New York… Where to start!? There are hundreds of websites you could use to try and find out a thing or two on the big apple… The reason we turn to blogs is that these sites reel off boring uninspiring facts that leave us none the wiser! And a blog gives a personal opinion. A genuine perspective which you, the reader, can choose to love or leave. You need “an inside guide” as it were. Luckily a friend of mine who frequents New York got her Manhattan pal to send her a list of places to stay, see, eat, drink and cherish! (Which she kindly passed on to me!) So I can share a few of my best bits with you now, but hey!… The fun of it is finding it out for yourself! So get ready for the trip of your life!
First of all you need to decide where to stay. As first timers, our choices were limited. My close friend works for a law company that has an apartment in the city. So for us it was ‘pay for accomadation and we get to choose were we stay’ or ‘stay with our friends for free’. We went for the obvious choice. The apartment was on 51st and 7th. (You’ll get used to it.) excellently located close to Times Square and the rockerfella centre.
As soon as we landed we headed straight into Times Square for dinner. It’s Christmas Eve. And it’s manic! We could not believe how busy it was at 10:30 in the evening. Goodness knows what we were expecting… Probably the local streets in Essex aren’t a good comparison? So the moral of this part of the story is; New York really is ‘the city that never sleeps!’
We felt sick. Physically. You know that feeling when your so tired?… And you plough on… And you do it over and over again… That’s New York. Well it was for me. (Getting old!) but you get used to it. You fight it. You do everything in your little minds power to stay focused and tick boxes off the bucket list! And it’s obviously worth it.
So this stunning concrete jungle has beautiful and diverse sights that can’t be missed… In order of my favourites here they are:
- See a Basketball match at the Barclays centre in Brooklyn.
There’s nothing like this is the uk. I recently heard on the radio that a true American never turns up to the game on time… So I guess we did it like the newyorkers and turned up fashionably late! There’s lights, cameras, music, beer, hotdogs, and kiss cam! (Yay!) This really was amazing! We had such a laugh. Relaxed and yet surprisingly exciting. We didn’t want it to end! We would definitely go back for more…
Woodbury common outlet centre is a must for designer gear at discount prices! I read mixed reviews on this before we visited. Some were saying “not worth the hours journey and the bus ride”… “Not much of a saving for last years clobber” etc etc… Well… Don’t believe it. Unless your very wealthy and you frequent Valentino and Chanel on the regs… Your going to be impressed with the discounts. Especially for the guys. The savings were unbelievable! Macy’s at Herald Square is a beautiful store. As are all the other major flagship stores like Saks fifth avenue etc. Just make sure you do your saving before you go and don’t do what my buddy did… Forget your credit card!
- The high line (Chelsea / Meatpacking)
This area was my favourite. It’s trendy and exciting. It reminded me a little bit more of home in a weird way. So my friends that have been before usually stay in this part of the city, which I imagine is lovely because you can get out of the hustle and bustle and away from the crowds for a bit. (Well a little). On our way here from the subway we nipped into a cute little vintage store and got chatting to the staff. They gave us a little bit of an update on the area which was great! New Yorkers love to chat to the English so it’s undoubtedly the best way to get useful hints and tips! Apparently Meatpacking District was very different 10years ago… “Before it turned into the fancy schmancy place that it is now!” (LOL). The best part of this area is the high line. An old train track that runs up high which used to carry produce from out of town into Manhattan to the factories etc for work and sale. It was the life line of the city. Over time as technology developed the freight trains were used less and less and eventually not at all, and slowly the land moved parts of the track and left a little bit of history that you can ponder along and enjoy at your own leisure. Walk for hours and take in the sights of the district.
- Times Square
Crazy! Think of this as the Oxford street of nyc. However x10 or more because it’s sooo busy alllll the time! The lights are bright and Broadway calls to you from every new street and corner. It’s an awe inspiring place to be at any time of the day. If any one has seen Percy Jackson and the lightning thief… The part where they get trapped in a time warp and they forget how much time has gone by? That’s what Times Square is like… Coming down the escalator from the Disney store I wondered… “What’s the time? It must be about 5pm?” (Checks phone… Gasps!) it’s 11pm. The lights are so bright from the adverts and the billboards on skyscrapers that you genuinely feel as if it could be any time of day! Weird!…
- Ground zero
As you can imagine… Immensely emotional and sobering. Take time to take in this amazing sight dedicated to a heart-renching day in history that has touched millions of our lives forever.
- Brooklyn Bridge
Another example of the outstanding architecture in this big city. Walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn and taking in the views was a brilliant experience. A long walk… But well worth it. To get here we walked from China town and through Little Italy so my recommendation (an ultimate law for New York is wear good shoes!!
- Statue of Liberty
It’s another must really isn’t it? We took the free ferry to Staten Island and saw the famous lady from a distance. You can probably see it better in a picture… Or on zoom on your iPhone.
There are many other incredibly places to visit in New York that I haven’t mentioned… (Unfortunately we didn’t get to go up the Empire State or top of the rock due to poor visibility… But I would say this should be at the top of the list and when we go back it will definitely be no.1!) I want to include it all but I’m getting tired… I have work tomorrow and need to be up early so I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the puzzle that you can see either explained or you can probably work out for yourself from the scenery. (E.g Central Park). There really is so much to do here. We packed what we could into 5 days… (If any of you have done it in less I’d love to hear from you!?) for now though… What I craved between my sore feet and wandering wide eyes in that big mad town and what meets me here now in the same weighty mysterious way… Is Sleep.
3.2.16 – update
I’m going to try and condense this last paragraph into a few “top places to see and eat” in a few short bullets and quick snaps…
- Central station ; The Campbell Apartment
A beautiful bar with lots of history and a hint of secrecy. Glamour up.
- Bubba Gumps ; restaurant @ Times Square
- Little Italy
- China town
- Maddison Square (ice-skating!)
- Williamsburg ; for a night out
- Central Park