That concrete jungle where dreams are made of..
Just before Christmas, I was very lucky to spend 5 glorious and festive filled days in New York City. It’s fast become one of my favourite places in the world. Now, if I were to create a post for every day I spent there, I would probably lose a lot of followers and be classed as a “holiday bore” so here are some of my highlights.
**warning – picture heavy**
- Bryant Park.
This was my favourite place, ever. Nestled between the looming skyscrapers on 42nd and 5th. Bryant Park felt like the epicentre of festive cheer with their Holiday Market. I came here three out of the five days we were there. Le Petit Quotidien serves the best soya lattes and chia seed and date muffins. We were lucky with the weather, landing on a foggy, gray and wet day and having clear blue skies and sunshine for the rest of the week.
The views around Bryant Park are incredible, bright sunshine, views of the Empire State, a glorious christmas tree and ice rink. The holiday market certainly made it more festive, despite the cool weather, with decorations, trinkets and gifts being sold. The food stalls were to DIE FOR.
As the centerpoint for the #worstselfieever – Bryant Park is a not-so-hidden gem that is worth a visit.
2. The Views (of the city and not the overpriced and pretentious cocktail bar)
So let’s discuss New York from the air, because let’s be honest, everything is so high up that looking towards to the sky for most of the day tends to give you neckache. How about we step it up a bit and look down on the city that never sleeps?
Firstly, to do this, there are about a million ways to achieve this. I chose three different ways to view the city. Sunset at the Rockefeller Center, Early morning at the Empire State Building and cocktails at The View in Times Square. Most hotels give you a vantage point of a rooftop bar, so I really recommend this way of viewing the city. You’d be surprised at what you can see!
NYC at sunset is really a sight to behold, the colours, the lights, the levels. It’s just stunning.
The view from The Rock, tends to give you a different side of NYC, at night, you see it completely differently. I loved that I was eye-to-eye with The Empire State. A city lighting up for the night ahead.
Talking of the Empire State…. going up that at 9am was incredible. You see a city that has just woken up, starting the day, it’s almost promising. On a clear day, like we had you could see for miles, into New Jersey, over into Ellis Island… just beautiful. Not too busy and it was a minimal time to queue, so if you want to see a city wake up, go early. It’s worth it.
3. THE FOOD.
I could do a whole new blog about the food. You go to New York, you are spoilt, SPOILT for choice. Depending on your schedule, you either eat on the run, stop for breakfast (always a must) or grab a bite later in the day. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. We missed it on our first day (dry bagels on a tour bus does not suffice as a great NY breakfast) but after our gallop up the Empire State, we had a proper American breakfast. Link sausages, streaky bacon, eggs (over easy), sourdough toast and homefries.. homefries are a new delicacy to me. Diced potatoes, cheese, peppers and onions. I’m a convert. It’s definitely a delicacy that suits breakfast and my god it was so good. I was so impressed, I sort of forgot to take a photo… most breakfasts followed suit, except from chocolate chip pancakes and fruit, which was to die for… four things stood out to me food wise.
b. Reuben Sandwich and skin cut fries (A NEW YORK MUST)
c. Panera Bread (check this place out, we went for lunch, but their bagels are scrummy)
d. Spring rolls in Bryant park
a special mention goes to the $1 pizza from a place on Fifth and Wendy’s.. and as always, thank you to Starbucks for fuelling me.
4. Being a shameless, shameless tourist.
Snapping everything in my path. Taxis? check. Buildings? check. Food? not so check. Selfies? shameful selfies.
A favourite selfie of mine was this one..
let’s take a moment to admire Grand Central Station, shall we?
the lighting, the structure, the gold, the architecture. It ticked a lot of boxes, a lot. Look at that lighting! it’s a really beautiful building that you need to spend a lot of time in to admire just how timeless it is. Pop downstairs to the concourse and it’s filled with a food court of unimaginable choice!
World Trade Center, is of course a place where you feel drawn to see. It’s an eerie place with a lot of people within it, but it’s very quiet. Unlike the other areas of NY where tourists flock, loudly and brash, WTC is the opposite. The amount of respect here is notable. It’s really felt and you get a sense of the horrors that happened here. Seeing the names of the victims written out, really brings it home to you..
I’d also like to take a moment for the Manhattan Bridge
…and Herald Square..
Finally, before we move on to my final highlight. Being ridiculous tourists was my favourite. Times Square, in all it’s manicness, is the best playground for a tourist.
oh and I went on The Voice! (sort of)
5. Spending time with family.
Going with my parents and seeing my sister, who was holidaying separately to us, really made my trip. Spending time with the three of them after a busy year of work and life was just needed. Everyone who has seen me since, has asked if my Dad went (as there are a lot of photos of me and Mum!) he did, here he is!
he just does his own thing!
five days with my crazy family in the city that never sleeps is definitely the best way to enter the Christmas spirit.
oh and if you want to see the view from my hotel room…
Okay, NOW I’m bragging… so those are my highlights, I hope you find them useful and if you’ve been and want to share a memory, let me know!
Ahhhhh… New York.