I won't lie, this post will be majorly picture heavy so I guess that's why I've decided to do this as two posts. I've think I've been putting this post off for a lot longer than I realised - purely because I think I still have major holiday blues. New York was most definitely one of the best places, if not THE best, I've ever been. It actually breaks my heart that I'm typing this from the UK! Also, It was a little hard to break this post up really so I apologise if it's a bit jumpy.
To give you an idea of what we did on our first day in New York here's a super short and concise list:
- Brief walk around Central Park
- Spending a little time at the hotel getting ready for dinner
- Headed out for dinner in Lincoln Square
Also, as an insight to the trip, four of us clubbed together to take my mom for her birthday. Growing up I was lucky enough to go to America quite a few times but, New York was still on the bucket list. For as long as I can remember, me and my mom have always spoken about how we wanted to go, so surprising her for her birthday was incredible. Seeing her reaction (of tears) and the smile on her face really was, as MasterCard would say, priceless.
If you scroll down a couple of images, you'll see her looking super cute in Central Park with her bobble hat and Raybans on... We ventured into the park on our first afternoon in the city but only really explored more of the park a few days in which is when the photo wa taken. It's a bit overwhelming for sure, I mean I expected it to be huge (as you see on maps or films etc) but I don't think I expected it to be as big as it is. One thing I personally loved was all the doggos. By 'all the doggos' I really do mean ALL the doggos! Dog lovers unite.
Anyway, Before I start to make this sound like a post dedicated to my mom and/or dogs, I'll insert some more pictures here and do some more waffling - enjoy!
Those. Fire. Escapes. Honestly, how care fire escapes be this beautiful?! And why are fire escapes in the UK not on the outside of buildings?! I digress...
If there's something I do well, it's shop. Alas, we shopped. And shopped. And shopped. Admittedly, I didn't actually buy a whole lot whilst I was there but, that didn't stop me looking.
Soho was incredible for shopping. The architecture was beautiful, as you can see, but the selection of stores was just as good. There's something for everyone. Whether you wan't high street or high end, alongside beauty stores etc, there really is a huge amount of choice. I'd definitely propose you have a stroll around.
One store I loved was the Converse store on 34th. The selection of product they had was AMAZING and the staff were all so lovely. You could also make custom pairs, picking your fabric, lace colour etc. Again, I didn't actually end up getting any (as the pair I wanted had sold out in my size) but still a cool store!
We went in loads of brands we have here at home, purely to be nosey inside the stores, but also found some new stores we hadn't heard of. Of course, we ventured into Macy's and I can honestly say I really didn't like it. From the outside, the beautifully architecture really grabs your attention but, the second I got inside - nope. The layout of the store is super confusing and it was really messy. I much preferred heading into small stores by individual brands than department stores. It was quite overwhelming!
Day two started off very well with us having breakfast at Brooklyn Diner. Think ridiculously sized pancakes with bacon & maple syrup, perfectly cooked poach eggs and bottomless coffee - because exactly what it was. Sadly, I was too busy eating my body weight in sugar and carbs to take a photo but all you have to do is head to their website to get even the slightest idea of what I mean. Another fun fact about the diner is that there's a lot of famous people who've eaten there; each and every one of those people have a small name plaque on the wall around the place they've sat. My claim to fame will now be something along the lines of 'I sat on a table near to where Tyra Banks once sat.'
After breakfast we headed back to Central Park to have a proper look round and of course think of some xoxo Gossip Girl moments. We ventured over towards the met where, of course, members of the public were pretending to be Blair Waldorf on the steps of The Met, before heading to the Natural History Museum. Boy, does the NYC version rain all over the London version (sorry not sorry!)
Nobody goes to New York for the first time and doesn't go to the Empire State Building, Times Square or The Rockefeller Centre. So, of course we did exactly that. At the Empire State we went to the top deck; the 102nd floor. And instead of doing the Rockefeller in the day, my brother booked us a night trip. A way to see the city differently and again it didn't disappoint. I think both of the above are something you have to experience, even if just once, to take in the view and see things from a different perspective.
Our third day was another early start and despite the difficult leap out of bed, we really did want to make the most of our time. We grabbed a quick, and slightly less stodgy, breakfast at Fresh & Co before heading to look at Grand Central. As we stopped in Midtown - The W Hotel to be precise - it wasn't too far for us to walk. It really is exactly as it's portrayed on the movies/tv shows etc etc. A beautiful building, with the beautiful addition of a shake shack downstairs too...
One of the most sobering and strong memories from this trip has to be Ground Zero. For any of you that have been already, I'm sure you'll understand what I mean when I say this, but it's a really hard atmosphere to explain. In a city that never sleeps, it's such a quiet and almost peaceful place, which very much contrasts the actual chaos that happened in 2001. It's hard to believe that it happened nearly twenty years ago, but they've turned the space into something beautiful and thought provoking. There's also the 'new' addition of One World Trade Centre which stands proud and in strength.
I think visiting the space really puts things into perspective. I won't delve deeply into it but, it really is a beautiful monument that you lose yourself in for a small amount of time. I would urge you to visit Ground Zero to understand the feelings and thoughts you feel whilst there.
After Ground Zero, we wanted to chill out and see some more sites. Instead of paying to visit the Statue of Liberty, we jumped on the Staten Island ferry to get another view of this beautiful city. Above is just a snippet of the view but, I would definitely recommend doing this as opposed to solely the statue. One, you don't have to buy a ticket and two, it's another nice way to see the skyline. It's super easy, you get to do it twice (there and back) and it's the perfect opportunity to relax for a little while before you carry on walking for miles!
Later in the afternoon we also headed to the Meatpacking District. Chelsea Market was already on our hit list as we were starving, so we headed there when we got back to Manhattan. If you're anything like me (super indecisive) I'd recommend walking around to discover some of your options first OR just go to Creamline and get some buttermilk chicken!
We had the weather on our side the whole day, so following that we headed to the High Line and actually ended up sunbathing (fully clothed of course) on a grassy area we found whilst walking along. I absolutely loved the High Line; it was so unusual but I loved seeing the architecture in surrounding areas. I even managed to spot some apartments designed by the late Zaha Hadid.
Anyway, I'm going to end this post here as it's super long already but, I'll be posting part two very soon. Keep an eye out if you want to see more of whatI got up to in New York.