Una settimana a New York

7 days, 103 km on foot, so many images in the mind seen in movies and a myriad of junk food eaten with the excuse of doing so much movement… so begins the story of our week in New York!

Period: 16th-23rd August 2019
Flight: Emirates (perhaps the best I’ve ever traveled with)
Hotel reserved by Booking: Citizenm New York Bowery —> Hotel chain in which we go often, we find ourselves well, very youthful and technological, but tiny rooms! This in particular wasn’t in a beautiful area because there were many homeless around, but otherwise very convenient for visiting the whole city.


Documents needed for the trip (from Italy):

  • Passport
  • ESTA (you can request it here and it costs 14 dollars)

Unnecessary but strongly recommended documents:

  • Travel insurance (we did it with Axa, but luckily we didn’t need it so I can’t judge)
  • Choose an attraction pass to spend less and skip the ticket lines! There are several, we preferred to do the Build your own (in which you already choose the attractions you want to do) because we had clear ideas, but there are others that cost a little more in which you pay in general a number of attractions and then you choose there which ones to visit. We have included in the pass: Madison Square Garden tour, Yankee Stadium tour, ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Guggenheim Museum, view from the Top of the Rock and Metropolitan Museum.

To be able to organize a perfect itinerary you need a lot of planning, we have divided the city into zones and decided, before leaving, what we would see every day even considering the closing days of each attraction. Then all the plans were turned upside down due to weather and days of games at Yankee Stadium and my organization went in the wrong way, but that’s another story!

This is the map I created with Google Mymaps divided into attractions, food and shops (obviously the things we didn’t want to see, such as the natural history museum, etc., are missing, so just take it as a starting point to organize yours):


FIRST DAY

The first day was the one in which we walked the most, we got up early and started from the area of ​​our hotel (Bowery) to reach Madison Square Garden, passing in front of the famous Flatiron (pictured right).

Arriving at Madison Square Garden, we booked the first tour available by showing the Go City Card app with our pass inserted and we spent just over an hour admiring this arena in all its spaces, accompanied by a super passionate guide. It’s famous for being the scene of basketball games, hockey, but also of concerts. The tour is very complete, it allows you to have a view from every height of the arena and also shows the changing rooms.

 

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After the tour, we had lunch with a fantastic Shake Shack burger (the first of a long series during the week!) and we continued our walk to the majestic New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal. Inevitable a photo at the Cafe Pershing Square, which you will surely recognize if you have seen the film Friends with benefits with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis.

Then we went to the Rockefeller Center to book the climb to the Top of the Rock for the sunset, again using our pass. We preferred this over climbing the Empire State Building to get the crazy view of New York with the latter in the center. View priceless, but with  the rush of the sunset time you can’t enjoy the full experience.

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Leaving the Top of the Rock we saw from outside the Radio City Music Hall and we also had the strength to make a run in Times Square to see the square lit up by mega advertising screens, beautiful!


SECOND DAY

On the second day we started our tour at Hudson Yards, in particular with the Vessel, the new honeycomb construction inaugurated in March 2019. It is a structure with 80 panoramic terraces and 2500 steps to reach them… entry is free, just frame a QR code at the foot of the work and register online to download the ticket. We didn’t go up, after walking 18 km the previous day we had our legs in pieces! From there passes the High Line: a park built on a disused part of an elevated railway. We covered it all up to the Chelsea Market.

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In the afternoon we visited Little Italy, that is in Mulberry Street, with a snack break to taste the famous mini cheesecake of Eileen’s Special Cheesecake that didn’t disappoint at all! And we spent an hour looking at every single ball in a store where it’s Christmas 365 days a year 😂.

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In the evening we had dinner in a very “instagrammable” Mexican restaurant, but very spicy!! Tacombi Nolita

In general, I recommend eating only in places that have A hanging out because it means that they have passed the surprise health check by the Department of Health and Hygiene of New York, considering that bars, restaurants, but also fast food like Mc Donald’s or coffee shops like Starbucks, undergo these checks. Here is the map with the classification of all restaurants in New York, if a restaurant hasn’t hung out any letter (A, B or C) or even “Grade pending” (awaiting trial) it means only that it has not yet been checked.


THIRD DAY

On the third day we woke up at dawn to be at the ticket office for the Statue of Liberty boat around 08:30. In fact, despite the pass, for this tour you have to queue at the ticket office inside Castle Clinton and then the queue for security checks (airport type). Fortunately at that time there was practically no one and we passed very quickly. On our return from the tour around 12 the two queues were kilometers long!! 
The tour includes a visit to the island of the Statue of Liberty, including the museum, but not the climb on the pedestal or crown, for which you have to buy a separate ticket many months before, to find availability. Included in the pass, on the other hand, there is also a visit to Ellis Island, the entry point for all immigrants who landed in the United States and who were subjected to various physical and mental checks before being able to obtain, or not, permission to land in Manhattan.

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Back in Manhattan, we visited the Wall Street area, we saw the famous bull surrounded by a thousand people for a photo, we had lunch at Luke’s Lobster with two sandwiches with lobster and crab and we headed to the Century 21 department store for some shopping. Then we reached the 9/11 Memorial, we didn’t go to see the museum because I honestly didn’t feel it, and we photographed the Oculus of Calatrava that is an architectural work with the function of subway station that includes within it also shops.

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Back in the area of ​​our hotel, we walked between the streets of Soho, Nolita and Chinatown. Don’t miss the entrance to Basement bar: at first glance it looks like a Coca-Cola fridge, but in reality it is the bar door!

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FOURTH DAY

On the fourth day we spent the morning visiting the Yankee Stadium, but on the journey by subway we read that we would pass near Columbia University and why not to stop and buy a sweatshirt from the university?? So we made a mini stop at the campus! Seb’s words were: “Beautiful! I wouldn’t have studied anyway, but at least I would have had a fantastic garden to pass the time when I didn’t go to class”🤦‍♀️ 
For the Yankee Stadium tour instead we showed our pass as usual at the ticket office and after 2 minutes we had the admission ticket. Don’t bring large cameras or GoPro, because we were forced to pay 20 dollars to put them in a shop locker because otherwise they wouldn’t let us in! Here you find all the objects that are forbidden to carry inside the stadium. The stadium also has a completely dedicated Hard Rock!

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In the afternoon we took a walk in Central Park, returned to see Times Square more calmly and had dinner at Planet Hollywood.

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FIFTH DAY

We started the day with some excellent Clinton St. Baking pancakes (don’t go on the weekend because the queue is already long at the opening in the morning) and on the way we also saw the Katz’s Delicatessen made famous by the movie When Harry met Sally… 

The rest of the day we visited the two museums we set out to see: the Metropolitan Museum of Art (THE MET) and the Guggenheim. We also wanted to visit the MoMA, but unfortunately it was under renovation during this period (it will reopen on 21st October 2019). The first one really got us excited, crazy about the part about Egypt with a room with a temple surrounded by water and the exhibitions about haute couture clothes and rock music, while the second one we liked only for its architectural structure, but obviously it is a subjective artistic taste! Alternatively you could see the Museum of Natural History, where they shot the film “Night at the Museum”. Between one museum and another we had lunch at Tal Bagels, they have a counter with all the ingredients and you choose what to put in the bagel, very good!

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For that day we had also planned a visit to the Color Factory, a kind of interactive museum with colors, if you look at the photos of Instagram you will see that they have a mega tank of blue balls in which you can take photos, as well as various rooms in color theme, but the entry price is expensive and we thought it wasn’t worth it because we were really destroyed at the end of the day! So we went to eat a pizza from Ribalta (i’m one of those people who miss Italian food after a few days abroad!) And we visited a mega library in front of the restaurant (Strand Book Store).


SIXTH AND SEVENTH DAY

Brooklyn was the destination of our sixth day in New York, we set the alarm very early to arrive at the famous intersection in the DUMBO district, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, and take some pictures without a thousand people in the middle.

The intersection is located between Washington St & Water St in case you are interested! Then we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge to do a little piece of the pedestrian walk that leads up to Manhattan and, after a few more photos, we headed to Coney Island. We went with Uber, but there is a subway line that leads directly there!

We loved Coney Island, on one side the ocean with the beach and on the other the famous Luna Park. Not to mention then the famous Nathan’s hot dogs…so delicious!!

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After a few hours we returned to the Brooklyn Bridge, precisely in Brooklyn Heights where there is a perfect walk to enjoy the view of Manhattan from sunset to the lighting of all the lights of the skyscrapers, which make the panorama breathtaking.

The seventh day instead was dedicated more to buying souvenirs and gifts to take home to friends and relatives, we went back to Times Square and had lunch with the excellent chicken wings by Hooters! If you want to see all the photos of the trip, you can find them here on my Facebook profile!
If instead you want to ask us something, comment on the post below!😊

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