48h in New York!!??? Only…???!! I shouldn’t complain, right? It’s still better than just 24h (like my past stays)… But that means I need to plan my stay very carefully. What should I do? Try to avoid the most touristic places, as it’s the middle of the season!? Will it be possible? I guess no! It’s crowded everywhere… Hmmm… I know! I will hide in Central Park! …at least for one day…
After a long 14h flight I decided that on the first day I will rest from the crowds, tourists and enjoy the greenery of Central Park. This place has a special vibe that makes me relaxed and calm. Being an outdoor person I love spending time in parks while visiting big cities, whether it’s on running, walking, exercising or just lying down with some snacks and a good book.
This time I decided to train a bit and chose one of many running tracks around the park. My goal was 8km reaching a point where I haven’t been before. Good combination. It was my personal success to complete the loop with just one stop for a picture (I had to!). Training in a heat of Dubai gives me an undoubted benefits!
I was lucky to be staying in a nearby hotel, so after a quick shower I headed back to the park to spend the rest of the afternoon with a book and my favourite snacks bought, of course, in Whole Foods (I shared my love for that store in my last post: Foodie in New York).
Being surrounded by other runners, skateboarders, cyclists, yogis and other nature lovers helped me to recharge my energy levels and gain strength to face the city and the crowds! Later that same evening I went out for a drink to a recommended restaurant for a diner and a rooftop bar for a drink.
I can definitely recommend you Blue Smoke for a good meal, specially if you’re looking for yummy ribs. And the place itself… cool interior, lovely staff and great music made it a good choice. There is a Jazz Standard club underneath. There wasn’t any event at a time, but this place jumped onto my NY bucket list for the future visits. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the other place. A rooftop bar – 230 Fifth, was too crowded (I know, what did I expect?), but apart from the view there was nothing special about it. I didn’t feel any special vibe or excitement to be there. Besides, the view was partially blocked by a fence… Next day I went to Press Lounge in Ink48 Hotel. This time I found what I was looking for when visioning a cool rooftop bar!
What you can see in just one day in New York?! I had enough energy to fill it up and build a quite busy itinerary. I decided it will be best to take a metro all the way to Downtown Manhattan and start from there, going up towards Central Park, where I started.
I chose to see Statue of Liberty first. As you probably noticed already, I don’t like crowds (and I’m being very diplomatic right now ;)). Therefore I chose not to go anywhere close (I’ll save this pleasure for some other time, when there are not so many tourists) and decided to take a free ferry to Staten Island. It passes next to the statue, you can have a good look from it and take cool pictures. It worked for me perfectly!
After arriving back I walked up from the harbour towards Ground Zero. I didn’t expect it, but it was quite an emotional moment for me to see the memorial… There are as many opinions about what happened as people, but doesn’t matter what you think, in my opinion you should at least once go there and feel the energy of that place…
PS. I was so smart that deleted by coincidence all pictures from Ground Zero and Brooklyn Bridge :/ Luckily I still had some from my previous trip I’ve done in winter…
Leaving memorial and a museum behind I headed towards Wall Street and than Brooklyn Bridge. When passing Wall Street buildings I couldn’t get rid of pictures from the “Wolf of Wall Street” movie from my head. And couldn’t stop laughing. I must have looked funny 😉 The walk through the bridge was also very cool. It takes a while (depends how fast you walk ;)), but I enjoyed it a lot! The view of Manhattan from halfway was stunning. The bridge itself is an amazing construction. On the way back, seeing what I saw, being passed by cyclists, feeling sun on my face I felt such a gratitude to be able to experience it all and more that was to come. I couldn’t stop smiling…
With a wide smile on my face I decided to walk all the way up to SoHo and wander a bit around it’s streets full of bars, cafés, restaurants and tiny local designer shops, international chains, and famous designer stores… If only I had enough money and space in my bag 😉 Luckily I didn’t have. I planned to fill it in with organic food and few essentials I bought to refresh my wardrobe and found cheaper in US.
Even though I didn’t plan any big shopping experience, I walked along 5th Avenue on my way back to the hotel, just for an experience, stopping at Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal and Rockefeller Center. I went to see Carnegie Hall as well, and at the end I passed through Time Square to enjoy colours of that place and share them with you here – it impresses me the most at sunset. Fantastic!
By the time I got back to the hotel my legs were so sore… but all I saw and experienced was worth it! There are still lot’s of things I want to do and see there. One of which is to try The Halal Boys! They are apparently amazing and I can tell it must be true as the queues to each one of their stalls is always huge.
But I’ll keep it for the future, cos I’ll definitely be back!!!