Tuesday, 19 April 2016

New York City - America Adventure Part 1

April 1, 5 am in the morning: My two weeks and three cities adventure in America started! Well obviously I had to get tot he airport first. My flight to New York JFK was nine hours long, what I did?! Well that’s easy, read and watch movies. I watched Paper Towns, The Intern and Ricki and the Flash.
I landed at around 1 pm, even got a glimpse of downtown while landing. Being a returning ESTA traveller, I was able to take the shorter line, so I went through pretty fast, got my suitcase and went to get a taxi.

The ride into the city gave me a good overview of the suburbs and seeing the Manhattan skyline fort he first time was amazing!
I was staying at the Shelburne NYC, at the corner of Lexington and 37th street. The hotel is great, has an awesome location and the staff was really helpful. A bit of a negative was the noise of other guests, you could really hear them and the sirens, but that’s normal. Internet wasn't included in the package I booked. I ask at reception and they added it for free, which was awesome. 

After checking in, checking out the room and a bit of unpacking I went to Starbucks for a coffee and right there was the Empire State Building, so beautiful. I walked up 5th avenue to Bryant Park, explored the park and also quickly went into the National Library. From there it was time to go to Times Square. Oh my god, all these lights and commercials, but I love it. Then I went tot he Rockefeller Center, picked up my City Pass (a great way to discover New York’s popular sights) and wanted to go up (the sun was shining and it was really warm), but the next available time was only 7:40. I decided to go another day, because I want to be up there with daylight. So I just stayed around the centre and observed the people on and around the ice rink. Back on fifth avenue I saw all the shops, a beautiful church and more. Of course I couldn’t resist Barnes and Noble ;) Just next to it was a Tommy Bahama store with a restaurant, so I went for dinner there, before waking to Grand Central. This station is beautiful. The Chrysler Building was right there as well and then I went back to the hotel, jet-lag started to kick in.

The second day started with rain, so I wasn’t really in a rush. I had breakfast at Starbucks (hello good coffee and free Wi-Fi). Then I walked down to the Flatiron Building and from there to the High Line. Unfortunately, it was still raining, so I didn’t spend too much time there. The High Line is fab though, you can see a lot of the city. The journey then led me to Macy’s, where I had fun exploring the store, the beauty and hand bag section is beautiful. I also had lunch there. Then it was finally time for some shopping. Steve Madden, Sephora, Victoria Secret, Mac and many more, but these were the ones I bought stuff from. I walked up fifth avenue all the way to the beginning of central park. Let’s just say, I was pretty exhausted afterwards. I had dinner at the Rare Bar and Grill, which is attached to the hotel. The day ended with a Broadway show. I went to see School of Rock, it was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, watch this space for a review.

Day 3 started cold, only 4°C and a nasty wind, but that didn’t stop me to go the Brooklyn. Well, I got lost at first, but then found Brooklyn Bride Park, which is such an awesome location with the best view. From there I walked to and over the bridge. The view on downtown Manhattan is amazing, I took some great pictures and the bridge itself is so pretty.
Lunch time met meeting two of my author friends: Hilary Grossman and Meredith Schorr. We had a great time and it was wonderful to meet them in real life.
After a coffee I went up the Empire State Building and enjoyed the view up there, my god, MAGNIFICENT. The wind up there was crazy, so I look like a mess on the photos, but oh well…
Afterwards I went back to Barnes and Noble, picked up some little pressies and then I also went to CVS. I got some Sally Hansen nail polish (heard a lot about them) and other bits and bobs, before going for dinner. I spent the evening at the hotel, because I was exhausted and needed time to relax.

Monday, a new day, a new week. It was a very rainy day, so I took my time in the morning. After breakfast I took the subway down to city hall and walked to Ground Zero. On the way I quickly went to Zara and bought a blue cardigan, I didn’t bring one and suddenly thought I need one.
It actually stopped raining then. I decided to do the museum first and I didn’t really have to wait in line, which was awesome. The museum is very impressive. What they built and made out of it is very well done. It’s thought provoking, shocking, emotional, touching and much more. It was like reliving what happened that day, but in a very detailed and personal way. We all have our memories from that day and seeing how people involved coped with it and seeing everything that happened was very special. All these objects and big broken parts of the buildings, wow. I think what touched me most were these people speaking. Just wow!
After I finished in the museum I had lunch there. Then it was time for the memorial, I again got really emotional seeing all these names. It was raining again and the rain added kind of more feelings, it felt like the sky was crying for the victims, giving the memorial an even more unique touch.
At around 3 I took the subway back to Midtown. I was thinking about going up the One World Trade, but with the bad weather, I decided against it. The first thing I did, was going to the Rockefeller Center to get my ticket for the next day (I knew it was supposed to be a nice day and that way I didn’t have to stand in line). Afterwards I explored the little shops in the center, bought some little things and then slowly walked back towards the hotel. I stopped by some places (Stephen Sondheim Theatre, NHL store, CVS…). I actually had dinner at the hotel and relax again in the evening. I took the time to watch HGTV, my faveourite ever channel over here. I love house hunting series and hello, The Property Brothers!!! Of course I also watched a little YouTube, wrote a blog post and started editing my New York vlog.

Tuesday was a sunny and beautiful day!!!! YAY!!! It was freezing cold though, but didn’t stop me from going up the Rockefeller. Top of the Rock is fab, I love that observatory deck, the views are amazing. You can see Central Park really well and on the other side The Empire State Buidling, One World Trade and the Statue of Liberty in the background, just fabulous. It stayed up there really long, until I didn’t feel my fingers anymore ;). I then had lunch at the Rockefeller, before going to Central. I don’t even know where to start, the park is just beautiful and has so many wonderful places. I saw … bridge, the Umpire Rock, Bow Bride, the boathouse, “funny building”, the Conservatory Pond and much more. I just enjoyed the sunshine. I walked through the park, until I reached the Met. There I of course sat on the steps. They way led me to the Apple Store afterwards and to Abercrombie and Fitch. In the evening I headed to Madison Square Garden, where I saw The New York Rangers play against Tampa Bay Lightning. The game was awesome and I had a lot of fun! A full blog post on the hockey game will follow.

Wednesday was my last full day in New York. I got up early and took the subway to Battery Park, where I went on the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. The statue of Liberty looks so fabulous, I loved having a stroll on that island, the view on Manhattan is beautiful. On Ellis Island I had lunch and then walked through the museum. It was very interesting to see what immigrants went through arriving there. I then want back to the hotel and started packing. In the evening I went to see Fun Home on Broadway, such an emotional show, but I loved it!!

Thursday meant saying goodbye to amazing New York. I checked out the hotel and went straight to Newark airport. Next stop: DALLAS!

New York is a great city, with so many possibilities for things to do and see. I think it’s a bit too busy for me though… I definitely wanna go back, but a few days there are enough.

Read my next blog post on Dallas soon…

Find more photos here: https://www.facebook.com/simona.schuler/media_set?set=a.10153962691471166.1073741842.820766165&type=3&pnref=story

My first New York Vlog is up:

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