New York City

01/03/18 – 05/03/18
Firstly, I have to mention the massive stress about whether we were going to make it out to New York on Thursday. It seemed “The Beast from the East” was going to do us over after a number of flights to JFK were either canceled or delayed. Well screw you, we make it to NYC an hour and 20 minutes early.

I have to laugh – once we arrived in Lower Manhattan and emerged from the dark depths of the subway we were greeted by our old friend torrential rain. Yes, lots of rain. I kept joking before we left about how we were going to escape the snow in England, yet on our first morning, and for most of the day, it snowed. It was also extremely windy and the snow goes directly into your face (painful!) so you can’t see a single thing.
Enough of my weather update.
Our few days in New York City were jam-packed with exciting adventures, interesting food and equally interesting people.
After a sleepless night, jet lag definitely did its worse to me – I was ready and itching to leave the hotel by 6am. It’s been 5 years since I was last in the States and New York, I missed the sounds, the sights and the many wonders this city can bring.

Tom however, had a great night sleep and probably would have stayed in bed longer if it weren’t for me fussing around. Downtown was our first port of call in search of food and coffee while braving the awful weather. A couple of blocks down we came across Fulton Street, which was home to a massive shopping centre (which turned out to be a hub for all the subway lines). We went inside and discovered The Great American Bagel. Tom and I both ordered a scrambled egg and cheese bagel which was crazy good. You’ve got to get a bagel while you’re in the States! I thought the combo would be odd but oh I was wrong. IT WAS GREAT.

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We ended up sitting inside for a while to both dry off and wait for the cappuccino that Tom has ordered. The woman making the coffee had to leave for a bit and the guy also working couldn’t work the “button-coffee” machine. He was super friendly, we got chatting to him and we didn’t mind waiting (there was wifi). When our coffee lady finally returned she was so apologetic, we had to laugh.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum was our next destination. After deciding not to get a City Pass, which we immediately regretted, we began the gruelling wait to buy tickets and looking back, it was probably while waiting here in the downpour that I caught a cold. The cost for an adult is $24. It was interesting visit but not what I had envisioned.

Our second day in NYC was an important day, my 26th birthday! I wanted birthday pancakes but unfortunately we could not find any in Battery Park so I settled on birthday baguette. Egg, avocado, spinach, cheese and lemon aioli – which was AMAZING. We then headed over to the docks to purchase our Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tickets ($18.50 for a single adult) WHERE WE QUEUED FOR AGES. But was worth the wait.

I think we spent our first few days queuing more than anything. We did a lap of the island and because our tickets didn’t allow us up the statue, we got bored pretty quickly and headed to Ellis Island. Later, birthday dinner involved heading to Little Italy where I had a seriously good lasagne.

The third day was busy and involved too much walking. We walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, something I have always wanted to do, which Tom commented that it was a “bit shit” and not nearly as good as the suspension bridge in Bristol. I liked it – the views were amazing.

In the afternoon we rode uptown, back into Manhattan, to visit America Museum of Natural History. Prior to the visit we were very eager to engross ourselves, unfortunately my cold had taken over by this point, so the last thing we both wanted to do was look at dead-stuffed animals and semi naked waxworks. We struggled on – as there were other sites to see. Eventually after walking for ages we reached the Empire State Building. I had looked forward to this the most as the last time I was in NYC it was too dark and snowy to see a single thing. We had picked the right time to make the ascent to the top, as it wouldn’t be long till sunset so we got some awesome shots and breathtaking views.

Unfortunately we’ve done nothing exciting for our last day. We’ve both not been feeling well so we hung out in a cafe in Times Square before our bus departure, while reflecting on our time here and the journey ahead.
Tom said it felt surreal being in NYC. He loved the atmosphere and the people. Everyone was really friendly and he raved over the amazing customer service. He’d definitely come back again especially since he now knows where vlogger Casey Neistat’s studio is.
So mum, you asked me how’s your New York doing. Well, in answer to your question, she’s doing good and I love her more than the first time.

Where did we stay? We stayed at the Soho Garden Hotel in Lower Manhattan. This is not a fancy hotel but I would recommend it if you are staying in New York City only for a few nights. Our room was quite small and so was the bathroom but that was manageable. There is a small coffee-making machine (no kettle!!!) and they provide you with two packs of coffee a day. Make sure you bring your own water! We arrived late and were kinda devastated when we saw no water. There’s a small grocery store called gourmet Garage on Broadway that’s only 3 or 4 blocks down.
Getting around? I would recommend purchasing a MetroCard – especially if you’re going to be there for a few days. It’s about $8 for the ticket and $2.75 a ride on the Subway (also, please wear good shoes!!!)
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5 thoughts on “New York City

  1. This brings back many memories of my life in NYC β€” both good and bad! I don’t regret leaving NY for the UK, but I seriously miss breakfast sandwiches. They’re a New York specialty! It sounds like you had an amazing time πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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