NYC - Does it ever sleep?
New York New York
“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” -Tom Wolfe
As a first time traveller to the big apple, of course I had great expectations. Growing up watching many an iconic love story roll out on the top of the Empire state building, or in the middle of the Rockefeller ice rink during a perfect snow fall, - BIG expectations.
As a travel lover, travel photographer, and now turned travel blogger, I try to take in and indulge in every single morsel of every trip. I want to be everywhere at all times, up early, out late, and not missing anything!
I got to witness the first snow of NYC last year and it really was magical. I happened to be on Ellis Island at the time with my partner being the all time tourists upon a cruiser viewing the big lady herself, and a gentle cold breeze came out of nowhere. The snow bucketed down and of course a quick sprint to Times Square was needed!! - queue photo opportunity.
I could talk about every single place I visited and every single shop, restaurant and amazing stand I found, but I will condense my list to one that like-minded people might appreciate!! I hope you enjoy!
I could have spent another month in NYC visiting all of the places that I missed but unfortunately there is only so much you can pack in to a week. NYC really is a city that can offer a different experience to everyone, and a different holiday every single time you visit. Each borough boasts its own individual pride, and nothing can take that away from NewYorkers!
New York, is one of America’s many cities that NEVER SLEEPS, -it really is the 24/7 city with something new around every corner to suit everyone’s needs. If you are not cranking and straining to admire the tall architectural structures, you are watching your feet to ensure you don’t accidentally walk over a steaming grid or someone’s toes. The bustling city is vibrant, iconic, and just damn wonderful.
My Top Places in New York (in NO particular order)
Manhattan is the ultimate walking destination, forget hailing a cab, enjoy the experience of wandering the streets, deciphering google maps, or do what I do and bring a walking GPS, i.e my partner in crime who has an unnatural memory when it comes to complicated road systems. Realistically, with the never ending NYC traffic, you are nearly faster using your own two feet, and it is a way to explore secret treasures that you just cannot plan, no matter how good you are. We walked straight into a parade our first day out, unplanned, but brilliant.
Brooklyn Bridge at Night – it has to be done at night! Now, in saying that, we accidentally did the route at night as we were quickly loosing the daylight, but it was definitely worth it. As a photographer, I was in my element. ICONIC. Yes, that word shall be repeated several more times for effect, but to be honest it is the only way I can describe it.
Dunkin’ Donuts Broadway – I added this in just because, yes, we are animals. DONUTS!!
Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller - Manhattan Skyline – We decided to do the Top of the Rock rather than the Empire State so we could get an amazing view of the Empire State, and man did it not disappoint. It can be expensive but we were there in low season so it was within budget. Unfortunately it is not included in the city pass that we purchased but well worth the extra spend! The iconic view of Manhattan's Skyline! -There I said it again! #SoznotSoz
Macy’s at Herald Square – Do I need to explain ladies?
Central Park – You could spend the entire day from breakfast to dinner walking around Central park. It is beautiful, vast and an indulgent green oasis sitting right in the middle of the craziness that is NYC. Perfect for the midweek slump to recharge the batteries, and PERFECT for all those photo ops you were looking for. Horse drawn carriages, romantic strolls through the woodlands and around the lake, boat rides, cafes, the list is endless. It is breath-taking, - but make sure you bargain with the horse drawn carriages, - they can smell tourist a mile away!
Grand Central Station – yes you stand atop the grand staircase and expect a flash mob and a good looking boy next door to sweep you off your feet, *cue music….* but, nevertheless, ICONIC movie setting or not, central station has plenty to offer. It has an old NYC feel mixed with vibrant market stalls and busy workers. Definitely worth a walk through!
Times, Square, Broadway and a show – If you don’t want to go to Broadway, I am not sure we can be friends. Chicago at the ambassador ROCKED my world, and even better that if you time it right, you can get cheap “on the day” tickets from the ticket vendors at the top of Times Square, - genius!!
Coyote Ugly Bar – lives at 153 1st Av between 9th and 10th, - GO!
Financial district – This walk from the financial district – Wall Street and on to the 911 Memorial is a sobering day, with a twist. It is of course a requirement for any visitor to visit this side of the city, as mournful as It may be for so many reasons. In saying that, there are some fantastic architectural sights, shops and restaurants to visit on the way.
The One World Observatory – The views here at amazing. You have a larger view of the city and if you are into landscapes you will want to drop by. Perhaps similar in “tourist spec” to the other high rise views, this does offer insightful video and information scenarios which discuss NYC and its life.
The Statue of Liberty, Cruises and Ellis Island – The National Museum of Immigration – A must. Start from battery park, maybe a spot of lunch, and hop on the cruiser to head around Ellis Island. The American Dream inspiration is at an all time high as the Statue herself comes into view. The thoughts of the millions of immigrants who arrived there in search of a better life is hard to banish as you walk through the Immigration museum and relive the stories of immigrants past. You can search your own family name for a nominal fee and search the original manuscripts if inclined. The Statue of Liberty, amazing of course from the sea, is another feat from the land. Travelling all the way to her crown is booked months in advance, *no matter how much you sweet talk* so make sure you reserve online! This really takes half a day, so slow down, enjoy the ambiance and take in the historic elements that are engrossed in every turn.
The Bronx – The Botanical Gardens – An absolute must, especially during Christmas! It is a beautiful complex near to the Zoo and a perfect afternoon away from the city. The train lines run right to the door! It is also included in nearly all city passes.
The MET, - Metropolitan Museums of Art. – Just climb the regal front steps into a world of wonder and inspiration. If you appreciate the finer things in life, it is definitely worth an evening of your time. Rooftop view, Art from each era, and a quaint café, will be an evening well spent.
The Empire State – although we chose not to go, - I snuck it in here just for “touristy” sake, - next time!
Check out - newyork.co.uk @newyork – download the APP and watch Facebook for tips and amazing. The offline maps will save your life, and your data!!
Get a NYC city explorer pass – unbelievably cost effective and a handy app! From €60 euro!
I left out so much, but I wouldn’t want to overwhelm!
I hope you enjoy, leave a comment or DM me with any questions, would love to hear from you!
“I love New York City. The reason I live in New York City is because it’s the loudest city on the planet Earth. It’s so loud I never have to listen to any of the shit that’s going on in my own head. It’s really loud. They literally have guys come with jackhammers and they drill the streets and just leave cones in front of your apartment; you don’t even know why. Garbage men come; they don’t pick up the garbage, they just bang the cans together.” - Lewis Black