So, as the title suggests, I have just come back from the most amazing week’s holiday in New York City, one of my favourite places in the world. I had the most incredible time and definitely ate way too much – the brunch menus are too good to resist!
I’ll be doing a series of individual blog posts on my favourite eats that I visited whilst I was there. Prepare yourself for a lot of discussion on avocado, eggs and pancakes.
But for now, I thought I’d discuss some of the best places I visited whilst I was there…
- The Color Purple – So I’m a big theatre fan and, having seen my fair share of productions and musicals in the West End, I thought I’d see what Broadway’s all about. I had heard so much about the musical The Color Purple when it was originally on at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London and, having read the reviews from its Broadway transfer, I knew that I had to see it! As Broadway tickets are famously so expensive, my sister and I decided to queue up first thing in the morning for day seats (rush tickets) and, even though it was a good hour and a half wait in the freezing cold, it was SO worth it. We only paid $35 each for our tickets but I happily would have spent much more. The lead actress, Cynthia Erivo (who was waving the flag for Britain) was phenomenal. I have genuinely never seen such a great actress on stage with such an incredible voice. She received a standing ovation at the end of one of her solo’s (as well as the finale) – I have never seen this happen in the West End. Her voice even stood up Jennifer Hudson’s – and that’s really saying something. Please, please, please go and see this show if you’re in NYC. It was such a powerful show – so much so that I cried at the end. This is particularly a go-to show if you’re big into gospel music…
- The 9/11 Memorial Museum – When I was much younger, I grew up in neighbouring Connecticut and was still living there when the atrocities of 9/11 happened. Like so many people, I remember that time extremely well, as surreal as it was. I remember packing lunches and writing letters to the fire-fighters, having specially tailored lessons at school, and even seeing the smoke over Manhattan from my local beach. As a result, I wanted to pay my respects to those who lost their lives during on that day by visiting the memorial, as well as the museum. It was without a doubt the most moving and emotionally distressing museum I have ever been to, but so worth it. Both the museum and memorial were so well designed and extremely respectful to the victims. There was nothing ‘showy’ about either of them. The museum was absolutely fascinating and focussed on the events leading up to the attacks, as well as the after effects/clear-up/terrorism in the present day. It is obviously a very emotional place to visit – the museum was totally silent the whole way round despite the vast number of tourists visiting it that day – but, regardless, I would highly recommend paying a visit. We were only there for 2 hours as we had arrived at the end of the day, but we easily could have spent double the time there.
- Top of the Rock – Anyone visiting New York is obviously going to want to take in the incredible views – there’s a lot to see in the city! So what better way to see it all than heading to the very top of the Rockefeller Centre? And this is exactly what my sister and I did. We decided to head to Top of the Rock instead of the Empire State Building as it then allows you to take photos of the latter building. You get to walk all around the top, allowing you 360 degrees views of the city which are absolutely spectacular. We managed to see Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, as well as many other landmarks. The tickets are a little spenny but it’s totally worth doing – particularly on a sunny, clear day.
- Central Park – We were extremely lucky in the sense that Central Park was right on our doorstep. But, even if the park is a little further away from where you’re staying, you must pay it a visit. When we went there, it was instantly apparent that the park is a main hub of the city. We spent a huge amount of time walking around and lounging in the park on a very warm, sunny Saturday and it felt like the rest of New York was there with us. There were families there with their kids, groups of friends enjoying drinks and picnics, dog walkers, runners, cyclists, the list goes on… We rocked up with a bagel each and sat around for what felt like hours, people watching and soaking up the sun; you really do start to forget that you’re in the middle of an enormous skyscraper-filled city!
- Soho – During our trip, my sister and I ended up spending a lot of time in Soho/Chinatown/Little Italy, mostly due to the fact that the brunch restaurants on our list were located there. However, there was a lot more than brunching to be done in this super-cool area. We did lots of haggling in the touristy shops in Chinatown (I love NYC t-shirts for the win), checked out the amazing street art, and spent far too much money in the stores on Broadway. LuLu Lemon and J. Crew have officially destroyed my bank account.
An even shorter round-up of other places to visit to NYC:
- The Highline (a must!)
- The Guggenheim Museum
- A trip on the free ferry to Staten Island (offers views of the Statue of Liberty)
- American Museum of Natural History
- American Girl Store on 5th Avenue (throwback to my childhood)
Take me back to New York!