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New York 2019

After 2 years of pining to return, we decided to go back to one of our favourite places, NYC and it turned out to be the best holiday of my life!

This time instead of winging it and missing out on things we had wanted to see and do, I had made a list (or 6) or where we wanted to go, attractions to visit and places to eat. Using a map I was able to see where things were in relation to each other and plan what to do together. Our dates weren’t set in stone as some places depended on the weather but we knew if we went to one place what was close by that we wanted to visit to spare our aching legs unnecessary walking.

We stayed in midtown at the Roosevelt hotel, close to maddison avenue and grand central station. The hotel itself was traditionally decorated, not to our taste but it was warm and cosy and with the storm in NYC that is exactly what we needed. We used the air train and subway system to get into the city, and although a little confusing at first (we had no clue what line we needed to be on) once you got your bearings travelling by subway was so easy, I’d definitely recommend the unlimited travel ticket as if you are planning to use the subway a lot it will be more cost effective and save the hassle of topping up your card.

We decided to purchase the city pass as this had the places we wanted to visit included and was the best deal we found. It included the empire state building, top of the rock, the statue of liberty, 9/11 museum and natural history museum amongst others.

Day One. Brooklyn and Statue of Liberty.

The first thing on my to do list was DUMBO which if you didn’t know stands for down under manhattan bridge overpass and is one of the up and coming areas of Brooklyn. I’d seem so many shoots of “THE” photo that I wanted to get my own, we knew we needed to be up early to get the best chance of it being quiet there and the weather on the first day seemed okay so up and off we went on the subway. We then started to walk across the bridge to Brooklyn from manhattan and thats when it happened.

We were almost in Brooklyn and Matt had been the doting instagram husband taking photos of me on the bridge when I asked him if he would like his photo taking, off he trotted to have his photo taken and I started to click away, a little bit too engrossed to realise he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand. I was in shock and tears started to fall before I said…YES! It really was the best day of my life. I phoned our families to many screams and tears of congratulations, they all seemed shocked for people that had known he’d been planning it for some time!

Overwhelmed we made our way down to dumbo, exploring around there and the Brooklyn bridge park, Janes carousel and Brooklyn bridge pier. Stopping for coffee and cake to celebrate at one girl cookies.

After a little more exploring and locating the best pizza place in NYC so we could return later in the week we caught the subway back to manhattan and had a look around the staten island ferry terminal before making our way to the ferry to the statue of liberty. Due to the time of day we could only stop on liberty or ellis island so opted just to visit liberty and it didn’t disappoint. Lady liberty has always been a symbol of New York and it was surreal being so close to it. It’s definitely something I would recommend going to see if the opportunity arises.

Day Two – Empire State x 2 , Flat Iron and 9/11 memorial.

We headed reasonably early to the Empire state to try and make the most of the weather before it changed as it was forecast to become cloudy and we didn’t want a repeat of the last visit when all we could see was fog and cloud. So after a pit stop at Wendy’s for breakfast we went to the empire state building. The view was stunning although it was colder at the top than at the bottom.

After we made our way to the Flat iron building, another NY legend that I had to see up close. It was also by the cutest dog park, I think we spent more time there watching the dogs play than we did anywhere else on the trip.

The next stop was the 9/11 memorial, we had previously visited both the museums so didn’t visit them again but if you have never been to them they are a must, I have never been to such a haunting place. We took some photos by the memorial pools and the new shopping centre before heading off.

We were lucky that our tickets for the empire state included a 2nd visit after dark, although we were a little early the guard was lovely and let us go up. It was even colder than the morning and had started to snow so we didn’t stay long before walking back to the hotel.

Day Three – Washington Square Arch, Chelsea Market, The Highline, Natural History Museum and DUMBO, again.

Our penultimate day in the city, we still had a lot left to see so crammed a lot of things in starting with washington square arch where I left some rocks for a friend before heading over to chelsea market.

The market was bustling with so many different shops and sights, I wish we hadn’t of eaten before going because the food looked amazing. After the market we made our way to the highline, an old railway track which is now a linear park and is totally free. The winter hadn’t been kind to many of the plants but in the spring and summer I can imagine why it is so popular and there were some great views from it.

It was so cold we decided to retreat indoors and headed to the natural history museum as this was included with our pass and again it’s an iconic place to go.

We then headed back to Brooklyn and DUMBO in the dark, by this point we were in minus temperatures but it was worth it for the pizza. There is a rivalry between Grimaldis and Juliannas for the best slice in NYC, Grimaldis was closed for a refurb so we went to Juliannas and it didn’t disappoint. It was amazing and I would definitely recommend it if you like pizza, I would also recommend Uncle Pauls Pizza on Vanderbilt for a delicious slice!

Day Four – Top of the Rock, Times Square, Wicked and Home.

Our 4th and final day in the big apple. By this point the storm was in full swing with transport cancelled in some areas with weather warnings and ice everywhere but we were determined to see the final few things on our list.

We started nice and early while the weather was good at the top of the rock, I would say this trumped the views of the empire state as you can see central park but also the empire state and makes for some amazing photos. It was minus 16 (celsius not Fahrenheit) on the ground and around minus 22 at the top of the rock but so worth it for the views.

We made our way to times square next as we had some time to kill, we were going to go back to central park but decided it was just too cold to be out in and spent some time browsing the shops in times square before heading to the Gershwin theatre for Wicked on Broadway. The tickets weren’t cheap but they were worth every penny, we were close to the front and right in the middle. Wicked is my favourite show and it did not disappoint! It’s definitely one for the bucket list.

And then it was time to go home, we went back to the hotel to collect our bags (via uncle Pauls pizza for a final slice) before catching the air train back to JFK for the flight home.

So that sums up our trip, it really was the best holiday I have ever been on. We saw so much of this amazing city but there is still so much to see and explore but I think our next trip will definitely be in warmer months as I’ve only just thawed out from this trip.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading,

By Racheal

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