Recently I spent ten days visiting New York and Toronto. It has been my first bit of time off this year for me (other than the Bank Holidays) so it was long overdue. I have always wanted to visit New York and usually when I go on holiday I never do ANY of the planning. This year I wanted to make the effort, so I did a lot of the planning before I went. Todays post is going to be a little bit about what I did, what I ate and how I planned the trip – so if you fancy going to NY or are making a trip over the Atlantic soon then read on!
Pinterest and Trip Advisor was my friend for planning. I used Trip Advisor initially to write down all the main attractions most people visited so I didn’t miss any out. Pinterest really came into it’s own for the food and ‘hidden’ parts of NYC that you may want to see but wouldn’t really be written about on TA. I would not have known about Black Tap milkshakes or the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM (written about further down) otherwise.
In terms of booking tickets, we managed to book everything that we wanted to see about a week in advance of the trip but especially if you are going at peak time I would book them as soon as possible. We couldn’t go up to the top of the Statute of Liberty (the crown) because all the tickets had sold out. We only got tickets to the pedestal level (there are different levels of the Statue of Liberty that you can visit) and that was because we caught the ferry at New Jersey and not from Battery Park which meant we had to travel over to NJ which wasn’t the end of the world but was time consuming.
So Becky, what did ya see?
Empire State Building – I didn’t really know what to expect and the art deco interior really reminded me of The Great Gatsby (not surprising since it is from that era) very smart and classy. The views of NY from the top was well worth it. I went right at the beginning of the day so there were no queues. The pictures speak for themselves really.
9/11 Memorial – upsetting but informative.
Statue of Liberty – Need I say more? If you are getting the ferry at New Jersey leave plenty of time to find the port as there is no signage once you get off the tram. I found this out the hard way and was so close to missing the ferry, I was sprinting from the tram stop to the ferry terminal and its longer than you think! Anyway the views of NY from the ferry are absolutely stunning.
Times Square – Again one of those need I say more! One tip I got off Pinterest is that in the middle of Times Square there is a sound installation on the floor by Max Neuhaus. It is so odd to hear this calming music over the hustle and bustle of people moving around the square.
There is also nearby a glass waterfall tunnel nestled on one side of the McGraw-Hill building, its a cute thing to go and see.
Central Park – I hired a bike and went around Central Park. I didn’t appreciate the sheer size of the park and it was well worth getting the bikes so you can experience it all. We hired the bikes online on the day which was a good idea as there are some pretty good discounts around.
Brooklyn Bridge – Unfortunately I went when it was raining so didn’t stay long on the bridge as I wanted but you cannot go to New York and not stand on Brooklyn Bridge.
The High Line was an attraction that I had not heard of until I stumbled upon Kate La Vie’s post about New York attractions. The High Line used to be an old train line that has been regenerated into a public walkway and gardens that it suspended above the city. It is beautiful peaceful way to view the city and a good example of sustainability in practice (if any of my old Geography lecturers are reading this they would be proud).
Chelsea Market – Is a great little indoor market full of food ranging from burgers to pizza amongst others and cute little vintage shops and a great independent bookstore that is worth a visit for all their cute notepads (Posman Books).
The Love Sculpture was one of those things that I happened to stumble across in New York (I do think New York is one of those places where you stumble across random but cool things!). At the time I was there, a cute couple got engaged right in front of the sculpture – they had a choir singing and everything! Find it on 55th and 6th Avenue.
Grand Central Station – This famous train station is great place to take photos and for having a nosy round the shops. There is also a ‘whispering arch’ located on the lower concourse of Grand Central where if a friend stands on one side and you stand on another you can hear what your friend is clearly saying – even when they are away from you!
Macy’s – The Debenhams of the US – need I say more!
Bloomingdales was a shopping centre where it was nice to have a browse but I couldn’t seriously ever afford to buy anything in there!
I cannot recommend too many food places because a lot of the time we either ate at the hotel ( breakfast came with the price) or ate on the go. However, I had to visit the Sprinkles ATM (close to Bloomingdales) at the time I went the ATM was closed however I did have a chocolate brownie ice cream which was awesome.
Black Tap is another cool place I found on Pinterest which I certainly would not have been too otherwise. Black Tap is a burger and shake place but their milkshakes are seriously amazing. As you can see below I had this cookie milkshake and it is nothing I have ever had before. This place is becoming so popular that there was a queue up the street when I visited! If you don’t want to be waiting in the queue long just go for the milkshake instead.
I did struggle to find somewhere healthy to eat in NY. I did go to Wholefoods which I had heard about but never been to on my previous trips to America. There is a literally a canteen where you can get tonnes of healthy food to takeaway – it was awesome 🙂
Have you ever been to New York? Has this post been handy? I would love to know in the comments below 🙂
Like this post? How about reading…
What to pack for a Trek America Trip
Trek America Westerner – Part One
Trek America Westerner – Part Two