Note: all of the images featured in this post are my own and are set as galleries – click on the images to see the full size.
The Bloke and I have just been to NYC for a week. We have visited once before on our honeymoon in November last year, but as we were there for just over four days we wanted to go back and attempt to see as much as possible that we had missed last time. We chose to go at the beginning of September – arriving on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend – with the hope that the city would be slightly quieter and the following week was back to school.
We wanted to experience both the tourist and non-tourist places, so I spent several weeks before reading blogs and watching vlogs about everything to see and do, mapping out our activities according to each day. This wasn’t set in stone and would allow us to change each daily plan around according to the weather.
We stayed at the Wyndham New Yorker and for the first time ever we received an upgrade to a room on the 40th floor, without even asking. The views were amazing – I didn’t mind the construction work going on as it was fascinating to watch the building development at such a height – and the sunsets were fabulous!
(Note: this was really day 2 as we arrived at 5.00pm the day before but were so tired we went for a meal and had a short wander around before going to sleep).
Pancakes for breakfast with bacon and maple syrup from the Tik Tock Diner next to the hotel.
Subway pass – 7-Day Metro card for $32. This is perfect for a longer stay as it allows for unlimited subway and bus travel until midnight each day.
Dana’s apartment used in the first Ghostbusters film.
Natural History Museum – dinosaurs, great exhibitions and The Bloke met Dum Dum.
Lunch at Uno Pizzeria and Grill on Columbus Avenue (at the back of the museum). Our server, Parrish, heard our accents and immediately put the football on the TV – I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I wasn’t really a football fan but we had a lovely chat with him. Great food, great service, definitely worth a visit.
Central Park – I had a Bach Partita performed for me by a cellist from Belgium, saw an erhu being played, we walked down to Bow Bridge and Bethesda Terrace and I was delighted to see that the Acapella Soul singers were performing. I first saw these guys in Washington Square in 2010 and have followed their YouTube videos ever since. They’re still amazing. We walked past the Bandshell and down The Mall to the Plaza and the Plaza food court. I ate a beautiful macaron from here.
6 1/2 Avenue – a ‘secret’ street used by locals to cut through the city.
Roosevelt Island as the weather was glorious. We got the Roosevelt Island Tramway (which the subway pass can be used on) next to the Queensboro Bridge, which took just a few minutes (there is a subway and bus option too). It was a great decision – there was almost nobody around and we took our time, taking in the amazing views of Manhattan. We walked down to Southport Park where we saw the ruins of the former Smallpox Hospital, and then to the Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. Stunning.
Serendipity 3 cafe. I ate an amazing buttermilk chicken sandwich and drank an enormous pink lemonade, but they are more famous for their Frrrozen Hot Chocolate and desserts.
Dylan’s Candy Bar. I bought a marshmallow treat, just because.
The Met Museum. I was a little disappointed at the rooftop bar was closed, but we saw incredible art works that had been on my Bucket List for a long time.
The Guggenheim. More art, and although I generally prefer modern art over most periods, I found some of it to be a little too much. In one section a video was featured that consisted of a man rolling around on the floor. I’m sure that it means something significant to others, but I didn’t get it.
Paley Park – a small hidden park with a waterfall.
The Dominique Ansel Bakery for a Cronut. I’ve been wanting to try one of these for a while, and from the reviews I had read I was expecting a massive queue. We were lucky though – it was almost empty, and I managed to eat my Cronut next to their garden.
Washington Square – a beautiful spot to sit and people watch, with the famous arch and a large fountain.
The Stonewall Monument.
Brunch at Buvette, a small French bistro on Grove Street. I ate waffles with gouda, bacon and syrup and drank freshly squeezed orange juice. I was unsure whether that sort of combination would work, but it totally did.
An ‘American Glob’ ice-cream from the Big Gay Ice-Cream Shop, also on Grove Street. I almost had a ‘Salty Pimp’ instead, which isn’t a sentence that I’m used to writing.
Friends Building, also on Grove Street.
Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in Sex and the City, on Perry Street.
After returning to the hotel for an afternoon siesta, we went up to Mood Fabrics (featured in Project Runway). I met Swatch, the store mascot. Swatch had obviously had enough of life that day.
Bill’s Bar and Burgers next to the Rockefeller Centre.
The Lego Store. The Bloke was in his own personal heaven.
Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Park. It was a sweltering 30+ degrees, so The Bloke and I tried to shelter in the shade as much as we possibly could while taking in the breathtaking views. The Bloke found the classic shot of the groynes and so spent some time taking his own shots, while I took the opportunity to sit in the breeze.
Walked across Brooklyn Bridge. It was far busier than the last time we did this in November the year before, but it was rather amusing to watch the insane poses being carried out by the Instagrammers.
Water Taxi down the Hudson. It was much cooler and we got to see the architecture of the lower west side of Manhattan. We exited at Battery Park.
From there we walked to Bowling Green Park, the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl Statues and then to Wall Street.
Ghostbusters Firehouse – we took a short subway ride up to see the iconic building as the last time we visited it was undergoing renovations and almost completely hidden by scaffolding. As I was stood opposite a tourist couple walked down the street and the man suddenly recognised what it was – he obviously didn’t realise it was there at first and I laughed at the sheer expression of awe on his face. I think his bubble was somewhat burst when he had to explain the significance of it to his girlfriend, but still…
Titanic Memorial – a small lighthouse and plaque down by the Southstreet Seaport piers.
Water Taxi from South Pier. It stopped at Brooklyn Bridge and then took a leisurely pace over to the Statue of Liberty. However, as we were traveling back up the Hudson towards Midtown it turned into a speedboat, and i laughed myself silly as The Bloke and I had to desperately cling on to the chairs and our cameras.
Kinky Boots on Broadway. Absolutely incredible – we’re a huge fan of the film and it was one of the best shows I have ever seen, to the point where I had to try and calm myself down and stop crying as I found myself becoming completely overwhelmed during the final song. Amazing.
Sephora, just because. I have make-up, but that’s not the point.
Lincoln Center, where we saw totally naked people being made into art works with body paint.
The Juilliard School – when I was training as a violinist it was one of my personal dreams to go here, and I finally did. Ok, maybe not as a student, but I made a point of taking a picture just so I could send it to my mother and say ‘I went to the Juilliard, Mum!’
For the final part, we walked over to W 58th Street 6th Avenue to find the corner crossing from Midnight Cowboy. Dustin Hoffman almost gets hit by a taxi and yells ‘Hey! I’m walking here!’ This was an unscripted scene that happened because the studio couldn’t get permission to close down the street for filming, and so had to film via a hidden camera in a van driving up and down the street. The taxi that almost hit him was a real one that had run a red light, and Hoffman improvised the now iconic line that was kept in the final cut.
What an incredible week… and there’s still so much more that we could have seen!
What about you guys? What are your favourite places in NYC?
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