Ever since we became friends in 2009 during our 6 months exchange in Seville, Spain, we talked about going to the big apple:
"If we're still friends in 5 years, we have to plan a girls-trip to New York City"
And so we did!
Two years ago we opened up a bank account and started saving, so there wouldn't be anything we'd need to pass out on in New York. After some Skype sessions and the exchanging of an extensive Excel file back and forth, we had our planning set and the 19th of May the five of us flew to the States. The adventure began..
ARE YOU PLANNING A VISIT TO NEW YORK CITY?
We planned 5,5 days in the Big Apple and we saw A LOT! Take note from our schedule, so you won't miss out on all the must-sees!
Thursday - Welcome to NYC!
We arrived in the afternoon in our TRYP hotel and started to explore the environment in the direction of Meatpacking district, a buzzing area. We had tapas (and cocktails!) at Toro, where we gazed at the crowd; a mixture of cute couples, business men and enthusiastic groups of friends. The gazing was mainly caused by the nice atmosphere, the good service and the insanely good food, but was probably intensified by the combination of our jetlags and the coctails ;-) After dinner we walked the High Line by night and stumbled into our beds.
- Exploring the neighborhood
- Tapas at Toro
- High line by night
Friday - Sightseeing extraordinaire!
We got up early and saw Times Square and Broadway, went up on the Top of the Rock for the most amazing views of the city, had lunch at some nice food trucks, took the ferry to Staten Island to watch the Statue of Liberty, walked to Grand Central Station, took the metro to Brooklyn Bridge and had Mexican diner in Meatpacking district, where we experienced the scenery by night afterwards...
All in one day!!
This day was full of highlights and gave us a hint to what this amazing city has to offer. We had our breakfast at Dean and Deluca, which has stores throughout the city. Some of them are very impressive and exclusive grocery stores and others are just for having breakfast, lunch or take-away. Nevertheless, the coffee and the food are great and it's the perfect place to start an intensive day like this. All the highlights we saw this day were absolute must-sees. To start your vacation at the Top of the Rock gives a nice (yet overwhelming) overview of the city and you will recognize all the other hotspots from so many movie-scenes. The Mexican restaurant Dos Caminos is an absolute hotspot for those in favor of some real Mexican food: absolutely delicious tacos, moles and quasadillas (and again: cocktails!).
- Breakfast at Dean and Deluca
- Times Square
- Top of the rock
- Lunch at some Food Trucks
- Ferry to Staten Island to see the Statue of Liberty
- Grand Central Station
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Mexican food at Dos Caminos in Meatpacking
- Going out in Meatpacking district
Saturday - Mixed emotions
We started our day with a quick breakfast and walked the streets of Soho, where we did some serious American shopping (Hello Victoria's Secret and Levi's). I will write a short blog on my purchases in a couple of days, so don't worry :) In Soho we had lunch at Back Forty West, where they serve super healthy and tasty dishes, absolutely great! After our lunch we paid a visit to one of Dean and Deluca's grocery stores, where we simply had to buy some chocolate chip cookies.
After the shopping we decided to go to the 9/11 memorial, which was incredibly impressive. It's hard to explain, but exactly where the two towers used to be, you can now look into what seems to be an endless depth where water is constantly running down. On the edges of the monuments you can find the names of those deceased. The endless depth, the sound of the water running down and the numerous names written in stone made a big impact on us. The respectfully created memorial shows the magnitude of what happened that day in this city and the scar it left in the lives of so many people.
We decided to end this day on a positive note and had an all-American dinner. Find yourself a seat at Five Napkin Burger and prepare yourself for the best when it comes to hamburgers! We ended our day at Time Square by night, where we also included some night shopping (Shopping at 01:00 o'clock in the night is something special too, right?)
- Soho shopping (boutiques, Victoria's Secret, Converse, Levi's, ...)
- Lunch at Back Forty West
- Cookie at Dean and Deluca
- 9/11 Memorial
- Burgers at Five Napkin Burger
- Times Square by night (shopping by night)
Sunday - American Style
We started our day with a cosy breakfast in Dumbo, Brooklyn, before we headed to the Williamsburg Flea Market. Some parts of the market are for the real seekers and others are simply for those with a big wallet. You can find literally anything, from old kids toys and vintage steals, to expensive vintage bags, interior, jewelry, food and drinks. It's a great market, but it's not very big, so you won't need to make hours of room in your schedule for it. After this, we took the metro to Queens to go see a Mets game!
Although I love being active myself, I'm not such a huge sports watcher. Having little to no clue about the rules of baseball, didn't really increase the love between the game and me.. However, it doesn't get more American than this: lots of enthusiastic fans, lots (!) of food and drinks and lots of hanging around.
Did I like the atmosphere? Yes!
Did I like the scene? Yes!
Did I like the food? Absolutely! (Hello best hot-dog in the world)!
Would I go to a match again? Uhmm... Let's say once was enough to last me a lifetime ;-)
After this, one of the girls and me were planning to see a Broadway musical, but unfortunately we didn't really think this through properly. We ended up running from theatre to theatre, finding out the ticket boxes for that specific show had already closed. Such a bummer!
Ticket boxes are closing 30 minutes before the shows are starting, so make sure to buy your tickets in advance!
Luckily, the cocktails on the rooftop bar of the Standard Hotel, Le Bain, made up for the disappointment :)
- Flea Market Williamsburg (Dumbo)
- Mets game
- No Broadway musical for us, but if I were you, I'd definitely plan to go there ;-)
- Standard hotel rooftop bar (Le Bain)
Monday - You want to live in this city!
You can't visit New York City without having some pancakes for breakfast, so we went to Benash Bar and started our Monday on a sugar rush. The portions are what you'd expect from an American diner, but you will eat the entire plate, because it's simply too good!
Then we rented some bikes to explore Central Park and its surroundings. Being in such a huge park with so much green, so many people hanging out, such a nice atmosphere and being surrounded by such gorgeous skylines: this is amazing! Afterwards we passed by the Guggenheim museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the weather kept us outside ;-). We collected ourselves a picknick from Dean and Deluca (again, I know, but this place just serves so many needs!) and cycled to Chelsea afterwards, where we paid a visit to the Chelsea Market and walked the high line by day. Many people are hanging out and enjoying the sun in this area, which is when you'll start to think:
I want to live in this city!!!
After some freshing up we headed to Brooklyn, where we had dinner at The Bedford in Brooklyn. The food was great, the service even better and the music brought us back a few American decades. After this, we cycled from Brooklyn to Chinatown to Apotheke Coctail Bar, a bar from the Prohibition era, where they kept the same vibe ever since and where the best cocktails are served. A great band was playing live music and they're performing there every Monday: Rhythm and Brass!
A little side note: cycling from Brooklyn to China Town was great because of the view from the bridge, but the neigborhoods we cycled through didn't feel as the safest in town...
- Pancakes at Benash Bar
- Cycling through Central Park
- 'Picknick lunch' from Dean and Deluca
- High line by day
- Chelsea market
- Dinner at The Bedford
- Cocktails at Apotheke Coctail Bar (band: Rhythm and Brass)
Tuesday - Our last day? You've got to be kidding me!
After a short breakfast we went to the 9/11 museum. This museum is so brilliantly put together and gives right to what happened that day. In my opinion it's a museum everybody should visit and it made a big impact on everyone of us.
To cheer ourselves up after the museum, we had some huge pizza slices, some soda's and a shopping spree at Century 21. It's the place where you can get a lot of designer stuff for a lower price, so don't skip this store when you're in The City. Since we ran out of time by then, we decided to conclude our vacation at Junior's, a place famous for its... Cheesecake!! We ordered 3 pieces for the five of us, but still walked away with some serious (yet pleasant) nausea. But hey:
YOU'RE ONLY IN NEW YORK ONCE :)
- 9/11 museum
- Pizza slices
- Shopping at Century 21
- Cheesecakes at Junior's
New York City, as expected?
It was everything I expected and so much more! The city is so diverse, from crowded and touristy to easy-going and tranquil. The people are full of energy and, apart from a few exceptions, super friendly and service minded! Having the chance to see this city with my closest friends was unlike anything! There were moments I longed back to our normal vacations that evolve around eating, drinking and relaxing, but I'm glad we took this city by storm and didn't miss out on any of the beauty this city has to offer!
The people, the architecture, the food, the streets and cabs, Soho, Meatpacking, Brooklyn, Manhattan...
NEW YORK CITY, WE WILL MEET AGAIN!
Nice to meet you, my name is Mieke Geevers; Givers.
It’s my dream to make it easy for women worldwide to feel good about themselves. Fast reads and videos about sports, food, beauty and fashion. Feel free to browse through my website, comment, like or share, you're welcome!