It’s been about six weeks since I’ve been back (my travel insurance emailed me this morning reminding me so). In those 43 or so days I’ve been meaning to hop on here and write this post but just couldn’t bring myself to do so because
a) I thought recounting it would mean I would have to accept that it was really over
b) I didn’t even know where to start
c) No time
But here we are. At last.
I’m going to be breaking up my trip into a series of posts: a general post about New York, this one, a post solely focused on food (Em and I ate at about 65 different NYC joints – for real, I kept a list complete with mini reviews), two posts on each of the areas I stayed at – Brooklyn and East Broadway – and three on the trips in between: Washington DC, Niagara Falls and Boston. So seven posts in total.
That’s a lot I’m committing to but it would be nice to share my photos and experiences and all the food recommendations!
New York was everything I expected and more. It was fast-paced, it was smelly, the portions were huge, people had weird accents, people were sassy. There were buildings, buskers, sales and signs everywhere. It was perfect. The subway system made total sense and there was a Sephora on every block.
Em and I made it our mission to both see as much of the city and be a part of the city as much as possible. We slowly evolved from backpack-wearing tourists to tote-ally (heh) passable locals who could give directions to other tourists.
In our four weeks or so in New York we managed to tick off all of the big touristy sites:
- Top of the Rock
- Central Park
- Statue of Liberty
- Times Square
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Museum of Modern Art
- Guggenheim Museum
- Empire State Building
- Grand Central Station
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Natural History Museum
- 9/11 Memorial Museum
- Lincoln Center
- The High Line
- Rockefeller Center
- New York Public Library
- Neue Gallerie
- Wall Street
- The UN Headquarters
- Columbia University
- Whitney Museum
- One World Trade Center observatory
Yeah … we had one massive Google Doc which we constantly referred to and tick off during our time. It was massive – seven pages! It gave us a good idea of what to do but was also broad enough that allowed us to be fairly spontaneous. Our days would usually revolve around a certain attraction or eatery and then we would simply explore around it. If there were other sites around them that was great but we were fairly happy to wander through the streets of West Village and SoHo (my two personal favourites).
If I had to, had to, pick my Top Five things about the trip, they’d probably be:
- Broadway. Em and I are both musical nuts so this was a given. We saw Aladdin, which I would highly recommend if you loved the movie/Disney/have a soul. Also finally saw The Book of Mormon which was well worth the hype. Getting tickets for both of these shows was super lucky considering how high in demand they both are. We managed to get tickets to a random Thursday matinee show for Aladdin at the box office (with the best seats!) and some really cheap Sunday matinee tickets in the far back corner for The Book of Mormon.
- Sleep No More. Have you heard of it? This was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s an interactive theatre experience – the play is 1930s Macbeth if that makes any sense. So, so good. Everybody wears face masks, there’s no talking and you wander through four storeys of an old warehouse building in Chelsea, stumbling upon actors and sets.
- The High Line. It’s aerial park that runs from 14th St to 34 St – where an old railway used to be. It’s a wonderful walk – there are markets, popsicle vendors and tons of greenery.
- Top of the Rock/One World. Both locations gave a fantastic view of the City That Never Sleeps. The One World Trade Center actually opened while we were there so we were very lucky to experience it. The tickets are super cheap and time slots are available every half hour. The lift up to the 100th floor is super cool – the timeline of the city is played as you ascend. The tower offers a 360 degree view of the city and I recommend booking just in time to see the sunset. It’s beautiful. Of course we wanted to see the city from another building also and many people recommended Top of the Rock over the Empire State.
- Food Markets. From bacon on a stick to mango on a stick, they’ve got everything. There’s so many markets to visit: Smorgasburg, Gansevoort, Gotham West, Chelsea.
The great thing about New York though is that you can just walk out the door without any plans and end up with the best day ever. We bought cheap $12 tickets to the Comedy Cellar on a random Monday night and who turns up but Aziz Ansari. We ate two giant donuts for lunch just because everybody else was because, hey, National Doughnut Day. We finally find time to go to a rooftop bar in Brooklyn and hey there’s Chuck Bass. We wake up one random day and same sex marriage is legalised.
New York, I love you.