Thursday, 22 January 2015

3 Days in NYC

As I mentioned in my last post (and you'll definitely have noticed if you follow me on instagram) we had a bit of a different Christmas & New Year this year.  We spent Christmas day traveling to New York before going on a Cruise for New Years.  I'm fortunate that I've been able to travel a lot in life and this was my third trip to NYC and I'm pretty sure it's confirmed that it's my favourite city in the world (that I've been to thus far).
**Wordy, picture heavy post coming**
Due to the fact we were catching the ship, we only had 3 days to spent in the city and I was determined to make the most of it.  Having been before, there were certain things we knew we wanted to do again and other things we wanted to try for the first time. So here's a diary style breakdown of our trip and my recommendations for a few (semi) tourist-y things to do!
Day 1 - Traveling
This time we went a bit of a long way for a short cut, flying on Christmas day meant there weren't many flight options.  We flew Delta from Manchester, via Amsterdam and arrived at JFK at 1ish.  I'm a bit of a plane geek and get excited about the features of the flight, this time certainly didn't disappoint!  Equipped with wifi I was able to post a selfie from 38,000ft and have a good Facebook/Twitter/Instagram nosey!  It also have the full first season of Castle so I was throughly entertained!

 When we arrived we wasted no time and got to our hotel, dumped our stuff and got back out to explore!  We stayed at the Hotel Mela which is on 44th St between 6th & 7th Aves.  The location was perfect for Times Square as it was literally on our doorstep.  This meant we could easily had back to the hotel to drop off items before heading on to our next adventure, and that most things were within an easy walking distance.

For a very un-traditional Christmas Dinner, we went to Ellen's Stardust Diner.  This was one of the places we'd been to on our last trip and we loved it again this time around!  The wait staff are aspiring Broadway actors and perform songs whilst (amazing) food is being served.  We had burgers and cake whilst being entertained.  Being drained by this point (and oh hi jetlag) we had an early night to set ourselves up for the next day.
Day 2 - Shopping!
We had planned to the majority of our shopping on boxing day as we weren't sure how we would feel after traveling and also to be honest, we weren't sure if and how holiday shopping hours would affect things (FYI they wouldn't have, truly the city that never sleeps, even on the Holidays).  I headed off to the Garment District to spend the morning and all my spending money.  I'm not sure it merits a separate post so I'll try and be brief.  I mainly hit up Paron (I had a groupon) and Mood.  I visited a few others in between but wasn't overly overly impressed as I was more looking to browse than for something specific.  It's fair to say I treated myself to some good bits and pieces that I posted in my last post.
After this I went and met up with my the rest of my family and we had a walk around Macy's & 34th street area before heading along to 5th Avenue to battle the crowds there!  I have never seen soo many people in my life and I'm surprised that Manhattan has yet to sink under the weight of them all!  Mum and I went off for a wander on our own and ended up booking tickets to go see The Rockettes that night which was a great show.  If musicals aren't your thing then this is a fab alternative at this time of the year. 
 For dinner that night we struggled to get in anywhere so kind of settled for a place called Bond 45 which scared me at first.  I'm not a fussy eater, but I don't do fancy food or anything with a sauce and panicked at the menu at this was the general vibe.  I went for their open plate Lasange and it was the best decision I made, omg it was to die for.  I'll leave you to investigate open plate lasange, as I'm not quite sure I can describe it correctly!
Day 3 - Tourist
We knew from our last trip that we definitely wanted to go back up the Rockerfeller Centre to Top of the Rock again this time.  We pre-booked our tickets online to save waiting in line and went as early as we could.  What's great about Top of the Rock is that you can see the Empire State Building and use it as a point of reference.  We done both on our last trip and much preferred it because of this.  It's a strange experience being up there, it's busy but it's quiet and peaceful compared to the city below.  You get to appreciate the wonder that is New York City and take in all it has to offer.  Considering it was the 27th December, it was a beautiful day and we could see for miles.  Definitely one of my trip highlights.
After being there, mum and I took the subway to Greenwich Village as I'm a little obsessed with that area.  It all started the first time I was there and wanted to go to the Marc by Marc Jacobs store (my first love).  It's such a laid back, neighborhood-y part of the city and where I'd love to stay in the future.  We visited some of the boutiques (including MbMJ and the Marc Jacobs Beauty store) as well as heading to the world famous Magnolia Bakery.  You need to queue but it's pretty well worth it as their cakes and cupcakes are amazing.  And it's the ultimate tourist thing to do in that area!

We also went to a soda place called Hamilton's which I'd read about online prior to going.  It was a bit of a long shot but it was GOOD.  I had an old fashioned lemonade and mum has some interesting looking shake with ice cream stuck to the edge of the glass.  We shared some fries and were glad we made the trip to there just for the experience.  We finished our afternoon wandering round the village taking in all the sights and locals (some of whom were just as interesting to look at).

That night we had a reservation at The Brooklyn Diner which is just off Times Square.  And omg AMAZING.  We got seated a little later than our time and the manager(owner?) could not have been nicer about it.  Coming over and apologising (sincerely) and finishing off our meal with free Cheesecake and Gateau which we literally demolished.  So so good!

Day 4 - Cruisin'
We had to be ready pretty early to head to the ship so I decided that I'd get up early in the morning and go find the Brooklyn Bridge as I'd loved it the last time.  I'll admit I got a little lost (and soaked since it decided to rain that day) but I was so in awe again once I found it.  I walked up from underneath it and just took some time to take it all in.  I headed up to walk across a bit but I was getting tight on time and headed back uptown.
Our ship left from the Manhattan Cruise Port on the Hudson River.  This meant as we sailed away we had stunning views of the city and passed the Statue of Liberty which was pretty cool to see.  It was kind of nice to imagine how people must have felt doing the same thing centuries ago whilst arriving in America to seek freedom.  It might not have been as tall back then but I can only imagine it would have been as breathtaking a sight.
That's a very wordy, brief recollection of my trip to NYC, aren't you glad I didn't start on about the cruise!  Let's just say that was amazing too and I promise I won't bore you with the details.
I'm now off to start working my way through my fabric stash from the trip, cause maybe the quicker I get through it, the sooner I'll get to return to replenish it!

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  1. Ahhh, I'm so bummed that I missed meeting up with you! Wish I'd been back in town!!! But I'm glad you had such a nice time and were able to experience so much of the city in just a few days!

    1. I know, would have been great to meet up, let's hope there's a next time! hah and yeah we managed to pack a lot in!

  2. Replies
    1. totally was Helen! Looking forward to catching up at the weekend :)

  3. Your pictures look stunning! Visiting NYC and going to the top of the Rock have always been on my to-do list - and this fab post makes me even more determined to do it :) x


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