New York – West Manhattan, Museum of Natural History & 230 fifth

We decided to dedicate our last day to visiting the West side of Manhattan, by walking through the Hells Kitchen neighbourhood and the Upper West Side.

The area around the Port Authority train station is not the nicest one, that’s for sure. I really don’t understand what the deal is between cities and train stations. It always seems to be the dodgiest areas for some reasons.

We continued walking up through Hells Kitchen until we reached the Upper West Side. This area seems to be a more affluent and lively part of the city. It’s as fancy as the east side, or near enough, but seemed to have a livelier bar and restaurant scene.

We then reached a piece of graffiti done by the famous Banksy, hammer boy. It is protected by a plexi cover, and could probably give a Monet a run for its money value wise (crazy!).

We continued walking, heading towards the Museum of Natural History. This was our 5th and final activity of the City Explorer passes, and it was an awesome one too. Once again, the place was huge with multiple halls covering earth and planetary, biodiversity, fossils, human origins etc.

We got to see many dinosaur fossils, learn about meteorites, the earth geology, and more. A really interesting museum to visit. The dinosaur hall was particularly impressive.

We continued our day by going to the 230 fifth rooftop bar. This was a great bar, with an excellent view over the city and the Empire State Building.

They have happy hour Monday to Friday from 4pm to 7pm, which we were happy to take advantage of. Very reasonable prices for wine and beer for NYC. We enjoyed our drinks until it started pouring rain, but luckily it was nearer the end of our drinks and only a brief downpour.

For dinner we headed to Vanessa’s Dumplings, a small and cheap dumplings restaurant in the East Village. Dumplings were quite good, though probably a bit too heavy for me. I felt sick later that night.

After dinner we organised to meet one of my friends from Paris for a drink. He was in NYC at the same time for work, and it was awesome to be able to see him. We planned to meet up for a drink at McSorley’s Old Ale House a few blocks down, a well known Irish pub, but as we arrived we realised it was closed because of the shooting of the Ray Donovan TV show! We used to love this show, so seeing Ray (Liev Schreiber) outside that pub was a real treat!

We ended up a few blocks further down in a nice bar for some catch up drinks. An amazing way to end a fantastic stay in NYC.

We’ve loved our time in the big apple! I was worried I’d be disappointed as my expectations were so high, but it is an amazing city with so much to give.



  • 230 fifth rooftop is one of the most well known rooftops in the city. The terrace is very big, and the happy hour was great ($7 for a drink). There are many more rooftops available though, so if you have time browse around.

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