In September 2017 we spent two weeks in New York City. Two weeks is plenty of time to explore Manhattan and its surrounding neighbourhoods. I will share with you the highlights of the trip and some tips.
We landed on a Saturday evening right on time to spot a nice sunset and have a glance at the big apple skyline from the window of our plane! Got our MetroCard and went get some sleep at our AirBnB located in Brooklyn as we planned to go to a Gospel worship in Harlem next morning.
The alarm clock rang at 5:00, quick shower, breakfast and direction the First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC). Warm welcome and very good first worship at 07:30 AM which I totally recommend before crashing in Central Park for a picnic and a good long walk. The park is big enough, the same size as Hampstead Heath in London but you still feel the presence of the city around you as the Sky scrapper are still visible anywhere you are.
The first week was about checking in all the Landmarks and make use of our CityPass. The CityPass is a good way to enjoy the main attractions such as the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island museums skipping the queues. It’s about a hundred pounds up front but well worth it when you consider the hassle of queuing in NYC. The main drawback is that you need to use all of your vouchers within the next 9 days, that’s the reason why we packed all the main landmarks in a row.
My favourites places on the CityPass were the (1) American Natural History Museum were I got amazed by the mineral collection which is very well presented even though not well documented and (2) the 9/11 Museum for how a tragic event has been turned into a very beautiful memorial, I especially appreciated the database with the biography of the victims including photographs and videos, this is to me the future of death instead of simple burial or cremation as it gives a virtual continuity and provides with an interactive memorial.
The second week was another pace, it was about exploring the surrounding areas of the Queens, Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Brooklyn. I would recommend to spend and afternoon wandering in Williamsburg and find a nice place to have a drink and food. There is also a flea market under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn which is totally worth it for second hand clothing, eyewear and street food. New York as a lot to offer but if there was only 5 things to do in NYC I would pick these ones:
- Walk the Chelsea High Line after grabbing some food at the Chelsea Market
- Go for a Gig at the Showman’s Jazz Club in Harlem
- Walk on Brooklyn Bridge and a sunset from the Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Wander in Soho and have a drink at the Little Rascal in Nolita.
- Walk in Central Park after a worship at the FCBC in Harlem
If you want to know more about the exact planning you can download the PDF we made here.
We booked a AirBnB in Brooklyn to have an idea of how life would be if we decided to move NYC one day. Conclusion is that if you want to live in NYC you are better to (1) live close to your working place to avoid dealing with the MTA maze, (2) get a bike, a pollution mask and a bunch of U-Locks or (3) negotiate your salary to afford Uber and other Taxi systems. Anyway, if you to make the most of your trip get the NY CityPass, a 7-day MetroCard and download CityMapper on your smartphone. Enjoy local food and brewed beers like the Brooklyn Lager !
As always, you’ll find all my photos and itinerary here:
And the full photo gallery here: