Visiting New York City has been a long time dream of mine. My first time in the states was over ten years ago when I spent two months working at a kids camp in New York State. But whilst I’ve seen some of New York State, New York City has always alluded me. This year HAD to be the year I went to the Big Apple. So at the end of last year I booked the big trip.
Phill and I both turn 30 this year so where better to celebrate than NYC!
I think my fondness for NYC is down to my love of certain romcom movies with a certain actress called Meg Ryan. I’m talking You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. When I watch these movies I yearn to visit NYC and visit famous landmarks like Central Park and The Empire State Building. I want to wander the busy streets, shop a little, have some street food (a pretzel perhaps? or maybe a hotdog or two) and hopefully see a show (I’d love to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway).
With just two months to go before we leave for our five day city break I have been researching hard. And it’s been so much fun! Finally I’m able to properly collate NYC ‘to-do’ lists. Whilst I’m definitely not going to plan our every move down to a ‘t’ I do want to make sure I have a note of everywhere I want to go and what locations they are in so we can make the most use of our time when we are there. But I also want to be spontaneous and enjoy the benefits of ‘getting lost’.
My NYC Reference Points
My first reference point was a blog post that one of my favourite NYC based bloggers wrote a few years back. Hey Natalie Jean did out a really great list of her favourite spots, which includes a list of what you think you should do in NYC but what you should really do.
“Skip the Statue of Liberty. Ferry schmerry! Walk the Brooklyn Heights instead”.
“Thinking about getting a Magnolia cupcake? Don’t waste your time. The Magnolia banana pudding is so much better.”
Controversial pieces of advice some might say but I’m listening to this NYC inhabitant and following her direction! Plus she’s a huge Meg Ryan fan like me so when she suggests a You’ve Got Mail pilgrimage “to the West corner of 69th and Columbus to see The Shop Around The Corner” then I’m abiding by everything she says!
And this moves me on nicely to my second reference point – Meg Ryan Movies. For research purposes I made myself watch You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally again…but with pen in hand! I jotted down all the places featured in the films I want to visit. I’m such a geek.
As well as visiting the Shop Around the Corner I want to go to Zabars, which also featured in You’ve Got Mail. It’s the indoor food market where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks have a very funny run-in with each other. I’ve since found out that Zabar’s is a very popular local market in the Upper East side, dating back to the 1930s.
From Sleepless in Seattle I’ll be insisting Phill and I go all the way to the top of the Empire State Building and try some sort of re-inaction of the final scene between Meg and Tom. And need you ask where I’ll be going to from When Harry Met Sally? The cafe where the infamous orgasm scene took place of course.
And you can be damn sure I’ll be doing the Sex and City Tour, whether Phill wants to accompany me or not (unlikely). I am such a big SATC fan and I think going on the tour will be a great way to see around the city and get my bearings a bit.
My cousin Hannah, who visited NYC in December, has lent me her Time Out New York travel book and this has been a great source of information, especially getting to grips with the various locations. I may have also bought my own Lonely Planet New York City Guide but you can’t have too many travel guides, can you? Both books have a slightly different slant on things and vary in their recommendations for food/drink, shopping and other general tourist hot spots.
Another great reference point for me was an NYC Tips List my friend Jane (who has been to NYC many many times) sent me, which mainly consists of where to eat in NYC. This list got me very excited and extremely hungry. Phill and I love our grub and we enjoy trying different cuisines. When we were in LA last year we fell in love with Korean food so we definitely want to try and find a great Korean restaurant and I’ve earmarked Hanjan in Midtown as a goer. I also love the sound of Gyu-Kaku, a Japenese BBQ style restaurant which Jane had on her list. John’s Pizza on Bleecker Street and Mamouns of MacDougal for falafal are also two must-eat destinations I’m told.
And where will I be shopping? I’ll be hitting up Bloomingdales, Barney’s, Bergdof Goodman; and That Belfast Girl says I HAVE to visit Henri Bendel! I’ll also be wanting to go to any Madewell, Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff and Fossil store when I’m there. I stick to US-born shops/designers when I’m stateside as you can be sure they are cheaper there than in the UK. It would also be amazing if a sample sale were to happen whilst I was in NYC so I’ll be keeping an eye on racked.com.
I think I’ve made a pretty good start to my NYC plan. If you live in NYC or have visited there please let me know what your must-visit destinations are.