NEW YORK, NEW YORK!
So a month ago I did one of the scariest thing of my life to date and I flew over to America with Matt to under go Stem Cell therapy to try and help with my CVID & CFID, and whilst the reason I was going over to the states was an extremely scary and not so fun I still found myself feeling incredibly lucky to be there and wanted to be able to make the most out of the experience (or at least the most my body would allow two weeks post treatment).
One of our stops was naturally to New York, I think its a place which is on almost everyone's travel bucket-list and let me tell you it does not disappoint - in fact it succeeded all of my wildest dreams and expectations by a mile. The fact it was minus 3 degrees on average for our entire time they did not even bother me, because being able to be in that magical city whilst it's snowing is an absolute dream. I now understand why everyone is so obsessed with New York and always talking about going back.
"One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years." - Tom Wolfe
I've put together a few lists of must do's whilst your in New York, but don't worry this won't be my last post about this amazing place there will be plenty more to come and in much more detail, but for now here is a list of places to eat, some fantastic sights to see and shops to visit (if you're a fan of dropping some dollars).
Nomo Soho: This was a place I stumbled across a photo of on Instagram, the restaurant is full of funky, modern art like James Goldcrown’s Bleeding Hearts so this was the perfect trendy New York spot. NoMo is very chic and well curated. Even walking into the hotel, you’re surrounded by an entryway of vined walls and string lights, which opens into a bright, airy space; NoMo has an impressive cocktail program with unique house made syrups and infusions which I recommend you try. One of the best things on the menu and pretty much a must try is their lemon ricotta pancakes. In fact, the manager told us that he’s worked in New York restaurants for decades and these were the best pancakes he has ever tasted. Not only is this place a culinary delight but it's clear ceiling paired with chandeliers and vines is a real winner + a DJ playing tunes whilst you eat... unreal!
Germaldi's Pizza (Brooklyn): If you have only 24 hours you can't go wrong with Grimaldi's, a coal-fired pizzeria (one of the only left, as most got forced to shut down due to the impact on the environment - however, they got granted "grandfather status" due to long they had been running... luckily) under the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. Not only will you get a memorable pie, you'll also get a memorable view of Manhattan from one of the oldest — and most picturesque — parts of Brooklyn. Not to mention a jukebox filled with classics by Frank Sinatra, who, legend has it, had Grimaldi's pies flown to him in Vegas... if that doesn't give you some indication to how good they are I don't know what will.
Two Hands (Acai bowls): Many Australians in New York are pining for home and trying to recreate something of it in their daily lives; The minute you step inside Two Hands you’re transported to something that feels like a cafe on Bondi Beach. As well as the hum of Australian accents, the place is all whitewashed brick walls and plywood tables. They’ve also coined an in-house drink, the Outback Capp (a cappuccino with chocolate on top that comes with a Tim Tam, so Aussie!), from Avo on toast which they were one of the first cafes to do in the city to Acai bowls if you're an Acai fan like I - you will not be disappointed.
La Esquina & Rosies (for Mexcian delights): Firstly, La Esquina, the outstanding tacos which are served individually are the real deal at this perpetually popular outpost on Kenmare. Below the taqueria is a not-so-secret secret subterranean dining room, where you can snag margaritas, queso fundido, chile relleno, and carne asada with chimichurri. Search for the door with the "Employees Only" sign behind the bouncer inside. Next Rosies, Soulful” Mexican eats and delicious margaritas lure a good-looking crowd to this East Village cantina, where both the creative menu and the open digs are built around a central comal grill.
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill: Located at the bottom of the 6 Columbus Sixty hotel, this is one of my favourite sushi places I've eaten at to date - the fish is very fresh and the menu offers a good range of options which the staff are more than happy to recommend options to and explain. They also havegreat cocktail list, whether you're drinking at the cosy walnut bar or in the restaurant you'll definitely find a winner - personally I recommend there lychee cocktail, yum!
Central Park: I feel like no matter the season you go Central Park will always been breath-taking for us seeing it covered in an abundance of snow was so beautiful in its own unique way; also it's true what they say, Central Park is ridiculously huge!
The Brooklyn Bridge: Go for a walk along it, my recommendation is to go at sunset you will not be disappointed it gives you such a stunning view of Manhattan as the sun is going down (check out my picture below).
Dumbo, Brooklyn: Here you will find some spectacular views of Manhattan from the other side of the river both at the waters edge and also hiding in between buildings in Dumbo. Not to mention the food is delightful in Brooklyn.
Times Square: I know what you're probably thinking, that's so touristy.... and you're right! But seriously it is one of those touristy spot which you just have to visit; it will leave you standing there in absolute disbelief over how grand, large. bustling and ridiculous amazing it is. The lights, the music, the flood of people constantly going through time square is unbelievable, at one point I just stood in the middle so just took it all in and watched all of the people - ridiculous.
5th Avenue: Obviously this ones a no brainer, it's what everyone talks about and where everyone goes and there's a reason for that; a giant street filled with almost every kind of shop you might be looking for. from having breakfast at Tiffany's to Bergdorf Goodman, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Gucci, H&M, Michael Kors, Prada, Victoria’s Secret.
Broadway: Is the longest street in Manhattan, it’s tough to think of Broadway as one area. Broadway starts at the tip of Northern Manhattan and runs all the way down to Lower Manhattan. In the area of the Upper West Side, you’ll find many different kinds of shops lining Broadway. Close to Columbia there are some great college shops, while a little further down you’ll find big stores such as American Apparel and Urban Outfitters, as well as smaller boutiques. In Midtown Manhattan Broadway is of course most famous for its theatres, but you’ll also find many nice stores in this part of the city. Finally, in Lower Manhattan and Soho especially, Broadway features many famous names such as Topshop and Bloomingdales.
Times Square may not technically be a street, but I felt it deserved a place in the list anyway. In Times Square you’ll find some fantastic big-name stores such as an M&Ms Store, a Disney Store, Sephora and a Forever 21 (basically if you're a big kid, like my sister or you have kids, then this is the place for you).
Madison Square Park and especially around Union Square just south from Madison are all lined with awesome shops. Just opposite the Flatiron Building is the place to go if you’re a fan of cooking and dining on Italian cuisine. Union Square has a great big Barnes & Noble store where you can read for hours, and on the other side of the square you’ll find a Whole Foods to do some heavy grocery shopping (don't even get me started on wholefoods, it's love - there will be a whole post devoted to that place).
Lower Manhattan: On the west side 14th Street runs through the Meatpacking District where it boasts many great boutique shops, while on the east side it borders the East Village where you’ll find many fun independently run stores, which personally I prefer because you can find some many unique treasures in those stores.