Hey guys! I am back from my weekend in New York and am going to Vienna tomorrow. So in between unpacking and repacking I wanted to dedicate some time to posting this New York diary while the memories are still fresh. So apologies for the longest post ever ☺
If you’ve been following me for a while now, you probably noticed that I get VERY excited when I am in New York. It is my favourite city in the world and I would happily choose it over any tropical destination, even if I only get to spend a day there. I don’t know why I am this obsessed though. It must be the movies and the books that created this image of New York in my brain. I always thought that this is the place where all dreams can come true and so when I visited it for the first time it lived up to my every expectation. Now, 4 visits later, and I am as excited about it as when I saw it for the first time (you would know this if you’ve seen my Snapchat lately).
So when I got invited by La Compagnie airline to spend a weekend in New York, I didn’t need to think twice!
La Compagnie is a French airline that offers an affordable business class flights from Paris and London to New York. Their planes have 74 lie-flat business class seats which, trust my word, are amazing! Being surrounded by such an impeccable service, great food and in-flight entertainment while being able to get as comfortable as you do on your own sofa is just a game changer! And so, 7 hours later we landed in New York.
The weather this weekend was pretty amazing, with lots of sun and hot temperatures. So I packed a lot of light clothing and actually traveled with just a hand luggage. The trick is to plan your outfits in advance ☺.
We stayed in Viceroy Central Park New York hotel which as you can imagine from its’ name is located really close to the Central Park. The hotel has such a stunning interior design and is so very New York. After checking-in in the evening we went up to the hotel’s The Roof bar to enjoy some Friday night cocktails and sparkling views of Manhattan. Feeling a bit jet-lagged we were all in beds rather early that night.
And now I’ll switch to a diary-styled story telling to make sure I remember to include everything I want to starting with the Saturday morning and our first full day in the city. I will also list all of the places I went to, to give you an idea of how much you can do in Manhattan in just two days.
Saturday, June 18th
One good thing about being jet-lagged in New York are the early mornings! I woke up at 5.30am feeling fully refreshed and was walking in the Central Park by 6.45am already! Now, Central Park is an absolute MUST destination to experience. And I don’t think there is anyone who would want to miss out on these famous views and vibes. I’ve been to Central Park during both summer and winter and loved it every time. (Even though I would recommend coming to New York in the warmer months as it’s a city that you will want to walk in). Every time I am in the park I squeak a little sound of excitement and have a constant smile glued to my face. I smile because of how many people are walking and playing with their dogs there, because how busy it is with people who are running and doing other physical exercises and because of how pretty it is.
Little tip: if you want to feel like a true New Yorker, bring some running shoes and go for a morning jog in the park.
By 8.30am I was already back to Viceroy Hotel for the breakfast and ready to start our weekend activities.
North Cove Sailing School
At 10.30 am we arrived to the North Cove Sailing School which is all the way downtown and is part of the Brookfield Place shopping and entertainment centre. We were in for a 2h sailing trip on the Hudson River circling the Statue Of Liberty and viewing the sites from the water (and lots of tanning). The experience was really cool, guys! You get to see the famous Manhattan skyline from the water on one side and the Statue Of Liberty on the other! Both views are incredible and you just can’t leave New York without seeing them!
Little tip: if you want to actually visit the Liberty Island you can always take a ferry there. It’s worth doing Ellis island at the same time too which is the place where over 12 mln immigrants arrived to between 1892 and 1934 and you can visit the actual building and learn everything about it.
Lunch in Amada (Brookfield Place)
Amada is a rather new Spanish tapas restaurant in the Brookfield Place and is just 5 minutes away from the sailing school. The food there was so so so good! We ordered a big selection from the menu and I think my favourite dishes were the Wagyu sirloin, ensalada verde with shrimp, diver scallops and crab-stuffed peppers. Like in all tapas places you need to order a few things to share as the portions aren’t big.
After lunch we decided to walk to the High Line which used to be an old railroad and now is turned into a popular pedestrian walk (25 feet above the ground) with the great views of the downtown Manhattan. It basically is just another way to see the city from the different angle and is a great hang-out place. You can go up or exit the High Line at any time and it’s completely free of charge.
After the walk we stopped at The Butcher’s Daughter for some healthy and refreshing drinks and decided to walk back all the way back to the hotel. Now, walking in NY is the best way to experience it. We walked all the way from Chelsea up to the W57th street in under an hour (20 000 steps to be precise, haha). It’s impossible to get lost there as you just need to go in a straight line until you reach your street. You literally pass all Manhattan’s famous areas and buildings on the way.
Dinner at Kingside Restaurant
After walking for the majority of the day and sailing AND being up at 5.45am , I was pretty tired by the dinner time. Yet food always excites me no matter how tired I am! We had a reservation at the Kingside restaurant inside our hotel and had a great meal there. I went for a tuna tartar to start with and a big steak for the main. Portions in New York are huge so I was stuffed and happy J
Sunday, June 19th
Next day I was in the Central Park at 7am again. I love to start my days in New York like that. There is no time to waste on sleep there and I don’t think anyone would want to do that. I also like staying close to the park and then head downtown later in the day. Taking a morning stroll there with a cup of tea and a bagel just feels so right!
This morning we skipped our breakfast as we were heading to a brunch later on and needed as much stomach space as possible for that.
Brunch in the Rainbow Room
The Rainbow Room restaurant is located on the 65th floor of the Rockefeller Plaza and is the most stunning place you can possibly have your meal at. With the iconic views of Manhattan (only 3 floors lower than the Top of the Rock) you get the best experience of both the city and the food. The Rainbow Room is posh and requires a smart dressing code and I doubt you would regret dressing up for that. The menu offers the buffet-style and a la carte choices with an entire ‘Bacon Buffet’ section to choose from. I ate a lot! I just had to try almost everything from the buffet as well as lobster béarnaise form the menu and topped that with a selection from the desert buffet… So full but so happy! The atmosphere in the restaurant is very nice, with the live band playing 1920’s tunes. This place isn’t cheap but is worth a splurge!
Top Of The Rock
Top Of the Rock was our final group activity of the trip and it’s an incredible way to finish your weekend and lock the views of the city in your memory. This observation deck is located on the top of the Rockefeller Centre and provides you with the 360 degrees views of New York. You come up there and immediately see the Empire State Building in front of you on one side and the entire Central park on the other. And you feel so much joy! You do! Going up high to see the city like that is probably one thing that you HAVE to do while in New York. You can decide not to go to the Statue of Liberty or Central Park but you can’t miss these views!
And so after being done with these afternoon activities, I have spend the rest of the day walking downtown and back up to the hotel again and had my flight back late in the evening.
I was so amazed at how much we managed to do and see in these two days without any rushing at all. I even got time to revisit my favourite Mexican restaurant ‘Mole’ on Jane Street for some guacamole and have a browse in the Chelsea Market.
Just a few other of my favourite places to see and visit in New York if you get a chance:
-Empire State Building
-Perry Street and Magnolia Bakery (for the Sex and the City fans)
-Metropolitan Museum of Art
-5th Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman
-All of the downtown (West Village, Chelsea, Meatpacking District, Soho, etc)
-Financial district (and stop by the Century 21 shop while there for the cheap designer deals)
-CATCH restaurant for the not so cheap but best seafood I ever had
-Mexican restaurants (they are amazing in New York)
I am sure I will keep remembering more places to add to this, but for now that’s what I wanted to mention.
Now book that New York trip and enjoy!