New York City has always been on my must-see list (as I am sure it is for many people) and I was lucky enough visit as part of my Travelzoo experience heading over on one of the Qantas flights through Dallas.
My first day, I was so excited that despite any impending jetlag, I was up and at it! I walked the entire length of the High Line after a snack from Chelsea Market, checked out of the views from Top of the Rock (which has the best views over the city and the lines are never as long as the Empire State Building) and cycled the six miles around Central Park in the sun before meeting a friend for dinner and drinks in Hell’s Kitchen. For the uninitiated, that is more than four suburbs and a lot of ground to cover in one day.
I was there for nine days, so there was no need to try and do everything at once but I couldn’t help myself. Musicals are my thing and I really wanted to see a Broadway show so I headed on down to Times Square to see what discounted tickets I could get. While it can be manic down there and many locals try to avoid it, I found the people-watching hilarious and the hardest thing was picking just one show to see (for the record, I saw two).
Some of the highlights of my trip to the Big Apple were walking the Brooklyn Bridge, starting on the Brooklyn side and walking to Manhattan to enjoy the city skyline views; taking in the grandeur at Grand Central Station; and visiting the New York Public Library, it is such a beautiful building and feeds my love of books.
I also got to experience a few different things like hanging out in a sports bar for the Giants season opening game. I spent more time watching the guys on the next table organising their fantasy draft than the actual game.
Staying with a friend living up above 182nd Street (that’s north of Harlem, in Washington Heights) also meant I got to explore some unchartered territory, enjoying the beautiful scenery during a run around The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park overlooking the Hudson River. The building itself, built in the 1930s, resembles architectural elements of several European medieval abbeys.
Last but not least, I had to hit the shops. Between admiring the high-end shops on 5th Avenue, grabbing sales in SoHo, stocking up on all my essentials at Sephora and spending half a day in The Strand Bookstore (a must for booklovers), I had to sit on my bag to make it close.
There were a bunch of other places and things I saw like Williamsburg and Brooklyn, wandering the East Village, checking out MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum, having drinks at hidden ‘speakeasies’ and chowing down on an obligatory bagel every day (I didn’t sleep much!) but New York City really does offer something for everyone. I will definitely be back to see it all again and everything else that I missed.