High Line

NYC Favorite Things - Tourist Recommendations

After living in New York City people are always asking us what they should see when they visit the city. Many people think they want to see the non-tourist spots, but the truth is there’s a reason why everyone wants to visit the same spots: they’re really cool. Here are our top 5 recommendations to tourists:

1.     911 Museum - this is worth a half-day and a trip to the top of One World Trade. While this is a heavy emotional experience, it speaks so much to the core of America and New York City. It’s well worth taking the time. I would do it on the front end of your trip rather than finish with this.

2.     Top of the Rock - best view in the city hands down. There’s so much to do in and around Rockefeller Center like the NBC Studio Tour and watching the ice skaters, but the best part of Rockefeller Center is the view from the top. It’s worth the ticket and long wait in line.

3.     Staten Island Ferry - this is the best free show in New York City. Jumping on this 30 minute ferry ride gives you an incredible view of the statue of liberty and a nice look at Lower Manhattan as you come back into Manhattan.

4.     Ellen’s Diner - this is the most unique dining experience in the world! If you enjoy Broadway tunes this is the place for you as the wait staff goes above and beyond serving you food, providing live music non-stop. They’re all incredible performers!

5.     Chelsea Market/High Line - this spot is becoming more popular with great shopping and even better food. Stop in for a treat and then spend some time walking up and down the High Line Park just a block away.


Additional recommendation:
     Double Decker Bus Tour - we’ve taken many tours before moving here and the best one we took about a year ago on a double decker bus. It’s worth paying for one day in the city as you can see so much more by taking advantage of these bus systems. Beyond the ride, the tour guides are all great and can point out details about the city that are always fascinating!

NYC Restoration

NYChighline I love New York City for so many reasons!  Today as I took a tour of the city the guide pointed out an old above ground rail line that was turned into a city park called the High Line.   He explained that it sat vacant as an eye sore for more than a dozen years until someone or a group of leaders recommended restoring it as a city park.

Trust me, it's not like any city park you have ever seen!  It really is beautiful and was packed with people enjoying the jogging trails and elevated view of the river nearby.  Real estate in the area shot up after the park was built and new buildings have since been built around the park as it is such an attraction today.

In the church world we often see the headaches that come come with restoration and rebuilding and quickly jump to starting a new church or ministry rather than restoring an old one.  Please don't get me wrong, I believe strongly in church planting and the launching of new ministries.  In my own ministry experience, I would describe my 2 greatest successes to be ministries that I built from the ground up.  I have also worked hard to "restore" existing ministries without gaining traction on multiple occasions.  Launching a ministry is incredibly challenging and I would say that rebuilding one is even more difficult.

While restoration is challenging, especially in the church, it is incredibly necessary.  Some churches or ministries might be dead or need to complete their life cycle, but many still have plenty of life left and even greater years ahead.  There are thousands of churches in our country with incredible history and deep foundations, but have lost direction and gone through significant decline.  The churches desperately need strong leadership and change agents who can bring restoration and new life.  They need leaders with vision and passion that appreciate the past and see opportunity for the future.

Over the past ten years I have seen so many friends in ministry jump on the church planting bandwagon and it is my hope in the next 10 years that I see even more jump on the restoration bandwagon.


View other posts in this series:

Under Construction

Making the Most of What you Have

Attention to Details 

Starbucks Everywhere

Experience and Excellence

Different Perspective