What's a girl to do when she's invited to spend a long weekend in the Big Apple? Buy that plane ticket and never look back. Last Thursday my friend and I packed our bags and headed to the city of lights. It was my first time to New York and not going to lie, I was a little intimidated. When I told people where I was head all I heard was "It's so crowded and busy. Let's hope you don't get your wallet stolen" or "You're going during Halloween?! Watch out for the clowns". Yes, I was told to beware of the clowns -- there's a first for everything right?
Not only was I surprised by the people and their friendliness but how well I adjusted to the hustle and bustle. This could have been because of my experience in Chicago. To be honest, I didn't expect to fall in love with the city as much as I did. New York has never been at the top of my list of places to visit. But after all the eating, exploring, and cool experiences; I can't wait to start planning my next trip (which probably won't be for awhile considering everything was $$$).
*Tip* Use UberPool for longer trips. When we needed to get to and from the airport a regular Uber would have cost us $24. We took the risk and ended up saving almost $10 -- that's enough dough for a New York-style bagel and cream cheese. Yes Please.
One of my friends was kind enough to let her stay at her apartment in Astoria, which is a neighborhood in Queens. It usually took us 20-30 minutes to get all over Manhattan. Let's just say the subway became our best friend. I didn't mind the commute though because it felt like we were getting a more authentic experience.
The first day we were eager to get out and explore. I forced my friends to do a few touristy things, like take a stroll through Central Park. I was blown away by the park's massive size. We could have spent the whole day there.
Before the trip, I was given so many different suggestions on what to see, eat and do. The best suggestions I got was simple really, sit on a rock in Central Park and take it all in. By far one of the best moments soaking up the beautiful views and people watching. We then ventured over to The Met and walked through a few of the exhibits.
*Tip* A lot of the museums cost between $15-23 but The Met has a "suggested" admission cost. Which basically means you pay as much as you feel appropriate.
Since our NY friends weren't into the tourist spots, we embarked on an adventure of our own. We made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge -- the views were incredible but the number of tourists was insane. It made it hard to enjoy the views because people constantly stopped to take photos. The massive crowds were another reason we didn't feel the need to stop at Time Square or Grand Central Station. We decided against the crowds.
Soho & Meatpacking District
One of the great things about New York City is the appreciation of arts. Neighborhoods like SoHo and Meatpacking District are great places to wander around and admire the various street art. Meatpacking has the High Line which is a 6-mile elevated pedestrian path with various street vendors, murals, and sculptures. It's a nice area to got to escape the busyness of the city. We then stumbled into the Artists & Fleas at the Chelsea Market. The market had an array of small local shops and businesses with anything from jewelry to clothes to candles.
My best piece of advice is to take in New York at your own pace. Don't feel like you need to make a checklist. Be open to where the day takes you.
Keep an eye out for my next post coming soon. I'll talk about all the amazing restaurants I ate at throughout my visit. Plus, I'll give some tips on how to avoid the long lines at some killer "foodie" places!
Have any go-to spots in NYC? I want to hear them so I can add them to my list for next time!