Thursday, 18 August 2016

Travel: NYC City Guide Part 1

NYC: What to do (where to eat coming as part deux).
things to do in new york city
Ninth Ave views.
Until I figure out a way to move to New York I’m never, ever going to make it to all of the places on my NYC Google Map. Firstly because there’s so damn much to do and secondly because New York will ruin your carefully constructed itinerary, make you stay out until 6am and then sleep right through your brunch reservation. But that’s all part of the fun.

things to do in new york city
"The city as seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city as seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and all the beauty in the world."
This guide is probably more for your second visit to NYC onwards, once you’ve ticked off the big sights and want to pretend that you’re a New Yorker or just feel like you have a city as your holiday playground. I’m a city girl through and through so the combination of the best city, temperatures in the 90s (hey, Farenheit) and staying with a friend who already had found the best gin watering holes meant that despite being in a city not too dissimilar to the one I live in I still felt like I was in full on holiday mode.

Work Work Workout

Yes, I’m the sort of person who goes to workout classes while on holiday but NYC is so ahead of the curve that I couldn’t not sample out the city’s best places to sweat (although don’t worry, in July you'll sweat regardless). SoulCycle has branches all of the city and is like spinning turned up to 11. I loved it. You can get your first class for $20. I’ve already written about the free yoga in Bryant Park and Tara Stiles’ studio Strala offers a drop in class with no need to book – just buy a credit online and turn up.

things to do in new york city
Soul Cycle on East 63rd.
Culture Vulture

NYC museums are not free. We are so lucky in London even if it is November for 11 months of the year. Think about it. For NYC, do your research as most museums offer a free / pay what you want session although the trade off of this is that there will be queues. I finally got around to visiting The Frick on Sunday (11-1 is the time you need to go). The Whitney is free (/pay what you wish) Fridays 7-10pm and MoMa is free Friday 4-8pm. With a bit of planning you can visit them all and save around $60. The smaller museums are also worth checking out and I couldn’t recommend The Lower East Side Tenement Museum enough – you have to book onto a group tour which I didn't realise before showing up. Our guide was so enthusiastic and it’s an amazing insight into the history of NYC. As a fellow visitor told me – “you can’t understand this country if you don’t understand immigration”. A great follow up to Ellis Island which I visited back in 2012.

things to do in new york city
LES Tenement Museum. 
things to do in new york city
I have so few pictures of me in NYC but here I am in The Frick.

Just because you’re being a non-tourist doesn’t mean you can’t do sightseeing. I mean, I still take photos of things in London and I’ve been there nearly 9 years. Stick to the free sights because look at the current exchange rate. I know. Central Park is always lovely, especially in July. I always see or notice something new. The High Line wasn’t even constructed when I first visited NYC and it’s a great walk (walk south ending your walk at The Standard for it’s all day brunch and practically medicinal Bloody Mary's). Pop in to Grand Central Station for the architecture and patriotism. The Flatiron Building is my favourite, it's so beautiful, continue walking down to Union Square for the farmers’ market.

things to do in new york city
Apparently topless sunbathing is ok in NYC but nude isn't. Just FYI.
things to do in new york city
The Flatiron.

NYC is a rather harsh environment in July. The city is hot, sweaty and you can literally feel the grime. A facial at Silver Mirror Facial Bar should be high on your list. I was sceptical but afterwards my skin literally glowed like someone who had never seen 1am, let alone 6am. Even at JKF airport as I washed my face in the loos (so glam) my skin still looked clear, glowing and like I’d spent the last week on some sort of joyless detox and not kindling a love for Bloody Marys. Honourable mention to Sephora to stock up on all things beauty – despite the dire exchange rate, most brands are still cheaper in the US but do your research because some European brands (Caudalie) are not. The Kat Von D make-up range is ridiculously good.

things to do in new york city
Central Park - pretty sure I take this photo on every trip to NYC.
So this turned out ridiculously long (even after taking out the food section for another post) but I never really blogged properly about my last trip and yes, I could really do with a NYC style martini right now because drinks in London have been such a let down since I got back. Hit me up with your recommendations for my next visit because if Trump doesn't get in then I'm going back as soon as I've paid my credit card bill for this trip.

things to do in new york city
Anna Laurini on the LES.



  1. Love this. Very handy for people who have already been once and want to go again and not see all the same things again (holla!). I'll be going there in a a few years to eventually do the marathon (part of my "do all the majors" list). And I CANNOT wait for the food post of course :-)

  2. Ah, I'm now desperate to go even more! Although I'll probably add a few of the obvious touristy stuff on top, being a first-timer and all.

    - Elodie x

  3. I went to New York when I was 17 and I'm even more desperate to go back now!!

  4. I love so many bits of this. 'Practical medicinal Bloody Mary's' may *just* be my favourite, but it's a close call! X


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