New York City Travel Diary Part 1

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

It's finally time for me to write about my time in New York - the last city on my trip. It feels a little surreal to be saying that because I've dreamed about visiting New York for years. Strange to say I've actually been and seen it all!

I got up really early to get the bus from Boston (I actually didn't hear my alarm over a fan so big thanks to Leda for waking me up so I didn't miss the bus and to her mom for getting us Dunkin' donuts for breakfast xoxoxo) and arrived in New York at 11am. My friend who I was staying with wasn't able to meet me but thankfully his very kind friend came and met me off the bus and chummed me up to his flat so that I didn't get lost. I had a big suitcase and had to take the subway so I'm really glad I didn't have to do that by myself. 

After I'd gotten settled I started making arrangements to head out into the city. My academic little brother, Chris, was kindly letting me stay with his family in upper west side Manhattan. It was a great location because it was so easy to get to on the subway but was much quieter than the Times Square/Central Area. I'd also bought a New York Pass which got me entrance to so many places. It was expensive but I made the most of it and the value of all the things I did was higher than the price I paid so worth it in the end!

My flatmate Mark was actually in New York for the Friday when I was going to be there! So we arranged to meet so that we could say we've hung out on two different continents. So the first thing I did was go to meet Mark at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. This was probably one of the biggest queues I encountered in New York but totally worth it. You can see the memorial for free but we also went into the museum. This was really emotional. I didn't expect it to effect me as much as it did. I would seriously say that you have to go and see this if you're visiting New York. We only said a handful of words to each other the whole way around the museum - it was just so moving.

After leaving the memorial we walked along Wall Street. Which honestly wasn't the most interesting thing to see but just another thing that I could say I'd done/seen. And look at how big that flag is. Those American's aren't messing around. After meeting up with the friend I was staying with we headed back up to the upper west side to have dinner at Xi'an Foods - a popular Chinese place.

After dinner we went on a walk through Central Park. This was really nice as it was a little cooler as the sun was setting and it was nice to go for a walk and not feel like I was melting! We walked around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and got to see the Belvedere Castle as well. Not quite Edinburgh Castle but a nice sight none the less...

As a Gossip Girl fan how could I go to NYC and not visit the Met? I had no real intention of actually entering the Met as to be honest art isn't really my thing. I can appreciate it but considering I only had a limited time in New York it didn't quite make the cut. The museum was surrounded by people taking photos of themselves sitting on the steps - I clearly wasn't the only Gossip Girl fan there! It's a beautiful building and if I were to return to the city I probably would make a visit. 

With my New York Pass I had entrance to both the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock. One of my friends recommended to do the Empire State at night so that you can see all the lights and Top of the Rock during the day so that you can get nice photos of the Empire State Building. Which made sense to me so I followed her advice. 

It was around 9pm when I arrived and I queued for about an hour to get up to the observation deck. Honestly, I didn't really enjoy my time at the top. It was really busy to the point it made me feel really claustrophobic. It was also really warm even though we were so far up and it just made me feel odd and uncomfortable. I had a much better time at Top of the Rock which you can read about in part 2 - coming in a few days. 

This concluded the end of my first day in New York. Considering I had to get up really early to catch the bus in Boston I was pretty exhausted. By the time I got home I was really tired and fell straight asleep. 

On Saturday morning I went for brunch with my friend Chris at a place called Good Enough To Eat in the upper west side. We both had banana and walnut pancakes and they were amazing but there was so much. Swear I only ate about half of my food and I was absolutely stuffed. The restaurant was roughly halfway between his apartment where I was staying and the American Museum of Natural History which was where we headed next.

Using my New York Pass I got in for free and my friend Chris gets in free being a New Yorker so a good way to spend the morning. I'd heard this museum was massive but I wasn't quite prepared enough for the scale. I loved it here. It was amazing. I stayed for about 2-3 hours but could easily have stayed all day. If I were to return to NYC I'd make sure that I had a whole day just to commit to this museum. My favourite exhibits were the 'People Of' exhibits where you get to learn about different cultures from around the world etc. I also loved the dinosaurs of course! All the dinosaurs in the Scottish museums are casts so it was really cool to see some actual skeletons.

I'd planned to go straight to the Intrepid Museum after I left the Natural History Museum but on the way there I walked past the Circle Line Cruises centre and discovered I could go on a cruise with my pass. So I booked myself onto the 4pm Landmark Cruise. I love boats/being by the water so this was the perfect way for me to see the city. Unfortunately this only left me an hour at Intrepid so I had to make the most of it!

I was in New York over Memorial Day weekend so a naval ship was actually docked in New York and lots of sailors were walking about. So what a great weekend to visit an air, sea and space museum! The Intrepid is an aircraft carrier that was used in WW2, the Vietnam war and the Korean war. It's now permanently docked in New York and is a museum. It was actually really interesting. My grandad was in the navy and it was something that I think he really would have enjoyed. Unfortunately though I didn't have time to see the space shuttle before I had to head over for my cruise.

I'll be publishing the second part of my travel diary on Saturday at 10am! Here's a sneak peak of what I saw from my cruise!

Hope you've enjoyed this post! Have you ever been to New York? If so leave me a comment and let me know what was your favourite thing.

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