This post is embarrassingly overdue, but here it is none the less. In the first week of February, I went to see New York for the first time in my life — belatedly perhaps, but (even though it’s corny) better late than never.
I’m sure my visit didn’t deviate far from the visit that everyone else took (except that mine was in February, and therefore probably much colder than yours). But travelling in February has one gigantic upside: a lack of tourist traffic. This was so much so that even the most infamous of lines, such as that at the top of the Empire State Building, were reduced to a 10 or 15 minute wait (if that).
Here are a few of the highlights:
The shakes at City Diner are out of this world!
Posters for Broadway musicals are all over the place on Times Square. We saw Wicked and In the Heights.
I was one of the first people off the boat, so the island was relatively empty when we walked around to the front of the Statue of Liberty. There I am below ... with seemingly broken legs.
The view from the hall at Ellis Island. This room is where immigrants waited to be interrogated and examined.
Little known fact: Grand Central Station is actually Grand Central Terminal.
Just think of all the famous people who've been in this room. Barack Obama, the Pope ... oh, yeah, and Nicole Kidman taped the Interpreter in one of the translation rooms in there.
The best dessert I've had in New York was definitely the Patisserie Financier's chocolate mousse cake. Yes, even if you count milkshakes.
Not going to lie — the living art exhibit was thought-provoking and also completely unexpected. Take a looksy if you come to New York (and not least because you will be greeted by a couple making out on the ground floor).
I loved the personality of the building in East Village. Not far from here, there was an excellent bookshop called St. Mark's.
Seeing Wicked on Broadway was everything I had hoped it could be. No cameras allowed in the theater, so this is all you get, but you should see the play if you haven't already.
Loved the red brick townhouses of Harlem as well. Nothing says classy and urban like brick buildings stacked together.
And then there is the view of the Brooklyn Bridge. It's about as romantic as standing above fast-moving traffic gets.
My favorite shopping area was the Chelsea Market. With cupcake stores, a fun bookshop, and a fresh (very fresh) fish market, who could be bored?
... though I must say, FAO Schwartz put up a good fight by having an life-sized stuffed bear ( a plush one, not a real one).
The Flatiron Building turned out to be one of the surprises of New York for me. I didn't think it would be as impressive once I stood in front of it, but truly, the thing is skinny. It's hard to believe there are actual offices and stores there.
I also saw In the Heights with Sarah and Scott. Not bad, not bad.
... and finally, there are the impeccable views from the Empire State Building. The night we went up was so cold that there was almost no one in line, but despite near-frostbitten fingers, it was completely worth it.
New York was the perfect trip — and a lovely one if you’re into literary stuff. I came up with a little list of books to read while taking a trip through New York, and I’m going to share it with you here. Disclaimer: I have not read all of these books, thus why many of them were on my list of to-read-in-New York. Most of them come highly recommended, but I make no promises. Here’s the list:
1. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (See my review here)
2. Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster (See my review here)
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
5. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud (Thanks for this suggestion, Kyle!)
6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
9. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
10. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
If you have books to add to this list, feel free to comment and let me know!