Oh New York, such an incredible city. I was so excited to get back here & couldn’t believe it had been almost 4 years since my exchange had ended. I was really lucky that I had a two day work trip planned and was able to fly out on the Friday and spend the weekend.
Because I had spent some time here before, I didn’t feel the need to go and revisit most of the super touristy things. So if you’ve been there before and are now looking for some new things to try, this is how my weekend looked.
I walked from where I was staying at the HI New York City on the Upper West Side to Sarabeth’s for breakfast. I was desperate for pancakes, this place had good reviews and wow, it did not disappoint! I was there in September, the fall season, which means pumpkin infused everything is a plenty. I was sooo tempted to get the pumpkin waffles but the waitress recommended the pancakes and wow, they did not disappoint. I usually try and avoid chain restaurants but these were easily the best lemon ricotta pancakes of my life.
Central Park– always a must! I just absolutely love that there is this huge park in the middle of the concrete jungle where you can walk freely, people watch and relax. The weather was spectacular so I spent a couple of hours here hanging out and mainly pinching myself that I was back in NYC.
Shopping- I remembered loving the shopping when I was on exchange and was always impressed with how cheap it was. It turns out 4 years on and post Brexit where the pound is weaker than the USD things were a little different! I had walked from Central Park up to Columbus Circle, wandered around & then decided to get a mani-pedi before meeting an old Domino’s work friend in the financial district.
One World Observatory– I met Izzy, a friend I had made while working at Domino’s, who had recently moved to NYC to check out One World Observatory which is very tastefully done and very American! We went just on sunset and planned to have a drink but it turns the bar closes super early… like 7pm on a Saturday. Definitely keep that in mind if you are planning an evening trip.
On a clear day, the views are amazing and to see the enormity of New York City and surrounds was awesome. It’s definitely worth checking out and snapping a few great pictures.
Like a lot of places, the financial district is pretty quiet on a weekend. We found a dive bar, had a couple of drinks and then I was heading back to the Upper West Side. This turned in to quite an adventure after those garbage bins exploded in Chelsea. A forty minute trip took 3.5 hours and a fair amount of stress, but I was relieved to make it back safely and headed straight to bed.
I wandered in to Times Square, set on seeing the Lion King. I don’t have the patience for TKTS so I went straight to The Minskoff Theatre and got a ticket for the 2pm performance for 90 USD. In the meantime I went and had brunch at a diner that had good reviews (it was actually pretty bad) wandered around Times Square and then grabbed a Vanilla Shack from Shake Shack (it has coffee in it) and is DELICIOUS and made my way back to the theatre. The Lion King is amazing and whenever you go to New York, you must see a show on Broadway! That’s the third one I’ve seen and I’m in total awe of everyone who is involved in bringing these stories to the stage.
After the Lion King I went back to the Upper West Side, walked around Central Park some more and then had an early dinner at a pizza place literally across the road from the hostel and it was easily the best pizza I have ever had!!! It was pear, gorgonzola, blue cheese and a mix of herbs and honestly so unexpectedly amazing .It was this tiny whole in the wall restaurant, well priced and all the tables were full with a constant stream of people visiting.
I was working a regular day today so made my way to Yotel, where work was putting me up. Its a pretty cool concept hotel located in Hells Kitchen. Their restaurant is decent and I had eggs and avocado for breakfast, as well as a free stream of decent coffee. Definitely on to a winner!
My boss is a NYC local and took me for lunch at Gotham West Market, a great place to go when you want a lot of different options. It’s Eat Street Market meets upscale foodcourt. I highly recommend it if you’re kicking around Hell’s Kitchen. After this, we went to a place Jonathan was promising me had ‘amazing coffee’. I’m always skeptical when Canadians and Americans tell me coffee is good. But he was right! Amy’s Bread is a very unassuming bakery inspired cafe but their coffee and baked goods are amazing!
After finishing work in the late afternoon, I went and checked out The Highline, a 1.45-mile-long (2.33km) linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad. It’s super cool to check out and is run and maintained by volunteers. Another great place to check out.
After this, I met one of my friends I had lived with at Stony Brook while I was on exchange. It had been four years and felt like no time had passed. We went to 230 Fifth, a rooftop bar with an incredible view.
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent doing work and attending the Hult Prize, I flew back to London overnight and then was gearing up for our next work trip- to Lisbon! I’ve been there twice now and trust me when I say “just go there, and enjoy!”. It’s a great city, massively under-rated and super cheap.
What are your favourite New York spots? I’ll add them to my list for next time.