It’s been awhile. I was thrown into a vortex of sleep deprivation and round-the-clock 24/7 commitment (more demanding than marriage). But, this post isn’t to commiserate.
This, *gestures grandly*, is a compendium of everything you need to know as a tourist in the Big Apple (Kidding, it barely scratches the surface. But it is the writer’s hope that it suffices for those looking for a quick and easy-to-skim primer on suggestions on things to do in New York City.) Forgive me, readers, if my writing is clunky, inelegant and uninteresting. I’ve not had the pleasure of reading much of note outside of work for the past year (something I’m trying to change). I hope the colourful pictures will make up for the writing.
Most cities are nouns. New York is a verb.
Oh, New York City. It is a fast-paced, no-nonsense city with bright lights and neon signs. It doesn’t smell like lavender, contrary to Rebel Wilson’s beauty-filtered image of the city in the movie Isn’t It Romantic, and the locals walk briskly, with a sense of purpose, not uncommonly with a pooch and a grande iced latte in tow. Skyscrapers line almost every inch of the city, serving as swanky offices of prestigious MNCs by day and doubling up as glittering decor that dot the New York skyline by night. During my brief period in the city, I quickly learnt two important golden rules: first, do not dwaddle, and second, do not take up unnecessary space.
We took a 5h-ish hour flight from San Francisco to New York and spent 6-ish days in the city. It was sweltering hot in the middle of summer. We tried our best to explore as much as we could. Here is what we did.
Day 1 – Flat Iron Building, Madison Square Park, Union Square Park and Hamilton Park
Flat Iron Building
Madison Square Park
While I don’t have pictures of Union Square Park or the Hamilton Park (which is located at New Jersey), I recommend visiting the latter at night. You can peacefully enjoy the view of the New York City skyline, and might even want to consider bringing some snacks and wine to accompany the view.
Day 2 – Central Park, The Met, Times Square and Empire State Building
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Empire State Building
Day 3 – The Oculus, 9/11 Memorial, Brooklyn Bridge and Top of the Strand
Top of the Strand
Day 4 – The Wilson, Moulin Rouge at Al Hirschfeld Theatre
Moulin Rouge at Al Hirshfeld Theatre
Day 5 (Rest Day) – Laundromat and Lincoln Center
We took it easy on Day 5, as our wallets were spent and our legs worn out from the consecutive days of walking.
As our supply of clean clothes dried up, and our Airbnb, cosy as it was, lacked a washing machine, we decided to hit the laundromat. Mundane as it was, I have to include this visit (even though I frustratingly was unable to take any of the trendy laundromat pictures that you see on IG), as it was my virgin visit! My travel companion was shocked to realise that I had never visited a laundromat. There’s a first for everything!
Once in, however, the attraction wanes. You go in, pay, wash your clothes, watch your clothes, take them out, place them in the dryer, watch them again and finally, fold them. On the flipside, you will be able to interact with the locals there and maybe even make friends. 🙂
Day 6 – The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, The Vessel
The Statue of Liberty
We didn’t take any pictures at Ellis Island, and didn’t stay at the museum for very long, as we were rather hungry by the time we got there and eager to fill our bellies. For those interested in America’s immigrant history, I would recommend a visit to the Ellis Island. For a period of time, it served as America’s largest immigration station and processed over 12 million immigrants in 62 years. Some also recommend the Hard Hat tour of Ellis Island’s Hospital, which we did not register for.
Although we are foodies, we prioritised visits to attractions/experiences over food. Hence, you may wish to google for good food in New York City. I do, however, have a brilliant recommendation – an app called Seated (thank you Bethany, the actress we shared a ride with!) It promises up to 30% cash back if you dine at participating restaurants, with the credits valid for use on other apps and stores such as Amazon, Starbucks and Uber. There is no registration or member’s fee. Even better, for every reservation booked through the app, Seated donates a meal to a needy child through the United Nations World Food Programme’s #sharethemeal. All you need to do is upload a picture of your receipt to the app. Shiokkk.
You’re welcome. 🙂
One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.
Much of this city is inexplicable. Its reputation precedes itself. Yes, it is occasionally and mildly, smelly, messy and densely populated. But it is also diverse – you will come across as many as 10 different languages from people of all walks of life within an hour of being in the city, beautiful – the city’s skyline is mesmerising and almost therapeutic when viewed from high above, and honest – it doesn’t pretend to hide the flaws of a city, it embraces them. Some New Yorkers have also been nothing but kind to us.
I hope you will be as enamoured as I was (as impressionable as I readily admit to be!) if and when you do visit New York City.