Monday, 23 March 2015

I (Heart) New York

Heading towards Times Square
New York, New York... so nice, they named it twice. Or something like that. New York City is a place everyone should visit. How many TV shows, movies, books and songs have been written about this amazing metropolis? Despite the intense hustle and bustle of this crazy city, you can't help but get swept up in it all. The shopping is incredible, the food is insanely good and the landmarks will leave you in awe. Read on for my take on the city that never sleeps.

Sunset in the Financial district
Must See

  • Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island - Head into the Financial District at the southern tip of Manhattan and jump on a boat cruise which will take you around all the sights with plenty of snap happy opportunities. You don't even need to book and it costs about 30 clams.
  • 9/11 Memorial - The 9/11 Memorial is truly moving. Seeing the footprints of the two buildings as gaping fountains in the midst of the surrounding skyscrapers makes a big impact.
  • Grand Central Station - Sure, it's just a train station. Except not really. It's completely Art Deco gorgeous inside. Have some fun in the Whispering Gallery and indulge in all the best NYC treats (namely Shake Shack and Magnolia Bakery).
  • Top of the Rock - You feel like you're on top of the world as you gaze across the city that never sleeps.

Strolling through Central Park
Spying Central Park from the top of the Rockerfeller Centre
Must Eat

  • Bagels - Real New York City bagels are a revelation! My favourite is the everything bagel with jalapeno cheddar cream cheese. So good!
  • Cereal Milk at Momofuku Milk Bar - Even with so many treats to choose from at Milk Bar, my favourite has to be the humble Cereal Milk. Insanely delicious.
  • Shake Shack - My first meeting with Shake Shack came on the back of a wicked hangover and boy did it hit the spot! Tried it again with a clear head and can confirm that they are the best damn burgers I've ever had.
  • Salvation Taco - April Bloomfield's taco joint in Midtown is totally fun and totally yummy. Her genius reputation is well deserved indeed!
  • Banana Pudding at Magnolia Bakery - Forget the cupcakes. Seriously. Head straight for the Banana Pudding and inhale. You won't regret it.
  • Williamsburg Pizza - Our place in Brooklyn was 2 minutes down the road from Williamsburg Pizza and the $3 slices were an absolute godsend on a frigid New Year's Eve night!

The bright lights of Times Square
Must Do

  • Central Park - There are so many things to see and do in the park. The Central Park Zoo, Literary Walk and the Bethesda Fountain Plaza are all here for you to check out.
  • Chelsea Market - Much like Borough Market in London, Chelsea Market is a huge indoor marketplace with every type of food available for your perusal. There were even Aussie meat pies for sale!
  • The High Line - Just a few minutes walk from Chelsea Market is the High Line which is a railway overpass turned public park. Stroll along and take in the views of the Hudson River and the Meatpacking district.
  • SoHo for shopping - Yes, you can always go to Fifth Avenue but I guarantee, the shopping in SoHo is so much better. All the usual high street chains, designer boutiques and even little independent stores are here, waiting for you to drop some cash.

Lady Liberty
Tips & Tricks

  • Explore somewhere other than Manhattan - The other boroughs need love too!
  • Get your nails done - If you have to pay more than $10 plus tip, you're doing it wrong.
  • Learn to love tipping - As an Aussie, I don't think I'll ever get used to the obligatory tipping system but it's a necessary evil so just suck it up and leave 20%.
  • Manhattan's grid system - Once you figure this out, you'll never get lost again. Okay, that's a lie but it definitely helps!
  • Sales tax - Keep an eye out for this when you're shopping. Unlike GST which is already built into the price, sales taxes in the USA differ from state to state so the price you see on the tag might be a little different to what rings up at the register.
  • McDonalds and Starbucks will save your life - There are very few public bathrooms that are fit for consumption but luckily the hundreds of McDonalds and Starbucks stores all over NYC are more than happy to accommodate you. Free WiFi too!
  • The coffee sucks - Seriously. Aussies that are used to espresso coffees will be horrified to find that they are the exception and not the rule in the U.S. And espresso coffees served at major chains will be served at a temperature similar to that of molten metal. Long live the independent coffee shop! The Blind Barber in Williamsburg does a particularly good flat white.

Viewing the city from the Hudson River

1 comment :

  1. New York is my dream holiday at the moment. Really hoping to be able to get there within the next year (house renovations/kids has stopped us travelling right now). This post just gave me a real fire to make sure it happens. Thank you :)


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