All aboard the Marrakech Express
July 31, 2018

New York State of Mind

By Steve MacNaull

The full moon is auspicious.
Perched at a corner table bordering the wall of windows on the 35th floor of Asiate restaurant 
with the view spilling out to Columbus Circle and Central Park, my wife and I remark this lunar 
illumination can only spell good luck.
I'd already jogged effortlessly in Central Park, New York City's forested gem, that morning.
And now, Kerry and I are dining in the sky in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel's signature resto 
overlooking it.

Louis Roederer Champagne is sipped.  Foie gras and halibut is consumed. And plans are made to 
cycle the 10-kilometre circumference of Central Park the next morning.
Back in our sumptuous room on the 46th floor, with the same jaw-dropping vista, 
our resolve doesn't waver.  An alarm is set for 9 a.m. (we don't want to get up too early) and 
by 10 a.m. (after a yogurt-and-granola breakfast at Asiate, of course) we're on the ground 
procuring two-wheelers from BikeRent.NYC. The resulting peddling is magical. We glide in dappled 
sunlight parallel to Central Park South for a bit before cruising along Central Park East for a 
stretch, with dog walkers and the doorman-protected regal apartment buildings of Fifth Avenue 
to our right and little-league baseball games to our left.

Central Park truly is an 843-acre playground for all.


We pass Museum Row, with its Metropolitan and the Guggenheim,
before stopping at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir 
for reflection. 

Then it's a mad peddle push past Harlem, up and down the 
Great Hill before we can stop at the famous Tavern on the Green 
for rose wine on its live-jazz-infused  courtyard.  We return 
the bikes tired, but determined to conquer yet more of Manhattan.
New York City is the kind of place that begs to be devoured, both 
high-brow and low-brow.  Thus, we enjoy polished Brazilian jazz 
at Dizzy's Club at the Lincoln Centre below the Mandarin Oriental 
and strolling through tacky Times Square.

We take in the hot new Broadway show The Donna Summer Musical 
(Bad Girls, anyone?) and follow the hordes up the elevator to 
the 68th-floor Top of the Rock observatory at the Rockefeller Center.
Sated by Midtown, we transfer to Lower Manhattan and check 
into the new and trendy Four Seasons Downtown.  This isn't your 
mom and dad's Four Seasons.
It's hip and boutique and the concierge there suggests we spend the afternoon 
at the High Line.
It's the abandoned, elevated rail line turned leafy, linear park spanning from the Whitney 
Museum of American Art through the Meatpacking District.



We detour off the High Line to Chelsea Market at 15th Street 
to sip yet more rose at Corkbuzz,a wine bar by master 
sommelier Laura Maniec.

Then it's back to the Four Seasons to swim in the stylish 
third floor pool before sprucing up to dine on filet mignon 
at Cut,the steakhouse by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, 
just off the lobby.






Next morning, to jog off the indulgence, I follow the Esplanade along the 
Hudson River from Tribeca to Battery Park, saying hello to the Statue of 
Liberty on Ellis Island along the way.



That evening, we'll return to the riverfront at North Cove Marina 
to board the 35-foot wooden sailboat Tara with Tribeca Sailing to 
venture into the Hudson, and ultimately New York Harbor, to say 
hi to Lady Liberty again.

It's a surreal and intimate cruise, juxtaposing serene outdoor 
activity with the skyscraper-choked skyline of Lower Manhattan.



Befitting our bespoke experience of Manhattan, Kerry I and arrived 
at the Big Apple from Vancouver via Air Canada's Signature Service, 
not in New York, but in Newark, New Jersey, which is the handiest 
airport for Manhattan.

Air Canada flies into Newark from five cities, Vancouver, Calgary, 
Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Signature Service amps up business class with fast-tracking through immigration, so you can 
start enjoying New York sooner.

Check out NYCGo.com, AirCanada.com, MandarinOriental.com and FourSeasons.com.
Steve MacNaull
Steve MacNaull
Travel writer Steve MacNaull has the best of both worlds. He lives, works and plays in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada, a tourist destination in its own right. Plus, he wanders the world experiencing the latest and greatest producing stories for QuickTripTo.com and syndication in newspapers and magazines across Canada.

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