I’ve so enjoyed doing my NYC Diaries series, I hope you have too! New York City was such a fun, exciting and exhausting place to visit and one summary blog post just wouldn’t have cut it. But here we have my final NYC instalment so prepare yourself for a final bombardment of photos, and a travel vlog to boot.
Visiting Central Park
It was so surreal visiting Central Park – which was just a 20 minute walk from The Bentley Hotel where we stayed. Once we checked-in and had a much-needed coffee I made a point of visiting Central Park before going for dinner. It was a freezing cold evening and the Central Park pond was frozen over and there were still piles of snow about. I’d love to revisit NYC in summer to see the park in the sunshine and with leaves on the trees.
Stunning views from the Empire State
On our first full day of NYC we visited the iconic Empire State Building and after passing security, riding in a super fast lift (or elevator) and walking up a good few flights of stairs we entered the main deck. It may not have been the romantic Sleepless in Seattle style experience I had envisioned (what with the hoards of people and all) but upon arrival to the main deck of the 86th floor the sun came out, making the already awesome view across New York City even more breathtaking.
Lunch in Downtown
I was really looking forward to visiting Downtown as I’d heard it was thee place to be in NYC. We spent a good part of one day exploring Nolita, perusing the many independent (and pricey) boutiques and stopping for lunch at Jack’s Wife’s Freda (a blogger fave). This was a crazy busy little lunch spot with customers crammed into a small quaint space. Phill (wisely) ordered a burger and fries and I opted for halloumi. Whilst an extremely pretty looking plate of food, I have to admit, after a morning of walking, I was a little disappointed at the portion size of this halloumi and grape plate (I thought the halloumi would form part of a larger salad). Thank goodness I said yes to having bread with it! I polished off every little morsel.
You can’t go to NYC and not visit 5th avenue so you can brag about visiting posh stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany’s. But forget your designer goods, I was more excited by the Lindt shop selling every Lindt ball flavour imaginable! We also stood in awe of the beautiful Atlas statue which sits opposite the equally beautiful St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Times Square wasn’t nearly as gaudy and manic as I thought it would be. In fact we ended up staying in this area for longer than we expected (not least because of the huge H&M and Forever 21 stores). We queued by the Times Square outdoor ticket booth after lunch to get discount broadway theatre tickets. It was so hard to choose what show to go see but in the end we opted for the Jersey Boys…and boy were we glad we did!
Jersey Boys on Broadway
After queuing for discounted tickets earlier in the day, and arriving about 5 minutes late to the show (oops), we settled down to watch the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I knew I would enjoy the show as I was raised on 60s music and knew most of the songs, but I wasn’t so sure Phill would appreciate the musical. But we were both blown away, not only by the amazing muscianship of all the actors, but the swift and exciting production was something to behold. There was no lull, no dull bits. It was so interesting to find out the back story to Frankie Valli and the trials and tribulations of the band as they journeyed to fame.
Drinks at The Dead Rabbit
I had been told by many of my instagram buddies to visit The Dead Rabbit, which is a bar in the Financial District. As a Belfast girl it would have been a sin not to have visited this place as the two men who own and run The Dead Rabbit are Northern Irish and used to tend bar at the world-famous Merchant Hotel in Belfast. In its own words The Dead Rabbit “embodies the conviviality of Old New York and the Irish-American tradition.” We arrived just before the after-work rush so managed to get seats in the ground floor Taproom. I ordered the Gold Standard from their Mixed Drinks Menu and it was delicious. We were then treated to a free round by the lovely bartender Brooke who was quick to recognise our accents. Northern Irish folk get a free round here! But Brooke went the extra mile and also served us the most beautiful irish coffees and talked us through the equally beautiful drinks menus which artfully tells the story behind what The Dead Rabbit stands for.
Strolling around the Upper West Side
Our last day in New York involved a trip to the Upper West Side to hit upon some of the locations of one of my favourite films ‘You’ve Got Mail’. I loved walking around the upscale residential area and admiring the beautiful brownstones. A true New York highlight!