On this 3 month trip to Ohio, my husband has organized some very exciting trips for us so we can make the most of our time here. This past weekend we visited New York City. I have never been before and it was on my top 5 places to see in the world so I have been floating on a cloud! I can honestly say it met every expectation and more! We met up with some of our UK friends there too and they had organised an excellent itenary for the 3 and a half days we had to explore. We visited pretty much everything there is to see in the City. I won't give an account of what we did bit by bit as this would take a whole day to write about and I don't think my 3 year old will let me get away with that. So instead I'm going to give my highlights and review of the overall experience.
So my favourite building and experience was the Empire State building. The architecture in the City is fantastic and so unique, but I found myself really drawn to the Empire State. We travelled up to the 86th floor Friday evening. It was very busy but we managed to see everything and the views were just spectacular. I normally struggle with heights but I found just looking out and straight ahead gave me focus and I really concentrated on what a fantastic experience it was and i'ts not something you see everyday. So luckily my fear stayed at the back of my thoughts and I really soaked up the breathtaking views.
We also visited 3 famous T.V locations, Say Yes to the Dress bridal boutique Kleinfeld, Carries Sex and the City apartment and the Friends apartment building. It felt so weird like walking in to a tv screen, I'm so happy I got to see these places for real. I actually got to go inside Kleinfeld too, they were sweet enough to let me take some pictures in the receprion area and we were allowed to look down stairs in the accessories department too. It was such a dream come true!
We made it our mission to see as much as posible so we had a check list and ticked off the following -
Statue of Liberty
Staten Island Ferry
Wall Street (the Bull and girl statue)
The Rockefeller Center
Grand Central Station
New York City public Library
Empire State building
Madison Square Gardens
Ride in a Yellow Taxi
Have a Hot Dog from a vendor on the Street
Have a giant slice of Pizza
have a meal at Ellen's Stardust Diner
I think that was the majority of it! So I'm going to now give some advice and tips on visiting New York.
Plan what you want to see and do before you go. make a list and break it down into the days your there. This way you wont get overwhelmed and will get to see everything. make sure you do your research and look on a map at where everything is. you dont want to be going back and forth because you've put 2 different parts of the city on the same day.
Using the subway its not expensive and is easy enough to follow, plus people are really friendly so dont be afraid to ask if your not sure. but be aware that you cant buy a return ticket or day ticket its just one way each time you pay (about $3) Also Taxis are not very expensive so dont be worried about hailing one down. we used them a few times and for around a 15 minute journey it would cost a little over $10.
Invest in some decent footwear!!! this is a must if you plan to do alot of walking. forget looking trendy its not important. Plenty of girls had on cute outfits with trainers. I'm just not good with shoes and dont even own a pair of trainers, Iwalked in flip flops and converse style shoes and it was awful! I persevered the whole weekend but had to put my feet in a bucket of ice to help with the aching. My friend had some sketchers and she said it was like walking on a cloud the entire trip.
If you go this time of year be prepared for serious heat. The hottest day got up to 36 degrees and it was fairly unbareable if your not a sun worshipper. Take a high factor sunscreen and take a bottle of water. there are plenty of public water fountains around so you can refill. I also spotted a few girls walking with parasols or light coloured umberellas and I thought that was a great idea.
Use the highline. Its an old railway line above the streets not too high up but high enough to be away from the hussle and bussle of the crowded sidewalks and honking of car horns. its very pretty. Lots of greenary and flowers to look at plus the odd sculpture that has been donated. there are benches and seating areas and water fountains provided too so if its hot you can stop and relax and soak up the surroundings.
I also recommend speaking with your hotel the morning of your check in and enquiring into a room situated at the back of the building. If your not used to alot of noise at night, it will really help. We were given the option of a bigger room at the front where the noise level was a higher or a smaller room at the back which we opted for and other than the odd siren now and again it was very peaceful. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn in Chelsea and they were excellent.
The most important advice, make the most of your adventures in New York. It's such a friendly crazy city! so much to see and do and explore. I would definately book an extra day off work on your return to catch up on sleep and rest your body. It's such a magnificent place and I cant wait to go again (but in the autumn) !! x