And here it is – the second part of my New York City guide. Before you start, tip number one is: wear comfortable shoes! We wandered around so much that step counter on my phone went nuts. We walked between 15km and 20 km every day! Considering we used public transport a lot, this is shocking. But I loved every minute of it and hope to come back soon.
Even though yellow cabs, Uber and Lyft (which works same as Uber and may even be better!) are everywhere to been seen, the fastest way to get around the city is the Metro. The weekly Metro card which gives you unlimited travel for 7 days, and costs only $30. A bargain, compared to London. The other positive thing is that Metro runs 24/7.
Where To Shop
What Goes Around Comes Around
Experience both old and new at this SoHo boutique, popular with stylists and celebrities. Whether you look to the past for inspiration or are decidedly fashion-forward, What Goes Around Comes Around will provide clothing, shoes and accessories that are stylish and timeless, even if the prices are very contemporary. The shop also produces and markets its own vintage-inspired collection.
351 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013
Even though they ship to UK now, there is something in actually seeing and trying products before buying so I decided to go to the physical Glossier shop while in New York. They have a showroom on top of their offices on Lafayette Street down in Soho and it’s pretty cool. It’s always busy so you might end up in a queue outside but it moves pretty fast. All the products are out for you to have a play with, plus the place is Instagram gold.
123 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013
If you are into beauty products make sure you also visit Sephora on Union Square which is massive and Barney’s if you’re after some luxe and harder to find brands.
With a couple of stores across Manhattan (one on the Lower East Side, and one in Soho), Reformation is without a doubt one of my favourite shops in the city. With their infamous mini (and maxi) dresses, rad denim, accessories and cute t-shirts in store, I’d dedicate a good bit of shopping (or browsing) time in here…
39 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
Like all of the Sézane locations, the NYC store is designed to look like the apartment of that stylish girl, and between the chic little cafe in front, the gorgeously styled built-ins, and the herringbone floors, well, I wouldn’t mind moving right on in! I don’t know about you, but I do 90% of my clothes shopping online these days because most stores just aren’t fun or well-designed, so it’s really nice to see a shop that makes you actually want to come in and browse.
254 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012
What to See
If you’ve never visited before then there is a long list of tourist spots to tick off : Central Park (it’s huge, take a half day for this), Times Square, Empire State and Flat Iron Buildings, Grand Central Station and The Met Museum, to name a few. Here are some of my favourite spots:
To be honest, we didn’t want to visit the Liberty Island and famous statue because of the crowd and a feeling you can see it better from the land. But we had an afternoon free so we decided to give it a go. Seeing Ms. Libery in person was pretty cool indeed. Also, Ellis Island Museum is super interesting but if you are not into that I suggest taking the ferry to Staten Island. It’s free and on your way there you will have a great view of the Statue of Liberty even without stopping on the islands. If you want to visit both of the islands you will pay $18 and spend at least an hour in queues.
No matter what, avoid going up the Empire State Building for the view. There are so many more better views than that. The first one is Top of The Rock. We paid around $50 each for Sun&Stars ticket, allowing us to come in the morning and then again for sunset. I have to say, the morning session was nice, not to busy. We arrived around 8:30 and there were no queues at all. In the evening it became a bit hectic and it was very hard to even see the sunset or the lights turning on.
The other option is to visit One World Trade Centar Observation Deck, 6th tallest building in the world. Entrance is $34 and you get a complimentary drink with it (beer, wine or prosecco)
DUMBO & Brooklyn Bridge
Situated a little across from the Brooklyn Bridge, and just across from the Manhattan Bridge (DUMBO = Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Dumbo is a neighborhood boasting pretty beautiful views of the Manhattan Bridge as well as some cute places to eat (Grimaldi’s and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory) and shop. Tip: you can get here from Greenpoint by taking the boat which was the best decision we made. You will get the best views of Manhattan and Brooklyn but also their bridges.
While you are there, make sure to walk the famous Brooklyn Bridge. The best times to walk are early mornings or evenings after sunset. During the day it can become a little bit crowded. It’s worth it though as the views are stunning.
You will have a pretty hard time finding a park as unique as this anywhere else in the world. The High Line is a one and a half mile long suspended green space that allows visitors and residents alike to enjoy plants and car-free space deep within the city. It was built on the raised platform of a former railroad, and the old architecture mixed with the fantastically maintained gardens makes for a memorable experience. There are several great passages and overlooks throughout the park that provide for interesting city views and, if you’ve worked up an appetite, there are even a few food vendors!
There is nothing quite like exploring a great food market in a new city and though New York has several, Chelsea Market reigns supreme. You can get everything from wine, spices, and popsicles here as you roam through the stalls. If you really want to experience the ins and outs of the market, you can even take a food tour to learn (and sample) more.
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
This place is so chilled you will forget you are even in New York. We had a long stroll from High Line all the way to Washinton Square. On the way we passed the famous Magnolia bakery, as well as Carrie Bradshaw’s and Friends apartment.
Washington Square Park is a people watcher’s paradise. Musicians, sunbathers, skateboarders, dog owners, chess players and NYU students all hang out around the historic fountain in the shadow of the arch, often used as a location in films and televisions shows.
NoLIta (for North of Little Italy) might have many of the same features as nearby neighborhoods SoHo and Little Italy, but has a distinctly charming vibe all its own. The area’s cozy cafés, stylish boutiques and bar scene make it a destination. Visit to browse the independent designer shops and sit streetside at cute restaurants, lounges and coffee shops.
We were staying in Williamsburg but if you are not, make sure you come and explore. Williamsburg sits across the East River from Manhattan’s Lower East Side and it’s one of Brooklyn’s most popular and exciting neighborhoods where you can explore the lively arts, music, and boutique scene here. The mile-long stretch of Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg is lined with art galleries, bars, and secondhand boutiques that have made the area popular with the hipster set.