As we woke up at our Airbnb in Scarsdale New York, there was the realisation that we were about to head to our final destination, before our amazing road trip came to an end. This time we’d be saying goodbye to our beloved rental car and hitting the pavements of NYC.
But there was just one little detour I needed to make before we drove into Manhattan. Being just before Halloween, there were a tonne of fun events going on, and some of them were based in Sleepy Hollow, NY, the village made famous by Washington Irving’s 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, later turned into a movie.
I’d seen some fun Insta photos that I wanted to try my hand at, so a very long story short later, we arrived at the Horseman’s Hollow tour, but only wanted to take photos, and not wait around a couple of hours for the tour. I plucked up the courage to ask what my chances were of taking some photos, and I wasn’t hopeful. But sometimes when you ask nicely, you receive your wish. In the end, the head costume director escorted us to the location I’d wanted to take a few snaps, so we did a super quick little photoshoot, thanked him profusely, and were soon back on the road, on our way to NYC!
This was to be my seventh trip to NYC, one of those trips being a three month working stint back in 2007. I feel very fortunate to have visited this famous city so many times, and for it to feel so familiar as soon as I set foot on the sidewalk to explore.
We had three full days to cover as much ground as possible, visiting favourite old spots and discovering new ones.
Some of my favourite spots:
Tacombi in Nolita (there are various locations), for the most amazing tacos and corn esquites.
Blockheads (there are various locations), for amazing $8 frozen margarita’s and huge burrito’s!
B On Top at The Gansevoort, located in the amazing Meatpacking District, one of my favourite areas in NYC, B on Top is a rooftop bar in the stunning Gansevoort Hotel, where I once had the best stay over a Christmas trip to NYC in 2010. The views are amazing from the bar.
Blue Bottle Coffee in Williamsburg (there are various locations), for really great coffee, and in the perfect location to sip whilst browsing all the super trendy stores in the neighbourhood.
Erin Mckenna’s Bakery, a gluten free and vegan bakery located in the Lower East Side of NYC, I visit every.single.time I’m in the city. Even if you’re not gf, the baked goods here are to die for! I bring a box of them back to London to store in the freezer, they’re that good.
Williams Sonoma, there are various locations but my favourite is the store at Columbus Circle. (Unfortunately in the UK, due to GDPR, we can no longer view their website :o( ). Williams Sonoma is the most amazing kitchenware store that sells everything from seasonal cookie cutters, to amazing bake mixes (including gf), and I always stock up on a tonne of stuff when I visit.
Tompkins Square Bagels, located in the East Village for the most amazing bagels, and gluten free options too!
And some of my favourite new spots:
Time Out Market, located in Dumbo Brooklyn, is a 24,000-square-feet market with 21 eateries, three bars and a demo cooking area. The place is HUGE, and there’s everything your hungry heart desires here. Don’t miss the views at the top, where you’ll find more food, a bar and an amazing outdoor area looking back towards NYC.
RH NYC, located in the Meatpacking District, RH aka Restoration Hardware, is the most chic furniture store you’ll ever set eyes on. The building is huge, and when you walk in it feels like you’ve entered a multi storey art gallery, but instead of paintings, there’s furniture. And the best bit, you can order alcohol from their in-house bar and sprawl out on a chic sofa or bed whilst you drink. Their rooftop restaurant looks amazing too, and I’d love to visit in summer where they have an outdoor area which would be the perfect cocktail o’clock spot.
Starbucks Reserve, located in the Meatpacking District, this is a Starbucks like no other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of their coffee and never visit a regular store, but this one was a must-visit. A 23,000 square foot building, on the ground floor is a 360-degree central coffee bar, a lounge, roasting area, Italian bakery Princi, and a station where customers can buy and grind their own beans. A lounge with another coffee bar, sits on the lower ground, and on the top level is the 60-foot-long Arriviamo Cocktail Bar. I mean…. you wanna take a look right?!
We spent our few days strolling and ticking things off our to-do list. The weather was perfect, and although it was Autumn, it was still warm enough to stroll in shorts and a light coat.
This trip to NYC didn’t excite me in the way it has previously, and that sounds so spoilt! But! Maybe it’s a combo of visiting so many times, of the fact that London has so many of the same stores and restaurants, and also an age thing where I don’t necessarily want to spend my time rushing around a city on vacation.
But what I did learn on this trip, is that the next time I visit, as I’m sure I will, I’ll leave some of the old haunts off my to-visit list. I realised on this trip that I was revisting places that no longer interested me. I guess that happens over time and as we get older! So the next trip’s plan is definitely to do less, giving me more time to enjoy my favourite neighbours, those being the Meatpacking District, Lower East Side, Upper West Side, Brooklyn and Williamsburg.
On our last day in NYC, we woke up a little fuzzy headed, having been out for drinks with a friend the evening before, but we were determined to pull on our running gear and run through Central Park.
We jumped on the subway towards the park, and started our run. It was one of the highlights of my trip. There were so many people out running on this beautiful sunny morning, and I felt a part of the city in that moment. Finishing our run we walked down one of the main streets of the Upper West Side, and found a great coffee spot, where I ordered a decaf almond latte and the barista handed it to me announcing loudly in his NYC twang ‘DECAF. Almond Latte. DECAF’. Alright mate! Sorry I didn’t want the caffeine hit! Haha, it did make me laugh, such a crime to order decaf if you’re a barista I guess!
We strolled as we drank our take-out coffees, and this moment was one of my favourites of the entire trip. Just soaking up the buzz of the city, but at a slower pace.
That slow pace didn’t continue however, as the clock ticked, and we still had places we wanted to visit and I needed to pack a suitcase worth of food (not even kidding). The sun set, and before we knew it, we were in a taxi on the way to JFK airport. Goodbye NYC. Another adventure over, but the memories are always there to fall back on, and to excite me to plan my next trip.
Thanks for reading,