No city in the world is as inspiring as this one. Patrick Van Rosendaal has been living and working here for 7 years and is so in love with the city that he made it his life’s work. He founded BE NY, a company for city guides by Belgians and for Belgians. “We know the city and speak the clients’ language, that helps”, he says. He is an official member of the GANYC (The Guides Association of New York City) and wrote an original and very funny guide about the city: BE NY, from tourist to New Yorker. The book will be published in German and in English soon and a new book is coming up this summer.
His company BE NY organises tours for companies, groups and families and often works together with SEAUTON, for the Howest trip for example.
Patrick Van Rosendaal is the ideal person to talk about New York’s appeal as a meetings and events destination, and he gives us some tips and advice along the way…
Why is New York such an attractive city for anyone who is organising a meeting or an event?
“First of all, the city is very accessible. It has three international airports and a network of buses and trains. And of course: everyone loves to come to New York. It’s great if you can combine business with pleasure. Moreover, New York is an international city, where many large companies have their headquarters.”
What’s an absolute must in New York?
“New York isn’t the most beautiful city, but it’s definitely the most dynamic and inspiring city in the world. So get outside and experience it, for instance by
- Watching the skyline. It doesn’t matter if you watch it from Top of the Rock, the Empire State Building or the new One World Observatory, but it’s something you should absolutely do. New York is a fairly young city; it’s only 400 years old. That skyline shows you four centuries of dreaming. It proves that people can achieve anything as long as they don’t stop dreaming.
- Going out for dinner. New York has 24,000 restaurants, with kitchens from all over the world. This multicultural culinary life is simply fantastic. There are so many things to discover, and this clash of cultures results in new creative ways of preparing food. Sushi burrito is the latest culinary hype, people are actually queuing for it, and so are the ramenburger and the cronut – a combination of a donut and a croissant.
- Taking the metro. It is the quickest way to move through the city and offers you a kind of cross-section of society. I always say: you are doing a city trip, but you are getting a world trip.”
Which are the latest hotspots in New York?
“Especially if you have visited New York before, you should go and discover new districts outside of Manhattan. Brooklyn, especially Wiliamsburg and Dumbo, is very hip and happening. I recently saw someone in Dumbo who was wearing a T-shirt saying: “I live in Manhattan because I can’t afford Brooklyn”. That about says it all.”
What’s your favourite season in New York?
“ I don’ t really have a favourite, every season has its perks. Though I am looking forward to having a drink on one of the rooftop bars in the summer. If you’re planning a trip to New York, I would recommend autumn or spring. Not too hot, not too cold, ideal for a city trip. This time of the year – spring - is very special for Belgian visitors. There is a large Anthony Van Dyck expo at the Frick Collection (until the 5the of June) and a Marcel Broodthaers retrospective at the MOMA (until the 15th of May).
One last tip?
Book a guide! :)
Planning a visit to New York? Patrick Van Rosendaal’s book “BE NY, from tourist to New Yorker” is the perfect city guide!