It happened. I can't believe it actually happened. I've wanted to go to New York for as long as I remember and last week, I finally got to go! As soon as you tell people you're going to New York, you get floods of recommendations which is great because its such a big city and you need all the help you can get squishing everything into one week. But I'm gonna tell you about some of the things I got up to (including all the touristy bits) that I think made for a spectacular week in New York.
Arriving in New York: Arriving in New York was fine. Thats the only word I can use to describe for travelling that amount of hours at ridiculous o'clock in the morning and waiting hours in the line to get through the airport.
This was all made better by our Uber driver, David. He was so excited that it was our first time visiting the City that he took us around all the parts he thought we wouldn't get chance to see getting us to jump out and take pictures whenever there was a good opportunity. One of the times, we turned to see him skipping towards us with a polaroid camera. He took a picture of us in front of the incredible city scape and gave it to us as a souvenir. Literally, such an awesome man to go out of his way to make that experience more fun. In case you're wondering, the fare he charged was still the same as the estimate despite the hour detour.
First of all, the hotel.
We stayed at a place just off 5th Avenue, W 34th Street (OMG IM SUCH A NEW YORKER) which was also about a 1 minute walk from Macy's if that paints a better picture. It was called Hotel Metro. We got a great deal, the room was great and the staff are lovely. They also include breakfast every day and serve free wine and snacks from 5pm - 6.30pm everyday. Yes, of course we were there at 5pm on the dot each day. It was a great location, really in the middle of everything but not too much to handle. The surrounding bars and restaurants where also amazing.
The Yankees VS The Mets
It's always questionable going to things like this when visiting somewhere. Although I was going to New York, I didn't want to constantly do tourist stuff or be surrounded by tourists even though I was one. We set off to see The Yankees VS The Mets at the Yankee Stadium. It was our first time on the Subway, which by the way despite the heat is fine and really easy to navigate around. If you ever get stuck in a City, use the app Citymapper, its amazing and tells you the quickest and easiest ways to get places and even gives you a price estimate. We arrived at the stadium and found it was probably only about 10% tourists and thousands of Americans going to see the game. After grabbing a beer and a philly cheese steak (nom) we sat next to a lovely couple from Massachusetts who explained all the rules of the game to us and solved our confusion - thanks Mr & Mrs Massachusetts! We did have a bit of a nightmare getting the tickets online but we got there in the end!
I am not a massive fan of shopping. My video at the end of this blog will beg to differ, but generally I hate shopping. Of course, being in America I had to get all the sports merch etc that i've wanted for a while. It made me see why people go to New York just to shop, you can literally get anything. We of course did the usual Macy's, Bloomingdales (James the concierge was a legend) and avoided shopping in Times Square. I'd definitely agree with people when they say shopping is cheaper in America, especially for the big brands that you need to sell an arm for in the UK.
It's definitely true when people say New York is the city that never sleeps. Some nights we found ourselves out until 5am without the bar even seeming like it was going to close. We had a few different nights out, some we would just grab a few beers, others we went to Comedy shows at The Broadway Comedy Club & Gotham which were both great nights out. We also loved going to Salloons where the staff would dance across the bar to Country music and songs by the greatest diva's. So much fun. The drinks in New York are rather expensive. We found it to be around $7-12 for a beer and $15 for a spirit and mixer/cocktail so I would definitely recommend having a cheeky few pre-drinks. Although there are lots of happy hours and bars such as Jimmy's Bar which have $3 beer. We did also branch out to bars in Greenwich Village, Pier 25 and Meatpacking District which were gave a great New York vibe.
We tried to cover as many of the 'you have to do this' activities as possible. We went to the Top of The Rock for a spectacular view of New York. Took the Staten Island Ferry to see The Statue of Liberty. Central Park, boat lake rowing and all of the walking. Grand Central Station - So pretty. Times Square. We visited the 9/11 memorial which was one of the most surreal experiences. It was amazing in the craziness of New York, to be in a museum full of people who remained silent as they walked through and paid respects to all who lost lives in 9/11. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to be there. Definitely worth a visit. We also visited some places such as The Highline which was beautiful and Chelsea Market where I had the best Oyster's I've ever tried.
We wanted to do some random things whilst we were in New York so despite a very busy and planned itinerary. We did make time for those spontaneous moments. One thing which was definitely a highlight was when we took a Flying Trapeze class. On a random roof on Pier 40 alongside the Hudson river was New York Trapeze School. We only got to have 2 attempts before it started raining but it was one of the most adrenaline pumping moments of my life. Climbing up that huge ladder and just grabbing onto a heavy pole and swinging was the ultimate rush. I was shaking the entire time but I would definitely do it again and it was also lovely to be standing on the top forgetting my fears as I looked out and saw the Freedom Tower and Statue of Liberty. Amazing staff, really friendly, definitely want to go back. I also took a Jiu Jitsu class at Marcello Garcia Academy where I learnt a few new techniques. My friend went to a Warrior Bootcamp at the same time, needless to say we both returned to the hotel room as sweaty messes.
I could go on forever but I'm gonna stop there. For anyone thinking of going to New York or have always wanted to go, just go. You will not regret it. I made vlogs during my time in NYC where you can see my adventures but in the meantime, here is a shopping haul of everything I got from NYC. No matter how many things I came back with, those memories will be with me forever!
I love you New York!