Chris offers suggestions on how to make the best of a trip to the Big Apple.
I’m finally home from New York City. The ride home in the car took longer than expected with lots of traffic and construction in Pennsylvania. It was worse for my mom and sister as they became carsick. We left NYC around 11 a.m. and got home about 10 p.m.
So let’s recap my five days in NYC.
Day 1: Arrived around 5:30pm, went to eat in Little Italy. Had a fantastic, authentic dinner at Da Nico’s Ristorante. Walked around Little Italy and SoHo after.
Day 2: Rode bikes around 17-19 miles of the island of Manhattan. Rode through Battery Park, South Street Seaport, one half of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Hudson River Trail Greenway (West Side of the island), Central Park, and the streets of New York. Relaxed after that and went to eat at McSorely’s Pub, the oldest in NYC.
Day 3: We visited the World Trade Center site, 9/11 Memorial, both Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Church, Wall St. and had lunch in one of the oldest neighborhoods in NYC. It was the best pizza I’ve ever had. Took the subway to watch the Yankees game.
Day 4: My mom stayed back while my dad, sister and I took the subway across the river to Brooklyn. We found the apartment where Biggie Smalls grew up in. After that we went back to Manhattan and had sandwiches from Katz’s deli. Definitely the best sandwich I have ever eaten in my entire life. Then we went shopping on 5th Ave for a bit. We saw Rockefeller Center, and some of the awesome stores up and down 5th Ave.
Day 5: On the last day, my mom and sister split up from my dad and I, so we were able to do the things we wanted. We started at Times Square in the morning. My sister and my mom went shopping, while my dad and I went to look at some buildings. We went inside the New York Times Building, with me wearing my Michigan Journal shirt. Then we went to Grand Central Terminal. One of the best buildings I have ever seen in my life. We finished up by walking all the way down Broadway back to our hotel. I was also able to stop at the Flatiron Building in the Flatiron District. On our last night, we went back to Times Square to see the lights and sounds of the most famous place in NYC.
New York City was my favorite vacation I have ever taken. I love big cities, so this was right up my alley. If I had to go back, I would in a heartbeat.
If I did go back, here’s what I would do different and what I would recommend to you if you ever went to NYC.
We stayed in Chinatown. Although an interesting area of Manhattan, the people there would completely ignore you and act like you didn’t even exist. It does give you an authentic feel of actually living in another country though, with a lot of markets and odd looking fruits right on roadside stands. Our hotel was quiet, very nice and big enough for four adults. I would stay in the same hotel. I wouldn’t stay in Chinatown again.
I wouldn’t bike NYC as a whole again. It definitely wore us out more than we imagined. I would bike around the greenway as that would be the best way to see parts of Lower Manhattan. I would not bike all the way to Central Park. Take the subway to Central Park instead and walk around or even have someone else take you around the park. I would also bike through NYC’s streets again, just to say you did. A bit scary for sure but an experience.
The 9/11 Memorial and World Trade Center sites are a must-do. A Yankees game is historic, but I don’t know if I would go back. I might try a Mets game or a Rangers game depending on the time of year. Shopping on 5th Ave is also a must-do. Being able to window-shop and even buy stuff on America’s most high-end shopping area is cool.
Grand Central Terminal was amazing, I would go back in a heartbeat. I would also bring a Michigan Journal with me to the New York Times Building, just to say that a Michigan Journal has been there.
You don’t even need to ask about Times Square. Go. Both at night and during the day, because it is completely different.
So, if I could do anything else in NYC, I would go up in Rockefeller Center to see the Manhattan skyline. Coney Island would also be another point of interest. Getting inside the Empire State Building at the very least, would be done too. If I had more time, I would also check out Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
As for my recommendations if you came to NYC for five days, definitely stay on the island of Manhattan if you have the money. There’s nothing like being in the thick of the city. Don’t stay in Chinatown. Check out the buildings, take a day to just walk around the city, see the sights. Eat at places that look like they are busy. Eat at places that either have an A or B in their window (sanitary conditions and great food). Don’t drive in NYC, it’s nuts. Take the subway or a taxi anywhere. Go to Central Park, shop on 5th Ave and go to Times Square. 9/11 Memorial and WTC site are a must visit too.
There is so much to do and see in NYC that it’s impossible to do it all in just one trip. I’m definitely going to miss NYC, and I cannot wait to go back.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my blog about my vacation.