When we started dating, Erik and I, we talked about all the places we wanted to visit. New York was on the top of his list, him claiming it to be the best place on earth without even having been there. It is more meat on the bones claiming that after a visit, so surely we had to go.
For Erik's birthday I got him that trip to the big apple. Awfully generous some might say, but seeing as it was a present I got to enjoy as much as him (ok, maybe he enjoyed it more than I did when looking at the bank statement), it was totally worth it.
The hotel we stayed at is called Z NYC Hotel, which is located in Long Island City, very close to Roosevelt Island. I get the appeal of staying in Manhattan, sure, but for us the location was great. It is walking distance (if you like us enjoy walking) to Manhattan and the hotel also offered free shuttle bus in to Manhattan. Plus it was heaps cheaper than any hotel I could find at the same standard in Manhattan. The only fault with the hotel I'd say was the hotel breakfast, not much to brag about.
Our feet were hurting after the first day. We were sure that we must’ve wandered most of Manhattan, but tracing our route on a map we figured we had only been walking a rather small amount of Manhattan. Man, that place is HUGE! The shuttle bus dropped us off close to the south east corner of Central Park and given the lovely sunny weather, what better place to properly start our New York experience? We walked around there a couple of hours, thinking we’d seen most of it but of course we hadn’t. A huge place like Manhattan needs a matching huge park. From there we made our way down towards midtown and Times Square.
The next day we visited Ground Zero which was quite special. I think everyone who is old enough to properly remember the event, remember it so well it almost seems impossible that it is 17 years ago! I think they have created a lovely memorial that honors the victims well, it was quite emotional seeing all the names of the people who died inscribed into the bronze panels edging the Memorial pools.
Whilst in the financial district we of course had to go by Wall Street, which we did after a visit to the One World Trade Center. We made our walk down to East River and stopped by Pisillo Italian Panini on the way to grab each our sandwich and then by Starbucks for some seasonal Christmas Lattes. We enjoyed our lunch by the riverbank.
I had found Pisillo Italian Panini on Tripadvisor, where it was ranked #3 of 9640 restaurants in New York! It was good, but... I would not rank it as the third best restaurant of all there is in New York. I guess I was expecting a little bit more WOW, instead of the "that's alright" response that I had.
We had no intention of jumping on a ferry and go see the Statue of Liberty, but when walking past the ferry tours we figured it would be a shame not to. Our feet were hurting from walking so much, so a little sitting down wouldn't hurt, plus it would give us a ride up Manhattan. It was kind cool though seeing the Statue of Liberty up close in real life, so I don't think neither of us regret that. We rode the ferry up the Hudson River and got off somewhere close to midtown.
Another rather touristy thing we did whilst in New York was to go to a musical. I love movie musicals and have always wanted to see more on stage productions of musicals. I had only been to one musical before, Wicked, which was brilliant. Erik and I bought tickets on the day and decided upon Chicago. This was a musical I had no previous relationship with. I have never seen the movie and I didn’t even know what it was about. It was good, but then again I am not hard to please when it comes to musicals.
The weather was nothing but superb whilst we were there. We went mid November and I had researched the typical November weather, which apparently could be super cold and horrible or warm and awesome. Luckily we got the latter.
During our trip to New York, we had one proper night out. We started off with a lovely dinner at Buddakan, ranked as #4 out of 1063 asian restaurants in New York on Tripadvisor. The restaurant itself was dark and gloomy, yet intimate and warm. I felt proper fancy having a romantic date there with my love. We started off with some drinks and then shared a bottle of red during dinner.
After food we continued our night at a “secret” gin bar called Bathtub Gin. We had a couple of cocktails first, before sharing a bottle of champagne. Before we could even finish the champagne, I was out of it (and I think Erik was rather wasted by then as well), so we gave the rest of it away to some random guy celebrating his birthday (I think) and took an Uber back to the hotel.
The following day was the only day on our trip where it was raining. And like everything else in New York, the raindrops were massive. But that was ok, because this was also the day we wanted to do the least amount of activities, seeing as we both could feel the aftermath of the night before. We barely managed to make our way to an American Diner for a greasy breakfast.
We finished our stay in New York with dinner at Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn after a recommendation from a friend. There we enjoyed a massive, tasty steak with creamed spinach and fries (if I am not mistaken (it has been a while)) on the side. Very tasty.
All in all we had a great trip to New York and it really was a city worth visiting. Everything was more or less as I had pictured it; big, grand and American. I loved that and would not mind going again someday. We were there for only a few days, so it would be fun going back and explore the parts we didn't have time for this time around. It might just be the best place on earth, but we prefer living in Stockholm and visit NYC as I don't think Erik and I are the type of people to really take advantage of living there.
Until next time, Renate.