The Big Apple, The City where dreams come true / ..that never sleeps, NYC. The city that has as many names as there are people living in it.
New York has something for everyone, right? I almost got to the age of 30 before visiting this metropolis and, to be completely honest, I’m not sure if I would’ve ever chosen to go there myself. I’ve had mixed feelings about New York always. One of my best friends absolutely loves NYC to bits and I’ve never really heard anything negative about the city, but I still had my doubts.
So, getting the chance to finally go and see the place for myself was awesome! Unfortunately this wasn’t your average NYC visit since we were there only for 2 full days and my boyfriend was working on both, so I had to discover the metropolis on my own, without internet on my phone and with no sense of direction.
This basically meant that for those 2 days I was confined between Tribeca (where our hotel was) and Central Park. If I had ventured off the 6th Avenue on my own I’m pretty sure my boyfriend would’ve had to send a search party to find me on the first night because I would’ve gotten lost with 100% certainty.
But, I can finally say I’ve been to New York, and despite my exploration being limited to a small area, here’s my perhaps unconventional photo diary from The Big Apple. No flashy world-famous buildings (except one!) or posing on the Brooklyn Bridge but an honest look into a wintry Monday and Tuesday in NYC. Enjoy!
We were lucky enough to enjoy sunny weather most of the time and were taken around by my boyfriend’s colleague who lives in Brooklyn. We started the day by having brunch, vegetarian tacos, on the edge of China Town, and continued past a noodle restaurant after a noodle restaurant stopping at small boutiques here and there.
Culture shocks: when walking through China Town I suddenly saw from the corner of my eye something moving next to my head. I turned my head and found myself staring straight at a huge lobster. After the shock had leveled up I realized it was a window to multiple aquariums including different kinds of crustacean. I’ve never seen such a thing. They were alive, stuffed into a tiny glass box… I felt a wee bit sick.
Learning experience: Talking of food, we learned that each restaurant in NYC has a big letter A, B or C plastered on their door or front window. Apparently they are classifications given by the health authorities after check-ups to the restaurants. A is the best and C apparently meant that the place shouldn’t even be open… Many of them were.
One evening, waiting for my bf’s colleague, I jokingly asked him if he’d dine in a restaurant that had a B on the window. He didn’t have time to answer because his colleague arrived at that moment and we rushed to find the restaurant to get out of the cold.
It was Monday but all places were full. When we finally found a place with space it had a big B plastered by the door. Since the place looked clean and nice, and we were freezing, we decided to “risk it” and went in. I don’t know what caused the B rating but everything we ate tasted good and none of us had stomach problems afterwards, so I guess B is still totally fine. And I also got an answer to the question I had presented to my boyfriend earlier.
My favourite time of day in New York has got to be that one hour between daylight and darkness, around 4-5PM in January, when the Sun has set but it’s not quite dark yet. There’s this lilac atmospheric light enveloping everything and the lights are shining from all windows around you. At that moment I felt at home there for the first time.
But at that point I also knew I needed to motor back to the hotel because I didn’t want to venture the city on my own after dark. Perhaps a useless fear to have in such a busy city that never sleeps but nonetheless, I hurried my steps.
You always hear telling how bad and busy the traffic in New York is. I guess we were there at the perfect time because the holiday’s must’ve still been on. There was plenty of space to walk around and the traffic wasn’t anywhere near as busy as I expected. That didn’t mean there would’ve been any less horn honking, though.
I had one specific thing on my agenda that I absolutely had to see. That was the Central Park. Thankfully it happened to be at the other end of the 6th Avenue, so all I had to do was walk straight.
I did really want to see the Lady of Liberty and climb up to the top of the Empire State Building, but I was talked out of both ideas before I could even finish spelling them.
So, Central Park became my one must do! And I almost missed that one as well. I left it to the last day and the weather was shit. Also, I got stuck at our hotel bar for about 4 hours because I finally had internet and time to update my blog. Eventually I ordered an Uber to take me there because I simply couldn’t leave without seeing it. What if this was my only chance to do so?
When I finally got there I realized that I should probably stay on one path and keep the lake within my sight so that I can find my way out of the huge park around the same place where I entered it. Even though it was winter and there are no leaves on trees it was nice to be close to nature after all the grayness of the city. Central Park must be unbelievable at Spring and Summer! I’m so happy I didn’t get stuck on the couch in the hotel bar but instead went for a little walk in the park.
Going there with Uber was a great idea but it cost so much that I decided to walk back to the hotel. What I didn’t consider was that the distance was in fact 6km (3,6 miles) and I was (obviously) wearing heels. But I have Sisu and I had decided to walk back so I did! 1 hour and 15 minutes it took me.
On the way I heard screams of “Hey beautiful”, “How you doin’” (aahhahahahahaha, classic!), “Hey pretty catlady” and “Look at this girl, she’s fucking deaf” when I just ignored every single one of them. Lame. So very lame.
NYC is enormous and it’s true; if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. At the end of the day it was exactly as I expected: super-tall buildings as far as the eye can see, ridiculously expensive, quite gray and rather dirty. I really missed greenery that we’ve done so well with incorporating trees and park areas all around big cities here in Europe.
I probably need to go back and discover Brooklyn, Queens and other areas in addition to the stuffy center because on this trip I couldn’t quite grasp what all the ”I ❤️ NY” fuss is all about. Not that surprising though, because I only saw the 6th avenue and a couple side streets :D I guess I can’t judge a metropolis by that.
Have you peeps been to New York? Any tips for me in case I will get a chance to go there again? xx