DO bag the window seat for landing, climb the Rockefeller or hover by helicopter; even natives get a kick from that glittering hypodermic skyline.
DO walk – through the shadowed canyons of Midtown, off-grid in the Village, past tango dancers and trapeze artists in Hudson River Park.
DON’T be blasé. If you try to act unimpressed, you’ll miss the endless human ingenuity on every block.
DO visit a swanktastic hotel even if you’re staying for a song at the Jane, or enjoying the benefits of Airbnb. The bars at the Carlyle, the Mercer, or the Gramercy Park reward the drinking.
DO catch Manhattanhenge – when the setting sun lines up with the cross streets. Failing that, any rooftop at sunset will do.
DO take a tuk-tuk through Times Square even if you’d never consider lingering for a musical.
DO eat on the street. Whether it’s a pavement café on the Upper East Side or a food truck: Comme Ci, Comme Ça and Frites’n’Meats serve particularly fine fare.
DON’T wear headphones and miss hearing the word on the street. Catching New Yorkers on gender, therapy and Armageddon is a treat.
DO seek out unmonied anomalies. The Westbeth; the Bowery; the last carcasses being loaded amid the meatpacking district’s silly millions give a glimpse into the city’s Dickensian divide.
DON’T miss Chelsea Galleries; you’ll see museum quality shows free. On Thursday nights stream between openings with the cognoscenti.
DO museums too. Choose between the Cloisters’ legitimately pillaged religious interiors; the Guggenheim; the serenity of the Frick, MoMA...
DO shop for one-offs in Nolita and knock-offs on Canal Street; savour the holiday window displays at Barneys and Hammacher Schlemmer.
DO find an insider to initiate you into the city’s secret haunts. Enter through phone booths, unmarked doors and Chinatown sweatshops to feel the thrill of a speakeasy.
DO take refuge from the relentless sensory impressions in the garden at St Luke’s, the Seminary in Chelsea or the artful rewilding of the Highline.
DON’T resist the tyranny of grooming. Get a blowdry while you read the New Yorker. Have a mani-pedi and consider the quantity of toenail-clippings harvested each day.
DO tip, double the tax in restaurants and 20% for beauty salon treatments.
DO cross the water to Brooklyn or Staten Island to see the electric prettiness of the city and its bridges.
DO feast when here: Balthazar for breakfast, lunch at the Gramercy Tavern and the Hudson Clearwater for dinner. See newforkcity on Instagram for the inside scoop.
DON’T be tempted by psychics.