Let's hear it for New York
The privilege of hindsight has shaped my approach to travel, perhaps even life in general, and can be summed up in these simple words: Manage expectations. Mostly your own.
One full week in New York City - What to do. The news that we’d be visiting NYC was almost thrown at us (it was great news) and while we'd known for about 6 months it still seemed kind of unreal. We had time to do some research, get opinions of those that had already been and then narrow down our itinerary to include the top attractions we all wanted to see – I even read up on the best locations to be standing at to photograph them - Yes, that exists ;)
Thing is, not a single pocket note or travel guide could have fully prepared us for the pulsating sensory overload that is New York and I’m thankful for it.
Combining a melting pot of diversity, contradiction of stereotypes and never ending possibilities, I believe equates to the City that never sleeps – Unless you count that Sunday morning we went to B&H Photo, Macy’s & the dry cleaners, and they were all closed.
The very best advise anyone could ever offer if you're visiting new York would be to invest in the most comfortable shoes you can find because you'll walk until you think your feet will fall off and then you'll walk some more!! (We averaged 12km's per day)
In case you ever ask what my suggestions for NYC are, I created a mini breakdown of the things we did – I’m not suggesting you try them, just giving you a starting point so if you’re planning a trip, this is a list you may want to consider:
We stayed at the Pod Times Square - It was pricey (everything in NYC is, thanks ZAR) but was very central & spotless - Highly recommend it.
7 Days in New York
Arrived at lunch time, walked to Times Square, Stopped at Carlos bakery for Canoli’s
Had a late lunch at a close by restaurant called Lillies
Purchased a 3-Day Hop on / Hop off Bus Pass & Boat tour and made our way downtown.
Lunch at Eataly (A little over priced when converting your ZAR, but interesting to see.)
Went to watch the Yankees play baseball vs the LA Angels…. It wasn’t a good day for the Yankees but an amazing experience for us.
Tried to find Smorgasbord market & ended up in Prospect Park. Aborted mission.
Had lunch in Soho @ Canal Street market
Visited memorial at ground zero - Very moving.
Time Square at Night – Cannot be described. Incredible.
Took the subway directly to the Ferry start for the Statue of Liberty tour & then did the uptown part of our bus tour via Central Park.
Grand Central station for breakfast. (Great idea)
Top of the Rockefeller center for views of the city and Empire State building.
Went to watch a show in the evening – Volta by Cirque du Solei - This was a great show, but terrible idea – I’d bought the tickets in SA without realizing it was being held 2 hours outside of Manhattan. Transport cost us $260 for the night. There was a bad accident on the highway so we were an hour late and missed half the show. Ooops)
Walking tour of Chelsea market, The High Line, Grenwich village.
We then went on to have lunch in China town and dessert in Little Italy. (Food was amazing)
Took subway to Brooklyn Bridge, Walked across (brilliant) and then took the ferry back to downtown.
Shopping at Manhattan mall while it rained and then lunch at Café R: 116 W 32nd Street. Great food & value for money.
Back to Times Square at night.
Thank You New York
To you New York, the city that never sleeps (unless it’s Sunday morning of course), you were amazing. All we dreamed of and more, it was all true - Everything everyone said. I think the lyrics “oncrete jungle where dreams are made of“ by Alicia Key’s should be edited to include that there is plenty of greenery & it’s all really, really, quite beautiful.