The 2015 New York International Auto Show rolled into the Big Apple at the start of April, enabling car enthusiasts to get up close to some of the finest luxury cars on the planet. Thousands of visitors have flocked through the doors of the Javits Centre in recent days, many of them no doubt fighting the urge to hop behind the wheel and take one of the vehicles for a spin around the city. And with so many spectacular sights to take in, who can blame them? So with a view to offering a glimpse of what a luxury car tour of New York holds in store, we teamed up with luxury car hire specialists Imagine Lifestyles. Accompanied by Hunter Williams, a New York based photographer, they set off in a top of the range Red Ferrari Italia Convertible and took in some of NYC and New Jersey’s top landmarks.
Touring New York in the lap of luxury
As we highlighted in our post about the New York Auto Show, there’s an incredible appetite for the latest luxury cars and gadgets. Of course, touring the auto show floor is one thing, but nothing beats hopping behind the wheel and actually driving these beautiful machines for yourself. That’s where Imagine Lifestyles come into play; they specialise in providing people with luxury and exotic vehicle rentals in the Big Apple, enabling both residents and visitors to tour the city in style.
“The NYC luxury and exotic rental market is great. People rent exotic sports cars for summer getaways to the Hamptons and luxury SUVs for ski trips. Then there’s those who look to surprise a loved one on special occasions, be it a birthday or anniversary,” said Ryan Safady, co-CEO of Imagine Lifestyles.
Joining Ryan on the city road trip was photographer Hunter Williams, who appears to have been bitten by the ever infectious luxury car bug: “While exploring New York’s boroughs, I felt an intense sensation of being the “popular kid” in the school. If you are tempted to rent a luxury car, I highly recommend it. Riding around in the exotic car definitely heightened the journey,” he said.
The vehicle of choice
“For this particular journey, we opted for the Red Ferrari Italia Convertible. It is one of the best vehicles in our fleet; a hard top convertible complete with that classic red Ferrari colour. And with 562 horsepower and 0-60 mph in just under 3 seconds, you can’t go wrong. This car will turn anyone and everyone’s head; it’s like driving a celebrity.” Safady explained. There are of course countless models to choose from, with both Ferraris and Lamborghinis ranking among the most popular options. Safady also revealed that their 1965 Shelby Corba is particularly sought after in the NYC area, as is the Bentley Flying Spur and the Rolls Royce Phantom. “When the weather picks up, our Stingray Corvette, Porsche 911 and Aston Martins become very popular. And when it comes to SUVs, most people prefer our selection of Range Rovers, Porsche Cayannes and Cadillac Escalades.” he said.
NYC is often described as a concrete jungle, but it’s also home to vast green spaces and gorgeous waterfronts that enable you to soak up the city’s classic skyline in all its glory. This particular journey focused on some of the city’s best loved landmarks, from the imposing Brooklyn Bridge to the Statue of Liberty herself. Here’s an overview of each stopping point, complete with some insights from Williams.
Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park overlooks both the NYC skyline and the Statue of Liberty, with a generous helping of green space and an inviting waterfront promenade. “Liberty State Park represents a larger image of New York City: it shows a peaceful side of the city that isn’t usually conveyed walking around Manhattan. Entering Liberty State Park, I was surprised to see the vast fields and space available for outdoor activities.” said Williams. “To the left, Manhattan rose well above the horizon, and to the right the Statue of Liberty stood looking outwards towards the ocean. It was the perfect spot to take it all in.”
Head across the Hudson River to the city of Hoboken and park up along the waterfront, where sweeping views of Manhattan await. You’ll find inviting walkways stretching along the river banks where residents and visitors congregate to enjoy light walks, picnics and gorgeous views. The Hoboken area is fairly compact and most restaurants and shops are within walking distance of the waterfront. Washington Avenue is the main thoroughfare, whilst the independent stores and boutiques on Willow Avenue are always worth a visit.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of Williams’s favourite locations to shoot, thanks to its combination of striking views, lush green spaces and outstanding ice cream! “Driving through DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in the Ferrari was an amazing experience. The convertible-style car was just pure fun. Shooting the car was particularly challenging (as there’s not many places to park it), but I enjoyed jumping out of the car to fire off some shots against the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge backdrop,” he said. “Many people don’t realise that the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge are only a couple blocks apart – both are just as beautiful.” And if you’re visiting on a hot summer’s day, or simply fancy indulging in some heavenly flavours, Williams has one top tip: “I recommend treating yourself to an ice cream from the Brooklyn Bridge Ice Cream Factory. Getting my favourite two scoops on a cone gave me a tasty snack while exploring DUMBO and the East River bank.”
Home to no less than two New York sporting institutions; the Giants and the Jets, the MetLife Stadium is the city’s largest sporting venue. As well as NFL games, the 2.1 million square foot venue also plays host to concerts, college football and other high profile events throughout the year. Located in the borough of East Rutherford in New Jersey, the MetLife Stadium was built just a stone’s throw away from the old Giant’s Stadium and offers sweeping views of the NYC skyline in the distance. If you happen to visit on a match day you’ll be treated to a spectacular light show, as the stadium’s exterior lights up with the colours of either the Giants or the Jets – depending on which team is playing on the day.
Now it’s your turn”¦
Feeling inspired to embark on your own luxury road trip in and around the city? In addition to the locations mentioned above, Williams also has a few more must-visit hot spots up his sleeve: “New York City has many hidden jewels outside of the popular tourist attractions. One of my favourite scenic places is the Hudson River Park. Walking downtown starting at 14th, you can see much of the city’s skyline. Walk far enough and you just may find yourself playing a scenic game of mini-golf on one of the piers,” he said. “Another of my favorite locations is Madison Square Park, as it seems like every time I walk through it, there are different pieces of awe-inspiring public art displayed on its grounds.”