It’s been a while since I last posted, this was mainly down to lack of self motivation, and being able to hide behind the excuse of Christmas fast approaching. However, Christmas has been and gone and we are now one whole month into 2016. So I thought I best get back on it, and write that post on New York you’ve all been sat on the edge of your seats for…
There is no doubt New York is an amazing city. A sparkly, crazy busy, shopping capital, jaw dropping, mind boggling, kinda city.
I have to be honest, I didn’t fall madly in love with New York as soon as we arrived, like every blog post or magazine article told me I would. I was baffled by the Subway system, I was irritated by the crowded streets and honking car horns, and my little arms struggled to drag my suitcase up and down the steps behind Ian, as he took on role of navigator.
But then it happened, standing among the sky scrapers and blaring lights of the famous Times Square. I had my first ever American McDonald’s, my hunger induced anger disappeared, and I realised what everyone was talking about. We were in New York!
I know, it took me SEVEN months of living in America before having a McDonald’s?! Say WHAT.
New York is the place most girls/city lovers dream of visiting, and when I was younger I never thought I would get the chance to do so. But with Philadelphia only two hours drive away it was now at the top of my to do list. In fact, this was Ian’s main angle of persuasion, when he first told me he had been offered the opportunity to work in the US. And it worked. Forget Philly, I was already shoe shopping in Bloomingdales, stuffing my face with pretzels and hot dogs, whilst celeb spotting in Central Park.
FYI, the only thing I can afford from Bloomingdales is a key ring, I like neither pretzels or hot dogs, and I saw zero celebs. Boo hoo.
We managed to fit a lot in during our three days in NYC. We hit most of the well known tourist spots, we walked approximately 5687 miles, and drank 0 units of alcohol because we were that tired, we were in bed by 10pm each night. The city that never sleeps? Challenge accepted.
New York at night was by far my favourite. Probably more so because it was December and every corner of the city was lit up with Christmas lights. The streets were crowded with people watching light shows, shopping at holiday markets and taking photographs of fancy window displays. And of course, lets not forget the huge Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree stood in the center of it all. At night, everything in New York felt bigger, brighter, more extravagant and very glamorous.
Another one of my favourite, and less obvious, parts of the trip was the Circle Line sightseeing cruise. We hopped on the boat unsure of what to expect, and placed our tush’s down on a seat with a view. We were guided along the water by the friendly tour guide who impressed us with his knowledge of New York, we cruised past the Statue of Liberty as everyone captured the moment with their camera, wrapped up against the cold. We saw some pretty impressive views from the water, especially as the sun began to set. We would highly recommend this cruise to everybody visiting New York. They also sell snacks and hot drinks on board, and you get a short needed break from the hectic streets of the city. It’s a no brainer.
Of course, we also visited the Rockefeller Center by day, and the Empire State Building by night where we stared at the amazing views, looking down at the tiny cars beeping their horns at the invisible people below us. We were both fascinated by how busy, huge, and built up New York is from above, however tucked in the middle of this craziness is a big green space of peace and calm, that makes up Central Park.
If you are looking for a break from the fast paced life of NYC, Central Park is your guy. It is so much bigger than you can imagine, and could easily spend hours exploring/getting lost. On Wednesday morning we began our first full day with a long walk through Central Park, all the way from where we stayed at The Lucerne Hotel, to The Museum of Natural History. Which is also huge. A general theme of New York.
Afterwards we visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. I thought this museum was so well done, and such a beautiful remembrance and tribute to those who lost their lives on that awful day. The whole exhibition is very moving and emotional.
I’ve always wanted to go shopping in New York, but I was visiting with a man that could not care less whether I was wearing Crocs or Louboutins so I kept it as short and sweet as possible. In my mind I imagined shopping in hidden away boutiques, however Zara and H&M are generally more my budget. Admittedly I stuck to the stores I could generally find anywhere, but I was in New York and had a need to buy something, so one faux leather mini skirt and grey polo neck jumper later I was on my way with a smile on my face. I also loved the Holiday Markets in New York, and dragged Ian around numerous pretty Jewellery stands.
The last morning before leaving we went for a final walk around a different part of Central park, and devoured a bagel covered in half a tub of cream cheese, in true American style.
My advice from one New York tourist to another would be to get the New York City Pass for access to all the main attractions and save yourself some money, and also to wear comfortable shoes. You will do A LOT of walking. You will also have a lot of fun.