17.12.17

FIRST TIME IN NEW YORK - 5 MUST-DO'S

We booked our city escape in New York a year prior going away so you can just imagine how excited we were when we were finally on the plane! Our trip was around 7-8 hours one way on a chilly end of November. Our plane journey pretty much involved lots of sleeping, watching movies, eating and playing 'flappy dunk' game on our phones.

When thinking about New York and speaking to those that have made their visits already everyone told me 'you're going to love it' and especially that they could really see themselves being able to live there - so I had very high hopes for this, expecting our lil' London views but x5 bigger.


1. Times Square

We had over 10 days to enjoy New York, it was a festive time of the year so everyone was already putting on the lights, there was Christmas songs playing live on the streets, Rockefeller Christmas tree was currently being built upon our arrival. Times Square is a little obvious and kind of felt like our Piccadilly Circus x10000. All I could think of is 1. WOW 2. The amount of money these brands had to pay to be up there on such a large scale (can you tell I work and breathe in marketing) and 3. The electricity bill. But for real, it was pretty mind blowing. It was 8pm when we went and it was so light because of all the screens - definitely a must visit when in New York.


2. Shopping

From what I heard Shopping in US is not 'what it used to be' not that I would know what exactly that means, but we went during November and hey - Black Friday was on! Some of the places I would recommend is New Jersey Gardens shopping centre - all shops are tax-free so you can shop without a worry of tax on clothing and accessories. 

Macy's had an A-amazing Christmas section right on the top floor where we felt like in one of them 'Home Alone' stores buying all the Christmas decorations with the best discounts. Clothes wise I was super dissapointed in Macys, I was after a birthday dress and there was no chance - seemed quite 'old fashioned' and not much current trends. Whoever said it was 'like Selfridges' its not, more like our good ol' Debenhams I'd say. 

Another one we also visited was the Westfield store (near the 9/11 memorial, which is also another must-visit place), I went to Victoria Secret for some discounted PJ's / lingerie and the guys made a visit to Apple. My personal opinion on shopping in NY is that - WHY DON'T THEY JUST ADD THE TAX AUTOMATICALLY?! Like everything you buy e.g would say £17 you go to the till it randomly becomes that little bit more because of tax, I personally found it very confusing to count my money and it kind of just messes it up in your head a little, everything including eating out you must add extra 8.8% to the bill. Not the end of the world of course, but a different experience to when shopping in London.


3. Eating Out

Now let me tell you this, you must make a visit to IHop. I mean, you won't want to come here everyday but oh will you want to go and experience the food! We full-on ordered fresh pancakes with blueberries and cream with chicken wings and waffles and fried egg and hash browns - for one person aka that was my order on our very first day ha. There was unlimited coffee / soft drinks and all portions were huge!  

If you're after something a little more fancy, Lee booked us in at 'The view' restaurant for my birthday and it was a beautiful and special place. Expect great food, friendly service and a view that turns at a 360 degrees throughout your stay - literally. The restaurant was on a pricier side, but yet again the service and tax that is included in the bill just makes it super awkward to leave a tip for the person who served you - it almost makes you not want to :')


4. Brooklyn Bridge


We were staying in Brooklyn so this wasn't too far from us at all, the closest comparison to London would be our lil' Tower Bridge but of course on a much larger scale. Apparently it can take up to an hour to walk through it all. We walked for around 10 mins just to get closer - that's where we took a couple of our photos, however it is so busy there was so many people crossing it. It was a perfect  festive evening with a sunset, another 'breather in - breathe out and smile' moment.


5. Rockefeller, Top Of The Rock


This is where the Christmas tree was built upon the 5th day of our stay, it was finally ready and lit-up a few days before where you could ice skate in front of a stunning festive view. I would say it's beautiful however a little pricy for what it is, I believe in total for skating + using their skates it come to around $60 each and we just ended up not going in the end, but took beautiful photos around! Right outside this place there is a 'Top Of The Rock' which is a building that takes you all the way to the top and you get to see the full New York sky line which was one of them pinch-me moments, what a view.

Suitcases - Neopulse collection by Samsonite

Other few obvious ones would be to visit The National History Museum, Statue of liberty and of course Central park! I would also recommend to go watch American Football or a basketball game - we had so much fun at the Jets game and the Knicks basketball match.

Now let's get back the question, would I want to live in New York? 

I don't think it's very me (watch me end up living there in 2 years time when Brexit kicks me out jk lols). Growing up in a village in Lithuania with nature all around, now living in London - I think it might just be a little much for me to live in. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved our visit and it's a beautiful city as an overall, being able to speak the language is also a huge huge plus and I will be back. 
However it felt very busy and overwhelming with so many people and it was very difficult to find a peaceful spot. Maybe that is because I work in a busy fast-pasted environment in London already and when going back home we live in a more peaceful area, whereas I never felt that 'calmer' vibe, ever ha (why do I sound like an old lady). Of course, I'm not your best judge as I've only been once, but for first impressions - it's a city I recommend to visit at least once in your life for sure.

Hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful.

Love,
Skai x