So good they named it twice … SO GOOD! New York, New York for a week – one of the greatest weeks of my life. My Mum and I jetted off after my last exam for a week of girly tourism, shopping and bliss. Such an incredible time. After 8am champers at the airport (of course, darling) and an 8 hour flight we arrived. I fainted in the cab on the way to the hotel, not eating for 8 hours and 36 degree temperatures from being inside with my hoards of revision food isn’t exactly a good mix. But the less said about that the better. Our hotel was absolutely beautiful, located on 51st and 7th we were just 5 minutes walk away from both Central Park and Times Square – perfect!
The first night consisted of a bleary eyed walk around Times Square and Macy’s, just lapping up the atmosphere. The lights, the smells, the atmosphere, the people = just incredible. I walked into a shop and it was ‘Oh Hey Gurl, I’m Tiffany, Yall just give me a holla if you need anything!’ I loved the women. So genuine, so friendly, so up for just helping you and being a good sales person. I felt happy and secure around them, not at all as though they were about to mouth off about me in their little check out till pow wows.
Jet Lag came like a demon, I was up at 3am shaving my legs and reading ‘Seventeen’ magazine for an hour, fell asleep for an hour before heading to Grand Central Station for breakfast. So surreal being there at 6am. The business men were buzzing about doing their thing while we sat gormlessly eating bagels deciding our plan for the day. Next, we headed up the Empire State Building. Stunning views! We could see for miles, it was just breathtaking, so overwhelming that we were actually there after months and months of planning, speculating, talking… We got the bus down to Battery Park where we chilled out at the World Finance Centre at the yacht harbour. I felt so elite! With Hollywood bodies jogging past us and yummy mummies doing yoga it was The Apprentice meets 90210, New York style. After a casual stroll to Trinity Church, I fell in love. Now, those of you who know me well will be well aware one of my favourite films of all time is ‘National Treasure’, where the suspected treasure of the world is concealed in the Trinity Church basement. I was just in awe, I had half a mind to ask the security guards if I could have a sneaky peek down to the cellar. We headed down Wall Street to Federal Hall where a looming monument of George Washington stood, one of my favourite Presidents. One Staten Island Ferry with prime views of the Statue of Liberty later, an incredible Planet Hollywood meal awaited us before tumbling into bed.
The second day was just as beautiful. We strolled around Central Park for a good chunk of our morning before heading to the American Museum of Natural History (think Night at the Museum, but better). Highlights were definitely the gigantic whale and the statue from Easter Island, no I’m not being sarcastic, these elements were genuinely very interesting. Then we headed to Top of the Rock (Rockerfeller Centre), which was in my opinion, even more breathtaking that the Empire State. There was a phenomenal view of Central Park and back to the Empire State Building. We stayed up there for a good hour, why rush when you’ve got the world at your feet?
The next day was Saturday. After a lovely Diner breakfast and a quick stroll around the Times Warner Mall, the Sex and The City On Location Tour awaited us. 3 of the best hours of my life! We headed all around Manhattan, seeing all the famous locations for all the best scenes, not to mention hopping off the bus to visit the stunning SATC shopping area, complete with cupcakes! We strolled through the 6th Avenue Saturday Street Market before hopping to a secret burger joint – quite possibly the best meal of my life! One 34th Street shopping trip later we were well and truly shattered.
Independance Day! Yes, such an awesome experience being able to be in New York for 4th July. We got the bus down again to Battery Park, where we visited Ground Zero. It was very moving actually. Despite the fact that work has now begun on the Ground Zero site, think cranes and builders, you could still feel the overwhelming emotion of something greater. It was well worth a see. Then we headed back to Trinity Church for the Church Service. So beautiful! There was an incredible sermon plus some marvelous hymns, including one titled ‘America’. I’ve never felt so patriotic! Then we headed to Pier 17, one of the liveliest of the Piers, for Lunch and an atmospheric soaking sesh. We got a cab over Brooklyn Bridge before walking back across it. Astonishing! Walking from Brooklyn to Manhattan in 36 degree heat, seeing first hand the hazy smog encompassing the city combined with all the scents and sights of heaven was just, amazing. We got the subway to Bloomingdales where I picked up quite a few bargains I must say! The evening was glorious. After cooling off in our hotel pool we headed over to Times Square where we watched the fireworks. We weren’t too fussed about being by the river. Seen one firework, seen them all. Times Square was the perfect place to be, police horses and buskers galore, to be amongst the people of the greatest city on Earth on the greatest day of their year. Not even thesaurus.com can give me the words to describe that one.
The Monday of our trip was the hottest day New York City had received in a decade, so yes, was pretty warm. After a stroll around the gorgeous St Patrick’s Cathedral and the purchase of my Christmas present (I couldn’t afford it, okay?!) in Saks, we went to MOMA, The Museum of Modern Art. I felt very cool wandering around, with all the super arty, geek glasses, tattooed lovelies. We caught the bus up to Columbia Uni – so Gossip Girl it was unreal! I loved it, the American equivalent of Oxford no doubt. We sat in the heat watching all the Preps wandering about with their Starbucks, I honestly felt like I was on a movie set. Next we headed to the Lincoln Centre, ‘the cultural hub of the city’, I was right at home. We sat and watched some of the Juliard Students in an open air concert which was so relaxing. I really felt like a New Yorker in that moment. The sun was shining, we were sat with our smoothies enjoying the talented youngsters of tomorrow sing their dear little hearts out, I felt so relaxed. It was lovely.
Our last day was spent as though it was our last. We headed to the USS Intrepid which was just awesome. The nerd in me was the reason we went there really, the Air, Sea and Space Museum, but we loved it. Going down in a submarine, watching a Kamikaze show and learning SO much about Vietnam. We headed to Bryant Park for a coffee before the New York Public Library. Cue me running around like a loonie in the ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and ‘Sex And The City’ film set. I was so excited! But the best was yet to come … The Declaration of Independance! On display for a beautiful 10 days, so beautiful! I literally stood and looked at the 2 pieces of paper for a good half hour, scrutinising every word. And the best part … Josiah Bartlet was a real person! I’m well aware that won’t mean much to most of you, but basically it’s that the fictional President from hit US Politics Show ‘The West Wing’, was actually a real New Hampshire Congress Man in 1776. We headed to the General Post Office for a wee look about before strolling around the Upper East Side once more in true Gossip Girl fashion. One Central Park walk, Manicure and Chocolate Shop later we had lots of beer and went to bed.
Our last morning consisted of a Bloomingdales Brunch before a super long stint at the Airport, but lots of Duty Free Purchases! Congratulations if you’ve made it to the end of this blog, thought, travelogue splurge. You deserve a medal. So yes New York, so good they named it twice. I’ve exhausted thesaurus.com but really, there are no words to describe how amazing my week was. I’ve only just begun to do it justice.