New York is a city of many names, but whatever you want to call it – the Big Apple, the Empire City, – one thing it definitely is, is amazing.
So amazing, that I will most definitely be returning. And as always, here are my obligatory blog posts about my recent trip there and some amateur iPhone photography to go along with it (forgetting to take my SLR on holidays since 2k11).
We landed late at JFK, but god bless the 5 hour time difference (NYC is 5 hours behind) as this meant landing at 11pm was plenty of time for a night out in the city that never sleeps. We didn’t sleep, in fact we were awake for 26 hours straight but it was worth it.
We headed to the luxurious Public Hotel which has a penthouse bar with incredible 360 views of the city, this was my first look at NYC at night and it didn’t disappoint even if I did have a $17 drink in my hand. (For Gossip Girl fans, I genuinely felt like Blair and Serena could have walked around the corner, that kinda vibe). If you want a proper East Village night out this is it, but be wary, you’ll likely have to queue.
We Ubered home and finally slept (for around 4 hours, so more like a nap) before it was time to truly take in Manhattan in the daylight.
Our hotel, was called NYMA and was located in Koreatown which is just two roads over from the Empire State building and just off Broadway: pretty much ideal for an NYC newbie like me, we could walk to most of the Midtown sights.
We were in New York visiting one of my best friends who lives there, so before meeting him me and Tom decided to visit the places a local would happily avoid ie. Times Square. As we walked up Broadway towards the square it was very apparent how close to Thanksgiving it was (we visited the same week) and most shops were fully decked out for turkey day including Macy’s, which literally had a turkey strapped to the front of it. Subtle.
But of course, nothing in New York or the USA is subtle and Time Square was truly an attack on the senses. Lights, noise, taxi’s beeping (which they do rather liberally in NYC) and an amount of foot traffic unlike anywhere else I’ve been. Times Square isn’t ‘pretty’, but it’s huge and really impressive.
As a British female, where would my first port of call be other than Sephora? Of course, there’s an obscenely huge one in Times Square so we started there and hopped around a few of the shops to kill some time before we hooked up with our friend Nick at the steps in the centre of the square.
We were getting hungry and so Nick recommended us a little place I might like as a fan of How I Met Your Mother…actual McClaren’s! (If you don’t watch HIMYM skip the next paragraph). In real life it’s actually called McGee’s and it’s where the writers got their inspiration for the show and the booth we sat in, which was nearly IDENTICAL to the one Lily, Marshall, Ted, Barney and Robyn frequent in the show, was where the actual writers wrote the series. So. Flippin. CoOoOoL.
After we filled our boots with Bud and cheese like good New Yorkers we kept heading uptown to Central Park.
Since I’ve been back from my trip everyone has asked what my favourite part of New York is and it hands down has to be Central Park. Maybe we got lucky with the time of year as everything was gorgeously orange, but there was something about the contrast between the sky scrapers and the trees I’ve never experienced anywhere else and I feel like I could have explored it all day.
We tried to cover the bottom half of the huge park which included the Alice In Wonderland statue and Strawberry Fields in which is situated the John Lennon memorial before taking a stroll back past the zoo to Fifth Avenue.
We walked up the world’s most famous row of shops past Tiffany’s, the Apple Store and the infamous Trump Tower until we got to the Rockafeller Centre and spent a while watching everyone ice skate under the Christmas tree which sadly was covered in scaffolding and being prepped for the post-Thanksgiving unveiling.
Night drew in and we wandered past the lit up Radio City Music Hall and past the queue for the Rockettes Christmas show and hopped in a cab to the West Village and had a wander through Washington Square Park.
We grabbed some food in a quiet little Mexican restaurant called Toloache before jet lag (and our hangovers) got the best of us and we called it a night after a good first day of explorin’.