I’m pretty sure every person has one place they’ve always wanted to visit. For me, that was New York.
So, when we were casually browsing holidays and came across an incredible deal to visit the Big Apple, we booked it then and there. And then had to wait for 9 months. Agony.
Not that those 9 months of waiting time were wasted. For me, I browsed Sephora haul posts and videos, watched a live webcam of Times Square with my mum, and worked out how many outfits I could make work with elasticated waistbands to help me with all the food I was planning on eating.
And for Alex, it turned out those 9 months were spent finding the perfect engagement ring and asking my family for their blessing to propose, so I suppose he made good use of them, too.
The main thing about New York is that there is just so much to do, and I don’t just mean the touristy landmarks. Walking down every street and seeing the hustle and bustle of everyone around you is incredible, so even when you’re not technically doing anything, you still feel like you are as you take it all in.
We managed to squeeze a lot of walking into the four days we were there, so I’ll split this into a part 1 and part 2 of particular highlights.
We were lucky enough to stay in a gorgeous hotel a few minutes walk away from Times Square, so this is somewhere we walked through every single day. It’s always full of people, and on one day we were majorly hustled by some guys all trying to sell their mixtapes. A few of their comments are definitely too rude to put on here, but they made us laugh and we bought two.
Every building is covered in bright lights, and our bus tour guide told us there is a law that says a percentage of a building has to be covered in advertising. I can’t find this stat online so I’m not sure if it’s true, but I was convinced by the fact that adverts are literally everywhere you look.
Times Square is at its most amazing at night. It is as bright in the night as it is in the day, and after we’d been to see Chicago on Broadway, it was pretty breathtaking walking back through.
One World Observatory
A question I posed to everyone I knew who had been to New York was whether to go up the Empire State Building or the Rockefeller Centre. I was still undecided when we got to NYC, but after seeing One World Observatory and learning it was the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, my mind was made up.
To get to the top floor (that’s floor 101!), they have the most amazing lifts. The entire inside is filled with screens, and as you shoot up, you begin by seeing the way New York would have looked millions of years ago, and then quickly fast forward through time. By the time we reached the top, I was excited to see the real view for myself.
Although it wasn’t the clearest of days, the distance you can see from that high up is ridiculous. We took some incredible pictures and used one of their guide screens to pinpoint areas of New York we definitely wanted to visit; this was super handy as we went to One World Observatory on our first day and could plan from there.
This was by far the most sobering experience of our trip. It is difficult to put into words how I felt when I was there, but I have to say that it was done very tastefully and allowed me to get a new perspective of the tragedy.
I remember exactly where I was when 9/11 happened, but I was only 9 years old and I didn’t really understand the gravity of what I was seeing. It was really interesting to learn more about it now I’m older, and there were guides stationed around the memorial telling stories of different parts. One part that stood out were the ‘Survivor Stairs’ that managed to remain unscathed throughout 9/11, and only were damaged in the removal process afterwards.
Outside, there were waterfalls with the names of terrorist attacks carved into marble. It is custom to put a white rose in the name of a person on their birthday, and it was a pretty impressive site by itself.
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