One day, back in November, I was sitting on the sofa, bored, looking at flights – as I often do. Suddenly, I said to Dougie “LET’S GO TO NEW YORK FOR VALENTINE’S!”. I don’t know if I was kidding or what, but anyway, it wound up happening. I’ve wanted to go back to NYC for some time now, and my fifth experience of the city didn’t disappoint. Yes, I go away a lot, and yes, I am lucky. But I’m cursed with wanderlust and blessed with the determination to do what I say I will. Plus, I work pretty hard – the money thing really helps, too!
Before we left for our trip, we made a rough plan of what we wanted to do. I drew a table, I color coded it, and made it super pretty – but I knew we wouldn’t really have time to do everything we wanted! Sad times, but NYC really does have too much to experience (that’s an excuse to keep going back, not a complaint!).
However, we got plenty of stuff done, partially in thanks to the awesome New York Pass that we purchased. For a set price, we were able to visit an unlimited amount of popular attractions. I can’t help but think this might have pressured us to prioritize activities on there, but I’m glad that we did the things we did. I probably wouldn’t buy it again though, as there’s loads of free/other stuff to do in New York without investing that kind of cash again, plus we never actually used our open bus tickets at all (oops…).
Over the course of our trip, we went to the top of both the Empire State and the Rockerfeller Center (loads better, FYI!).
We took a boat out to the Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island (and it was bloody freezing!).
Inevitably, we went to pay our respects at Ground Zero and the Freedom Tower, to commemorate 9/11 and all the lives lost. We went to the tribute centre, and it’s genuinely heartbreaking and so sobering to see the devastation that took place back in 2001.
We also went all around some of the different ‘cool’ areas of Manhattan, like Chinatown, Little Italy, the East Village and St Mark’s Place near Union Square, which I love. We also went to the Museum of Sex, which was possibly the best museum I’ve ever been to. It wasn’t seedy at all – it was mostly really educational, encouraging visitors to consider feminist theory, as well as the existence of homosexuality throughout nature, and there were some really hilarious parts too in ‘Funland’ to break it up and make us giggle, such as a bouncy castle and climbing wall made of certain body parts!
We also ate at some incredible places to eat (I’m writing a food post, don’t worry!), and we went to some astounding parks (like Central Park, and the new High Line), too.
Then there was Time Square, and even Madame Toussaud’s! Of course, I got some shopping done (basically a load of make up and stuff from Victoria’s Secret!).
Plus, I had my hair done for New York Fashion Week, and we also got to play at being hipsters by walking through Brooklyn. More about a lot of these things throughout the blog, I’m sure!
We had intended to walk the length of the Brooklyn Bridge, but it really was too cold. The weather we experienced was apparently the worst on record, and I didn’t fancy walking over water where the frozen air would have literally slapped me in the face.
To make up for missing the views you’re meant to be ale to see at the end of the bridge though, we took a PATH train to Hoboken, New Jersey, where the skyline looks best. So worth it, I promise.
I caught up with old friends for food, like my friend Fay who I met at Bamboozle Festival in 2011, and she also showed me around her College: NYIT.
I was also lucky to see my friend Brianna who I worked with in New York in 2009, after nearly six whole years! We hung out around Wall Street, where she works now.
Other social activities included heading to Philadelphia to see Dougie’s friends in Mallory Knox, at the Electric Factory, one of my fave venues where I saw Brand New a few years back. As you can see in this video, everyone was getting really into it. It was awesome to see them represent the British scene like that, and supporting cool bands like the incredible PVRIS, Sleeping With Sirens and Pierce The Veil.
Not only did we watch the bands, but we saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, two pinnacles of American culture. Anything standing in the name of freedom and liberty is iconic in my book!
I even met up with a girl who was on Parahoy, and she was a sweetheart! Philly was worth the two hour coach ride! Weirdly, we bumped into the Mallory lads as we were leaving my friend Brianna in NYC the next day. Small world!
Of course, the reason I initially got the slightly crazy idea in my head to visit New York again, and for Dougie’s first time, was because of Valentine’s Day. The entire weekend was perfect, and so romantic! We took a Horse & Carriage through Central Park, covered in snow. We also went to a Michelin star restaurant, Ai Fiori, the night before Valentine’s itself. I had so much fun, and I got to spend it all with the most amazing boyfriend in the world.
I would have liked to have caught a show on Broadway, and to have skated in Central Park. I also want to do a Gospel Walking Tour, as well as do some TV and Movie Set Tours as well. Plenty of reasons to go back, obviously!
I just love New York, and all it has to offer. I love how busy it is, and how bustling, without a lot of the negativity I see in London (although undoubtedly with its very own!). You’ll never be bored in NYC, and it truly is the city that never sleeps. Our hotel, The Evelyn, was beautiful and so accommodating and central. Another bonus was that our direct flights were cheap. It was everything we could have wanted!
What’s your favorite thing about New York? Have you been?