For my winter break from university my friend and I went to New York. It was freezing. It was awesome.
We stayed at the Row NYC Hotel on 8th avenue, very close to Time’s Square but far enough that it wasn’t too busy and loud. My friend Kara and I are very much in love with New York and very much on the same page when it came to what we wanted to do and see there, which was just to roam around and enjoy the city. I 100% recommend traveling with people who understand you/want to do similar things as you. If you’re with someone who’s not interested in the same things as you (to a degree) it can ruin your trip and you can end up doing things you didn’t want to do and spending money where you didn’t want to. Luckily, Kara and I are very much on the same page when it comes to New York, and we spent enough time talking and planning that there was minimal conflict during the trip, which let me tell you, makes it waaaaaay more fun!
Time’s Square + Midtown
Our flight arrived late on Monday night, but we were so excited to be there that we went out anyways – we’re both under 21 so New York night life was really at a minimal for us. That night we went to Time’s Square and got some lovely pictures! It was about 11 o’clock at night, not too late but late enough that most of the tourists were gone, but the stores still hadn’t closed. We did some shopping and then went to a pizzeria near our apartment (delicious, by the way) where the pizza boy hit on me, it was all very cute and SO New York! Then we went back to our hotel and just relaxed and planned what to do the next day. We gave each day we had a different area of the island to walk around, shop in and explore. In my opinion it was a good way of getting to see as much of the island as we could!
Upper East Side
On Tuesday we headed up to the Upper East Side. We are avid Gossip Girl fans so this was a must. Here’s a piece of advice though, if you, like us are planning on taking the subway, check the exact location of the subway stops since most of the maps don’t have them on it. We got a bit lost early in the day! Once we found a starbucks, got wifi, and found the subway we headed up to Central Park. We took the subway line up to the West side, then walked through Central park to the Met. The Met was a must for me- History student, guilty. After the Met we went to Le Churro to get churros (duh), the most delicious food ever created. Then we went back to Central Park and walked until we found the Bethesda fountain – a Gossip Girl sightseeing stop. Overall it wasn’t too cold but our feet were killing us, so we went back to Time’s Square to get food (Shake Shack shoutout!!), and shop, then headed back to our hotel. A successful day.
Tribeca + SoHo
On Thursday we wanted to go to Soho for the shopping and Tribeca, just to see the area and maybe get a coffee, and of course see the apartment of the one and only singer of Welcome to New York, who inspired us to finally take the plunge and book our flight to NYC. Taylor Swift’s apartment is in Tribeca and the area isn’t hard to find on Google, as long as you don’t mind being super creepy like me! It was absolutely freezing this day so we found her apartment, then a cafe, then immediately headed to Soho, but the architecture in this area is unbelievable. Once you get to Soho there are shops everywhere that you can duck into to get away from the cold. We spent a lot of time in Bloomingdales and Topshop – classic. We also felt the need to go to Dash before heading back up to midtown on the subway. Overall, this day was freezing but well worth it because this area of New York is absolutely gorgeous. It really gives you the feel of being in New York.
Brooklyn, New York
We went to Brooklyn on Wednesday – if you’re okay with walking a lot I recommend taking the subway down to One World Trade Center, then walk over to Brooklyn Bridge. This way, you get to walk across the bridge and see New York from the best angle – it makes for very pretty pictures but can get really packed. When we got to Brooklyn we got a little lost because we didn’t have a map that went across the bridge, but they have maps posted around the burrow so it’s wasn’t too bad, and if you’re looking for a specific area you can always ask someone. I usually go to a street vendor because they usually have time to help you out and know the areas well. In Brooklyn we just walked around – stayed in Brooklyn Heights. We found a couple cute cafes and restaurants and then found a shopping mall where we hit up Victoria’s Secret (another classic) before heading back.
Our last day in New York was spent in Midtown. We got crepes for breakfast in Times Square then went to Grand Central Station. After that we walked around, shopped around and went to the very large Macy’s. It has something like 8 floors, and the famous wooden escalators which I personally find terrifying. We just spent this day walking around and (trying to) enjoy the day despite the cold. That night we got a lot of food from around the area and went back to the hotel to warm up and pack, then we went back out and got more food just because it’s New York and nowhere has as much good food in such a small area! Our hotel was right across from the Midtown Shake Shack – god bless Shake Shack. I want a milkshake now.
You need to go to Shake Shack; it’s a very busy place but if you’re just getting a shake you can go into a shorter line to order it. Also, near our hotel was the Island’s location of Carlo’s Bakery, which we did not know existed. I got a delicious chocolate mousse cake and – chocolate covered strawberries – another favourite of mine. Normally when I travel I’m very anxious and have a hard time eating much but in New York that wasn’t the case and had some of the best food ever – I had a NYC food appreciation tweet going on every single day I was there and I’ll have you know it was very popular. Everyone loves food so I 100% recommend finding some of your favourite foods there because they will be good. We even found a little stand that sold macarons right around the corner from our hotel! And, surprise! THEY WERE SO GOOD!
We left early the next morning from LaGuardia airport. I’d recommend flying into and out of LaGuardia if you can, just because it’s only about $30.00 in a cab from Midtown, whereas JFK and Newark can both be waaaay more expensive and take waaaay longer to get to. LaGuardia is a lot smaller and less snazzy, but it saves you that extra cash (that you can then spend on FOOD!!!)!!!
You know, you really can’t go wrong with New York City. I already can’t wait to go back and explore more neighborhoods. And eat more food.