A whirlwind week in New York City has got me itching to visit the city again, like ants crawling on your skin, or the urge of scratching chicken pox. An itch that simply can’t be scratched.
On the 15th of February 2020, I embarked on my biggest adventure yet; New York City. Well, strictly speaking, that is not entirely true, I have infact visited New York once before with a college trip five years ago, but this time, I was left to my own devices. My friend and I had the task of navigating ourselves through the airport(s)! and finding the right planes to get us to our big adventure, which, let me tell you, was a task in itself!
We flew with Lufthansa, departing from Manchester airport early in the morning and catching a connecting flight from Frankfurt. Now, when booking the flights, it seemed simple enough. We would land in Frankfurt at 11am, and have just over an hour to disembark our flight and board our next one. However, no one told us that we would end up running (RUNNING), nearly three miles through Frankfurt airport, begging security to let us through fast track, desperately holding in a wee and nursing a stitch for a good 15 minutes before even setting foot on the plane. Side note: the return journey was worse. The cab from JFK into Times Square was like the F1, I was scared for my life and contemplating sending goodbye texts, however once we hit Manhattan and the driver took his foot off of the accelerator, he was so friendly and informative, letting us know loads of little tips we would go on to use during out visit.
We did so many things during the trip that I’m not actually sure how to go about telling you, so I think I’ll go day by day.
Day One: After around 20 hours travel (including airport runs and our layover in Frankfurt, we were pretty tired. Our hotel was a two minute walk out of Times Square, so we decided to explore the shops get to grips with our surroundings, and grab some food. Truth be told I can’t even remember what we ate, I was so sleep deprived it was ridiculous. I had a car accident a few months prior and found my bag was already digging into my shoulders, so I bought myself a bumbag to save myself the pain, then headed back to the hotel.
Day Two: After a morning Starbucks (it was right across from the hotel!), we rode the Subway to Battery Park, catching the ferry over to The Statue of Liberty from there. The ride is only around 10-15 minutes but when you’re stood being battered by sub-zero winds, it feels like much, much longer. As I’ve visited New York before, I’ve done a lot of the main tourist attractions, however I still loved doing them all over again. Liberty Island is only small, housing a cafe, gift shop, museum, and Liberty herself. Did you know her nose is 4ft long?
We bypassed departing at Ellis Island as we had a lot of other things planned that day. Walking to Wall Street we came across lots of little gems we hadn’t planned to see, such as the Charging Bull and The Trinity Church; we lit a candle for my friend’s grandparents. Admittedly, I rarely visit churches, but this was so beautiful and tranquil. Wall Street was anti-climatic. I naively anticipated the hustle and bustle like the films show, but it was really quiet and covered in scaffolding! We did however find the cutest little street and ate chicken and waffles whilst sipping cocktails.
Shortly after, we found ourselves at Ground Zero. I won’t say too much about this as this is not a tourist attraction, but a place of remembrance. It’s beautifully harrowing.
As we were already there and the sun would be setting soon, our next stop was at the top of the One World Trade Centre. The views are amazing and to see a sunset over the city was breathtaking. I’m not really a fan of heights but I loved this. The views were so mesmerising that we visited the Rockefeller Centre and sat atop a wall for a good hour taking in the lights and sparkle of the city that never sleeps, feeling like we were on top of the world.
Monday morning started with the longest subway trip ever, having got on the wrong train TWICE and going round in one big circle under Chelsea and SoHo. After travelling for what felt like hours, we wondered round Chelsea and found our way to the Highline; the most tranquil and beautiful railway line I’ve ever seen. Sounds mad, but it’s exactly that, a converted railway line. Suspended above the ground, the breath-taking views last for almost 2 miles, filled with bright flowers, small wildlife and amazing art. Nestled at the end of The Highline is Chelsea Market, where we had the most amazing lemon pancakes at a little café called Friedman’s, stuffing ourselves silly.
Abigail and I really took the day to take in the city rather than rush round, we had a sunset cruise booked for the evening (which we missed FYI), but other than that we had nothing solid planned. We strolled through SoHo and around China Town, enjoying a drink in a small corner bar in Little Italy. As we were nearing late afternoon, we headed down towards Battery Park to find our way to the cruise we had booked. We were far too early so sat on the river bank and watched the blazing sunset in silence, a rare treat in New York City. We sat for an hour as the sky lit on fire against the still waters, the birds singing and the cool breeze blowing. To cut a long story short, we arrived to our cruise in plenty of time, only to discover the company had changed their departure times without informing my friend (it was my birthday present), and we were sent away feeling extremely disappointed. Not to end the day on a sour note, we rode the subway back to Times Square to much on hotdogs in the cold, cheer on the street performers, and really take in the hustle and bustle of New York’s night life.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! I had the most amazing week and I want to share it ALL with you. Come back next week for part 2 of my week in New York!