So yesterday I got back from the Big Apple, which is why I haven’t posted in a few days. I had an amazing time, cramming so much into 5 days, so while I get on with catching up on my TBR, here’s a post of my top 10 (in no particular order) things to do, see, and eat in New York City, from an NYC newbie.
(Disclaimer: All images are my own except number 3).
1. Empire State at Night
If you’re heading New York and planning on going up the Empire State (like any regular tourist), do it at night. For starters, there is a much shorter queue, so you won’t be waiting in line for hours. Secondly, the views of the city lights are spectacular. Your photos might not come out as good but who cares? There’s something much more magical about seeing New York at night time.
2. Chelsea Market
The Chelsea Market is situated in an old biscuit factory, creating a rather kitsch, vintage vibe. The building is crammed full of cute shops, including book shops and the beloved chain Anthropologie, as well as unique restaurants and cafes. I could have spent all of my money in Anthropologie, mostly on the myriad of candles, but I settled on a floral headband and a makeup highlighter.
However, seeing as I mentioned book shops, I thought I should say that one thing I noticed about books in America is their extortionate prices. It’s not just New York, I found this in California too when I visited before. The cheapest book I could find was $9.99 and that was a travel-sized novel in the airport. Be prepared to pay double digits for paperbacks and hardbacks alike that are probably only single figures at home, especially if you’re from the UK.
3. Don Antonio Pizza
The pizza at Don Antonio is simply amazing. All freshly prepared, the chefs churn out these pizzas like there’s no tomorrow, but you don’t feel as though your food has been rushed. The tomato sauce is heavenly and so is the mozzarella.
4. New York Public Library
My Mum and I were discussing how for her the New York Public Library means the Ghostbusters film, but to me it means The Day After Tomorrow. You know the one with Jake Gyllenhaal and the huge storm? Nonetheless, the library was still pretty breathtaking, it’s just a shame that the famous Reading Room is closed for repairs until late 2016-early 2017!
5. Statue of Liberty
If you want views of Manhattan from a different perspective, head to Liberty Island. This was another place that reminded me of a film (X-Men anyone?). We only went as far as the pedestal, not the crown, but the views from there and from the edge of the island itself are spectacular.
6. 9/11 Memorial and Museum
I remember seeing the events of 9/11 unfolding on the news before school. I was in Year 1 back then, so I’d have been about 4 years old, but I can see the TV screen that day clearly in my mind. The memorials of cascading water, where the towers stood, are beautiful, but the museum is the most harrowing. I hadn’t realised how much they’d kept from the disaster, like ruined fire trucks and sections of the buildings themselves; even personal belongings such as mangled glasses and dust-caked wallets. The museum is tasteful and emotional, but also divulges many facts you probably wouldn’t have known yourself.
7. Rosa Mexicano, near the Lincoln Centre
My boyfriend hates guacamole, but he couldn’t keep his hands off the stuff at this Mexican restaurant. Its prepared fresh right in front of your table and it tastes amazing. Hands down the best guacamole I’ve ever had, and the rest of the food is pretty hard to beat. Also, if you like cocktails, go for the Mojito with Pineapple puree.
8. Shopping, duh
Prices are pretty steep in New York, but that’s standard of any major city. Sephora is the best place for makeup, especially cruelty-free brands like Tarte and Anastasia Beverly Hills. Victoria’s Secret bras are the best fitting ones I’ve ever bought and their staff know what they’re doing. Like I said before, Anthropologie is amazing and has a few shops dotted about the city, but once again it’s not cheap. Then there’s the iconic Macy’s that takes up a whole block, but expect to be accosted by staff with perfume bottles.
9. Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Prepare to cringe beyond belief but also really enjoy yourself. The waiters and waitresses at this diner are all aspiring Broadway singers and throughout your meal you’ll be serenaded with songs from musicals, pop and country. The four-man rendition of Les Miserables’ ‘One Day More’ was my favourite; some of them really can belt out a tune.
10. Greenwich Village
If you need to move away from the hustle and bustle of places like 6th Avenue in Midtown, Greenwich Village is your place. Here you’ll find lots of bars and restaurants, as well as little art galleries and the classic brownstone houses.
So, there you have it, my pretty cliché list, but all essential. What’s your favourite place in New York? Add to the list in the comments below!
Review of Dark Tides coming soon.