New York State of Mind

Back in September I took a spontaneous trip to New York City with my dad. With some quick research we found an inexpensive hotel in the heart of Times Square, The Hilton Garden Inn… we were actually the first guests to stay there as the hotel had officially opened a few days prior. After hopping a quick flight from ORD to LGA, we were in one of our favorite cities.

Hello New York City!

Hello New York City!

When you download and sign up for Uber you get your first $30 for free so we signed my dad up and got a free ride into the city. There really is no easy way to get from LGA to our hotel.. multiple bus and train transfers, no thank you!

Our first stop in NYC was Times Square. Mind you we’ve been to NYC more times than I can count, however, our hotel was a block away so we felt the need to visit the over-crowded tourist destination.

For lunch we had to stop at our favorite street vendor: The Halal Guys. We’ve been coming to this exact street corner just for this food for over ten years and they never disappoint. There is always a long line but the wait is worth it!

We had to walk off our big lunch so we ventured over to Central Park. Central Park is so visually stunning and always a must-see whenever I’m in New York. You can wander around for hours and never come back to the same spot.. it’s that big! The skyline popping out over the trees is magical! Any movie buff will be able to spot loads of films that have been shot here. In fact, a few years ago when I was cutting through Central Park we bumped into Gossip Girl being filmed!

On our way out of Central Park we stopped at Ladurée, known for their macaroons! After snacking on our dessert we came across the funeral for Joan Rivers.. what a sight to see! Everyone was there, including every news outlet possible, which made wandering around Park and Madison Ave nearly impossible. We stopped in front of her apartment building to get a look at the memorial her fans were creating.

If you’ve never been to New York City, I highly recommend going to Top of the Rock. From the rooftop you get some of the best views of the city and the most stunning views of Central Park!

For dinner we went to Little Italy, naturally. After wandering up and down Mulberry Street we decided to go to Angelo’s.. any Real Housewives of NJ fans out there? This restaurant is owned by Teresa and her hubby. The food was beyond amazing! Highly recommend checking out Angelo’s if you’re in the mood for some authentic Italian cooking.

After dinner we explored Washington Square Park, an area I’ve never been to and would love to go back and spend some time during the day. They have a massive arch and the Empire State Building peaks through it.. beautiful!

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Bright and early on day 2 we took the subway to Brooklyn so we could walk the Brooklyn Bridge back into Manhattan. Having never done the walk across the bridge, I’m happy we finally ticked this off our NYC list. Our entire walk I was expecting to bump into lonely boy Dan Humphrey, but sadly that did not happen.

The World Trade Center was quite close to where the bridge ended in Manhattan so we walked on over. This area still gives me instant chills every time I pay my respects and visit the memorials. There is always an eerie calm that washes over the tourists here and it’s so peaceful and somber. If you’ve never been, this area is a must see. I first came here when I was about 14 and to see the progress made from then until now is amazing. This was my first time seeing the current waterfall memorial and it is beautiful.

Our last stop in NYC was Strawberry Fields in Central Park. I have always loved coming here. I remember there was a homeless man with a dog called Mary Jane (how appropriate) who would arrange fresh flowers daily around the ‘Imagine’ engraving on the ground. He wasn’t there this time, but there were still plenty of musicians eager to get their chance to play some Beatles and John Lennon music for the crowds.

My quick trip to New York in September was heavy on the tourist attractions, however, I’ve got my list of items that are a bit less crowded for my next visit! As always, restaurants are at the top of my list.. I’m thinking Cipriani and Le Relais de Venise l’Entrecote next time, just to name a few!

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