My husband and I went on a weekend trip to New York City. We packed so much into a short time, walking from morning to night. My feet are now enjoying a bit of time off. I love this city, it's so alive and exciting, lots of amazing buildings to look at and parks to enjoy. The city is filled with great design, and everything else in between. Everywhere you go there is something incredible.
This was my husband's first time in New York, and although I have been many times as a teen, this was my first visit as an adult. I fell in love with the city during those years, and returning as an adult all those feelings came rushing back.
Just thought I would share some highlights from our weekend away, and pass on some great restaurant ideas and things to do if you visit the big apple.
Weekend Highlights and Tips
We left on Saturday, August 31, and were picked up at the airport and shown around by my husband's cousin's husband (did you follow that?). Whenever I travel I try to get local intel, of course this is not always possible, but in this case it was great! We were taken around by a born and bred New Yorker. We also got to see Jersey City, where my husband's cousins live. The views of Manhattan from across the river are amazing. If you are looking to get great shots of the city, skip across to Jersey City.
Tip: Great photos of Manhattan from Jersey City
We stayed at a very quirky hotel called Yotel. I highly recommend it if you like the offbeat, but also because the rooms were very modern and bright. Although I don't recommend sharing a room with someone you aren't extremely intimate with as the bathroom is fairly open concept. The hotel also has a vibrant lounge and restaurant on the fourth floor. We ended our evenings there, on the patio, for a drink before bed. Another quirky thing about this hotel is if you are leaving your luggage, before check in or after check out, there is a robot arm, named Yobot, to store your bags for you.
Tip: For a quirky, modern hotel close to everything, stay at Yotel
In the evening we met up again with our local New York "guide" and had an amazing dinner out at Tao. I'm still dreaming about this meal, simply amazing asian fusion type place. Have the thai crab cakes as an appetizer, and then defiantly order the sea bass. Excellent! The atmosphere is really neat too, which includes a 16 foot tall Buddha and a pool complete with Japanese carp.
Tip: For amazing food, check out Tao
After dinner we walked back to the hotel through Times Square and saw all the bright lights and the huge crowd.
We headed out this morning and experienced the NYC subway for the first time. We exited at Columbus Circle and the southern tip of Central Park. We had a lot of fun wondering around Central Park (although it was like 40 degrees with humidity!). To get out of the heat we decided to visit the American Museum of Natural History, which was really interesting and a great way to cool off.
Tip: Go to the museums in the morning when there is a lot less crowds
Closer to dinner time we walked the High Line Park, which was an abandoned railway that was converted into a modern city park. I recommend walking along here, it's a great way to get from mid town to downtown, and the views are amazing, especially closer to the downtown end.
Tip: Visit the High Line Park for great views and nice city walk
For dinner we went to a place called Spice Market in the Meatpacking District. Another asian fusion type place, but more centred around Indian cuisine. Also extremely delicious! Have the pork belly steamed buns with asian pear and shiso, and for dessert try the pandan mallowmar, cocoa macaroons with toasted coconut ice cream, amazing and so different!
Tip: Eat at Spice Market
This morning we headed straight downtown to see the new World Trade Centre and the 9/11 Memorial. Last time I was in New York the Twin Towers were still standing. It was quite emotional to go back to this site, the memories of that day came flooding back to me. The memorial itself is quite well done, it creates a bit of a disturbing feeling while looking down into the deep hole where to two towers once stood. Like everything in New York you have to line up, but we were there quite early and the lines moved fast. It's defiantly worth seeing.
Tip: Do visit the 9/11 Memorial, but get there early
After visiting the memorial, we wondered down to the water and walked along the river to the South Street Historic Seaport District and the Brooklyn Bridge. This is a historic area that they have transformed into parks, restaurants, and shops, and there is a lot less tourists here too. While investigating, we noticed one of those discount theatre ticket places, like the one in Times Square, with no line! So we jumped in and got some tickets to see Newsies for 50% off! So if you find yourself wanting discount theatre tickets head down to the seaport. It's still the same company that runs the one in Times Square, but with a shorter line.
Tip: Visit the South Street Historic Seaport District for
shops, restaurants and discount theatre tickets
After our show in the evening, we went for a walk and ended up ascending the Rockefeller Centre to take in the views of the city at night. This is a great alternative to the Empire State Building to see the city from above. The clouds had cleared out by then, and the city just seemed to go on forever. Such a great weekend away!
Tip: Visit the Rockefeller Centre as an alternative to the Empire State Building