Yes, I know. I completely dropped the ball on blogging in detail about my New York trip. I’ve mentioned in the few blog posts I’ve managed to scrounge up lately that I’ve been feeling very busy and overwhelmed these past few months, but I’m working on changing that soon because I have a few ideas on how I’m going to start managing my time better (which I plan to blog about). But for now, I plan to share some highlights and pictures from the rest of my trip!
Things We Did
- 5th Avenue: We did some serious window shopping on this street full of expensive stores we can’t afford to shop at. A highlight here for me was having “breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
- Seth Meyers Monologue Rehearsal: When we were planning out trip, we both agreed that we would love to do something SNL-related, like see The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, or even better, SNL; however, all the Jimmy Fallon shows were booked up during the time we were going to be there and the new season of SNL wasn’t starting until the day we left. Luckily, we were able to score monologue rehearsal tickets to The Late Night Show with Seth Meyers; we were walking around the NBC gift shop in the Rockefellar Plaza and an intern approached us and asked if we wanted to see the rehearsal. I thought he was joking at first but quickly realized he was dead serious, so we of course said yes! We came back a couple hours later and met with a bunch of other random people who had also been given the free tickets. Together we went up to the floor where Seth Meyer’s show stage is located, which happens to be right next door to the SNL stage. (!!!) As we walked toward the stages, we kept thinking about how many famous people must have walked down that hallway (SNL cast members, all the celebrities who have hosted SNL, and all the musical artists who have performed on the show). During the rehearsal, we got to sit in the audience area and watch Seth Meyers read aloud the jokes that had been written for that night’s show; whichever jokes that we laughed at the most would make the cut and be used for the live show. We were only up there for about 30-45 minutes, but it was still such a cool experience to see an SNL celebrity and walk down that hallway leading to the SNL stage. Definitely a highlight of the trip for me!
- Top of the Rock: After the show, Chris and I decided to see the view from the top of the Rock since we were already in the building. It was around sunset by the time we got up to the top– perfect timing to see views of the city.
- Central Park: Central Park is huge and you should probably set aside a whole day if you want to see and do everything there is to experience there. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a whole day to devote to it, but we still spent a full morning there. I really wish I had gone running there (I brought my running shoes and workout clothes), but we did so much walking, I had little energy left to wake up early, much less wake up early and run.
- Empire State Building: I have to say, I loved going to the top of the Empire State Building better than the top of the Rock. The ESB is just so classic New York; it has a 1920’s, art-decco look and feel to it. Plus I think the view is better. One other thing that the ESB has that the top of the Rock doesn’t is free audio guides so you can learn about what you’re looking at when you check out the views.
- Grand Central Terminal: We saw it and took the subway from it, but that’s about it! I thought it was kinda cool that it has an Apple Store inside of it.
- 9/11 Memorial: So beautiful and touching! I saw it the first time I went to New York five years ago, but it was still Ground Zero at that point and under construction. This time it was around, it was a completed, perfect tribute to the people who lost their lives on 9/11.
- Wall Street: We walked up and down the streets and tried to imagine what it must be like to work there and have lots of money. So not our lives!
- Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty: OK, while researching for our trip, I read a lot of websites and heard from a lot of people that you can see take the Staten Island Ferry for free and see the Statue of Liberty up close. Well, I feel duped because that’s what we did, and I don’t think the view was that great. I mean, we saw it closer up than we would had we just looked at it from Battery Park (what I did last time I went to NY), but it still didn’t seem close enough. If I could do it over again, I’d pay the $18/person to see it up close.
- The Met: If you go to New York, you have to go to at least one museum, and we chose The Metropolitan Museum of Art for ours. It was amazing, but so overwheming at the same time. It’s so big, we didn’t even get to see the second floor before they closed at 5:30pm. That museum definitely deserves a day to get through it all.
- Harlem: I know what you’re thinking, “Why on earth would you go to Harlem?!” Because I wanted to see the Savoy Ballroom Plaque, a significant piece of Lindy Hop history. Lindy Hop used to be a big part of my life as a dancer, so it meant a lot to me to see the place where Lindy Hop was born.
- Brooklyn Bridge: Definitely a good way to get out of Manhattan for a little while and explore another part of New York! We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, had lunch, then hung out in Brooklyn Bridge Park for a few hours before heading back to Manhattan.
- Chicago on Broadway: This was my choice of Broadway show since Chris chose Book of Mormon. Chicago is one of my favorite musicals, so I was super excited to see it on Broadway in New York. The best part was we got orchestra seats for 50% off thanks to the TKTS discounted ticket stand in Times Square. Score!
Where We Ate
- Carnegie Deli: I’d heard of this place before and had always wanted to try one of their massive sandwiches. Well, I have to admit I was not impressed at all. I found it to be touristy with over-priced food that wasn’t very good. Big disappointment.
- Burger Joint: One of Manhattan’s best kept secrets, Burger Joint is a small, dive-y restaurant located in a fancy schmancy hotel. It’s vibe is so different from the hotel’s you’d never in a million years guess it was there. We loved the food, too. A little pricey for burgers and fries, but still worth at least one trip while in Manhattan.
- Korea Town: Forget Chinatown, we went to Korea Town! And I’m glad we did, because we found some of the most authentic Korean food we’ve been able to find since moving back home from Korea over two years ago. So amazing!
- Eataly: This place is a must if you ever go to Manhattan. It’s basically an Italian food mecca full of gelato, pizza, pasta, wine, cheese, charcuterie, and basically all-things Italian food.
- Doughnut Plant: Super cute little gourmet donut shop located in the Chelsea neighborhood. I love donuts, so this place made me happy.
- Street Food: My advice for ordering street food at a vendor in New York: ask for the prices of the food you want first, and don’t have any maps out indicating you’re a tourist. A vendor charged us $20 for this hot dog, skewer, and a bottle of water. Chris and I didn’t think anything of it at first, but then we realized $20 is A LOT of money for street food. We came to the conclusion that he could tell we were tourists, so he took advantage of us and told us the food cost more than it really did. LAME.
- Joe’s Pizza: Naomi, one of my favorite bloggers who also happens to live in New York, said Joe’s Pizza is one of the best pizza places in New York, so Chris and I made it a point to go there. It was definitely delicious, and so cheap! Probably one of the cheapest meals we had in NYC.
- S’MAC: As soon as I heard about S’MAC, I put it on our list of places to eat. A restaurant that serves nothing but mac and cheese? Sign me up! It was damn good mac and cheese, too. Though it turns out my eyes were bigger than my stomach when I ordered. The medium size portion ended up being too much food and I was stuffed afterward. Being stuffed is fine and all, but not when you have a lot of sightseeing and walking to do.
- Ristorante Rafele: While wandering around the West Village one night trying to find a nice place to eat, Chris and I stumbled upon Rafele’s. This place was one of my favorite restaurants we visited on the trip because it wasn’t touristy, the food was delicious yet not too pricey, and the service was good. Fun fact: the staff were all Italian!
- Grimaldi’s: Chris and I went here for lunch in Brooklyn after walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. This place is definitely popular (we waited in line for 30ish minutes), but the pizza is worth it. Grimaldi’s pizza was my favorite pizza we had during the trip.
There’s still so much more I could say about our trip to New York, but I won’t go into even more detail. Overall, our trip to New York was so fun, tiring, but fun. We saw a lot, did a lot, ate a lot, and walked a lot in the process. Because of this, I felt like it was a successful trip and we made the most of our time there. We did joke at the end of the trip, however, that we now need a vacation from our vacation; New York is a busy place and not the place to go if you want to relax and do nothing. So now we are talking about going to Mexico for our next vacation– hopefully for my 30th birthday!
I’m so glad I got to go to New York again as an adult because I experienced so much more this time around. Plus I got to experience it all with my best friend, which made it even more amazing. I love that Chris loves to travel just as much as I do! I’m already looking forward to our next adventure.