New York, the city that never sleeps. It’s loud, overcrowded, and overpriced, but I absolutely love it. There’s so much to do that it seems like you could live there for years and still not discover everything. This was my first time going in the fall, and it was still warm enough to walk outside to see what the city had to offer. Here are a few places I went to.
Upper East/West Side
As a former and rather avid watcher of the TV show Gossip Girl, I was so excited to see the Upper East Side, where many of the characters were based. The Upper West Side is known as “new money,” while the Upper East Side is “old money.” I didn’t have a chance to explore this area, but I noticed a very prim and proper group of young boys playing soccer in matching sweaters and dress pants, which I could only assume were from a private school nearby on their recess. It’s a different type of lifestyle, for sure.
I did meet a friend for brunch in the Upper West Side, and it was one of the best brunch experiences I’ve ever had. At Good Enough To Eat, we sat outside on the surprisingly warm day drinking mimosas and people watching all the locals rush by in their busy days. The pumpkin French toast topped with cranberry compete was the best French toast I’ve ever eaten.
When I was in Paris, I thought the mile-long Champs-Elysées was impressive. While they may not speak French here, 5th Avenue in Manhattan is impressive in that it’s six miles long! There’s a ton of shopping to be done. It became the place to be in the mid 1800s, when the affluent Astor family had a mansion here. Wealthy socialites from all over the city hoped to get a personal invitation to the elaborate parties held here, and slowly started to move to the area. As more people started moving here after the Civil War ended, 5th Avenue started filling up with apartments and shops. Besides every shop you can imagine, some famous landmarks along the Avenue are St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Plaza, and the Empire State Building.
One of my favorite parts about New York is how convenient it is to take the subway. Traffic is horrendous no matter what time it is in the city, and the few times I had to take an Uber I’m pretty sure I could have walked faster than it took me in the car. Subways are the top transportation choice for most locals for this reason. The maps are easy to read to see what stop you need to get off at to get to your destination or transfer to the next line. No matter what time of day, it seems there’s always a group of people waiting for the subway, so I never felt unsafe. I did see my first rat down there though, and it was huge. It was just one more item to check off my “when in New York” check list.
Dreaming to get away to Europe, but can’t afford it? Step into the Little Italy neighborhood and pretend you’re there for an afternoon. If you like pizza (and who doesn’t?), you must go to Lombardi’s. It claims to be the first pizzeria in America, and has thin-crust pizza with light sauce and a few dabs of cheese. This is the closest American pizza I’ve had that reminds me of the pizza in Italy. It’s so famous, you can barely see the walls with all the pictures of celebrities who have been here in the past.
As much as I love New York, I miss the scenery we have in Seattle. Central Park is a perfect solution to the city’s lack of greenery. It’s filled with joggers getting in a run before work, young mothers socializing as they push their babies in strollers, and businessmen taking a break from their hectic day at the office. I wanted to grab a coffee and sit here all day. There’s a sense of calm that I didn’t find anywhere else in the city.
Have you been to New York before? Where’s your favorite place to go?
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