So last Tuesday I turned 25. A quarter of a century. Half way to 50. Basically, I’m getting old! I had no idea what my birthday had in store for me! With everything kept very “hush-hush” it was great to wake up Tuesday morning to the surprise of not only dinner, but also a trip to New York! I was speechless, I couldn’t believe in less than 24 hours I would be boarding a plane to the City that Never Sleeps!
It turns out from the last stamp in my passport, I hadn’t visited New York in over 9 years! That’s a really long time! But I have to say that both times have been completely different – there is just so much to see and do that no trip is ever the same. The lights, the sounds, the unique atmosphere, New York is a destination that will always be out to offer you something a little different.
Our first day was made up of over 33,000 steps, mainly due to our wander around Central Park. The green heart of Manhattan, Central Park covers 843 acres of seriously expensive New York land. It’s an escape from the bustling city for both New Yorkers and tourists, with over thirty-five million visitors each year. The park is made up of a mixture of lakes, lawns and woodland, with walking tracks and bridleways running throughout. You can rock climb, ice skate, watch a theatre performance, visit the zoo or go kayaking all without leaving the park! It’s truly amazing, and visiting in the heart of winter was beautiful. Frosted glazed lakes and blue skies made the walk chilly but incredibly picturesque. It was a lot to take in roaming the paths and taking in the views of the city and the wild life around. I could have happily sat on a bench all day just watching the world pass me by!
As well as walking through Central Park, we took a day out to visit the Brooklyn Bridge. Pedestrians and bicyclists share a dedicated walkway above the car traffic, offering a relaxed space to take photos and enjoy the Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan skylines.
Here’s a fun fact – after 14 years of construction that cost $15 million, the Brooklyn Bridge was opened in 1883 – and Manhattan and Brooklyn were finally connected. It took over 600 workers to transform 6,740 tons of material into the iconic wonder of the Industrial Revolution. The bridge is supported by four cables, each 3578 feet (1090 m) long, 15.5 inches (40 cm) thick, and made up of 21,000 individual wires!
As well as this, we walked to the lower end of Manhattan to Battery Park to see the lady herself, The Statue of Liberty. She was a small dot in the distance from where we were stood, but that didn’t stop us taking some silly photos that showed her sandwiched between our finger tips! On the walk back up, the Freedom Tower stood tall among the rest of the buildings and you couldn’t help feel the sadness of the events that occurred there. To me, it definitely symbolises a beacon of hope in rebuilding what was, after the tragic events of 9-11.
Not forgetting Times Square, which is perhaps the most famous square in the whole world. When you visit Times Square it’s easy to see why: tourists from all over the globe come to marvel at the neon billboards, see a famous musical, go shopping in the area and soak up the unique Times Square vibe. It was a little too chaotic for me, but was an experience I couldn’t turn down. It’s amazing to just spend 5 minutes people watching, which went down well with my Caramel Latte courtesy of Starbucks!
To complete a very busy few days, Luke organised tickets for the Broadway show Aladdin at the Amsterdam Theatre. I loved all things Disney growing up and to be able to watch this at the theatre on Broadway literally made my trip! We were both captivated by the multi-talented cast, lavish sets and costumes, the old-fashioned love story, and of course, the famous magic carpet ride with a flickering night sky in the background. (We didn’t detect any strings!)
We also ate some amazing food. I wish I had the patience to have photographed more of it, but as soon as the plates hit the table, I was a little bit in amazement at the amount of food on my plate, followed by determination to try and finish it all! I did however manage to capture this amazing breakfast burger, followed by an hour and a half of unlimited Bellini’s! I wish I could tell you what this place was called! We met up with a friend of Luke’s who whisked us out of a cab and through the front doors. I had no time to look at my surrounding before being seated at the bar with this huge burger and free flowing cocktails. Two hours later, we laughed our way around Harlem before heading back to the hotel to wait for our transfer to the airport. It was a great way to end our trip, even if it meant having a slight hangover on the plane ride home!
I feel there is still so much I could tell you about this amazing City, so if you ever get the opportunity I would definitely recommend a trip!
Who has been to New York? What have I missed?