Although, if we’re honest, we couldn’t really afford it- Roisin and I decided to join our pals from Scotland: Lucy (hairdresser extraordinaire) and Kharris (roommate extraordinaire) for a city break in New York. We hadn’t gone on holiday since our Euro adventure so it felt right to just bite the bullet and commit to a wee adventure. I’d gone before in 2004 but I hadn’t really done the full-on tourist scenario, so I was pretty stoked to rake the city with Roisin and tick some boxes.
Before we even left Montreal we decided to get the New York Pass. Sometimes these passes can be a total rip off, I’m looking at you Berlin Pass, but I have to say that this sucker is worth it. We saved a load of cash by literally calculating how many attractions we needed to see in order to break even and then we piled on even more things to see.
We stayed in a hella shitty hostel on the border of China Town and Little Italy – an incredible location as long as one isn’t looking for luxurious accommodations. It was clean enough and we were up early every morning to make the most of the time we had. We literally walked everywhere. We had subway passes but the weather was incredible and we got to see so much more and make some cool discoveries during our 12 hour-long walks across Manhattan.
We fell in love with Tom and Jerry’s Bar in Noho on our very first night. We ended up makin’ it our local, returning several times for their seasonal pumpkin ale. I have to say it was cool to be there around Halloween.
We ventured to the top of the Empire State Building, explored 30 Rock and Rockefeller, we took a movie tour of Central Park which really helped us get our bearings and learn some cool history about the massive green space. We visited the John Lennon memorial near the Dakota, we bought a crap-ton of candy from FAO Schwarz – I really wanted to make a muppet. Had I known that this was something that could be accomplished in the toy store I probably would have saved accordingly. I was also pretty stoked to find another Zoltar fortune telling vending machine. I seem to have a knack for running into them. And of course we checked out the massive keyboard from Big.
We had a tour of NBC Studios and we also when to the Rockefeller Observation Deck late at night to see the city all lit-up. We sauntered around Times Square but to be honest beyond our necessary meal at Red Lobster (a first for Roisin), we tried to avoid the tourist trap.
One of the most unexpected and amazing things that we saw was the Museum at Eldridge Street. It’s this incredible synagogue whose stained glass and worn-in floorboards still come to mind every so often. The place just had an incredible feeling and fascinating history.
We both went to Macy’s and got makeovers at the Chanel counter by the most fantastic make-up artist. I enjoyed this whole experience way more than I probably should have. I felt like a bloody princess walking around the city after that. And we also took a late-night boat cruise around the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and lower Manhattan.
Since we visited FAO Schwarz initially on our own we returned with Lucy and Kharris and had another adventure. We found the Chelsea Hotel, ate as many doughnuts as we could from the Doughnut Plant, and of course we went on a Sex and the City tour, which starts out pretty stellar, but we did have to admit kind of nosedives midway through. I still think it was worth it. It was a hip way to spend an afternoon. (That link has a list of everywhere we went ;) It did end with necessary cocktails and ridiculous picture-taking.
We also spent a lot of time exploring the High Line and sauntering around Greenwich Village. Our pals from Diamond Bones were also in town while we were there so we were able to catch two shows, one in Manhattan and another in Brooklyn. I really, really loved it there. Sauntering around the wee shops deciding on which food trucks to visit – nom. And of course, we entertained ourselves for a good hour or so in Evolution. Such a hip store.
I feel like the next time we’re in the city we’ll be able to relax a bit more and concentrate on the areas we digged the most. I really want to check out Coney Island, we went a little too late in the season.
It really is a phenomenal place.