Few things compare to a summer’s day in Manhattan, from lavish lunches to transcendent art galleries, a visit to New York never quite leaves me unfazed.

The shortest story about New York would be: “I am just a city.”—Tommy Wieringa

Cafe Fiorello, a little Italian restaurant on Westside Manhattan, overlooking Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Opera is where I like to start my day in New York City. While I am enjoying freshly made Benedict eggs with a celebrity lawyer David, he’s booking a private jet to take him to Florida in two hours. “It is like an Uber for Jets”, he says casually. “Miami is always great, come along,” he tells me, but my preference is always to immerse myself in the thrill of New York City. Every moment in this great city is different and if I were to go elsewhere, it would hardly top my New York City experience. Something’s gotta give, and the love I have for Manhattan I am yet not ready to trade away.

Lunch at Le Cirque

I like to have lunch in Le Cirque, a restaurant in the iconic Bloomberg building on 58th street. La Cirque, the playground of famous New Yorkers and Hollywood movie stars, always reminds me of the amazing charity gala I performed at in the organization of The Serbian Royal Family and their fantastic humanitarian organization, Lifeline New York.

Nevena Bridgen with Dr.Ruth Westheimer at Le Cirque

It was a great honor to perform for our Royal family and hear from Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic himself about his great friendship with Queen Elizabeth, his godmother. I performed aria from an Italian opera La Boheme, in front of Ivanka Trump, Luann de Lesseps, Kelly Bensimon, diplomatic core and many other charitable friends of the LifeLine foundation. Le Cirque has an opulent atmosphere and an effortless elegance and a great atmosphere I highly recommend.

Aperitivo on rooftops of New York

One of my favorite places, if not the favorite, is the rooftop of the Yale Club of NYC on Vanderbilt avenue, overlooking New York landmarks such as Helmsley Building located at 230 Park Avenue between East 45th and East 46th Streets in Midtown Manhattan and the iconic Grand Central station. The Yale club has a classic old-school elegance I adore.

Yale Club of New York City

Chill champagne with calamari fritti served with the best sweet chili sauce made especially for the Club by a Caribbean Chef is something I always come back to every time I am in NYC.

Bryant Park

Walking distance from Yale club is my favorite, Bryant Park. I love it in the summer for its lush gardens, open cinema, and free activities. In the winter time, thanks to the Bank of America it transforms into most magical Winter Village with the ice skating rink.

Nevena Bridgen at Bryant Park

The Core club in Manhattan, is the must go location for awakening your senses and satisfying your appetite for art and new creative ideas. I appreciate the comfort and sense of privacy that The Core club offers. It’s artsy, it’s chill, it’s refined. What I like about an exceptional, modern, fine dining restaurant at The Core club, is the laid back, not pretentious atmosphere combined with amazing food. The Core club is ideal for restoring your energy after a busy day. I love the library where I can come in and catch up over a glass of chill lemonade with friends.

Dinner at Zuma

Zuma on Madison Avenue is one of the places that connects me to home. I am a frequent guest of Zuma in London and when I am in need of that familiarity I go to  Zuma NYC. It is a different setting, slightly warmer layout but the sushi has definitely the Zuma signature.

Zuma New York
Zuma NYC

Metropolitan Opera

What would a visit to NY be without going to the Met? The most prestigious, magical grand theater, the pinnacle of an opera singer’s career that every classical singer dreams of. What I love apart from the acoustics, repertoire, layout, and grandness, is that this opera house cares to give the best experience to the audience. Every seat has a digital subtitle screen that goes simultaneously with the performance. I respect that commodity.

Metropolitan New York

I have seen many shows in the Met,  but I recommend the modern Las Vegas themed production of Rigoletto. I enjoyed Zeljko Lucic’s 100th performance of Rigoletto and I am very proud that I can treasure that moment. Toska,Otello and La Boheme are always a good choice if you are coming to the Met.

MOMA-Museum of Modern Art

What strikes me is that in NYC none of the museums have free admission. In London museums and art galleries are mostly free.That is not case with MOMA but it is worth spending money on it if you are fan of Cubism, Surrealism and Pop Art. Immerse yourself with the progressive artists who are the leaders of their generation. MOMA is home to some of the biggest names in contemporary art such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo to mention just a few. It is truly one of the world’s finest museums.

On the avenue, there ain’t never a curfew
Ladies work so hard
Such a melting pot on the corner selling rock
I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I’m from
New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
Nevena Bridgen
Nevena Bridgen

Founder

Nevena Bridgen is the Founder of The Wives of Westminster. She is an opera singer and a wife of MP Andrew Bridgen.

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