Last week, I took (another) girls’ trip, this time to New York City! This trip was with my three sisters-in-law so more a family holiday. Being a London girl, naturally, I love New York; everything from the hustle of the city, transit, restaurants, stores and most importantly the old architecture and history. My craving for the busy city life has not been met in Vancouver, the city feels too young and short of going back home, New York was just perfect. This was my second trip to the east coast city after six years and I was excited to rediscover its immense beauty. We had a full itinerary checking off the major sights, some great food places, and of course, some shopping!
I have put together a list of all the things I loved in the Big Apple!
- Times Square! For me, this was the central hub of the city. The bright lights, theaters, street performers, restaurants and stores (open almost 24 hours) a concoction of perfectness! Walking towards Times Square, on the way to our hotel, I was instantly struck by how much I’d missed the city bustle and this nostalgia, just two hours after landing! To add to the magic, visit Times Square at night, take in the lights and just walk through the fast-paced and exhilarating scene that is Times Square, it was nothing short of enchanting in its own right.
- The Empire State building is something special- we had moved a few things around in our itinerary and found that the only time we could go to the top was at 12am on our last night…incidentally it is open until 2am. It was the best decision we made the entire trip; if you love to see the City skyline and sights during the day they are even more beautiful at night! For the best views you should head to the 86th floor which has a huge 360 viewing platform, unlike the Rockafeller Center it is outdoors, with lots of binoculars to see the City close up. The view of the City literally took my breathe away that night and reminded me why I would miss it when I got back home.
- Chelsea Market is an indoor market place known for its amazing food hall and chic little boutique stores. I absolutely love handmade and local crafts and can usually be found wandering through craft fairs in Vancouver and Chelsea Market in comparison did not disappoint. The market was full of jewelry, clothing, beauty and skincare products, cards and many other crafts. I really believe when you support local businesses you supports their skills, talent and passions The market building itself is rustic with exposed brick and pipes making it feel like you’re walking through an old market.
- Not too far from Chelsea, we have the neighborhood of SoHo, which is thriving due to the university campuses in the area. Strolling through the streets we found a cute vegan restaurant, called Eat by Chloe, along with the next door vegan bakery, Sweets by Chloe. Both venues were swamped the whole time we were in the area, after trying their food I knew why! I tested (for blogging purposes only) the apple pie, carrot cake, old fashioned cookie and Chloestess cupcake and the lemon poppyseed breakfast muffin – and they were all super de-licious!
- The New York Public library is a magnificent building and if old architecture draws you to the city then the Library is a must see! The grandeur of the building as well as the giant pillars makes it a sight for sore eyes. It spreads over three floors open to the public and is actually the second largest library in the US. If I had more time to spend I would most definitely devote a whole day to explore every one of its reading rooms!
- The World Trade Center memorial site; this was where I noticed the greatest change in the City. Previously the site was closed by scaffolding and you were unable to catch a glimpse of where the buildings stood, today there is a museum and two enormous fountains in the exact spot of where the buildings stood. Each fountain edge is inscribed with the names of those who died in the terror attacks of 9/11. Standing at the fountains and watching the fountains was very emotional to think of all those who had needlessly died and the beautiful way that the City had decided to pay homage to their loss was enough to quieten the mind.
- Grand Central terminal has got to be the most beautiful train stations I have ever been to- not to mention it is where Gossip Girl first introduces us to Serena Van Der Woodsen! This building much like the New York Public Library had breathtaking architecture and design in the interior and exterior. As a fully operational train station it is worth a quick look even if you are just transiting through.
- Highline Park was probably the most newest addition to the City that I enjoyed. An old railway track has been renovated into a park- it is one of the most innovative ways to reuse old structure and make it an enjoyable space. You climb subway stairs to reach the top and can walk a fair way across the city. There are many benches and spots to sit and watch the busy City below go about its day. We explored a short area of the park and enjoyed the breeze on one of the hottest days in the City.
- The United Nations Plaza was a last minute addition to our itinerary and I was really looking forward to it but I was surprised to get there and see that the flags of the UN member states were not up. This to me seemed like a very iconic feature of the UN headquarters and I was disappointed to say the least. Ironically across from the UN headquarters I found Trump Tower, I could not think of a more hilarious situation than for two of the most opposite ideologies so close to one another in proximity.
- The Financial District and Wall Street is a great little district to explore by foot. We easily found the New York Stock Exchange building which is both grand and overshadowed by the enormous skyscrapers surrounding it. The cobbled streets gave the whole area an old vibe and made it feel special to walk through. The East River is a short walk from which you can see the Brooklyn Bridge (and get some great selfies!). The weather unfortunately was wet but the light rain didn’t deter the hundreds of tourists exploring the great City.
I love how every time I visit I discover something new about the city whether it’s the sights, food or neighborhoods, it makes me so glad I came! I have returned from this trip in mind, body and soul but I left behind my heart in NYC ❤
Take care and happy reading!