A Taste of The Big Apple

I have recently been getting more and more envious of people currently venturing into the Concrete Jungle, also known as New York City. This is mainly because of the endless stream of Instagrammers snapping whilst on top of the Empire State or shopping along 5th Avenue, and I have been lusting over pictures from my travels over the past year. When I came across the album on my laptop labelled ‘NYC’ I realised I had somehow forgotten to post more on my chilly visit last February. It’s never too late!

This post is also for those of you who are planning to go to NY in the near future, I’ll show you that you don’t need more than 4 or 5 days to do everything New York has to offer.

I guess you could think of this as a bit of a sight-seeing planner diary, because we did absolutely every possible thing a tourist could dream of doing… 

After a long flight over the frozen Atlantic (bearing in mind this was the time at which America’s temperatures were plummeting into the -20s and snow was making the city a white canvas), we settled into our AirBnb apartment found in the Meat Packing District; a great location to stay in as you are minutes away from the best food markets New York has to offer.

The morning came, we suited up in as many layers we could fit under our coats and we were ready to take on the day.

Fortunately, the skies were blue and there wasn’t a snow cloud in sight.

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We headed toward the Hudson River, and grabbed a drink to warm us up.

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I would definitely recommend a stroll along the High Line, but it can get quite chilly in the winter so wrap up.

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You are elevated about Manhattan’s West Side streets, giving you an idea of New York’s unique build; the linear avenues running all the way to Central Park from all corners of the City make it look like these streets are lined with infinite amounts of shops, restaurants and more.

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You get see the individual buildings uncovered, unlike buildings found in the centre because the closer you get to the centre of the city, the more compacted the buildings are.

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The High Line gives you the opportunity to experience New York buildings up-close and untouched.

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Dibs on one of these apartments!

Once you finish the walk, I bet you you’ll be hungry for pancakes. And coincidentally Bubby’s is found right by the exit of the High Line. It was weird because as we were strolling along, my dad just happened to mention the legendary pancakes there, so I had to see what the fuss was about.

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Banana and Walnut pancakes, mmmm…

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I reckon their dinner is pretty fab too!

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We stumbled out onto the streets, and were led by the smells of all things cooking from the near by Chelsea Market.

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They have every type of spice, meat, fish, bread and more. It sure beats your local Tescos.

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There’s no doubt about it that wherever you go, you will definitely stumble across yet another landmark. For us, it was the Flat Iron Building. Another incredible building to add to the list.

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And of course you have to leave time to visit the MoMA. I have always been intrigued to find out why everyone raves about this gallery, possibly the best in the world. And this is because of the huge range of art it displays, as well as some very well known artist’s work.

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Thought you might recognise the last one!

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If you find yourself in Wall St, be sure to venture down towards the Staten Island Ferry. You don’t need to book and it’s free. Just turn up and every half hour a new boat is ready to show you New York from a different perspective.

… You might be tempted into snacking on a cinnamon pretzel whilst waiting.

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You can even see the city from above in a chopper if you’d like.

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Maybe choose a nicer day than us!

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For Breakfast,  Brunch, Lunch, Dinner… any meal, you should definitely  book yourself a table at the Fiat Café.

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You’re squeezed onto a table in a room the size of a matchbox, but that adds to the authenticity of the place. Started up by the Italian Car Company, they serve food straight from their roots.

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Now, head to the place where New York coined the name ‘City of Lights’.

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Times Square is best seen at night, it’s so lively and surreal.

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Before jetting off to NYC, you have to watch at least a couple of seasons all the seasons of Gossip Girl because the highlight of the trip was the Gossip Girl Tour. You are driven on Tour Bus with many other GG fans and shown around the territory of the characters, such as the exact Vera Wang shop where… no I won’t be a spoiler! Lets just say you get to sit higher than Blair on the Met Steps. Check out my previous post on the Gossip Girl Tour for more information.Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 20.43.21

You even get to go to the exact Dylan’s Candy Bar Shop where multiple scenes were filmed (and you’re treated to a discount so you really can’t resist their bacon chocolate bars).

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This next one should be right at the top of your list.

Empire State Building.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 12.08.10I would definitely book in advance to avoid disappointment. And I recommend to go just before sunset, but be sure to leave an hour or two because there’s a lot of queuing involved, even if you have the fast track passes!

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We were told how “insane” we were for going up there as the temperatures were cold enough on the ground.

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But the photos were worth getting frost-bitten fingers.

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If you’ve eaten a few too many Cheesy Hamburgers (I recommend the one from the Fat Radish, shown below), then you might be tempted into taking a brisk walk or jog along the river Hudson.

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We were again called “insane” for running in freezing temperatures, but my phone did in fact freeze, so maybe take a rain check if the Hudson is frozen over.

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The Twin Towers Memorial is incredible too.  Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 15.34.22

It’s really quite moving being in the presence of one of America’s most tragic events.

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A walk through Central Park makes a great break from an afternoon shopping.

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For a good mojito and some colourful, flavoursome Thai food head either to the Downtown or Uptown TAO. In my opinion, it’s in competition with Sushi Samba, another one of my favourites.

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Time to say goodbye New York, it’s always good leaving wanting more. And I surely will be back soon, hopefully when it’s warmer. If I have missed out anything that you love, and I will probably love too, feel free to leave that in the comments.

Jemima Plume Xx

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