Thursday, 19 October 2017

What to do in NYC

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Unable to quite put into words how amazing the past ten days have been - made even more difficult by lack of sleep and delayed train journeys.

Nonetheless, I am desperately trying to keep the magic of New York alive by flicking through the oh-so-many photos I took, and hope to inspire you to visit if you're yet to have a bite out of the Big Apple.

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It's incredibly difficult to put into words just how much there is to see in this city. That's without the museums, parks and art galleries; every corner you turn you see something new along that skyline, whether you're squinting to look up or from the Empire State looking down.

Here a just of few of my favourite views:

From the top deck of the Met

Across the lake in Central Park

The One World Observatory

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The top of the Rockefeller Centre

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Rockefeller Plaza

From Brooklyn

Beyond the skylines, there is of course so much to do and enjoy within New York itself. Whilst we had a general idea of the things we wanted to tick off on the trip, we never had an exact itinerary, meaning things were that little more spontaneous.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art or 'The Met' as it's more popularly known was a real highlight for me. It's far more than your typical art gallery and has an amazing selection of artefacts, sculpture and spaces as well as traditional paintings. 

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Reclaimed railway park, the High Line can also break up the chaos of the city, taking you above street level to avoid the rush but still soak in the view. We were lucky enough to have the sun shining when we did this, and I would definitely recommend a dry day to really make the most of the artwork and greenery dotted along the track.

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As art galleries go, MoMA is definitely the one that my mum would call "trendy". Whilst there's no denying it's sleek and contemporary edge, it houses the work of some of the true greats. As it's a lot more compact than the Met, it's usually a lot busier so can be a little more difficult to get around, but definitely don't let that dissuade you from visiting.

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Whilst architecture had been a key reason we'd decided to visit New York in the first place, we didn't realise just how big a part it would play in us being eager to return. Even though we were lucky enough to stay for ten days, that was nowhere near enough time for us to discover every hidden gem that the city has to offer. Among the most notable gems are Grand Central Station and the Public Library.

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That being said, rather than the defined locations which we eventually decided on visiting, the best bits were always those in between. Going from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, whether it was trying to find the "Friends" apartment or idyllic New York porch, we were never disppointed by what we came across. Particular highlights include West Village, the Meatpacking District and just before reaching the Brooklyn Bridge.

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West Village

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The "Friends" apartment

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Bryant's Park

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Bow Bridge in Central Park

Brooklyn Bridge

Ok, so this really deserves a post all on its own, but I'm pretty sure I can just about squeeze it in here. 
The food and drink I enjoyed during my time in New York surpassed expectation. Whilst I knew it would be good, I didn't realise just how good.

Every day, dependent on the area we were visiting, we'd google the best lunch/dinner spots in the area and pretty much wing it and see what they had to offer.

And this worked every time.

Food is probably the least photographed thing on my camera roll, namely because I'm far too impatient and my lunch will probably be half demolished before I remember to get that money shot.

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Lunch was always a hunt for a tasty looking sandwich, salad or panini and did not disappoint. Whilst navigating our way through neighbourhoods using cropped google map screenshots was tricky, it certainly felt like we'd earnt our lunch when we eventually came across the location. 

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Dinner, on the other hand, tended to be a little more decadent. Whether it was tacos, pizza or something more refined, we'd always end up spending that little bit more - especially when the room came with a view.

At a minimum spend of $65 per head for an outside table, The Rainbow Room at Bar Sixty Five may not have been the thriftiest option, but it was certainly the most spectacular.

Not to mention, the cocktails were really nice.

And cocktails is something New York is not short of.

Rather than the drinks, however, we found that where we chose to venture largely depended on location.

From speakeasies with provocative wall paper, to rooftop bars with undiscovered amazing city views, it was far more about the atmosphere than the alcohol.

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Raines Law Room

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Campbell's Apartment

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Pod 39

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Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar

In between all the museums, food and getting lost, I had probably the best time of my life and am already longing to go back. Once I've had a couple of hours of sleep anyway.

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Where to go in New York - Recommendations


To eat: lunch

To eat: dinner

To drink: speakeasies

To drink: with a view

Have you been to New York?


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