This blog post is well overdue, and is probably going to be well, long.. I went to New York with my friend Emma in August, and I have been meaning to write about the trip since I returned. A hectic work schedule has stopped me from writing much at all for the past few weeks, but now my brand new website is up and running I thought it would be a good time to begin blogging again. It’s really nice to look back through my photo album and recount in my head everything that we did. We returned exhausted, having really tried to cram in everything that the wonderful city had to offer.
New York. What can I say. It is an amazing city. It was my first time in the States, and what a friendly place it is. After many hours of travelling in a car, a train, a tube, a plane and a shuttle bus, we made it, in the middle of the night, to a fab hotel in the heart of Manhattan, called Yotel. We had arranged to have a room with a view, and just hoped that the photos we had seen online did not let us down. I am very pleased to say they didn’t! Yotel is situated on the corner of 42nd and 10th, which meant we were 10 minutes from the bustling Times Square and also had a view of the Hudson River and New Jersey over the water. There are a couple of photos taken from our room below.
We had a week to spend in New York city, which for a city break may seem like a long time, but in New York there is that much to take in, don’t under estimate how much time is required! We did manage to see all of the sights a first timer ‘must see and do’, but I’d have happily spent a second week exploring further and simply hanging out. We were lucky to have fab warm weather every day, apart from a one hour period, whilst we happened to be riding bikes in Central Park, that it rained torrentially.
New York organised tours
After purchasing a New York Pass prior to the trip, we had pre-booked on a number of tours to do at various points within the week. These included a tour of Harlem (which was very informative), followed by a Gospel Church service and on a different day, a food tour. To see a Gospel Church service in Harlem really is a once in a life time experience. As you can probably imagine, the dress code was strict, so once I had been provided with a long lilac coloured silk piece of material to wrap around my bare legs, (much to the amusement of my friend), we were allowed to enter! Photography was strictly forbidden, but it was an incredible hour, and an experience I will never forget.
Harlem – West 141st Street
The food tour was run by a lovely man called Cory, who began his business after being made redundant three years previously in a completely non related job. This activity is well up there on Trip Advisor for things to do in New York, and everyone in our group thoroughly enjoyed it. I really liked Cory’s upbeat attitude to life, love of the city and his relentless enthusiasm during the tour. I had no real idea of what to expect. My friend and I both love food, so to be taken to 7 different places to eat in 3 hours, was a dream come true! The tour was entitled ‘food on foot’ and the one we selected took place in the East village. I wasn’t the biggest fan of everything we tried, but it completely fulfilled the reasons why I booked on it, which was to try foods outside of my comfort zone, learn more about the history of New York and socialise with some new people. One of the highlights was having a beautiful cupcake from Butter Lane (I had banana and toffee flavour), and trying an ‘egg cream’. The egg cream was not particularly tasty, but I did find myself guzzling most of it as Emma liked it a lot less than I did! It is a drink consisting of milk, soda water and chocolate syrup, but it was traditional and invented in New York, and we purchased ours from a really old newsagents shop, shown on the picture below. I would write more, but I don’t want to divulge everything that the tour includes.
The New York High Line
One other specific experience I would like to mention is our walk on the ‘High Line’. The High Line is a one mile long straight park, built onto a railway line which has been disused since 1980. A renovation project was undertaken and the results are breathtaking. Raised above ground level, you get a unique viewpoint of the city. You are able to look down on the street and traffic without being so high you feel out of the hustle and bustle you experience at ground level. The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street to 30th Street, on the West Side of Manhattan.
The High Line
I just want to quickly mention the amazing shop that is Fishs Eddy. This shop is single handedly responsible for the fact my case was pretty much over the weight limit coming home, despite being a few kilos under on the flight out. If you love quirky kitchen wares then you should visit this shop prepared to come out laden down with bags. I found out about it a few years ago when my friend brought me back a tote bag with a drawing of Brooklyn on it which I used to death whilst at art college. I bought a replacement in summer, along with many other items, a couple of which are shown below. Fishs Eddy sell some wares in Liberty London, as well as Anthropologie, but to see the full line, you must visit the store itself or go online at www.fishseddy.com, which is where these images are taken from.
The rest of our week flew by, but we did manage to go to the ‘Top of the Rock’, cycle in Central Park, shop ’til we dropped, go up the Empire State building, take 2 boat cruises, see Roy Hargrove play at Blue Note, visit the NY NOW trade show, eat way too much at more than one diner, stroll around MoMA, take a ride around Williamburg after driving over the Brooklyn Bridge, and last but not least, visit Coney Island.
Our evenings were a mixture of sitting eating great food (Smorgas Swedish restaurant), strutting down the street eating not so great food (7eleven’s 99 cents pizza), dancing in the meat packing district, as well having a drink in the rotating bar/restaurant on the 48th floor of the Marriot Marquis hotel.
I’ve included some more photos of the trip below. I really hope I can go back to New York one day soon and explore more of what is truly an amazing place.
View over Central Park from the Top of the Rockerfeller Centre
Flat Iron building
Mural at Coney Island
Some OTT Cupcakes
View from the top of the Empire State building
Emma and I in Williamsburg
Our last night - a beautiful New York sunset