How about a Danish with your Apple?

Denmark’s prince and princess – plus unofficial Danish royalty – take New York by storm

If you have a week to spend in New York City, you might want to take a few tips from Prince Frederik and Princess MaryÂ’s tour book. The future king and queen were in New York last week to paint the town red and white.

When the pair weren’t giving television interviews and visiting schools in Harlem and Queens, they were eating jerk chicken in SoHo, watching a NY Jets (American) football game across the Hudson River, nibbling their way through the Union Square Farmers’ Market – Manhattan’s largest – and attending an opening of cool new Scandinavian art (’Luminous Modernism’ at Scandinavia House).

Although the sun was shining, New York felt particularly Danish when the prince and princess showed up for the New Nordic Cookout in Union Square and renowned the Danish chefs Rene Redzepi of Noma and Adam Aammann of Aamanns were standing behind the tables serving up both bites and soundbites.

New Yorkers can now get a genuine smørrebrød experience any time, as Ammann just opened his new restaurant serving the traditional open-faced sandwiches in New York’s downtown Tribeca neighbourhood. Meanwhile, uptown at 57th Street, the Danish architect wunderkind Bjarke Ingels was busy building his pyramidal, luxury apartment building on 57th Street. Ingels, who was the 2011 recipient of Prince Frederik and Princess Mary’s annual culture prize, also received a visit from the royal couple in the just-opened New York offices of Ingels’s architecture firm, BIG.

Later, the princess trekked across the East River to Queens to visit the landmark of another Danish innovator and emigrant who made his mark on New York – the 19th-century journalist and social reformer Jacob A Riis, who emigrated from Ribe to Manhattan in 1870. The Jacob A Riis Neighbourhood Settlement House in Queens, was established in 1950 to improve opportunities for inner-city children and families. Today the community centre is still going strong and the foundation arranges cultural exchanges where urban New York children can get the chance to come to Denmark for a week and learn about Riis’s homeland.

Princess Mary met some Queens residents, listened to stories about cultural exchange, and impressed at least a few young aspiring princesses.

Frederik and Mary finished their New York trip on Tuesday.