Eeeek this blog has been terribly neglected over the last couple of weeks! It’s so tricky juggling this, alongside the editing of my what felt like like 17,349 photos of New York and long working days out filming with my new job. Which means, I have exactly 11 minutes and 3% battery power to update you on my New York trip! Week 3 was soooo busy, we walked a total of 150km, and saw SO MUCH. So I’m doing you a favour and breaking these posts down into readable chunks (with lots of photos!). A lot of you having been asking for New York recommendations too, but don’t worry, those are coming! I’ll have some posts with more detail on the various favourite spots I visited coming soon. And now lets start…
If you read the New York Week 2 post, y0u’ll probably remember that The Boy Next Door had flown in, and I’d moved from my friends apartment in Queens to a hotel in Manhattan. The following morning, we were up early, the day was sunny and gorgeous, and we head out around the corner and past the Flat Iron Building.
Down to the subway, where this particular station has mosaic hats along the platform walls. New York subways have some very cool art in their stations, London needs to catch on to this!
Arriving in Soho, we head straight for Two Hands NYC for a delicious (Aussie) brunch. My second visit, whilst in New York. The food is awesome, but more on that in a later post! Bellies full and finally awake thanks to caffeine, we began exploring the neighbourhood.
Now when I mention the word ‘Chinatown’, it’s probably conjuring up images of a nice little pedestrian area full of Chinese shops, with a big sign saying ‘Chinatown’. I mean that’s what most Chinatowns in large western cities look like right? Well not Chinatown in New York. This here, is the real deal. For blocks and blocks, you will walk past Chinese stores and vendors, selling everything from giant sea slugs to fresh vegetables. There is nothing tourist like about this area. If feels like you’ve been transported to Beijing, and I love it!
Don’t miss this area, it’s chaotic, and super interesting.
Next to Chinatown is Little Italy, an area full of fabulous Italian restaurants.
As we walked along the streets of Little Italy, we came across what appears to be The Incredible Hulks offspring. Pretty amazing artwork huh!
The day was beautiful, and it is always such a treat to walk the streets of a busy city and feel like you have the place to yourself, when everyone else is at work.
We made a beeline for Happy Bones NYC, a kiwi owned coffee shop in Soho.
I ordered an iced coffee and soaked up the sunshine, albeit it in a winter coat – the weather was not to be trusted in NYC, having been super cold just days earlier.
After more wandering around Soho along with a bit of window shopping, and stop at Dominique Ansels Bakery to drool over all his amazing baked creations, we head in the direction of the Meatpacking District.
I love this area, with its cobbled streets and old meat factories which mostly house designer fashion and trendy foodie spots these days. We popped into Chelsea Market to inhale all the delicious food aroma’s before making our way back out towards the High Line.
For those that haven’t experienced The High Line, it is a disused railway track that has been changed into a walkway, full of gorgeous landscaped gardens and artwork.
It runs up the west side of Manhattan, and is the perfect place for a sunny day stroll.
You get views of the river to your left and views of the city to your right. The High Line ran very close to our hotel, and our feet were killing us by this point, so after feeling satisfied that we’d seen enough for the day, we went back to the hotel to rest until dinner.
When in New York, you’ve gotta do all the touristy stuff, and that includes Times Square. Every time I visit NYC, I like to go here, at least once, to see the bright lights and all the chaos. So as tired as we were, we jumped on the subway, popped out at 42nd Street, and I bullied TBND into having a cheesy tourist photo on the steps that overlook Times Square. Then we head off for dinner, before hitting the pillow hard that night, utterly exhausted.
We woke up the next morning still exhausted, but determined to crack on with the day. Grabbing coffee, we walked all the way down through Union Square to the East Village to start exploring.
On this trip I was determined to spend extra time around the East Village and Lower East Side. They were areas I felt I didn’t know well enough, and there are so many great little boutiques, cafes and restaurants around there.
There’s also loads of awesome street art to see.
But I must admit, one of the main reasons to head to this part of town, was to revisit Erin McKenna’s Bakery and treat myself to another gluten free donut!
They are so so good, I wish this bakery was in London!
Another spot I’d never been to on previous NYC trips was the famous deli, Katz’s.
So we decided a pastrami sandwich was needed for lunch. It was freakin’ delicious! And gave us more than enough energy for our next plan of the day, walking over Brooklyn Bridge.
The afternoon was sunny and warm, and we made our way onto the bridge with hundreds of other tourists and commuters.
Once over the bridge we head to DUMBO, which stands for ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass’. A very cool area with fabulous shops and food spots.
And also one of the best spots to take a photo. Sadly you can’t see in the picture due to the time of the day and the light not being in the right place, but the reason this spot is so popular is because the Empire State Building is perfectly framed between the ‘legs’ of the bridge and makes for the most amazing Kodak Moment ever!
So no Empire State Building to show you, instead I jumped on the poser bandwagon and took a bunch of snaps, and believe me I wasn’t the only one doing this! #noshame #ownit
I even made TBND join in on the fun, hurling my iPhone at a stranger to take some snaps, and at this very moment I remember TBND muttering under his breath ‘Annmaree!’ in an ‘this is mortifyingly embarrassing’ kinda way. My motto is this, you’re probably never going to see these people again, so just go for it, smile and capture the moment!
After the ‘photoshoot’ (hah!), we walked down to the waters edge to Jane’s Carousel, the most beautifully restored carousel you’ll ever see, gifted to NYC by the buyers/restorers. A wedding shoot was taking place when we arrived, and their posing put ours to shame.
The sun was slowly sinking in the sky, but we had a long wait until nightfall, to snap some cityscape photos.
There’s loads of stuff to see along the waterfront, and we jumped at the opportunity to climb inside this ‘Yo’ sign to take photos, even though there was a sign just to the right saying ‘Do not climb on art work’. The ‘O’ is crying out for a person to sit inside it, c’mon!
We found a spot down at the waters edge, and waited patiently for the sun to disappear. Which seemed to take forever, and it got bloody cold!
But the cold and the wait were worth it! Soon enough New York started to shine, and it is one of the most beautiful cityscapes you can ever see.
We snapped a million photos until we were so cold we couldn’t stand it anymore, and scuttled back to the subway to head back to Manhattan.
Another lovely day in Manhattan. Another day of seriously aching feet. We hit the pillow hard again, before another day of pavement pounding lay ahead of us.
To Be Continued…..