After a pretty uneventful metro ride to the airport and a smooth flight, we landed in the big apple.
This has been a long time coming! Though Nick and I are quite well travelled by now, neither of us had ever been to New York City! Madness!
We landed at LaGuardia and made our way towards Brooklyn via a bus and 2 subway lines.
For my 30th birthday, my perfect husband got me a beautiful night at a 5 star hotel in Brooklyn during our stay in NYC. This was a real treat after staying in pretty modest accommodation so far, often even forgoing en suite bathrooms over location (shared bathrooms can be fine).
The William Vale in Brooklyn is located very near the East River in Williamsburg, and has beautiful views over Manhattan. Nick also got us a city facing room from which we had an unobstructed view over the Rockefeller center, Empire State Building and the rest of the city.
The hotel also had a beautiful pool, where we spent the day relaxing in the sun after we found some great bagels nearby for lunch.
Late afternoon we went to buy a nice bottle of rosé that we enjoyed on our balcony as the sun was setting over the city, watching the most amazing colours across the skyline. Simply gorgeous!
We landed in New York on September 11, and the Tribute in light for the World Trade Center terrorist attacks were on display in the financial district.
As unfortunately we couldn’t really see this side of the city from the hotel, we decided to get the ferry over to Dumbo (south side of Brooklyn) to see the lights properly.
The ferry ride was awesome and gave us amazing views for just $2.75 per person!
We then made our way back to enjoy a last glass of wine before bed with the city as the perfect backdrop.
In the morning we decided to head to Dumbo early to visit this side of the city again, before making our way to our next accommodation in Chinatown (bye bye luxury).
Dumbo is really cool. We started by heading to Brooklyn Point to check out the famous view over the financial district and the Brooklyn Bridge, before making our way to Washington Street to see the famous bridge in-between buildings.
We then headed to Brooklyn Heights to check out the historic part of the neighbourhood, with its old townhouses and cafes, before walking on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Then it was time for us to head to our next accommodation on the border of Chinatown and Little Italy, and this wasn’t an easy task. Subways in New York don’t have escalators or lifts, so we had to carry our bags up and down stairs many times. Also, NYC subway system is by far the most confusing transport system we’ve ever used. With its ‘local’ and ‘express’ lines, different exits and dozens of lines, it is super easy to get lost or get in the wrong train (which we did, twice!). At one point we took the advice of a local, who got it wrong!
The subway was also ridiculously hot, so the hour long trek to get to our accommodation (it was meant to take 30min) was quite traumatic.
Our new accommodation was far from luxurious this time, but the location was pretty good as we got to stay in Manhattan for an ok price (still $160AUD a night, which is a ridiculous amount for what we got but that was literally the cheapest option available here).
After some quick resting time after ‘subway gate’, we made our way a couple of streets across to Little Italy to check out the Feast of San Gennaro. It’s an Italian food festival running every year in September, gathering many Italian foods, games and fashion stalls in Little Italy. Pretty cool.
We then headed to the Glossier Flagship store, which I was super excited about. Glossier is a beauty brand created by Emily Weiss a few years ago. It’s a natural looking make-up brand distributed online but it has a flagship store in NYC so we had to check it out and I had to buy a few beauty products (oops!).
Afterwards we walked our way up towards uptown through Soho, before reaching Greenwich where we saw the Friends building (huge fan) before going for a drink at L’accolade, a bar in the village owned by a friend of my brother. They have great food and really nice natural wines, in a very tasteful setting.
By that point it started raining, so we started heading back to our area going through Washington Park to see the famous arch, and made a quick stop by the Supreme shop before a cheap dinner at a nearby well rated Chinese restaurant.
An awesome start to our New York adventures! Loving this city already.
- The William Vale is an amazing hotel to stay at to enjoy gorgeous views over the city. Highly recommended. Williamsburg is also a very cool area to stay at. Lots of bars, restaurants and clubs to enjoy.
- SUBWAY IS HELL! Make sure you check which train you’re boarding, directions etc first as making a mistake can cost you a lot of time. Pay special attention to if it’s Express or Local. Manhattan is also so big, getting a weekly ticket for $33US is probably a good deal to visit the different neighborhoods.
- Getting the ferry is a great way to see Manhattan from the water. Get a ride from Williamsburg to Dumbo for the best views of the city for only $2.75 per ride.