If any of you have read my previous post ‘New York New York’, it may have seemed that I did a more touristy/stereotypical trip to this jungle of a city and it’s true, I did. But, I had a great time doing it so why not write about it.
Now most things that I’m going to mention are a must in any travel guide whereas others were just ways for me and my friend to pass the time away.
I will tell you this, and it’s no secret. No matter what time of the year you go, there is always something happening in the city!
I went the first week of September (5th until 15th), and it turned out to be the busiest ten days of the city. Which brings me to…
The week we went was Broadway week, which meant 2-for-1 tickets, which actually is a huge bargain (at-least we think so). The availability for most shows was limited, but just give the company a call and see what happens. You could luck out. Another thing, after seeing the show, wait around outside. Sometimes, the stars all come out to do meet and greets, sign the playbills and tickets.
- Broadway Lottery
Broadway Lottery was something I was completely unaware of, but definitely worth a try. Walking around Times Square, we stumbled upon a crowd outside where the Book of Mormon was playing. Everything became clear when the Lottery Dude (twitter name @MormonLottery, he was great) appeared with a stash of paper. You simply just write your name and your party number for the tickets and hand it back to him, and well, it is in the name I guess. It’s a lottery!
We would go there everyday because, unfortunately luck was not in our favour. But just the atmosphere within the crowd was great and even if you didn’t win, try again its just fun and games however, if you do, then woohoo! You lucky sod!
- Fashion Week
We discovered Fashion Week through a mistake. We were walking through Grand Central Station trying to figure out where we went wrong on the subway, when we noticed the high security and some people dressed in what can be described as ‘bespoke’ clothing (aka plastic suit). Suddenly, photographers and many socialites started to leave one of the side rooms. We were extremely confused but intrigued at the same time. After asking one of the security guards, we finally discovered that it was fashion week!
There is a message in this story bear with me…
What I’m trying to say is, before you go, check what is happening in New York. As I said earlier, there is literally something amazing happening everyday. For us, we went during the best week possible. Broadway and Fashion week. So plan ahead, and even plan exactly where to be on the day.
- Let’s be Tourists
There is nothing wrong with being the quintessential tourist. If you are there for a very short amount of time, do not worry. All the sightseeing can really be done in about 2-3 days, because that is what I did. After getting every essential tourist attractions checked, we could relax and then take the city in however we wanted. These are the attraction we saw, it’s all the obvious ones:
- Rockefeller Centre
- Empire State, Chrysler
- Times Square
- 5th Avenue
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Staten Island Ferry there and back (just for the views)
- Central Park
- Bryant Park (my Favourite)
- Guggenheim, MoMa, Met + other galleries
- Helicopter Ride (I didn’t do this, as it is a little pricey, but I do recommend it, check out http://flynyon.com/product/new-york/)
This is a very basic list, but for a short stay the essentials I would say (I have definitely forgotten some, but my memory is terrible)
- Walk everywhere
Finally, just walk.
We literally walked everywhere, the only places we didn’t were to Brooklyn as that would have been a trek from where we were and to the Guggenheim, because we got a little lost trying to find it on foot.
By walking you get a real feel for the city, the skyscrapers towering over you, the hustle and bustle of the people. The mugginess of the city, against the freshness of Central Park. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriot, which was parallel to Times Square, meaning we were in the centre of the city.
I highly recommend this hotel as the staffs were lovely, rooms were always pristine, breakfast was to die for and it had a great bar. We couldn’t get in as we were only 18 but we heard that it overlooked Broadway. Which is nice (still a little bitter). Being in the centre was great, so if you can, try to do this as it makes the exploring part a little easier.
I could really go on and on about all the things I did, but hopefully this gives a little feel of my experience.
Hope you guys liked it, and let me know if I should do more of these for other cities.