New York, New York: so good they named it twice. Can I name it a third time, or is that a bit excessive?
For our 21st birthdays, my friend Anna and I whisked ourselves off for a 5-night stop in the Big Apple. Having never been before, we decided to take the proper tourist-y approach of exploring the city (although I’d love to go back and be able to experience life as a ‘proper’ New Yorker someday). It’s now been over a month since the trip, so I thought I’d tell you all about it, share some of the best photos I took and melt into a little puddle of post-holiday sadness.
For starters, neither of us had ever travelled long-haul, so the flight in itself was a source of great excitement. We only experienced a little bit of turbulence (they must’ve known I’m a nevous flyer!), and spent the flight watching the in-flight films (The Theory of Everything for me, Gravity for Anna) and playing Sudoku.
Staying on Times Square was also so, so handy, and really helped us get into the spirit of things even though the jet lag was kicking in! The first thing we did was head to the Starbucks opposite the hotel (I know, I know) and take our drinks to sit on the Times Square steps. Cliché, but when being a tourist in New York it’s got to be done.
Over the five days we explored as much of Manhatten as possible with the help of our subway passes and our tired little feet. We went to the Top of the Rock, up the Empire State, saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, cycled and rowed around Central Park on a beautifully sunny day, visited the Statue of Liberty on a boat tour and immersed ourselves in the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Ground Zero.
We also made the most of the food NYC has to offer. We ate at a mixture of chain restaurants (and let me here say how much I wish we had an Olive Garden in the UK because it was incredible) and little hidden gems we found on our travels – particularly a lovely little bagel house in SoHo (here’s their website – if you’re ever around I highly recommend!) and on our last night, a pizza place called John’s of Times Square, which used to be a church and has a really lovely vibe (and stupidly huge pizza). We also stumbled across a food festival in Little Italy where I tried deep fried Oreos – better than you’d expect – and ate the best street food of hotdogs and pretzels.
Finally, the shopping. We frequented the Sephora on Times Square more than once, and scheduled in visits to Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. Anna even managed to pick up a gorgeous Kate Spade bag for $50 off! I may or may not have dropped $200 on make up while we were there, but I really don’t regret it. I’ve never looked so fab.
On our final night we went to the View in the Marriott on Times Square for a few last-night cocktails. It’s on the 48th floor (I think!) and revolves ever so slowly to give you a full scope of NYC views. The napkins are really helpfully printed with what you’re looking at from which direction – if only I could show you the one I snaffled on our way out, but it’s stapled into my little New York scrapbook. Yes, I’m *that* person.
In what seemed like 5 minutes, we were boarding the plane at Newark to come home. I still can’t believe I’ve been, and would go back in a heartbeat. If you’ve been, I’m sure you’ll know what I mean!
Until next time,