After 7 years, I finally had the chance to go back to New York City. I booked our plane tickets for only four days due to different work schedules; October 1-4. I already knew that, technically, three days was not going to be enough to get to see everything since Manhattan island is enormous. But, since it’s been so long since my last visit, I didn’t mind.
I originally decided on getting a car rental to be able to get around the city, but I was reminded that finding parking and driving around the city is a huge headache, so, I decided that the best thing was to travel by foot or by taxi. I had set a budget for myself for everything I would be spending these four days; food, souvenirs, tours, general shopping, and transportation. Since it was three of us, we had decided on splitting the taxi fare three ways, not too bad right? Or, at least, that’s what we thought.
Upper West Side
Since purchasing the plane tickets was a last minute, impulsive decision, we didn’t have enough time to plan ahead. I decided to settle and book a hotel near Central Park on the Upper West Side since room rates tend to increase with a close booking date. The first day we arrived, we just decided to walk around and grab some food and do some shopping. Since it was the first day, since we had to wake up early to catch our flight, we decided on taking it easy and just have a day of leisure.
Brooklyn was definitely the furthest we traveled since traffic was at its peak at the time we headed out there. I was in the neighborhoods Williamsburg and Greenpoint, visiting the area and a couple of coffee shops, both named Bakeri. Even with two of the same locations throughout Brooklyn, each a couple of miles away from the other, I managed to go the wrong one. Since we were pretty close to the location I intended to visit, I decided to visit the other location since we are already in the area. I loved them both and yes, I did order something in both locations.
Dumbo is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, just across lower Manhattan off the Brooklyn Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge. Dumbo stands for Down Under The Manhattan Bridge… the more you know! But it was definitely one of my favorite areas overall, it is calm without leaving the city life out of it. We headed straight to the famous Washington Street between Front and Water Street where you can get a shot of the Manhattan Bridge and Empire State Building, with the cobblestone streets and brick walls to add that aesthetic to your photo. When we arrived there was, not to exaggerate, over 50 people there.
Caution: It is a functioning, one-way street with vehicles constantly driving through. When taking your photos in the middle of the street, stay alert for oncoming traffic. A warning from someone who witnessed someone cause traffic because of his failure to watch for incoming cars.
After taking a series of photos, we decided to walk around to see the area, and turning the corner we found ourselves in Brooklyn Bridge Park. From here you are able to see the New York skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Jane’s carousel. We spent a couple of minutes here admiring the beauty of what is New York until we got hungry. Deciding since Shake Shack is based in NYC, we decided to compare the taste to the locations on the west coast, as if it would be any different. But the one located near us had the line wrapped around the building, so instead, we decided to head on with our plans and find one close to our next destination.
Here we visited the World Trade Center, the Oculus, and the 9/11 memorial. Last time I was in this area, they had just started the foundation of what is today the Freedom Tower. It is such an amazing piece of architecture and it was such a bittersweet moment to be able to visit the vast and beautiful memorial.
The Oculus is the center of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, serving as a subway station. You can also get some shopping done and grab a bite to eat. It is a beautiful architectural masterpiece that serves both locals and tourists a great purpose while, at the same time, is fascinating to look at.
Midtown consisted of lots of tourist sites and buildings. We first arrived at the Flat Iron District to capture a few shots of the Flat Iron Building. This is where we first grasped a taste of exactly how busy the streets of New York can be.
Since we were a few blocks from Time Square, we decided on walking the distance to do some shopping there. Luckily, on our walk there, we saw Joe’s pizza. With the line out the door, we decided to do some shopping around Time Square, because what’s visiting New York City without doing some shopping there. After many hours and money spent, tired and hungry, we decided to walk out from Time Square to catch a taxi. Again, passing by Joe’s Pizza, we finally decided on trying it since the line did not seem to die down. I can honestly say that it is one of the best pizza’s that I have yet tried. We loved it so much that we went in three separate occasions during our time out there. Nothing like eating a slice of New York pizza the size of your face.
The very last thing before heading off to the airport was visiting the Rockefeller Center to go up to the Top of the Rock. Here we got to see a 360-degree view of Manhattan. Although we missed going up on the day with the best weather, we still got to see a hazy view of New York City from the 67th, 69th, and 70th floor. Nothing beats seeing the city in a new and higher perspective.
Since booking the flight, I had started to plan and save as much as I could to be able to spend without any hesitation. I originally had an itinerary of all the places we would visit on each day, but nothing went as planned… of course! I was quite disappointed during parts of the trip because of it. Since the time zone in the east coast is 3+ hours than the west coast, the short time we were out there didn’t allow us to settle and take full advantage of the whole day. After the first two days, I came to the conclusion that nothing really goes the way you plan because if something is slightly off, everything else will fall behind with it. Most of the places we visited were spontaneous and I really appreciated it way more that way. And even though I didn’t get to visit everything on my list, I really had a wonderful time being in the city and seeing everything I did. Hopefully, there will be an opportunity in the near future to be able to see more of what the city has to offer.
I felt that this post was long enough to still add all of the photos from the entire trip. I tried to make it as short and to-the-point as best as I could. Since I have lots more photos that I definitely want to share, 3500 to be exact, I will be making a separate blog post dedicated to the rest of my photos. This will give me some time to edit the few that need a little work done. I hope you enjoyed reading, and don’t forget to like, comment and follow. 🙂