New York Travel Blog | Times Square, The Statue of Liberty, Central Park and more!
I went to New York for the first time in 2010. It was winter back home, but summer over there. I dreamed of Sex and the City type vibes, all class, style and wealth. What I got wasn't exactly that...
Now I had never seen the subway before and didn't realise that with an old, underground railroad network built on marshlands, that RATS would be a problem. I met a few of these furry little critters. One of their favourite pastimes was rummaging through the mountains of piles of trash that would be left out of the curb every night. I wasn't used to this. But apart from the grotty aspects of New York (including my first experience with gutter sludge) seeing it in the summertime was wonderful. The weather was beautiful and Central Park was alive with lush greenery.
Seeing it in the winter, was entirely different, but magical all the same.
We arrived in the afternoon. The traffic coming into the city was hectic, but expected. After setting up at the hotel (Skyline Hotel, located over on 10th Ave- and coincidentally the same place I stayed at 10 years prior) we headed up to Central Park for a look. My first trip to NY, I didn't feel like I got to experience that much of the city as it was such a rush. This time, I wanted to see more. Wandering through the park in the afternoon when the lights from the city are just coming up is beautiful.
The next day, after saying goodbye to our Intrepid friends, we switched hotels to one over on 7th, a few blocks up from Times Square. It wasn't as nice, but the location was good. Our first full day in New York we did a hop on hop off tour, starting with the downtown loop. This would have been a much better experience if we had of worn warmer clothes. We had been told the weather was going to be significantly warmer- we were wrong. The wind coming off the water was icy.
Our first stop was the Brooklyn Bridge. We attempted to walk across it, but the wind was so fierce, we immediately turned back. I didn't even get one of those ostentatious 'cool girl' pics. We then walked over to the 9/11 Memorial. When I came in 2010 it was just a construction zone. Now, it's a beautiful and sad place. We attempted to get a photo with the bull of Wall Street and braved the cold of Battery Park. Then we hopped on the up town loop and saw 5th Ave and all the wealthy areas. It started to rain, so we didn't get a chance to have a good look around. But it was a good excuse to head back to the hotel and change into warmer clothes for a sunset summit to the top of The Rock. Most people want to go to The Empire State Building because of its iconic nature, but having been to both, I prefer the Rockefeller Building because you actually get to see The Empire State Building itself and get a better view of Central Park.
The next day, we ferried over to The Statue of Liberty. It didn't take long and being that it was winter time, we got onto the boat super quick. i remember wanting to head over there last time, but being that it was summer, it was a couple of hours of waiting, just to get on the boat! The museum over there is super interesting and well worth a look. We didn't go up and I don't really regret that, just being there was enough.
The next two days were filled with museum-hopping, going to both The Natural History Museum and the MET. Being that it was the weekend and cold, they were both packed. If you only got to go to one of them, I would suggest The Natural History Museum. The MET is iconic, but not as interesting in my opinion. Walking to both of these from our hotel, also gave us the opportunity to explore more of Central Park.
Now that I've been there twice, I really don't feel the need to go back. New York is certainly a special and crazy place. If you are travelling there, my biggest recommendations would be to choose restaurants on 9th or 10th and don't eat anywhere near Central Park or Times Square, unless you are prepared to pay exorbitant prices for it. The best way to see it is on foot and the streets are so easy to navigate. Doing the hop on hop off tour is certainly worth the money, but start early so that you can get off at every stop and really take advantage of it.
If you want to see my NY trip, make sure you check out my YouTube video!