Overview Magazine

A New York alphabet

USA & Canada

Close up view of the subway entrance sign at 5th Avenue, New York USA

A is for apple, the Big Apple, and I fell in love at first bite. Whenever you step out onto the streets of Manhattan, there’s a rush of excitement and I still feel that thrill each time I go. Yes, New York is hectic, crowded and rarely quiet but also exciting, bewitching and full of life. With avenues that are canyons and buildings as tall as redwoods, this is a man-made version of the American dream landscape, waiting for you to relish its energy. So come with us on an alphabetical tour of our favourite things about New York.

bridge cable architecture and Brooklyn bridge
© Diccon Bewes

B is for Brooklyn Bridge. The best reason to leave Manhattan is to walk over this iconic suspension bridge, which was the longest in the world when it opened in 1883.

C is for Carlyle. After days filled with walking and talking, this historic hotel is the ideal retreat from the busy city. Quiet, refined and with Central Park views.

D is for downtown. The oldest part of the city, where there’s no grid pattern. As much a direction as a location: wherever you are in Manhattan, downtown is south.

Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island NYC, New York symbol
Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island NYC, New York symbol

I is for insomnia. In a city that never sleeps how do you stay awake? By having fun: nightclubs, jazz clubs, gay bars, cocktail bars, whatever you want is here.

J is for JFK. Originally called Idlewild, JFK is the busiest airport in NYC. If you must stay longer than the check-in times, check out the super retro TWA hotel. It’s fab.

K is for King Kong. You don’t have to be a giant ape to admire the Empire State Building in all its glory. With us, you get an exclusive tour of the Art Deco wonder.

L is for Liberty. She’s 46m tall, green, French and over 130 years old. Enjoying the view from inside her crown is only for a select few, so make sure one of them is you.

M is for museums. The Met, MoMA, the Guggenheim and the Frick. New York has some big names but my favourite is the small but fascinating Tenement Museum.

N is for 9/11 Memorial. Not everything here is about hedonism. I always take time to visit this moving spot with its footprint fountains and endless names of the missed.

O is for observation deck. Tall buildings have the best views but which is the best viewpoint? My picks are One World, the Empire State Building and newcomer The Edge.

Edge Hudson Yards Observation Deck with 360° panoramic view
© Diccon Bewes
Honoring Heroes of 9-11 Memorial New York
© Diccon Bewes
Atlas Statue at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, New York USA

P is for parks. New York can be a concrete jungle so escape to its green spaces. Not only giant Central Park but bijou gems like Bryant Park or Washington Square.

Q is for quick. A New York minute is over in a flash. Nothing happens slowly here (except the traffic) so brace yourself – and leave time to sit back and enjoy it all.

R is for Rockefeller Center. Famed for its Christmas tree and skating rink, this is also a magical choice for private events in the Rainbow Room or rooftop garden.

Fleet of yellow taxi cabs driving down the street of Broadway in New York

W is for walking. I call exploring New York on foot urban hiking. Take a walk up Fifth Avenue, stroll around SoHo or amble to the Ramble in Central Park.

X is for xs. That doesn’t mean ‘extra small’ (nothing is small here), it means excess. This is the biggest, brightest, brashest city in America so revel in its exuberance.

Y is for yellow. They’re everywhere (except in the rain). Taking a yellow cab is a New York movie moment but know where you’re going because the driver might not.

Z is for Zabars. I discovered this archetypal NY deli on my third trip to the city – its bagels are to die for (try one with lox and a schmear). Now I go back every time.

Written by: Diccon Bewes on 10 December 2023

Our annual Inspirations are so great, they get their own seal of approval. Wherever you see this compass logo on an article, it means that we’ve chosen it as one of our Inspirations. All seven Inspirations for 2024 appear on this special map.

You can discover all of Cosa’s inspirations for 2024 here. Or if you’d like to know more, please contact us directly.

A New York alphabet