A hotspot on its own. One of the most popular cities in the world and the dream of many. With iconic sights featured in numerous movies and often heralded in many songs, you’ll feel like you are a movie star. Which you are, it is your movie anyway- make it as exciting as you want it to be, pick out random people and go forth…which is how I ended up in New York City, the United States.
The places to stay
My favorite choice to find accommodation is through Airbnb. You will experience the local feel of the city. There are a million reasons why I’d prefer the type of accommodation that this app offers over that of any hotel. However, don’t exclude these luxurious hotels. This beautiful Manhattan skyline picture is taken from the hotel window. Although sitting on the fire escape in the Bronx is an incomparable feeling. Time was of the essence for this trip, only five days around New Year’s Eve. High season and last minute bookings resulted in us staying in different places for shorter times, allowing us to experience much more.
The first two nights were booked for a private room in a cozy and minimalistic apartment in Seaman Avenue The Bronx. Alessandra’s place, two lovely sisters, friendly hosts. I loved to stretch my legs in the morning by visiting a Puerto Rican shop around the corner for coffee. Sitting on the fire escape watching New York awaken while sipping my coffee, accompanied by the cute house dog who silently wandered around us seeking attention. Peaceful moments.
Then the hourglass turns over. It has begun. You do as much as you can squeeze in a few days and as efficiently as possible. Any museum of interest, if it is science, art or the American Gangster museum. New York has many interesting museums that would be a shame to miss out on. Central park, worth seeing every season, day and night, especially at 04:20 in the morning with your coffee-to-go. Make sure that when you travel through places, you make a stop at Grand Central Terminal.
Although the last two nights of the trip were booked as well, I had to make a sweet escape in the hotel Sofitel, Manhattan. With a stunning view from the 29th floor, exactly on New Year’s Eve. As hard I tried not to, we ended up ruining the whole room in a few hours right before leaving last minute to Times Square to celebrate the New Year.
Manhattan has so much to offer though. Broadway. Pick any show, even if you are not so fond of theater, it is worth experiencing. The cliches- the Empire State building, Rockefeller center and the top of the Rock have to be squeezed in somewhere in your trip. I can imagine, after all those queues and millions of people, you’d rather a quick secret escape. Therefore I leave this address for you “Midtown East Greenacre Park on 217 East 51st street”.
After two fancy days in Manhattan, we were ready and packed to leave for Brooklyn! Lovely place, especially the stairs leading to the doors. It was nice to have an entire apartment to ourselves after being surrounded by people. It was overly decorated but I became fond of the jacuzzi in the bedroom, a source of relaxation after those fast and long days (and nights for that matter). It’s surprising how much you can squeeze in a few days. Yet still, we are not done. Leaving without a classic NBA game is a no go!
Staying with the locals, in Brooklyn, experiencing the real feel is something you shouldn’t miss out on. Buying Michael Jackson’s album from the Haitian guy on the corner after getting travel tattoos. A small tattoo, special to that place you are. To leave a trail of your journey around your world and take it everywhere with you. I find this more valuable of meaning as a souvenir to carry back (if you are into tattoos obviously). Not to forget the famous Brooklyn bridge, highlighted in many Alicia Keys songs.
Food trucks! Hotdogs on the way, quick bites, and delicious flavors. Kimchi taco, where Korean flavors meet the Mexican taco. Those who love to indulge their sweet tooth, keep your eyes on this truck, Coolhouse. Fresh ice cream cookies and many heavenly choices of ice cream flavors. Kelvin slush for colorful refreshing cocktail slushies. This truck has also bars in different locations. I can’t begin to describe all its cocktail aromas, therefore I’d recommend checking out their site Kelvin slush. Not only to look and drool but to make them for yourself. You can find the recipe and precise ingredients on the site. Seems like a nice excuse for a dinner party with your friends.
For a little class, Eleven Madison Park directly across Madison park. Absolutely dazzling interior and an excellent service are to be expected.
My beloved preference, the Caribbean cuisine! Nio’s roti shop, a specialty of Trinidad & Tobago. Whatever you are ordering, you can not leave without tasting doubles. For a reasonable price, you get quality with quantity of delicious tastes. Sisters Caribbean cuisine, besides tasty flavors you will find the coziness, hospitality and kind friendliness of the tropics. Don’t forget to try out patties.
There are 25,082 restaurants in the city alone! Considering three meals each day in a new restaurant, it would take 22 years to try out every single restaurant in New York City.
New years eve
A bucket-list thing. The magical time around Christmas. The time you’d have to see New York’s City, dance in lights.
Times Square at 11:45 pm on New Year’s Eve. We were pushing everyone – and by that, I mean an enormous crowd – out of the way. Practically crawled on and under the crowd that was heavily annoyed by us. However, they were the ones facing a concrete wall. We didn’t come all this way to look at bricks on New Year’s Eve. I admit, I am guilty of not being punctual yet I refused to wait from six in the morning, to have a spot 18 hours later.
As we reach the barriers guarded by NYPD (around 7000 deployed officers), we had to play this smart, so we showed the hotel card telling them we needed to get through in order to reach the hotel. To everyone’s surprise and disgust, his hand reached the barrier to open it and my heart skipped a beat. Run! We ran as fast as possible into the crowd just in time for all the confetti. That’s when the time stood still, after the magical kisses, we looked up and saw these shiny white snowflakes dancing around the confetti. I was so lucky I got wound up in a crazy flow that threw me in the middle of Times Square on midnight when that ball dropped.
We leaned back, held each other warm while looking at the crowd who was strangely missing out on all what was going around them. Missing the appreciation of the moment itself. We were here though, in the middle of Times Square. That vibe, those colors, an image still fresh in my mind. Snow exactly on midnight. It couldn’t get any better! The best thing about this whole evening? Definitely the rush. I was there, I lived, I loved, shared and never forget.
The most suggested time is around autumn and winter but I find all seasons worth seeing, at least once. Don’t miss out on any event or festivity, check the dates for your trip on timeout for full NYC events calendar.