Bite the Apple

Imposing skylines, buzzing life on the streets - NEW YORK really is the city that never sleeps.

Words: Jack Mottram

New York is one of those funny places that isn't so much a geographical location as a point on the cultural compass. This means that a quick trip to the deli to buy a tall half-and-half iced latte with a cherry on top can become a careful tiptoe along a Henry James paragraph, followed by a mournful amble past some Leonard Cohen lyrics, culminating in a refreshing blast of Grandmaster Melle Mel. Fortunately, the City's founding fathers had the foresight to arrange their streets on a grid system, making aimless wandering a doddle for even the most directionally challenged visitor. And this is the only way to see Manhattan: forget cabs and the subway, affordable though they are, and throw away your map. This haphazard sight-seeing can only lead to the finest delis (even

Bring on the night: Time Square

the tiniest of which will offer a staggering array of grub for the grease fiend or the amateur dietician), cosiest cafes (where the constant refills can land you in overdose territory) and best bars (which all serve Bass, for some reason).

Another advantage of the pointless stroll, as locals never tire of pointing out, is that New York is a city of contrasts. Turning a corner can mean the difference between towering skyscrapers surrounded by swarms of

intimidating business people and dilapidated brownstones with a care-in-the-community type on every stoop. And, before you start fretting about muggers on crack, New York is now officially the safest metropolis in the States, thanks to Mayor Guigliani's policy of zero tolerance. Many New Yorkers claim that this has ruined the unique atmosphere of the place, but it effectively means that even the scuzzier Downtown areas feel safer than Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night.

Reach for the sky: the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings

Stating the obvious

Central Park Side-stepping roller-bladers can be a chore in the summer months,

but the beautifully tended acres of lawns,

arboretums and ponds provrde the perfect respite from the frenzy of rush hour traffic.

Empire State Building A very tall building that affords a King Kong’s-eye

View of all New York Frankly unmissable,

and worth repeated Visits to see the city by night, at dawn and by day

Museum of Modern Art Paintings that have become stale thanks to ubiquitous reproductions turn out to be shocking in the flesh, and each room contains an unknown gem by a master A holiday destination in ‘tself

The Statue of Liberty Smaller than you might imagine, but the welcoming lass With a torch is still worth a look AVOid the lengthy queues for expensive [Our ferries and check her out for free from

Brooklyn Heights.

Greenwich Village Full of the kind of Jazz Clubs and coffee homes that New York is famous for, these bohomian areas of the City are made for pedestrians.

The List Alternative

Cinema Classics Upstairs is a comfy Central Perkish coffee house, only With furious games of speed chess in place of moaning yuppies Downstairs houses a 30-seat miniature cinema which screens everything from Woody Allen double-bills to atrOCiOus B-mowes With live stand-up commentary 332 E 77th Street

KGB SOViet-themed bar and mini-theatre that serves drinks strong enough to fell an elephant and provides shelter from the political climate Outside its doors, where peoole seem to think that Bill Clinton is dangerously left-Wing 85 E 4th Street

The Gorilla Rep Free Shakespeare in Central Park that has the audience

STA Travel's guide to surviving the cities

Like it or not, yOur introduction to ’getting away from it all' is likely to begin With urban sprawl. This C0uld spell smog, expense and the first bus out. However With a little planning, you'll get a glimpse into the heart of a COuntry, in a City too pre-occupied With itself to treat yOu as a stranger


Battling With taxis, bartering for rooms, fighting through hoards at the railway station ~ Delhi can be a lethal dose of Culture shock. The best advice is pretend you know where you're gOing, be patient and once you’ve SurVived Delhi, you can tackle any City in the world no problem!

Fly to Delhi from £395


This City is like a gorgeous old woman With wrinkles showmg through her make up. GraVity and old age have taken their toll, but the fine rum, Cigars and incredible architecture echo her former decadence. At night the City walks to the rhythm of a th0usand bongos and once you leave you'll get a feeling of nostalgia every time you get a whiff of Cheap diesel.

Fly to Havana from £397


Crossing the road is a major Challenge here and the crowds, sleaze and potential rip-offs send many a traveller scurrying for shelter. Take it siowly by escaping onto the canal's water taxis, Visit glistening temples and manic markets Once you've had a taste of this place, it Will seep deep into your veins and you'll find yOurself heading back for more. Fly to Bangkok from £395

Fare quoted include tax and are for Scottish departures

scampering after the cast as they Climb trees and vault bridges While managing to stay true to the text. Details on 2 72- 330-8086

Korova A droog-friendly recreation of the nitespot in Kubrick's A C/ockwork Orange, With the moloko replaced by needlessly strong cocktails. Skirting the fine line that separates the naff from the cool. 200 Avenue A

Christopher Street Makes Manchester’s Canal Street look like a Salvation Army day Out, With bars, restaurants and, strangely, furniture shops open all hours Some bars may be less than friendly if yOur sexual preference doesn’t match that of the Clientele, but most welcome all sorts

Getting there

STA Travel offer return fares from Glasgow and Edinburgh for £268 (inc taxi. In October this drops to £219.

STA Travel are at 184 Byres Road and The University of Strathclyde, 90 John Street Glasgow. Tel: 0141 338 6000

27 Forrest Road, Edinburgh. Tel 0131 226 7747 0 30 Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen. Tel 0122 465 8222 0

111nm usr 5- l2 Aug l999