FIRST TIME AT THE BIG APPLE
YES! New York, New York. For the first time but definitely not the last time.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This was by far one of the best decisions I made. And here is why.
Me and my friends wanted to just go somewhere, to break routine. I bet you had that feeling a few times in your life. It was winter, during January. New York is known for its crazy cold winters. But the deal we found was too good to give up on. Flight and hotel for around 900$. We looked at the weather last year to see how risky it is, and yeah, the weather wasn't gonna do us any favors. We went for it anyway. Booked the flight, made a reservation for the Hilton Graden Inn Times Square and hoped for the best. Let's just say sometimes you just have to go for it. New York, February, Still so awesome.
Day 1 - 90% Flights
Waiting for the connection flight to Rome. Excited cause it is the first time in New York for me. I've been to the states before, But you can't really compare 16 years old me visiting Atlanta, Georgia, with 29 years old me visiting the big apple.
Landed in NY and it was freezing. All we wanted to do was to get to our hotel from JFK.
It wasn't the greatest welcome we could have hoped for but that was one of the few moments we had crappy weather. most of the time we enjoyed NY with sunny, light blue sky.
Arrived at the hotel exhausted from the flight, not before the driver who took us to the hotel decided to take approximately 120-130$ for the ride. We believed him only because he was ex Israeli. But who else can fool an Israeli if not another Israeli? Just for comparison, Uber black on the way back to JFK took 65$ and it was with a Cadilac Escalade.
Good morning Day 2
After yesterday's rain, it was so good to wake up in this beautiful city when the sun is out.
Hotel was pretty close to Times Square as the name implies. Rooms were spacious and clean, two twin beds in each room. Staff was really nice and helpful when needed. So we grabbed breakfast at the nearest diner (Don't do it, food wasn't so good and prices were really high, probably because of the location), and found ourselves in Times Square. This place can be described just at the most touristic place on planet earth that you have to see. The lights from the billboards, the colors, biggest mixture of people you can ever get into one place.
That face you get when you just wanna take a picture and someone is waiting for you.
| Outfit: Jacket: Calvin Klein, Pants: Zara, Shirt: Zara, Watch: MVMT, Shoes: Nike, Sunglasses: Ray-ban |
Hello, Rockefeller Center!
When you find a spinning snowman made out of glass, you are taking a picture with it. And when one of your friends decides to get the watch you wanted for so long, show them love. By the way, it is the Mont Blanc TimeWalker Chronograph. I'll be back here a few days later to go to the TOP OF THE ROCK observation deck (wait for it).
From there to another famous place, Central park.
Ok, we did a little stop at Nike Town. Felt like a kid in a candy store. 5 floors of every Nike product you can think about.
After Niketown on our way to Central Park, we came across Hublot-Town. Yeah, you guessed right, it is located just on Fifth avenue. So if you fancy luxury watches definitely pay this place a visit, and if not is a really cool building regardless.
Arrived at the green lungs of the city. Just in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world lies the most famous park in the world. Unfortunately, the park looked all gray and lifeless because there wasn't any snow to cover the park all white, and it wasn't spring time when the park turns all green. From above the view of this green oasis in the middle of the urban jungle called New York is still absolutely amazing. Definitely need another visit when the park looks at its best.
Finished off the day at the TAO downtown. This place became an establishment in the city, but for some of you who don't know what this place is about, this place is worth a visit. Saying that this restaurant is just an Asian place wouldn't do any justice. As soon as you enter you start to enjoy one of the coolest designs ever. Further more there is a back part to it, Tao Downtown Nightclub. But if you do wanna get in without paying for bottle service - for the gents, make sure you come with an equal amount of ladies, and for the ladies, simply show up.
Day 3 - The circle
Waking up to a straight to the blood stream sugar rush - A cup of coffee and an OREO muffin. And then on our way to Columbus Circle.
The weather was finally looking perfect. Skies really opened up and all the grayness from yesterday changed 180 degrees to those blue sky and white clouds. It was still freezing and Breeze was going straight to the bones but we couldn't refuse a walk in this weather.
| Outfit: Jacket: Calvin Klein, Pants: Zara, Shirt: Zara, Sunglasses: Ray-ban, Shoes: Aldo, Gloves: NYC |
This beautiful view of the entire circle touching the edge of Central Park was taken from the Armani Exchange store at the Shops at Colombus Circle shopping mall located on the lower floors of the Time Warner center. That is where I got one of my favorite coats - A pea coat to be exact.
And that's where I met my sweetheart.
Heading back to the hotel and getting ready for another night on the town.
| Outfit: Suit: Zara, Shirt: Tommy Hilfiger |
The night ended at the Dream Downtown Hotel. The hotel has a beautiful penthouse that holds the PH-D lounge. The view is Awesome. Definitely worth a visit. But again, don't forget to arrive with an even number of Ladies and Gentlemen.
Day 4 - Lower Manhattan
The squad is on the way down to lower Manhattan. We had another beautiful day and went to explore the city a little bit away from the landmarks. Made our way to East Village where we started our day and walked around to soak in some other experiences and atmosphere of New York that you don't get near Times Square or Rockafeller Plaza. More New Yorkers than tourists, that's for sure. From there we walked down south towards Soho where you can really enjoy yourself with whatever rocks your boat - restaurants, a nice cup of coffee and endless shops.
While strolling around Soho we even came across Homer Simpson on the corner of Mulberry and Kenmare. Simpsons combined with Avocado, how can it get any better? but that face was the perfect illustration of me getting lost and making my way to Chinatown. Was so hungry that I found myself eating McDonald's in Chinatown.
Making our way back to the hotel for some R&R before going out.
This time we went a little more hardcore than previous nights and went to MARQUEE NYC located at Chelsea. This was a dance club compared to the lounges we went to during our stay. As you probably guessed, our night ended a lot later, to be exact it ended at sunrise.
Day 5 - Best view EVER
Every single morning!
Started the day at times square. Like previous days sun was out and everything looked so much better. Was a good idea to make another visit to Times square. Besides our hotel was like a 5-minute walk from the square.
After our short visit to Times Square, I arrived at Grand Central which is located on 89 E 42nd St, Closest Apple store to our hotel. Actually made it here just to get an iPhone for my dad but this place really surprised me. The architecture is awesome, definitely if you consider the fact that this is a train station.
As I mentioned, this was my first time in NY, so for someone like me that always is on the hunt for the best view I can get, I had to go up the Rocafeller center to Top of the rock. My friends went for some shopping and I explored the city by myself.
10 Minute walk up Madison Avenue and I arrived at Rockafeller center. Ticket to the observation deck is 34$ but worth every cent. I know that usually, people go up the Empire state building with its famous deck, but I actually wanted to see the Empire state building as part of the view. And Rockafeller center was just perfect for that. Going up the elevator 260 meters from street level (800 feet or so).
As soon as you go in the lobby you encounter the Swarovski Crystal chandelier.
But enough about the lobby, it is time to go up and enjoy the best view this town has to offer. The panoramic view lets you see all of Manhattan, and it is breathtaking.
The visibility was so crazy clear that day. I don't know if you can see it, but after you realize how massive and awesome Central Park is, you can look all the way to the top right corner and actually see George Washington bridge which is like 10 miles away from where I was.
Wanna take a look how the south part of NY looks?
| Outfit: Jacket: Armani Exchange, Shirt: Zara, Watch: MVMT, Sunglasses: Ray-ban |
This is definitely one of my favorite pictures ever (Ever though it is a selfie), with one of the best views I ever got to see. Going up here was so worth it.
I know the view is overwhelming, but do yourselves a favor and go up to the higher deck. A lot of people stay on the lower deck and struggle to get great pictures because of the glass. There is no glass on the upper deck.
I could have stayed here all day long and enjoy the sunset as well but had to rush over back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and some culture.
When you are caught not ready but the picture still turns out pretty awesome. Have no idea what I was looking at.
When in New York, go see a Broadway show!
Our first option was to go watch the Knicks play but there weren't any exciting games at that time so we took a 180 and went to see a show. We got tickets to see Finding Neverland on Broadway. I didn't really know what to expect because I'm not into musicals, but it was so awesome. The cast was super talented and professional, music was great and the entire atmosphere at the theater was just right.
Day 6 - Last day
This was breakfast. I'm not proud of that at all because I do keep my nutrition pretty clean, but how can I say no to that goodness inside this brown paper bag?
Last day was all down towards the southern part of Manhattan.
We arrived at the train station near the One World Trade Center. I obviously wanted to find myself at the top of that building. My friends wanted to check out Century 21. Unfortunately this time I tagged along. it was day light when we went in, the sun was going down when we came out.
From there back to the hotel, getting ready for the flight back home after having a fantastic week here in NYC.
Thank you, New York, it was amazing. Definitely gonna check up on you again in the very near future. Till then, have a good night and stay awesome.