just bring your appetite, the servings are going to challenge even the hardiest eater.

La Esquina, Kenmare Street, Soho

Looking for a little bit of fun and a whole lot of exquisitely-prepared Mexican food and Margaritas? Head down to the little Taco fast-food stand on the corner of Kenmare of Lafayette. Walk-in, give your name to the guy standing by the Employees Only door and head down to a subterranean restaurant that’s just secret enough to give the whole evening a hint of fun.

Good food, a great atmosphere and that speakeasy feel make it a great place to impress. Book ahead.

Sunny’s Bar, Conover Street, Brooklyn

Back in the 1890s when this bar came into being, it would have been the hang out for the artistic, creative and the jobless. Festooned with knickknacks, home to some great live music and packed full of history, this bar is part dive part local joint that has a great selection of beers and an even better selection of characters who you’ll no doubt get chatting to.

The Spotted Pig, West 11th Street

You can’t reserve a table at this fantastic restaurant but don’t panic, the food will more than make up for the wait, and there’s a bar onsite to enjoy a pint of the restaurant’s own Spotted Pig ale. The food is essentially comfort food done exceptionally well, and the ever-popular house burger epitomises this. There’s also a great selection of fish and vegetarian options as well. While you can’t book ahead, do try and avoid the busiest times over lunch and dinner.

Clover Club, Smith Street, Brooklyn

We’re not talking about a fancy Manhattan, red carpet style bar but the Brooklyn alternative, lower key, a great atmosphere and cocktails to die for.

The beautiful bar and booths are conducive for a great night out and with a good evening and brunch menu on offer you’re not going anywhere. Reservations are available between Sunday and Thursday, but Friday and Saturdays are first come, first served.

Where to stay

Like everything else in this city, where you stay is very much down to personal choice and whichever neighbourhood you find yourself drawn to. From the bars and clubs of the Lower East Side to the shopping centre of Midtown, each area is unique and has its distinct characteristics.

The Whitby, 18 W 56th Street, Midtown

You’ll come here for the location, but you’ll stay for the stunning interior design of this 86-room hotel. Just a couple of blocks from Central Park and a short stroll to Broadway, the location is perfect too for bars and restaurants. Not that you’ll want to get away from the hotel’s own fantastic bar and restaurant with its vaulted ceilings and unique styling.

The French Quarters, 346 West 46th Street, Hell’s Kitchen

Hungry? You’ll find this individual hotel bustling for space alongside the restaurants and bars of Restaurant Row. Spacious rooms and suites are stylish and tastefully decorated and allow the jet-lagged traveller plenty of room to lounge around and recover. The hotel is a tribute to the tastes and culture of New Orleans, reflected in both the bar and restaurant located on the ground floor.

Rooms are available for both short stays and for longer lets. Enjoy a decent breakfast and step outside into busy Manhattan life, thanks to this hotel’s excellent location.

Opera House Hotel, 436 East 149th Street, Bronx

This hotel started life as the Bronx Opera House where the likes of Harry Houdini, the Marx Brothers and John and Lionel Barrymore all graced the stage.

The friendly staff will gladly point you in the right direction for the perfect dinner date in the district. From here you can explore the former Dutch colony of Harlem and of course the Yankee Stadium.

Rooms are spacious and modern. A great alternative to the usual offerings of Manhattan.

Boro Hotel, 27th Street, Long Island City

They welcome pets, have an onsite bookstore and offer an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline from many of this boutique hotel’s rooms in the Queens district.

Comfortable, clean and spacious, this hotel has plenty of restaurant options in the neighbourhood and is close to the subway.

Ace Hotel, 20 W 29th Street, Flatiron

If you’re looking for some edge and art to your stay, this is the hotel for you. You’ll love the funky, art-filled rooms but you’ll be more impressed at what happens in the hotel when the sun goes down, and the fun gets going.

Co-working space by day, the hotel’s lobby becomes a great hangout for cocktail drinking hipsters. Check out the fabulous cocktail bar, restaurant and oyster bar. One thing’s for sure, you’re not going to be bored staying at this unique abode.

The Inn at Irving Place, Irving Place, Gramercy Park

A world away from the super modernist interiors of some hotels, this brownstone townhouse is classy and intimate and straight out of a turn of the century novel. You won’t find a neon sign in sight, but instead, you’ll find eight gorgeous rooms.

Be sure to book a table at the hotel’s Lady Mendl’s Tea Saloon for a luxurious spread or enjoy some hilariously named cocktails and light bites at the Cibar. A treat for the senses and in the perfect location to begin your explorations of the city.

Getting around

Navigating NYC is no hardship, the grid system helps make schlepping across the city easy but flagging down the ubiquitous yellow cab is as easy as sticking out an arm, so take a load off and jump in.

To experience the city like a real New Yorker head underground and jump on a subway train that runs 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Get hold of a Metro Card and load it up, allowing you to swipe in and out using the pay per ride scheme. This card will also get you on buses, which are found all over the city and are as regular as every 15 minutes, with some operating 24-hours day and night.

If you’re feeling energetic, you might also want to explore NYC on a bike with the Citi Bike available as part of the bike-sharing system. Download the app on your phone or pay online in advance to get started.

Best time to visit

If you’re looking for all the deals, then the cheapest time to visit New York is between January and the end of February, however, if you’re looking for better weather then stick to Spring and Autumn.

The summer is hot and humid with temperatures reaching up to around 29 degrees. Perfect for lounging in the park but less pleasant for walking around and exploring.

Autumn is a great time to visit while the evenings are still fairly long and warm but cool enough that they’ve lost that oppressive humidity.

Final call

You could come to New York for any number of reasons, but nothing will escape the fact that this city is fun. Music, culture, art, food and shopping all neatly wrapped up in five exciting and diverse boroughs. Do go and see the Statue of Liberty or go up the Rockefeller Centre for a better view of the skyline than the Empire State Building, but also meander a while on foot around Brooklyn and see what’s hot in this exciting neighbourhood.

Every time you go back, New York offers you a different experience. Take a trip and find out what more you can uncover in the Big Apple.

If you are looking at booking a private jet charter to and from New York contact us today.