I was so excited to finally go to The States! I had never been there before, so I could not wait to see THE place which I know from a lot of movies and stories. We arrived in the night. After a good flight we took the taxi to our hotel. As soon as we drove into the city centre I felt like a child. So happy and so small between all these enormous buildings. Tourist as I am, I already started to film a fireman car in action out of the taxi window. To me it felt amazing, and unreal. We stayed at the Hilton, Garden Inn Hotel which is based in the city centre. Next to Broadway and close to Times Square.
Because I was overexcited we decided to drop off our luggage at the hotelroom and walk over to Broadway. Broadway?! Yes Elze, Broadway. I just could not believe it. In the distance I saw Times Square. Again, really Times Square?! Yes Elze. Sorry guys, I may sound crazy to all of you who have been in New York several times, but please just let me be ‘the child in a candyshop’ for now.
There we were, there I was, standing on Times Square. O my gosh, that felt very special! The lights, the big amount of people, the billboards and the street entertainers. After spending some time here we walked to Bryant Park. We ate a warm Belgium waffle next to the rink. A really romantic spot! We walked back to the hotel over 5th Avenue, along Rockfeller Centre. Also two things I was so looking forward to to see them in real life. Walking on 5th Avenue felt special and seeing The Rock which turned complete purple by al it’s lights was even more beautiful. Before we were off to bed, we drank a red wine at the Empire Steak House Restaurant & Bar which belongs to our hotel. Good night New York.
We stated our day at Starbucks. I took an Chai Latte, like always, together with a pumpkin patch. I have a kind of addiction for these kind of winter flavours. Must be the spices. After a walk we decided to have a proper breakfast at the famous Sarabeth’s. We took the one located next to Central Park. Not the cheapest place, but cosy and the breakfast was good! We took the Sarabeth’s lemon ricotta pancakes with blackberries. Homemade granola with honey, banana and strawberries together with organic yogurt. Toast ’n egg, a green tea and a cappuccino. Once done with this food party we ‘rolled’ to the gorgeous warehouse ‘Bergdorf & Goodmann’. This warehouse is very close to Sarabeth’s and also located next to Central Park. This warehouse Is an absolute must see especially now when Christmas is coming! They have such a beautiful Christmas department. You will find here everything, from accessories to homedecoration, perfumes, clothes, etc. After spending quite some time here, we walked to Central Park and fell in love right away!! I guess the best time to go to New York is during autumn like what we did. All the different colors of the leaves, the smell of autumn, the pleasant temperature and the sun which showed up every now and then. I loved the benches with the personalized tags on it. The lakes in the middle of the park, joggers, children playing, squirrels, etc. After a long walk we had a light vegetarian lunch at ‘The Boathouse’, a restaurant in Central Park, next to the water. We had a portobello salad and tofu, spinach, mushroom dish. All delish! After our lunch we walked on to the Upper East. I wanted to see the houses here, and I can now tell you they are pretty! Dreaming of having one! We walked over Madison Avenue, 5th Avenue to another must go, namely ‘Magnolia Backery’. I was told that they are famous for their lemon cheesecake. A foodie as I am, I obviously had to try this! We bought a piece of lemon cheesecake and a slice of peanutbutter chocolate cake. We took it to our hotelroom and ate the cheesecake there. The cheesecake was good, but not the best I ever had. To me that is still the one of Charly’s Bakery in Cape Town! Of course was visiting Magnolia Bakery for me more important. The shop is cute, pretty and always busy. We walked a lot today, but somehow you just feel like walking on, because you want to see more and more. After a quick fresh up at our hotelroom we walked to ‘Don Antonio’. An typical Italian restaurant. We ordered two vegetarian, glutenfree pizza’s. They were ok, not the best, but the place is cool. From there we walked to the Hard Rock café on Times Square to end this beautiful day with a drink.
Today we started our day with a breakfast at Lindy’s. A spot you must go. Crazy overpriced for what you get, but the place is like a movie set. Lots of famous American television stars visit this place. You can also order for example your eggs the way Halle Berry likes them the best. So stupid, but hilarious. After this breakfast we walked all the way to the High Line, over the High Line to the Chelsea Market. The High Line is again a must see! I loved it! From the High Line you have a clear vision over the Hudson River. Please read all the info about this special rail-trail here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Line_(New_York_City) Before we went to New York I of course made a list with things I really wanted to visit. The Chelsea market was one of them. Via the beautiful High Line you can easily walk there. For all of you foodlovers, GO HERE! You will get ANY kind of fresh food in a wonderful setting. We also had a quick tea again at Sarabeth’s here. After this amazing foodmarket we walked to the Meatpacking District. A arty part of New York. We decided to have a small vegetarian lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. We were so lucky because we could sit outside on the terrace in the autumn sun. After our lunch we walked around a bit and we found another great organic indoor foodmarket called Gansevoort Market! I went mad. Go here for a fresh juice! From here we walked on to Soho. Soho is So great! I felt home here. It’s cosy, lots of shops, cafés, sweet people, pretty houses, etc. Because we just wanted to be here for a bit and put our feet up after all this walking, we had a wine at ‘Balthazar’. A busy but lovely place. From Soho we walked all the way back to our hotel, at least 1,5h. On the way we ate a spicy black bean burger and a quinoa salad at a shop called ‘V Burger’. Very tasty! Almost back at the hotel, we treated ourselves with a nasty vanilla milkshake from Steak ’n Shake.
Today we planned to go to The Brooklyn Bridge. We walked to Starbucks we ordered a tea, a cappuccino, lemon cake and banana loaf to go. We grabbed a taxi from the city to Brooklyn Park (about $30). The view from here towards the skyline is seriously beautiful. We walked around here a bit more and before we went up the bridge we had both a grilled vegetable sandwich at ‘7 Old Fulton’ a restaurant right next to the bridge. The sandwich was tasty and fresh. After this we walked over the gorgeous Brooklyn Bridge. It felt again so special to finally stand on this bridge which I only knew from the movies. We walked on to Wall Street. I love the movie ‘The Wolf of Wallstreet’, so I had to see the sculpture of the bronze Wall Street Bull! And I did. Yay! From Wall Street we walked to a less euphoric place, The 9/11 Memorial. Seeing this memorial where once the two Twin Towers stood gave me goosebumps, made me emotional. For a while I could not speak. My throat was blocked. The intense sadness of what happened here is tangible. All the names of the people who lost their lives during this tragedy is very hard to look at. I wished they all rest in peace although I asked myself how? How can they rest in peace when something likes this rippes you out of life. Anyway, I feel so sorry for what happened there and what was also very intense and confrontational was to actually realize the height of the buildings by standing underneath buildings of the same height and then looking up. The fact that people jumped off these buildings because they did not see or simply had no other option. While writing this it makes me sad again.
We walked from here to China Town. On the way we ate a onion soup at Le Pain Quotidien. China Town really seems like a part of the real China. Lots of Asian people, food, shops, markets and even the street namens signs are American and Asian. It’s seems that they are really be able to live an Asian lifestyle here. I liked the big amounts of fresh, spices, ginger, veggies en fruit on the markets. From here we walked on to Little Italy. I absolutely liked it. Since we already had a dinner plan, we decided to go back here another day to have dinner in one of these typical Italian restaurants. We now took a taxi to our hotel, took a shower, got dressed up and went for dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant ‘Maze’. The dinner was good, not the best. We definitely expected more. The place was loud, the food was served too fast, the waiters did not tell anything about what we had on our plates, nor the wine and the portions of every course were too big.
After this dinner we took a taxi to a sky bar called ‘The Sky Room’. A good place to go out with a fantastic view over the city. The cocktails were also good! We tried 8 of them! Then we went back to the hotel. How? We have no idea.
We became American. And like how Americans do that, we started our day at Starbucks. Ordered a tea, a cappuccino, a pumpkin loaf and an hammingbird cake. Today’s plan was to go to Rockefeller Centre. We actually planned to go here a few days ago, but we saw on the weatherforecast that the sky would be clear blue all day today with lots of sun. We went to the top of the Rock. The view from here, with a clear blue sky, is just breathtaking. O man, I loved it. I felt so thankful seeing this on this beautiful day with my traveling company. After enjoying this view, taking panorama’s and selfies, we had lunch somewhere in the Rockfeller building. I took a big, healthy, vegetarian salad. I needed this after yesterday evening! 😉 We took a taxi from here to Battery Park. We lied there in the sun for a bit and after that we took the boat to the Statue of Liberty! The Manhattan Skyline you see as soon as you are a bit away from the land is gorgeous! There is was ‘The Statue of Liberty’! Again, again and again… Finally seeing this felt so special. This also gave me goosebumps! I am happy to not turned into a goose during this trip. From Battery Park we walked back via the financial district. After the boat trip we were a bit hungry, so we ate a veggie burger. We walked over Broadway and Canal Street. Canal Street is a street where you will find lots of legal and illegal selling’s on the street. Imitation bags, watches, clothes, etc. On Broadway I found such an amazing clothing shop! I bought a pair of overknee boots, a gorgeous black classy jumpsuit, a red dress, a black dress and a nude dress. I could even buy more, that’s how much this shop fitted my kind of style and taste. The shop is really affordable and I think you fashionlovers should defenitly check it out! The shop called ‘Necessary Clothing’ and their website is: www.necessaryclothing.com We walked on to Little Italy again and we had some very tasty vegetarian dishes at a restaurant called ‘Da Gennaro’.
Goodmorning Starbucks, tea, cappuccino, blue berry muffin and pumpkin muffin. I still love you. Since we were about to fly back to Holland in the evening, we spent a bit of time in the city centre. We had lunch on Fashion Avenue at ‘Paris Baguette’. This place is to die for. They have the most beautiful looking pastries, breads, salads, sandwiches, cakes, macarons, etc. We took an avocado-cheese sandwich and an avocado-crab sandwich. The place is not at all overpriced and the quality is very good! After this we went to Macy’s, another enormous warehouse. There was a big sale, so we did some more last shopping here. After Macy’s we walked to the Flatiron building since we only saw this during the night. I think the architecture is great! At the opposite of the road you will find an fantastic shop called ‘Eataly’. This is the largest Italian marketplace in the world, comprising a variety of restaurants, food and beverage counters, bakery, retail items, and a cooking school. A true must see! You should go here to have a some finger food, a real Italian icecream, lunch or dinner. After this we walked back to the hotel, drove to the airport and flew home.
New York you were stunning and again I am really grateful to have been able to do this trip! God bless.