For Sydney baker turned café chief Paul Allam, New York City is the ultimate destination. “It’s the energy of it, the vibrancy… it’s always changing, it never stays the same week to week.” The co-founder of Bourke Street Bakery, which first opened in 2004 in Sydney’s Surry Hills, took a punt on the bright lights of Manhattan four years ago in the Nomad (‘north of Madison Square’) neighbourhood and has since opened another four outlets Stateside while living in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighbourhood with his family. “Americans love all things Australian, so we’ve had a good time promoting avocado on toast and sausage rolls and great espresso-style coffee,” he says. “But really, the main reason we moved here is simply because we love the city.” Here’s Paul’s pick of the best things to eat, see and do in the Big Apple.

The Ultimate Gourmet Experience: Jupiter

Jupiter restaurant, New York City, USA

Jupiter is the hot new restaurant on the ground floor of the iconic Rockefeller Centre (the building perhaps best known for its ice-skating rink and 70th floor views over the New York City skyline) in Midtown Manhattan. It was opened at the end of 2022 by three women who have run a restaurant called King in Soho for a number of years – I was taken there by a friend when I first arrived in Manhattan and fell in love with it. Jupiter promises to be just as great although on a much bigger scale. The menu focuses on Italian pasta and wine – including agnolotti stuffed with braised rabbit and spaghetti with clams – while mains include a simple grilled fish with lemon and anchovy butter. And there’s a gorgeous red marble bar great for solo snacking and drinking. A plate of fried artichokes and prosecco on tap… what’s not to love?”

Discover New York  with the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card Earn up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points* That’s 70,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online by 3 September 2024, are approved, and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Plus, an additional 20,000 bonus Qantas Points in your second year upon fee renewal. Annual Card fee is $450. T&Cs apply. New Amex Card Members only. Learn more.

 

The Ultimate Retreat: Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Ace Hotel Brooklyn, New York City, USA

“I had to check out the Ace Hotel when it opened in downtown Brooklyn. The interiors are by Roman and Williams, which is the pinnacle of design in New York City. The lobby is beautiful in a mid-century kind of way. There’s tailored leather and velvety blue draping – it’s elegant and plush, but you feel comfortable there, like sinking into an old couch. The lighting is done so well, it makes everyone look better. Ace Hotels are always super cool but even though this is one of the largest with around 280 rooms, they’ve kept the vibe low-key. I have another reason to love it – Black Seed Bagels have opened an outlet connected to it. My Sunday morning ritual is to ride my bike there to have my bagel and coffee.”

The Ultimate Family Day Out: Governors Island

Governors Island, New York City, USA

Governors Island is one of those little gems. It’s a small island in New York harbour that’s only around a five-minute ferry ride from Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan. It’s been redeveloped and really taken off over the past 10 years as a great escape from the city. We like to rent bikes and ride around the island, which only takes 15 to 20 minutes and passes lots of public artworks. When my kids were little, they really loved the playground known as The Yard. It’s like a repurposed junkyard and parents aren’t allowed in so they can just go wild… with supervision. There’s a spa on the island too – QC NY Spa – where you can have a massage or use the steam rooms and sauna. The spa does sunset aperitivo as well, but you can also just take a picnic across to eat in front of a view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline – that’s pretty cool.”

TIP: The Qantas American Express Ultimate Card has an annual fee of $450. However, you’ll receive a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year to use for eligible international or domestic Qantas flights when booking through American Express Travel Online^. Learn more.

Qantas American Express Ultimate Card

Qantas Amex Ultimate Card

The Ultimate Culture Shot: David Zwirner Art Gallery

David Zwirner Art Gallery, New York City, USA

“The Chelsea district is considered one of the culture hubs of Manhattan and it’s where you’ll find a bunch of incredible galleries such as David Zwirner. He’s renowned for championing really interesting artists across different genres and his gallery hosts different exhibitions running throughout the year (in May the gallery will hold an exhibition of renowned artist Yayoi Kusama’s new works). An artist friend of mine first recommended we go and hang around the galleries in Chelsea but you certainly don’t have to be an expert, you can just wander in and the staff are generally super friendly and happy to talk you through the work. Make a day of it by popping your head into Zwirner and a host of other galleries like High Line Nine, C24 and Lisson Gallery in the area.”

TIP: With the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card, you’ll receive two complimentary Qantas Club Lounge invitations each year after your first Card spend on selected Qantas products and services+ and two Amex Centurion® lounge passes to use at Sydney or Melbourne International Airport Learn more.

$450 Qantas Travel Credit

$450 Qantas Travel Credit

The Ultimate New York Nightcap: The Swan Room

The Swan Room, New York City, USA

“It’s not so much a thing in Australia, but in New York it’s common for locals to go out to hotel bars. They’re not just for travellers, they’re for everyone, and that’s definitely the case with the Swan Room. It’s part of the new Nine Orchard hotel that opened last year on the Lower East Side in a gorgeous old bank building. The ceilings must be 20 feet high, and everything has been restored to that incredible level of New York detail. It has a great drinks list, including natural wines, which are totally my speed, and while I’m not normally a cocktail drinker there’s something about the space that makes me thirsty. I usually go for something fresh and gin based. For food, you can splash out on caviar service or a seafood platter, or foie gras terrine. The bar isn’t big – it’s only around 16 tables – but you can book ahead, or just do what I like to do and wander in to sit at the bar.”

With the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card, you’ll receive a complimentary Qantas Wine Premium Membership#. Learn more.

Plus, receive a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year to use for eligible international or domestic Qantas flights when booking through American Express Travel Online^. Learn more.

Getting there

Fly Sydney to New York Economy one way for 1 person from 55,200 Qantas Points plus AUD $225 taxes, fees and carrier chargesˇ. 

Discover New York with the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card Earn up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points* That’s 70,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online by 3 September 2024, are approved, and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Plus, an additional 20,000 bonus Qantas Points in your second year upon fee renewal. Annual Card fee is $450. T&Cs apply. New Amex Card Members only. Learn more.

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate 5: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in 2023

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ˇQantas Points and taxes, fees and carrier charges quoted for Classic Flight Rewards are accurate as at 3 March 2023 and are subject to change. Classic Flight Rewards are subject to capacity controls, availability is limited and some flights may not have any Classic Flight Rewards available. Taxes, fees and carrier charges are payable to Qantas (excluding any amounts payable to third parties at the airport) in addition to the points required. For more information, visit qantas.com/classicflightrewards.

*Bonus & Eligibility: To earn up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points you must apply online by 3 September 2024, be approved, and meet the following criteria - You’ll receive 70,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 or more on eligible purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months from the Card approval date. You’ll receive an additional 20,000 bonus Qantas Points after payment of your second-year annual fee. Please allow 8-10 weeks after the spend criteria has been met and the second year annual fee has been paid for the bonus points to be credited to your Account. Additional 20,000 bonus Qantas Points will still be awarded after fee renewal even if you did not meet the $3,000 minimum spend criteria to receive the 70,000 bonus Qantas Points. This offer is only available to new American Express Card Members. If you are an existing David Jones Card Member and don’t hold or have not held any other American Express Card(s) in the past 18 months, you will be eligible for the offer. All other Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the past 18 months are ineligible for this offer. Eligible purchases do not include Card fees and charges, for example annual fees, interest, late payment, cash advances, balance transfers, traveller’s cheques and foreign currency conversion. Qantas Points are earned in accordance with and subject to the Qantas American Express Card Points Terms and Conditions. Qantas Frequent Flyer membership and the earning and redemption of points are subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program available at qantas.com/terms. $450 annual fee applies. This advertised offer is not applicable or valid in conjunction with any other advertised or promotional offer.

Image credit: Julienne Schaer (Governors Island), Stephen Kent Johnson (The Swan Room)

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