travel diary: welcome to new york.

They say New York is the city that never sleeps…. and after this weekend, I can confirm this notion without a shadow of a doubt. My weekend getaway in the city was filled with hearts racing on sunset-lit bridges, stomachs filled with one too many slices of pizza and exploring city streets with no particular destination in mind.

After travelling Europe in May, a seed was planted in my soul that kept aching and aching for more travel. I tried to overlook the signs for as long as possible, but the dreamer in me knew that New York was calling my name. I wasn’t entirely sure what would be waiting for me when I arrived, but the twinkling city lights, bustling taxi-dotted streets and the rush of the subway blowing wind through my hair definitely satisfied the adventurer within me who was yearning for the magic of a new city. Despite the short duration of the trip, we managed to cover an impressive amount of ground and I’m thrilled to bring to you a rough guideline to some of my favourite stops along the way!

Brooklyn Bridge/ DUMBO

Our first stop of the trip was DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge. I knew this area was going to be beautiful but it quite literally blew me (and all my expectations) away seeing it in person! We went right at sunset totally by chance and the memory of the city lights slowly flickering on as the sky darkened from shades of pink to black is something I’ll never forget. DUMBO is just under the Brooklyn Bridge and has gorgeous views of the entire skyline – especially at night! Highly recommend both these spots.

Places to eat: This November night turned chilly quite quickly so we wanted food as soon as possible…. which meant we stumbled into the first restaurant we saw. Luckily, the Italian restaurant Forno Rosso (327 Gold St) had the most amaazing pizza and it was also happy hour soooo luck was clearly on our side this night.

Soho, Manhattan

SOHO was definitely my all time favourite neighbourhood we explored during our visit and was a place I could totally imagine myself living! It somehow felt so much quieter and low key in comparison to the other more metropolitan areas we explored. The cast iron buildings and unique architecture are definitely worth a stroll through and pretty much every store you can imagine lays within this district so the shopping is beyond amazing!

Top Of The Rock

This has got to be the most BEAUTIFUL lookout in the entire city of New York! I am such a sucker for a good vantage point and this spot most definitely takes my breath away every time. If there’s anything more astonishing that New York close up, it’s looking at New York up 69 floors in the sky. I love that from the Top of the Rock you can see the Empire State building – I know this is another great lookout spot but the building itself is so iconic that I’d rather look at it from afar than be on it and not have it in view.

Rockefeller Centre

Although it wasn’t QUITE Christmas yet during our weekend away, we could definitely feel the holiday spirit of the city coming together. Rockefeller Plaza was garnished with sparkling lights, an enthusiastic fundraising Santa Claus, eager skaters ready to break in the rink and Mariah Carey’s voice echoing Christmas carols into the streets. The energy was definitely there, but we were unfortunately just one weekend early to when the iconic Christmas tree gets lit and the whole display comes into full swing. Guess that just means I have to go back, right? 😉

The MET

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is definitely a fun spot to spend some time on a rainy day or a cozy, indoor way to explore the city during the colder months! My recommendation would be to check out what exhibits are set up before going to make sure you see everything you want to! My personal favourite are all of the fashion exhibits (but is that really a surprise?) Also, the MET is a great place to re-create some seriously epic high school Blair Waldorf Gossip Girl photos, am I right?

Fifth Ave

There’s no time like Christmas to explore Fifth Ave! The shop fronts were all ornately decorated for the season and we literally spent hours in awe just walking up and down the streets marvelling at the extravagant displays of tinsel wrapped skyscrapers, festive decor and twinkling lights. If you’re a fan of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the new Blue Box cafe on their fourth floor is an absolute must-see! You won’t be disappointed, trust.

Central Park

OK so this one may be an obvious but Central Park is definitely a must-see when in New York! The great thing about Central Park is that it’s stunning during every season. For us, the leaves were still changing colours but the brink of snow was just around the corner which made it even more beautiful. There’s something so breathtaking about seeing a backdrop of skyscrapers overhanging a sea of changing leaves. Definitely take a stroll through Central Park while you’re in the city! (..and a carriage ride during Christmas would absolutely make the experience even more magical)

 

…. and that’s essentially my trip! We may not have slept more than 8 hours total for the entire weekend, stood stranded in the pouring rain on multiple occasions and drank more coffee and tea than humanly possible, but if there’s one thing I learned this weekend it’s that taking chances and trusting the universe will always be rewarded. For a long time travelling intimidated me, especially because I have arguably the worst sense of direction in the world, but this weekend showed me that taking risks, trying something new and stepping out of your comfort zone is the best possible way to grow. And even if you end up completely lost and things go wrong … which admittedly they did along the way, what’s the worst that could happen when you’re in New York? Just head on over to Tiffany’s, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there 😉

I hope you enjoyed loves! And happy American Thanksgiving to all my fellow readers across the border!

xo Olivia