‘There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless!’ – Simone de Beauvoir
Travel blogs, you know the ones that make every city break sound like the perfect weekend and every holiday seem like a total escape accompanied with the most surreal photos and you genuinely think, how… disclaimer, thats not me. My photos are a mixture of everyones best attempt capturing what they can on an iPhone, uploading to a google photos account and picking the least blurry ones. Simple! As for three days in New York City – It was amazing, at least we all though so! A weekend filled with food, laughter, family, friends and plenty of G&T’s so have a read to see what we got up to and hopefully it may help on your next trip to NYC. Oh and if you haven’t been – go!
The concrete jungle, the big apple, the city that doesn’t sleep. A lot of buzz terms for a city I had never been to only watched time and time again in some of my favourite films. I imaged myself from a young age to be Audrey Hepburn gazing through the window of Tiffany’s or on an alternative day sipping a hot chocolate as I stroll through Central Park with my family – things I only dreamt of as a wee girl!
During a weekend at home back in October my daddy, brother, sister and I sat down over lunch and agreed a family weekend away in, potentially, London ahead of Christmas was a must! Such discussion quickly took speed and before lunch was over flights to New York City were booked and all the best areas to stay were being discussed. Invites were extended to the nearest and dearest and a group chat of 7 pinged to life as everyone gave their tuppins worth of what they absolutely wanted to see, the cookies they needed to try and most importantly, a list of bars which we had to stop in. Every tourist attraction requires refreshments, surely!
Fast forward five weeks, my out of office activated we flew direct from Edinburgh to JFK, – the journey was a dream. As I scrolled through all the films I had no intention of watching and tried to get stuck into a new book, the only thing I managed to do successfully was sip on a Baileys as the the excitement took over.
Landing in JFK the snowflakes were coming down hard and fast onto the small peep hole windows of the Delta plane. Was this real life? After impatiently queueing to get through immigration, grabbing our bags we made our way to the arrivals terminal where we met with my daddy and Deirdre and made quite a song and dance.
New York City – we have arrived!
The journey from the airpirt was longer than usual as the uber driver ploughed his way through the bumper to bumper snowy highways which left us checking in at The Beekman Hotel just before dinner time! The old fashioned, contemporary hotel located in Downtown Financial District contrasted old with new and cosy with chic effortlessly. Going through into the buzzing bar area we met with family friends and warmed up with a drink or two!
Dinner in a beautiful Italian, De Claudio, only minutes from the hotel made for a difficult walk in heeled sock boots (great outfit choice Keels) but before we knew it we were back in the comfort of the cosy hotel bar awaiting the arrival of my brother, Niall (who hoped to be in NYC ahead of our arrival but after a delayed flight and an 8 hour bus journey in the snow he made it just before midnight…) The hotel’s nightclub welcomed a visit from us all before calling it a night ahead of an early morning of sightseeing.
A hotel with a Dunkin Donuts on its doorstep is the one for me. Waking up with a coffee and glazed donut we made our way to the harrowingly beautiful 9/11 memorial before hoping in a taxi for brunch at The Butchers Daughter, an amazingly instagramable vegan/veggie brunch spot. The Hangover Killer had me feeling right as rain before the breakfast taco’s landed on the table, mmmmm. Moving on we visited the dreamy Christmas window displays at Macys, Times Square which shock isn’t actually a square (yep, blew my mind), spent too much time in Sephora and walked to The Palace where I did my best Serena van der Woodsen impression too many times and wondered why Dan Humphrey wasn’t waiting for me in reception… moving on. Lunch brought the whole group together at Fig and Olive off Fifth Avenue before walking the length of it (not realising how long it was) to find a rooftop bar with views for absolute days, taking in the Empire State building on our way! The day ended with a group of Irish and New Yorkers in an Irish bar on Fifth Avenue. Cultured, i think not. Cliche? Absolutely. Mc Donald’s in hand I hailed a yellow cab in my best Sarah Jessica Parker impression and was snoozing by midnight. What could tomorrow bring?
You know the drill, coffee and donuts accompanied a walk over Brooklyn Bridge which was conveniently located five minutes from our hotel. The absolute scene’s of NYC from Brooklyn are second to none. We dandered around DUMBO (an absolute must) before queueing for Juliana’s Pizza. TIP: It opens at 11:30am and we got there just before, unaware of the queueing ordeal. Thank god we did because hungry stomachs would not have dealt with the queue that followed the first seating! Get there early!
Taking in the surreal sights we made our back back across the bridge and onto the Dead Rabbit, if its the best bar in the world surely you have to sample a cocktail at least! Walking along the water admiring the skyline we took an absolute yolo decision to book a helicopter tour. The views of NYC from the sky were something you absolutely could not imagine, highly recommend if you are on a flying visit, like us! Walking home through Wall Street we had a quick turn around. Our last night in the big apple was a special one and a family friend who runs a top class dining experience made for exactly that! As we sat at the Chef’s Table at the authentic ‘farm to table’ Black Barn Restaurant Crab Tortelloni, Vension Rositto, Truffle Mac and Cheese, King Prawns and Sweet Potato gnocci were only a few of the dishes being passed around. We were spoiled for choice with a full view of everything being freshly cooked right in front of us as we enjoyed amazing wine and lead through every dish by John Doherty the owner and head chef! If you like a good atmosphere, stylish people, good food, amazing desserts and even better wine then honestly look no further!
Check out day. Who knew three days could feel so long but so, so short! We had a long lye that morning before checking out as out flight wasn’t until late that evening and decided breakfast would be in China Town. What a place! I honestly felt as though I had been transported from country to country as we walked through China Town then Little Italy and onto the cool and quirky area of Soho. Desperately trying to pass as cool New Yorkers we grabbed the subway to The Highline – a linear park over a mile long created on a former New York Central Railroad, the absolute highlight for me, a little planning geek – and dandered through Chelsea and the Meat Packing District all the time wondering how and when I could uproot and move here. Think of these places as the Shoreditch of London, uber cool with an air of, dare I say it, hipster. Totally up and coming and when I return I vow to spend at least twice as long there, if not the entire trip! Ending the day at the Grand Central Station I wished I was hoping on a train else where but unfortunately the hotel was calling as we made our way back to grab an Uber to JKF.
True, we didn’t see Central Park or make it to the Top of the Rock but in 72 hours we found our own little favourites in the mix of a massive city. The most amazing trip with my favourite people. New York was not what I imagined but in saying that, I don’t actually know what to expect. Admittedly I did think it would have a level of tackiness but maybe we just unintentionally avoided this, who knows! What I do know is that it is the coolest city in the world and I will be making a return visit sometime soon. I mean, I still have to try the cookies from Levain Bakery, apparently they are the best you will eat. XOXO Blogger Girl