Everyone’s got to do NYC at some point in their life, preferably when its fashion season. I did. 2 weeks ago in fact! It’s not the first time I’ve been to New York, but judging by the constant shrieking of a typical ‘Yorkshire lass’ you’d of thought it was!
We flew into JFK on the morning of the 15th (cheeky 4sq check in.. Keching! Jetsetter badge unlocked). We hailed a Yellow cab from outside the airport, with Norris the Nikon in hand I began to snap everything in sight. Ok, priorities. Staying in the Roosevelt hotel, just off Times Square we dropped off our bags and hit the city. That first moment when you stop and take in your surroundings is breath taking. I had to take a minute to compose myself as I stood on the corner of a busy sidewalk.
Hopping on a Grey Line tour bus we headed downtown to Ellis Island. Being 3pm by this point, the last ferry over to Ellis Island had departed. Error. So we casually jumped on the commuters ferry to Staten Island, listening to New Yorkers discussing their affairs as we went.
When we returned ‘inland’ we strolled up to the financial district.. Hello Wall Street. Unfortunately the millionaires don’t hang around on street corners, so I captured some shots and moved onto Ground Zero. Looking up at the immense Freedom Tower was chilling, such a beautiful building memo rating the tragedy of 10 years prior. I took some time to pay my respects before heading up Soho. Casually we wandered the streets, peaking into the windows of unique boutiques and yummy bakeries as we passed. Ok, I don’t know where we are! .. Hailing taxi number two we headed back up to the Roosevelt for a freshen up.
Times Square at night. The dramatic change in a city’s ore in 24 hours is beyond incredible, street sellers immerge in their hundreds ‘Rolex, Rolex, you want a Rolex?’, no thank you, I’m good for fake Rolex’s, we walk on as they disappear omits the crowds.
New York doesn’t strike me as the party central, on the streets of Times Square you will struggle to find that conventional party girl, stiletto and mini skirt alike. The ambiance is much more chilled, really giving the impression of the ‘city that never sleeps’. Locals are still going about their day to day business at 1am, a bizarre culture shock for a state that is said to feel no different to home. Although Hollywood portrays America as a country simply mirroring the UK, I was aware I was in a foreign state.
The morning of the 16th, we slept well in our king size double beds. We headed down to The Brooklyn Diner, just off Times Square and to me, the best breakfast to be had in New York City. Today’s itinerary started us on the Uptown Loop: The Met, Lincoln Centre, Trump Towers.. you get the idea. Departing the bus at Central Park we got on a bike, rode by a lovely man from New Jersey. He pointed out where all the iconic scenes from blockbuster movies were filmed as we snuggled under a blanket taking shelter from the rain. For $50 dollars he took us round a great section of the park dropping us at The Met as he was feeling generous. We dismounted and entered The Met.
Wow, what an immense building, our New York passes gained us free entry. A while of my time was spent gazing into modern paintings.. and photographing others gazing into paintings. Although we did not have time to view all the Met had to offer, we did get a great glimpse of the place before leaving to head back downtown!
Jumping back on the tour bus we continued to admire the sites of the city, swapping buses to head to the Empire State Building. Upon arrival we were discouraged from going up on the 16th as visibility only sat at 5%. So we purchased our tickets with all intentions of returning first thing tomorrow morning.
So onto shopping it was! .. Hello Macy’s, New York’s oldest department store owned by Isidor Straus and his wife Ida until their tragic death on the Titanic in 1912. (Isidor and Ida being the old couple shot laying on the bed as the ship descends into the water). Personally, I’m not a great fan of the department store, my preference lies with Bloomingdales and Saks.
Appling some lippy and with a quick brush of the hair we moved on to Madam Tussaud’s. Fame! .. I must of snapped at least 150 photos in that place, stopping to pose with every recognisable celebrity. However I must tell you, if you’re going.. Towards the end is a Chinese lady who stands photographing Nsync. She’s wax. After 5 minutes of waiting for our turn, avoiding getting in her shot to finally prodding her we worked it out! Haa!
As we emerged a guy shouted over to us declaring his love for my brightly coloured, patented leggings.. naturally he was selling comedy club tickets! .. We thought if the comedians were going to be half as funny as he was, then we were in for one hell of a night!
Pause. Pheww, what a long post, I need a minute. *puts kettle on*, ok, set.
The night of the comedy club. We arrived at busy bar (Stand Up NY, Soho area), the guys sat us down next to a group of mixed Welsh and Norwegian teens. The room rapidly filled. First up was a comedian from New York City, he took pleasure from picking on me and my Englishness, amusing to say the least!.. Various comedians were introduced to the show and were all remarkable acts. The show was entertaining and simply hilarious! A definite recommend to anyone visiting the state! As I headed back from the ladies room I saw my friend casually chatting to one of the comedians who had been in the show, they invited us along (with the rest of the audience who were still hanging around) to a bar, The Amsterdam Ale, where the locals often go after a gig. We accepted and followed along.
Returning to Times Square at around 4am we headed to McDonald’s for a conventional cheeseburger!
Now remember the plan I explained to you before, ahh I bet you’d forgotten all about the Empire State! ..Well I hadn’t! I made my friend rise and shine so we could get down there and miss all the queues! .. Arriving at around 9.30am we were permitted entry up the Empire State. What a magnificent day to view. It was breath taking, the best view in New York City and a highly recommended landmark to visit!
We left and headed uptown for the Gossip Girl tour. I’m not going to go into detail about this as, being an avid gossip girl fan stroke obsessive I feel it deserves an article in itself.
BLAIR <3 CHUCK IDST!
So I’m female and all I’ve ranted on about is sightseeing! What’s wrong with me! .. The day of the 17th was dedicated to shopping, and although I came away with a lot less than I expected it was my favourite part of being in the city.
Bloomingdales, Chanel, Tiffany’s, American Apparel, Victoria Secrets, Abercrombie, Saks were all visited, to name a few!
After an exhausting afternoon of running from store to store we headed down to the Rockafeller Plaza for a night view of the city. This has to be my favourite attraction in New York City. I practically had to fight back tears at the beauty of the city by night. Breath Taking.
Exhausted, we headed back to Times Square for some last minute gift shopping before returning to the Roosevelt for one last time. With a teary goodbye to Times Square, we departed.
Heading across states at 3am we entered New Jersey, from New Jersey we were to fly back to London’s Heathrow.
Trip of a lifetime? Yes. Going back any time soon? Definitely. I really hope me and my boyfriend get the opportunity to go! I might even go as far to say he will love it more than me.
I <3 New Yorkers.