Here’s a whistle stop tour of New York you can complete in a few days.  Into John F. Kennedy airport and then drive to the centre of New York via the Queensboro Bridge – past Bloomingdales and catching the bottom corner of the famous Central Park.

The Algonquin Hotel is the literary centre of Dorothy Parker and the Round Table. Be greeted by the hotel cat, bad cabaret jazz and cartooned wallpaper. My favourite example: two rich men are burning a pile of dollars, which are floating to the ceiling. “What a delightful surprise,” one observes, “I always assumed it trickled down to the poor…”

Wandering the streets: Times Square, Broadway, Carnegie Hall, Central Park, the Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue, Tiffany’s, Saks, the City Library, and Central Station with its astronomical ceiling.

Up the Empire State Building. Buying express passes in advance is essential for  queue jumping, different lighting patterns from each side, and great views of the Chrysler building right nearby.

A little further afield, Battery Park, a trip on the Staten Island Ferry, past the  Statue of Liberty, experience New Jersey hospitality (big portions!), glance at Ground Zero, but don’t get too excited. The Craft Steak restaurant is superb, on this occasion with a lightning backdrop, followed by cocktails and a yellow cab home.

Visiting my friend Rob’s apartment, I get to see his brilliant vantage point for taking photography on the roof – it’s only 44 floors up. Lunch the following day in the meatpacking district at the Soho House club – better than its London counterpart, with a pool on the roof. Then visit Macy’s, the Apple shop, and fly to Cancun via Newark.