Last month I visited New York, and anyone who knows me knows that this is my favourite place in the world, by a mile. But this time was very different, largely due to the fact that just before I flew out there was a blizzard.
I was supposed to fly out on Saturday 23rd January, however my flight was cancelled, as were all flights into the east coast of America, so I had to fly out on the Sunday instead. I was up all night panicking that our rearranged flight was going to be cancelled as well, but it wasn’t, it was only delayed by 5 hours, meaning that I had to sit around in London Heathrow and wait, which was a small price to pay considering what we saw once we landed at JFK airport. When we had landed, we saw that the runway was the only place which wasn’t covered in snow, which was pretty scary. Once we had taxied off the runway, the pilot had to shut down the engines and wait for a tow vehicle to tow us onto the stand, so that the aircraft didn’t skid and crash into the airport. It took us an hour to get from the runway to the stand, and we all had to keep our seatbelts on just in case. We then had the task of getting from the airport to our hotel, which was awful as well as none of the trains were running, so we had to wait for a while for the bus which took nearly 2 hours. I was falling asleep on the bus despite my excitement, which says a lot in itself about how long the journey actually was.
Once we had arrived at the hotel, we then dropped all of our stuff off and made our way to a very white Times Square, and I must say, in all the times I have been there I have never seen it that deserted. It was really pretty though, so after taking a few pictures and throwing a few snowballs at my dad we headed back to the hotel to get an early(ish) night.
The Monday morning we woke up bright and early and headed up to central park, which was so beautiful in the snow. We made snow angels, threw snowballs, and generally just goofed around. It was so much fun! We then went to Grand Central Station, and took the subway to the 9/11 memorial and the One World Trade Center. As my dad had been up the World Trade Center before the terrorist attacks, he was excited to see what was there now.
On Tuesday morning we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge, as this is something that neither of us had done before, and although I’m not a massive fan of bridges, I had a really nice walk. It took us about 45 minutes to get from one end to the other, but we stopped a few times to take pictures. We then walked through Brooklyn for a while before hopping back across the Hudson on the subway. We walked to the Staten Island ferry, as this is a great way to see the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline without paying a fortune. It’s about an hour round-trip and there are some great views. In the evening on Tuesday I went to New Jersey to see my friend Erika, who I met in summer 2014 whilst working at a summer camp, through Camp America. I boarded a train to Trenton, and she picked me up from the train station. I had a lovely time catching up with her, and I had a pizza burger, which was just amazing!
On Wednesday we hired a car from Newark airport, and drove around New Jersey, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens. I wanted to drive, but as I’m under 25 it would have cost the earth, so I just sat back and relaxed for the whole day. It was nice to not have to wrap up warm for the day as well, as it was sub-zero temperatures for the most part. I also enjoyed not having to do much, as every other day consisted of a lot of walking.
On Thursday I did some research for my dissertation on the High Line, in Chelsea. I highly recommend to anyone who visits New York, to spend a few hours there, as it’s really peaceful, and a nice contrast between nature and the city. I then went to meet my dad, who had been to visit Intrepid, which I had already seen so there wasn’t much point to me going again. Afterwards I did a spot of shopping in Macy’s before heading to the Rockefeller Center for sunset. I’m so glad we went when we did because you get a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline, and the sunset, and it’s nice to watch all the lights come on across the city. We then went to the ice skating rink where I spent about 30 minutes on the ice. It was something I’d wanted to do since I was young, and I’d never been at the right time to do so.
On Friday we took the subway to the Yankee stadium and walked around for a while, and after spending some money in the gift shop we headed to Hoboken. Hoboken is a great place to go if you’re looking for some nice cheap food. It’s a $2.75 PATH train from the city, and takes you about 20 minutes. The view across the Hudson is great, and my dad’s friend lives there and showed us this great little German beer garden which sold my favourite food (Bratwurst and Sauerkraut) so that was an added bonus. Then we headed back to the hotel to get some rest before our long day on Saturday and the long journey home.
On Saturday morning we went to a small cafe for breakfast. It was called Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company, and they had all sorts of different flavours of cream cheese, and all the bagels were baked freshly. It was like heaven in my mouth, and I wish I could eat there every morning. After breakfast we went for a walk along the Hudson River Park, to Battery Park. It was very cold, however the views were fantastic and it was the perfect way to spend our last morning in NYC. We then said goodbye to America as we headed to the airport.