So I arrived in New York City on Friday afternoon (24th of Aug) and instantly fell in love. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s everything I imagined it to be! I did my best to fight the jet lag and after a quick shower at my hotel, I headed back out to explore the Upper West Side (where I was staying). After stopping for lunch, I took a wonderful stroll through Central Park – I only managed to walk about 30 minutes before getting tired…I knew Central Park was big but wow…it’s huge!
On the Saturday morning (my first full day), I headed over to Greenwich Village (a neighbourhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan) and Tribeca to explore. Around late morning, I made a stop at the Dominique Ansel Bakery. The inventors of the ‘Cronut’! For those of you who don’t have the privilege of knowing what a ‘Cronut’ is, it’s a cross between a croissant and a donut…and it’s as delicious as it sounds!
I then walked to/over the Brooklyn Bridge…what stunning views of the Manhattan skyline…as well as Brooklyn itself of course! I walked around Dumbo (a trendy neighbourhood in Brooklyn) for a bit and then walked back over Brooklyn Bridge to head to North End Avenue to jump on the ‘Liberty Cruise’. This was a 2 hour long ferry that sailed around the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governor’s Island, the World Trade Centre and Brooklyn Heights. What a day!
On the following day, I took the subway to see the Rockefeller Center (a large complex that faces Fifth Avenue), I then walked to the New York Public Library and Grand Central Station. Unfortunately, the library shuts over July and August (which I didn’t realise in advance!) but the outside of it was incredible! Grand Central Station was so surreal to see…I’ve watched many movies where you see the station in the background (as well as the library)!
I then walked to the Empire State Building (the iconic 102-story skyscraper completed in 1931) on Fifth Avenue, I went up to the 86th observatory floor and took in the breathtaking views of the city. I then strolled around Macy’s (the largest department store in the world!) for a bit before heading to Times Square (theatre district, Midtown Manhattan). Times Square is a large, commercial intersection and is a major attraction with tourists from all over the world. It’s full of neon lights and brightly lit billboards! Not to mention, it’s the hub of the Broadway Theatre District.