There’s nothing you can’t do (which is pretty much true). New York city is divided by criss-cross ‘blocks’ filled with an excess of shops, café’s, restaurants, museums, sights and activities. At every turn down a street, there will be quirky character through the use of graffiti, art, fashion and architecture. Even within this city lies neighbourhoods following diverse cultures, such as China Town or Little Italy. But don’t feel restricted to Manhattan as there’s Brooklyn, Queens and more. It’s an amazing city which you could explore for a long time and still manage to miss out on its hidden secrets. Is it obvious I’m quite a fan of this city?
Transport – we took advantage of the underground tubes, it’s cheaper and saved our feet getting swollen. Although I will say there needs to be some updating of the trains and their schedule (I’m very used to the London underground tubes). A homeless man helped us with the machines as it seemed there was a way of saving money with different passes you can get (bless him!). Or another option, which I know some people would disagree with, is taking the tour buses. The actual tour itself will show you sights for a few seconds and then move on, but the benefit of this is that it does stop at each main destination and you can hop on and off whenever you please. It’s worth considering as New York is HUGE to walk around. Don’t get taxis, they will rip you off and all they do is beep at every moving object they see, which is so bloody annoying.
Parking for hotels in the city is pretty ridiculous, this was a shame as we were on a road trip so…yeah…we had a car. The nearest car park to our hotel was about a 20-minute walk, which is a hassle when we had big bags to carry and I kept accidentally leaving something in the car. New York has scattered indoor multi-storey car parks where you hand your keys to someone who parks the car for you, again, this was a slight nuisance as sometimes we needed to keep going to and from the car. Plus, parking the car for a few days is expensive. What I would recommend instead is staying outside of the city and commuting in by train.
New York is filled with very nice people. The only thing I would remind tourists is that even during the peak tourist times, some people are still working (I know right, who would’ve thought)? So there will be a lot of workers running around trying to make ends meet, so…do not stroll at the speed of a turtle or gaze up at the skyscrapers while standing in the middle of the pavement (or sidewalk for Americans). Some common courtesy will make you and their life easier.
Where to eat? Try and avoid the main chain restaurants, there are plenty of places to eat at better quality and price. If you are a lover of cheesecake, then head over to Juniors, you can even take a whole cheesecake home. The view at Juniors allowed us to see performers enter/leave from their shows (I’m not sure what show they were leaving from, but I recognised one of the actors).
Go to the museums! Take advantage of seeing the art galleries or historical museums, some of the best in the country! We went to The Met and American Museum of Natural History and we could’ve spent a couple of days getting lost in them.
Gaze up at the celestial ceiling at the grand central station or take a stroll down Wall Street.
Want to see the statue of liberty? Fantastic, we did too. But (in my opinion), there is no point seeing it up close. The view is from afar, we took the ferry instead and saw the coastal view of the city which is pretty stunning. Helicopter rides seemed to be quite popular at this time, but that’s best if you have some extra cash in your pockets.
If you are like the magpie that I am then head over to Times Square to see where the artificial lights block out the stars. Going once was enough. At peak time this area seemed a bit unbearable, especially with ‘entertainers’ dressed up in poorly and some inappropriately made costumes. Apparently, if you have a picture with them, they want your money for it. Just don’t bother.
My final advice, EXPLORE! Get the main tourist attractions out the way and then dive into the more ‘off track places’, you are bound to see something interesting.