DAY 1 – TASTE OF THE CITY
Last week I wrote about the day-by-day itinerary I made, where I could see all the info I needed, when I needed it. It lived in my notes app and gave me peace of mind. My first day was filled with travel but since I left Brussels in the morning and arrived in New York in the afternoon, it didn’t feel that crazy. I wanted to make the most of my first hours in the city, I felt excited and energized to finally be in New York. I freshened up, put some makeup on and off I went.
It was a good moment to visit MOMA (on a 10 minute walk from the hotel) since it’s free entrance on Friday afternoon. I didn’t spent too much time because there were too many people but I enjoyed the vibe. Then I strolled around on 5th Avenue and I admired Central Park. I wanted to be flexible with eating options the first evening since I didn’t know how I would feel, and I was happy to find a Five Guys near my hotel. And why not visit the Empire State Building on the first evening? It felt amazing to see the city by night and it made me very excited about what was ahead. It also took me by the largest Sephora in New York which, I had. to. visit. – and it’s open ’til 11PM. Crazy!
DAY 2 – SHOPPING IN SOHO
“Let’s get it over with”, must have been one of the things going through my mind when planning the second day of my trip as a shopping day. It had to be done and why not on a Saturday, when I could enjoy SoHo’s vibe? I had my wishlist, ticked it off and had an amazing lunch at Jack’s Wife Freda. I lunched late so I didn’t eat in the evening and I enjoyed Wicked, literally across the street of my hotel. It was an amazing (and exhausting) day.
DAY 3 – BOAT TRIP
On Sunday, I took the boat over to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was raining so I skipped the Liberty Island tour but I enjoyed Ellis Island to the fullest. Tip for my fellow Belgians, visit the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp first. It’s where the journey started for many people who arrived on Ellis Island. It gives you a unique perspective on everything these people went through.
Coming back from the boat trip, Wall Street was only a 10 minute-walk away. I strolled around for a bit and went on to Ground Zero. Naively, I thought there was only one of those big holes in the ground that represented both towers. Imagine my surprise, documenting every inch of the monument and stumbling up on the second giant hole in the ground a few meters further. It’s impressive. This place impacts you, no matter what.
I had an entry ticket to the 9/11 Memorial with my CityPass and I spent hours down there. It’s not a museum, it’s an experience. One that I would recommend everyone going to New York. I needed something with a lighter undertone, coming out of this underground spot. So I dove into the Occulus. Is it a shopping mall? Is it a monument? Who knows. It’s stunning and I loved being there.
I found myself with more time than planned so I took the subway to Grand Central Station and I walked from there to the hotel. I had some time to freshen up and I ate at NOMO Kitchen, a great place in SoHo. After too much wine, I took the subway to Times Square and found myself spending way too much money at Sephora after midnight. Oh New York…
DAY 4 – A MUSEUM A DAY
I had planned to go and visit the Top of the Rock this morning but after my late night shopping adventure – that didn’t happen. I had a nice and small breakfast on the go when walking to the Natural Museum of History alongside Central Park. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and it felt awesome to be near Central Park.
I got lost over five times in the museum, up to the point where I was feeling claustrophobic. After a while, I just took the nearest exit and was so happy to be out in the sun again. It was a nice-to-see and maybe I go back there one day with kids, because I imagine it’s way more fun for them as for adults without a Ross-factor. I went to Levain Bakery and had a delicious, very non-healthy lunch before hopping onto the Subway to Greenwich Village.
It turned out to be one of my favourite neighborhoods! I loved walking around the small streets, going to Magnolia Bakery to get a cupcake and eating it at the High Line. I strolled around for hours, it was wonderful. Before going to the rooftop bar at the CitizenM, I made another quick stop in SoHo to pick up some more Glossier for friends.
DAY 5 – BROOKLYN
I started off the day with another stroll through Central Park that took me to a different museum. The Met, this time. And it turned out to be my favourite place! I spent a lot of time discovering all the different rooms, sculptures and paintings. Next time I come here, I want to ask an art student to guide me around. I imagine you’ll discover so much more. I had lunch nearby, walked through Central Park to get to the nearest subway station that could take me to Brooklyn.
It was such a beautiful afternoon, 28*C and not a cloud in the sky. I strolled around Brooklyn, sat on a bench in Brooklyn Bridge Park staring at Manhattan – and for a moment, I never leave. I took a watertaxi back to the other side, where I could take a subway that took me straight to my hotel to freshen up and go out for dinner.
DAY 6 – LAST MINUTE SHOPPING
The weather wasn’t great this morning but I still had one epic visit on my list: Top of the Rock! It was a nice to do this on my last day, a great moment to say goodbye and take in how New York made me feel. I did some last minute shopping (yes, Sephora panic shopping, if you wish) and prepared everything to have a relaxed flight back home. Going to New York by myself was nothing less than epic and it made me realize how lucky I am to be healthy and to have so much freedom. Gratefulness is all that remains.