We got back from New York yesterday at about 7.30am and although I am jet lagged like crazy and super sleepy I just couldn't wait to go through my photos andrelive it all again. This was my first time visiting New York and it was both awesome and new and special and also weirdly familiar. I think it was because I have seen so many films and tv shows set there that it just looked exactly how I expected it to.
We were so lucky with the weather as they were having a mini heatwave and the forecast said it was about 10 degrees higher than usual for that time of year. I mostly didn't have to bother with a coat at all, which was crazy as I'd packed expecting it to be freezing! I've split my photos into two as I took quite a lot (unsurprisingly!) I'm not going to go day by day as that would take forever! But here's a little summary of what we did, ate, etc. Part two coming later this week!
Where we stayed: We stayed at the Yotel which suited us well. The rooms were small but well arranged so you had everything you needed, and they were relatively inexpensive for New York. The hotel is at the bottom of Hell's Kitchen, near Time Square, which was great as we could walk to a lot of the major sights we wanted to see. It also offered free muffins for breakfast every morning meaning we didn't have to splash out on breakfast every day. Be warned though - the bathrooms are basically in the room - so don't share with anyone you don't know really well!
What we did: This being our first time in New York we were definitely there to sight see. I have to say I'm normally a 'tick everything off in one visit and on to the next place' kind of traveller, but I could totally see myself going back to New York. We got a City Pass, which gets you in to a few different things (Empire State, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, a boat trip around Manhattan etc) and although we ticked off pretty much everything on the Pass, there are still more things I'd like to have seen if my feet could have hacked it! I'd definitely take it at a slower pace, and spend a bit more time just getting coffee and drinking it all in. The City Pass was a great buy as you saved a bit of money as long as you went to pretty much everything on it, and you could buy it ahead of time so we weren't carrying around ridiculous amounts of cash. It also had a good range of things we really wanted to see and things we might not have done otherwise, like the boat trip which ended up being one of the highlights of my trip. Along with the Met that was probably my favourite thing we did.
Travel: We got the subway a couple of times, but I have to say it felt waaaaay more comlicated than it needed to be! I feel like we got to the right place more by accident than design! Unlike the London Underground where you can go by colour, and all trains go to all stops, we had to contend with colours that don't actually match with lines but could be any one of three, some of which are express so thay may not actually stop at your stop, and there were no maps (that we could see) by line, only by colour, so we still had no idea if we were getting on the right train or not! Luckily most of the time we just walked. A lot. I had my fitbit on and the minimum we walked in a day was 10km, mostly we walked further! Probably a good thing though, as we also ate a lot!
Food: We ate pretty excellently, if not very nutritiously while we were away! My favourite places were The Meatball Shop, Shake Shack (although it was soooo busy everywhere, you can get better service going to the one in the UK!), Gotham West Market, Dough, Grimaldi's and 2 Bros Pizza (the $1 pizza place round the corner from our hotel!). The one place I was a bit disappointed with was Sarabeth's. I really wanted to do brunch and although the food was nice there it was really busy and hot inside and in the end it just felt really rushed and not quite the relaxing, chilled out brunch experience I had planned!