More than halfway through my seven week trip to the USA and I can confidently say that New York City has been the best part of the trip so far. I was there for 6 days. I decent amount of time to see the iconic NYC places, but no where near enough for everything I wanted to do. Not to mention it was super busy because it was during the Christmas and New Years Eve Period. But regardless, I had the most amazing time and I will definitely be back soon.
We caught a bus up to NYC from Washington, D.C. because it was a lot cheaper doing that than catching the train. I'd recommend doing that as it was less than half the price and the bus drops you right in the centre of Manhattan at Port Authority. First minutes in NYC and it started pouring down with rain, but the amount of congestion NYC always has meant that it would be a lot quicker to walk to our hotel in Times Square than it would be to try and get a taxi (or a cab as they call it here). So off we went, walking in the pouring rain through the streets of New York.
We were staying at the Novotel Hotel on Times Square. A perfect location if you want to be right in the middle of the most iconic tourist attraction for New Years Eve. Although most people say you shouldn't stay in touristy places and rather "live like a local", if you know what you're wanting to do while in New York, and you know the "local" things to do, it doesn't matter where you stay because the subway system is amazing.
First night in NYC we went to City Kitchen, a slightly fancy food-court near Times Square. We walked around Time Square and noticed that on the 28th of December, they were already preparing for the biggest New Years Eve celebration in the world. Originally, I was convinced I wouldn't go. Everyone who lives near New York avoids Times Square ESPECIALLY on NYE like the plague, and everyone told me it would be ridiculous. But at some point I realised I would likely never be in New York City for New Years Eve again, so why not? On the 31st of December at 1pm, I left my hotel room with layers upon layers of clothing and stacks of food in my bag, and made my way into the centre of it all. So there I stood, for the last 11 hours of 2016, waiting to watch the ball drop. Despite the fact that I was freezing cold, it was such a fantastic atmosphere and an amazing thing to be part of. I made friends with the people around me, they were all international students and even more prepared than I was. One of the girls brought cardboard to sit on and cards to pass the time! 11 hours passed like the wind when we were busy chatting with interesting people.
On other days, I made my way over to Brooklyn. However it was extremely rainy, so I think next time I come to NYC I'll have to come in late Spring for better weather and to see Central Park blossoming. We were to the top of the Rock; I'd recommend this over the top of the Empire State Building because here you get the Empire State in your pictures. We went down to the Financial District, along wall street and explore the lovely streets of Chelsea and Greenwich. I had also made my way to Upper East Side where I took photos on the steps of the MET (gossip girl fans HOLA), and then found the palace hotel (HOLA AGAIN).
I also watched a Broadway show! Honestly, I was really wanting to watch Hamilton. I entered myself into online lotteries every morning, checked online for tickets day after day and even scouted the ticket booths for last minute sales. But in the end I had to settle with Kinky Boots for $45, which might have been my best decision yet! Kinky Boots was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC and I got to meet many of the actors afterwards (including Todrick Hall!). It was such an amazing show and I recommend watching the show to anyone! Another tip is don't be afraid to be the cheapest tickets, with such amazing shows in such renowned theatres, it's hard to ever get a true "nosebleed seat" (unless you're comparing them to front row tickets, but who can ever afford those?).
Overall my time in New York City was the most fantastic 6 days of my trip (so far). The hustle and bustle, the yellow cabs, the high rise buildings and the beautiful Central Park, was all plenty to make me fall in love with city.
See you next time NYC!