Four days spent in the big apple and I have quickly developed a new found obsession; architecture. London is beautiful in its own right but our own capital skyline could not prepare me for the stunning sleek lines that make up New York’s cityscape. Buildings tower above the streets making you feel a little bit insignificant, but that’s nothing compared to the feeling of complete awe as you stare out across this sprawling city from the rooftop of whatever chic bar you happen to stumble across. It’s a city where everyone is rushing to and fro, but take it from me it’s important to just stop and take a good long look around you as the sights that greet you will definitely make you fall in love with this buzzing urban centre that little bit more.
From the English countryside of Hampshire to the heaving streets of New York it was another whirlwind adventure for me. However due to my almost compulsive organisation I had devised an action filled schedule fitting in as much as possible for a real taste of the city. My family are always content with going with the flow but with a more anxious disposition I wasn’t having any of that! I researched cute breakfast spots, booked baseball and theatre tickets as well as mapping out subway routes and for once my stressy nature paid off. Planning, my friends, is key!
Day one was spent staving off the jet lag as long as possible with a matinee performance of Jersey Boys and a dinner to die for. My first ever Broadway experience was everything I had imagined and is something I’ll have to do again. We walked to Red Farm whose delicious Asian fusion food is only rivalled by its industrial chic interiors. However, the highlight of the first day for me (as uncultured as this is) was our visit to Best Buy where I treated myself to a new camera. All photos are courtesy of my new favourite possession.
Of course shopping had to be on the itinerary and after a morning running around finding the best deals we were ready for a spot of much needed sightseeing. Where better to spend the evening than drinking in the view from the Empire State Building. An icon synonymous with New York and the backdrop for countless movie scenes, not to mention the Mindy Project, my expectations were very high to say the least. As the elevator climbed steadily up my stomach filled with butterflies as I started to wonder whether the reality would face up to the image Hollywood had created in my mind. Surely it would pale in comparison? A ping marked our arrival to the 86th floor and as I made my way outside I patiently waited for a space to open up so I could see whether my expectations were about to be dashed. I moved up to the edge and I don’t think any film or picture can prepare you for the sight of the metropolis you see before you. It was a moment of realisation to know how small you are in this world and how amazing the cities we have created are. Alongside this feeling of awe and a breathtaking view was the uneasiness I always get at being so high up, but the moments of panic were worth the spectacular vistas of the city below.
With one iconic monument down it was time to tick off another New York must; Central Park. Our hotel was a stone’s throw from the green oasis amidst the huge skyscrapers and we spent the morning exploring as much as our legs could manage. The park is absolutely huge and dwarfs Hyde Park with its meadows, reservoirs and the pretty Belvedere Castle. This New York institution and another movie scene favourite was exactly what a country girl like me needed after the overwhelming buzz of the city. A visit to America wouldn’t be complete without a token sporting event and I couldn’t resist seeing a baseball game. We were treated to an authentic subway experience, feeling like we were playing a game of sardines on our way to Queens to see the Mets. The morning of calm was quickly replaced with the excited atmosphere inside the grounds as fans got into the pregame entertainment. Everything was such a huge contrast to any sporting event I’ve ever been to. At a football game it’s rowdy of course with the chants and cheers, but we don’t have the entertainment aspect or the crazy grounds which are filled with an array of restaurants and shops almost like a destination itself.
As a slightly Instagram-obsessed individual I had trawled the web for the best brunch spots to impress the family with. I’m glad my time on my phone being antisocial paid off as I discovered an ideal spot called the Butcher’s Daughter. It was the most amazing vegetarian restaurant I’ve been to and I’d go back in a heartbeat for their mouth-watering almond butter with grapes and bananas! After a great start to the day we headed off to our next stop on our tour of the Big Apple, the High Line. Apart from the sweltering heat it was probably my favourite part of the holiday as you got to see so much of the city not to mention the whole thing itself being a work of art. The last place we managed to squeeze in to our little city break was a brief afternoon in Brooklyn. I know London has bridges too but Brooklyn outdoes them easily.
I never thought I’d love the big city life as much as I did and after this trip I’ll definitely be coming back for more. Next time I’ll stay longer so I can explore more of the city, especially Brooklyn as from the little I was able to see I know it’s the kind of quirky place that I’d quickly fall in love with.