I spent a wonderful 5 days in New York for my 21st birthday in February with my housemate Emma (we have the same birthday) and her parents and aunt and uncle. They’d got a really good deal with BA and were staying at the Hilton Times Square but when I booked there was no longer a deal and I couldn’t afford the same flight and hotel so I flew with Iceland Air, stopping over in Rekyavik, and stayed in Night Hotel Times Square.
I met Emma and her family at their hotel in the morning, and we went for breakfast at Galaxy Diner. I had scrambled eggs on toast I think. I can’t deal with the idea of pancakes and bacon, or slathering everything with maple syrup like it’s ketchup. It’s wrong and I won’t be a part of it.
We went to Ground Zero, which was an altogether strange and emotional experience. The number of names commemorating the dead is staggering and it’s hard to imagine what it would have been like to witness.
We took a ferry to Staten Island to see the Statue of Liberty, she’s actually way smaller than I expected. We didn’t go right up close but we got a good view.
There wasn’t much here really so we just got the ferry back. That evening we had a look around Times Square, it is absolutely nuts, it’s just so bright and loud. They have a Forever 21 there that shuts at 3 am – there is literally no need for this and I love it. I bought a skirt and the zip broke when I tried it on at like midnight one night so I just strolled over and got a refund right away.
We started the day eating breakfast at Pick A Bagel, which was delicious, but then again all the food in New York is/I’m not fussy. We then strolled around Central Park in the snow, where I had a little photo shoot with the Alice in Wonderland statue, which I think we can all agree is adorable.
This night we went for a few cocktails
On this day we decided to go up one of the tall buildings. The Empire State Building was pretty pricey and we decided that we wanted it in our view so we went up 30 Rock, the ‘Top of the Rock‘, where we got a beautiful view of New York. We got there before sunset so we could get the best of both worlds, and stayed up there for a good hour or so taking photos. Emma took all the great photos in this post btw, all I had was my phone.
We decided to do a hop-on hop-off bus tour this day, I can’t really remember where it started (I can’t remember much about this trip tbh I think I was in a jet-lagged daze the whole time) but we covered the main sights.
We got a McDonald’s for lunch and I was devastated to find that I could not supersize, I really thought it was still a thing. We then walked a long some of the High Line which is an old railway line above the streets, to the Meatpacking District.
We went out for drinks at a gin bar and then afterwards Emma and I went to get a slice of that New York pizza – delicious, again I can’t remember where this was but I’m sure you’ll find a pizza place. We then went back to my hotel bar and had some more extortionately priced coconut mojitos. My hotel was nicely decorated, kind of weird. Funky, for lack of a better word. I believe the website refers to it as ‘provocatively decorated’. But the bar played thumping music I could hear on the 4th floor until about 4 am and it was so so annoying especially when you’re jetlagged anyway. Would not return.
On our last day we went to SoHo to do some shopping and stumbled across the Dominique Ansel Bakery – whose name I recognised from all the hype about ‘cronuts’. They were out for the day, I guess I’ll never know how delicious they are. We went to some vintage shops and then the usual Forever 21, H&M, Zara etc. Then we went to check out Macy’s and I have to say I did not rate it, that shop is just too big.
We had dinner at Junior’s. I had a burger, fries, onion rings and a milkshake, like a true American. The onion rings were wonderful – about the size of your head. We then went next door to their bakery for some of ‘New York’s best cheesecake’ to go. I haven’t tried all the cheesecake it New York (yet) but I’d say it’s a strong contender.
Earlier in the week we’d been accosted by a man in Times Square who was selling tickets to comedy shows, these guys are literally everywhere. I think we bought them for about $10. I can’t remember the name of the place we went to but it was really, really funny and you should definitely go to one while you’re there. Sit near the back like we did if you don’t want to get picked on.
I absolutely love New York, it’s really fucking expensive but incredibly worth it. I need to go back some time because there’s just so much to do there that we couldn’t get into 5 days.