New York, New York (Part 1)

Statue of Liberty
So, New York was as amazing as I thought it would be. I would quite happily up sticks in England and go and live there. There was so much diversity, literally you would want for nothing. I have been debating on how I was going to write about this trip purely because there is just so much to cover. In the end I decided to do it in parts.

First things first, if you are planning a trip yourself, these are just a few necessities I think you will need:
  • A subway card  - I had it in my head that I wanted to walk everywhere, you know, really get a feel for the city? Impossible! After day 2 my feet were aching, so not only should you pack only suitable footwear but a rail card is imperative. Depending on how long you are there, they do a 7 day one for around $30. but single trips costing about $2.50 you should get your money back even if you are not there for a full 7 days.
  • An up to date guide book and map. Always check the publishing date of the guide book you are buying. Things seem to change so quickly in this city, you don't want to miss anything. Although, I apply this rule to every guide book I purchase.
  • The New York Pass - I purchased this before we left and was a little bit unsure because it had quite varying reviews, but I was thrilled with it. We made our money back 2 fold. I got them without the on/off bus option which made them a little bit cheaper. Plus, traffic is so bad in the city you will probably only go one mile an hour in peak times! It's much quicker to walk or get the subway.
We flew with Delta and had the minimal amount of leg space possible (Cheapskates!) but the service was fantastic, and we didn't want for nothing. I am the biggest critic of plane food, but the pasta which I had was actually pretty tasty! I also ended up watching 3 great movies, Jurassic World (4/5 stars), Pitch Perfect 2 (4/5 stars) and my absolute favourite, Disney's Inside Out (5/5 stars). I was literally laughing out loud, which is quite embarrassing on a full plane.

From the airport we had booked a Lincoln to take us to the hotel. This was booked before we left. Not only did it scratch an itch of my boyfriends but it also saved us a lot of time, and actually cost the same as a yellow cab would have. The queue for a taxi was extremely long, and after a 7 hour flight, is not what you need. We also hadn't tackled the subway before so we didn't want to confuse ourselves straight away.

We stayed at the Hotel Metro, which was lovely. As with most places in New York it was very art deco and the rooms were spacious and well maintained. We were also only a stones throw away from Macy's which was very useful indeed! Breakfast came with the room, there was free tea and coffee all day and free wine during happy hour of an evening.

After dumping our bags I wanted to just walk around and stretch my legs. I think we walked about 10 miles around Times Square (I saw the Naked Cowboy, but alas didn't get a picture)  and all the way to the Upper West Side to Dylan's Candy Bar. What an amazing sweet shop, I spent about $20 on Pick n Mix alone! We then went to a Barnes and Noble which had a jazz club in the basement?!

We then had dinner in Midtown at PJ Clarke's. If you want real New York atmosphere, this is definitely the place. I had a turkey burger and a Brooklyn Lager (It only seemed right). For dessert I had my first of many slices of original New York Cheesecake. Just remember it is customary to tip 20%. This includes barmen ($1 for a regular drink $2 - $3 for a cocktail), housekeeping ($2 a day) and bell hops. But just watch out because some places automatically include it on the bill.

The next day we started out early. This is the only time when you appreciate jet lag and it actually works in your favor. I was awake at 4.30am and ready by 6am!  To visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island I suggest getting there for about 8:30 - 9am, otherwise wait times can vary up to 90 minutes! Also, if you are feeling energetic and want to trek up all those steps to the crown, you need to book early, as in days ahead of time. And keep breakfast relatively light, those waters can be quite choppy!

After a meander around Ellis Island and the boat ride back over, it was then only a short walk to the 9/11 memorial and museum. This was incredibly moving and so tasteful. At around midday the museum did have quite a long queue, but with our passes we managed to bypass the majority of it.

9/11 Memorial Fountain
After all this I was starving so we had lunch in a place called Tribeca's Kitchen. I had the Brooklyn panini and couldn't finish it all. Fresh pastrami, sauerkraut and everything in between. Amazing! My advice is; don't worry too much about booking restaurants in advance. You can pretty much find an amazing eatery on the corner of every street!

We then did a little bit of a shopping in Greenwich Village. If you stick to the backstreets you come across some real gems that you might not find on the high street, or 5th Avenue in this case! I bought an amazing Autumn/Winter hat from J Crew and a few other little bits including a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera. I can't wait to start taking instant pictures. I have a million ideas for them coming up to Christmas.

Finally, allow yourself an early night. You won't get the best out of your trip if you are tired. We ended up going back to the hotel bar for drinks and to plan the next couple of days. You can do all the planning you want before you leave but sometimes things are weather and queue permitting!

The next instalment of my New York trip will be posted early next week, so keep checking back!