The world’s most famous skyline is laid out before me, with nothing to obstruct my view. I can see Manhattan — but not hear or smell it — and in 10 minutes I can be in the heart of it. Yet I’m not even in the same state.
After eight months of living here, I’ve finally found it: the perfect place to stay when visiting New York that’s not actually in New York.
First published in the Sun Herald. See the full article by clicking below:
Sun Herald – Manhattan transfer
Newport, New Jersey, is like a magical fairyland: it grants the best of the Big Apple and makes all the bad bits disappear. Newport’s quiet community is directly opposite the World Financial Centre, on the other side of the river, and a train zips over in a few minutes for less than two bucks.
This is a big call but, in some ways, Newport is better than New York City. For starters, you can’t properly see that glorious skyline from within Manhattan — you have to get out on the Hudson River. Even on top of the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Centre, the view is of surrounding buildings, not the long stretch of skyscrapers against a blue or night-time sky.
Newport is also cheaper, cleaner and not at all crowded.
An hour ago I was shopping at the Newport Centre mall, peacefully wandering around Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and The Gap. Instead of trekking across the city from store to store, I had everything under one roof in airconditioned comfort. At Macy’s in Manhattan, you have to battle hundreds of other people; here, staff outnumber customers.
Sightseeing is virtually non-existent in Newport, so if you consider yourself a traveller, not a tourist, it’s easy to blend in. Tourism is so minimal there are only two hotels: Westin Jersey City and Marriott’s Courtyard. And yes, rates are lower than their equivalent in NYC.
Unlike New York, which has few waterfront venues, Newport has several riverside options within strolling distance of each other. My top pick is Michael Anthony’s on the marina, with its uninterrupted view.
Other lively spots include Azucar, offering Cuban cuisine downstairs and a cigar bar upstairs; and Boca Grande, serving Mexican food and 20 types of margaritas.
I do love New York but if you get to the point where you need to escape after a hectic few days or weeks, Newport is ideal. Just keep it to yourself.
Newport, New Jersey, can be reached by PATH train, light rail or ferry from Manhattan. The train costs $US1.75 and takes 10-15 minutes from New York’s Financial District, Greenwich Village (Christopher Street), Chelsea (14th Street) or Penn (34th Street) stations. newportnj.com.
Westin Jersey City is in the heart of Newport and regularly offers deals. +1 201 626 2900, starwoodhotels.com.
Michael Anthony’s is at 502 Washington Boulevard. +1 201 798 1798, michaelanthonynj.com.
Azucar, Washington Boulevard, closed Mondays. +1 201 222 0090, azucarcubancuisine.com.
Boca Grande, Washington Boulevard. +1 201 626 6646, bocagrandenj.com.