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
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
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.