New York 2017 Part 1

You’ve probably gathered by now that we’ve been to New York. I’ve been doing a few separate posts to try and spread it out a bit and stop me writing one long massive post however this could still be massive so I’ll just get on with it. P.S. I’ve split it into two because it was so long. P.P.S. read my where to eat and what to eat posts too! Here’s my New York 2017 part 1 guide!

We flew from Manchester on Thursday 26th and arrived in New York at 1.20pm. We went through immigration, collected our bags and headed to the AirTrain. I’m not going to lie, getting to the hotel was stressful because we were tired and we didn’t understand the Subway yet. Plus I think we must have got a local train instead of the express which added ages onto the journey. It’s also a bit tricky with suitcases but by the end of the trip we figured out how to pass them over the gates to each other (OK as long as your suitcase isn’t really heavy!).

New York 2017 one world trade

We finally checked into the hotel and collapsed for a bit before going out to find snacks. First we went into Trader Joe’s which I knew would be good for snacks but it was so busy that the queue was right around the shop. The same goes for the Fairway Market across the street and since we just couldn’t face a long queue we went up the road to another market that was closing down and therefore was really quiet. We also popped into CVS which became our favourite place for snacks because it was organised and there were proper aisles and self serve checkouts. Yay! So that night we basically fell asleep in front of the TV eating snacks (which you can find out more about in my Things to Eat in NYC post).

New York 2017 sunrise

I woke up a 3.30am the next morning but it did mean I got to see the most amazing sunrise from our window. We took a quick walk to central park and then I had a Levain dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie for breakfast (I had an apple earlier so it’s OK right?) and headed towards Battery Park on the Subway.

Places to eat in NYC levain cookie

We got the boat to the Statue of Liberty and we were really lucky because it was a beautiful day. She looked much more impressive than the last time I went when it was grey and snowy! We went round the Ellis Island museum which I didn’t really get to do before and it was really interesting to find out about where people had immigrated from and why. They also have the smallest toilets ever. I knew they had small doors  on toilet cubicles in America but this was ridiculous and I’m surprised they could even fit a toilet in the cubicle. I’m mentally scarred.

Anyway. Once I’d brave the final boat back to Manhattan we headed to see the Brooklyn bridge with a slice of pizza each before going to the 9/11 Memorial. On the way there we went to Trinity Church because I wanted to see Alexander Hamiltons grave. I can’t help that I’m obsessed with the musical Hamilton!

I’d never been to the 9/11 memorial before because they were still building it when I last went. I did go to the museum which was harrowing and the reason we didn’t go this time is because I just couldn’t take it again. It’s so worth going once, especially if you were young when it happened. The memorial itself is so beautiful and calm but I felt at odds with myself because it’s there for such a sad reason that you’d rather it wasn’t there.

We walked up to the High Line which was much further away than I thought but was worth it for the views. The High Line used to be a train track but was saved from demolition when it was closed and is now a public space. It’s calmer than the streets but still connected to the hustle and bustle of the city.

New York 2017 high line

After all that walking we got the subway back to the hotel (we were starting to get the hand of it now) to get ready to go the The Christmas Spectacular. We had a Shake Shack for dinner (read about it here) and queued up at the Radio City Music Hall. We were greeted with a Santa’s hat and 3D glasses each and took our seats. The show was absolutely amazing with singing, dancing and even ice skating! If you’re in New York near Christmas you MUST go and watch it. The Rockettes were fantastic. I’ve never seen dancing like it. They were all so precise and the same as each other through the whole thing! It was only an hour an a half long but that was great for us as we were still jet lagged and by 9pm we were knackered and just wanted to sleep.

New York 2017 christmas spectacular

The next day we had a pretzel fro breakfast (gotta get all the snack foods into the trip) and walked to the Intrepid sea, air and space museum. I didn’t realise it was mostly on a boat so I felt a bit weird the whole way round. Intrepid is an aircraft carrier so not only was there a lot to learn about boats there was a lot to see for aviation geeks like me. There’s lots of interactive stuff for kids to do and the volunteers really know their stuff. You can go on a submarine and they even have a Concorde and a space shuttle!

New York 2017 con corder

We were the first people in the museum so it was quiet and we got round the whole thing in a couple of hours. Our next stop was the Rockefeller Center. It’s a bit confusing when you get inside because there’s a lot going on including lots of shops and places to eat. A member of staff helped us find our way to the observation deck check in and once we’d converted our City Passes into tickets using the machines we were on our way to the elevators.

New York 2017 empire state

I remembered the elevator from last time because it’s got a glass roof and it’s all lights and sounds and it’s hell for someone who’s scared of them. It’s worth it for the view though and it was another beautiful day. There’s three levels that you can go to and the top is m favourite because there’s no glass in the way. Once we’d got all of our photos we went down to ground level to see the Christmas tree. It was being switched on the following night so they were all busy preparing and setting up.

New York 2017 rockefeller christmas tree

We were hungry by now so I looked up where we could get a Dough doughnut from and headed to City Kitchen. It’s actually inside Row which is a hotel I was looking at staying in. Just as well I didn’t because I’d have eaten way too many giant doughnuts! We had some lunch followed by doughnuts and enjoyed watching New York go by below us. You can find out more about Dough and City Kitchen in my post about places to eat in New York.

Places to eat in NYC dough dulce de leche

We had a few hours to kill before we went to see a show so we went to Central Park where there was a Christmas market and saw the ice skating rink and then went to Times Square to see the lights. I also had some Minute Maid which is my absolute favourite orange juice in the whole world which you can’t get in England. The show that night was Waitress which is one of my favourite musicals because the main character is a baker. I loved it so mush that I wrote a whole post about it here!

waitress the musical playbill


Find out what we got up to on our last two day in my next post!