I’ve officially set foot in New York City. And I still cannot believe it! I never thought this day would come so soon, but it has, and I honestly think it was one of the best days of my life: July 12th, 2018.
This day has burnt its place in my memory as the day I actually fulfilled my number one dream: being in New York City.
Here I should say we actually arrived at 10 pm the day before, and from the cab I had been able to catch my first glance ever at the city, by night, and this sight too is burnt into my mind. The whole island of Manhattan was glowing, and the most famous buildings of the world were illuminated like it was Christmas… I couldn’t refrain myself from shedding some tears. You cannot understand what it felt like unless you’ve been to NYC: it’s one thing to see the city all over movies, TV shows, news and so on, but it is another to actually see it in person. This was incredible.
For our first day, we started BIG* and hit some of the biggest landmarks:
This was the first place I actually experienced in New York and it was all I ever wished for: screens everywhere, some of them HUGE, colourful, loud, and making me feel like I was at the heart of the entire world. We just sat there on the red steps, watching all around us, always discovering something we hadn’t seen the first time we glanced.
The famous screens were even BIGGER than I had imagined. But this feeling actually goes for everything in New York…
When I saw this dude, acting as the Statue of Liberty, I thought to myself that I was not mistaken: I really was in New York. Wasn’t dreaming.
Around the corner of a building we just arrived on Bryant Park, a huge green spot lost between the buildings.
There was a big stage inside the square, with chairs before it: we were invited to watch an off-Broadway repetition of the Chicago musical, brought to us by professional singers and dancers, which was absolutely amazing! ‘All That Jazz‘ was in my head for the rest of the day after that, and I love that song!
The New York Public Library & The Rose Reading Room
Right next to Bryant park is the New York Public Library, which is absolutely beautiful & looks very special giving its location, at the heart of Manhattan. It looks like a European building from the outside, but actually on the inside too: look!
There was a lot to see, but we sticked to the main attraction: the Rose Reading Room.
It was extremely quiet therefore very peaceful… until the fire alarm went off and we were told to leave the building. But I managed to take a few pictures before we were rushed outside!
The Empire State Building
We felt like we needed to go up a bit so we went to the second highest building of New York City: The Empire State Building.
It was right there on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, that I finally realised I was in New York, my number one dream come true, a dream I’ve had for as long as I could remember. We perfectly captured that moment. It was the most magical instant of my life.
On the Empire State you can go up to the 86th floor, but even higher to the 102nd floor! We went so high that the yellow cabs looked like ants, and we couldn’t even see people walking by!
It was the priciest attraction so far (189$ for 3 people), but I’d say it was well worth it.
Madison Square Park & The Flat Iron Building
After a quick lunch at Wendy’s we went for a walk and ended up in Madison Square Park. We spent some time people watching on a bench, right next to the cute grey squirrels. It was really interesting to see all kinds of people walking around, getting ready to go back to work, finishing their drinks as they went by.
As we left, we saw the famous Shake Shack restaurant with its outside seating area, covered by beautiful lights above it. We also took time to listen to a bit of street jazz while taking a good look at The Flat Iron Building.
Journey To The South
We took the first bus line we saw that was going South to the ferries after we took a Metro Card at a metro station, just to make it easier for us to get around for the next 7 days.
Staten Island Ferry: Wonderful & Free
Oh my gosh, I loved that ferry. I loved everything about it, especially its beautiful bright orange colour. That ferry has also the benefit to be completely & amazingly FREE which made the ride even more enjoyable.
I took some amazing pictures on our way there and on our way back, and also tanned a lot due to water reflection. And of course, the star of the show was the Statue of Liberty, which I was seeing for the first time. The first lady of New York looked so great I couldn’t take me eyes off of her…
But then on the way back, I couldn’t take my eyes off Manhattan skyline: I was in freaking amazing incredible New York City and I just cannot believe how lucky I am to have been there!
When we set foot on Manhattan Island again, we took a quick walk through Battery Park, impregnating us with that magical view.
Upstate: Oyster Bar
The sea made us hungry & it was time to eat anyway so we went next to Chinatown to look for Upstate, an oyster bar that Lonely Planet (not sponsored… although I’m not against it :P) recommended in their guide.
When we got there there was a bit of waiting so we went to have a drink nearby first: we took three mojitos that were so strong we were happier in an instant drinking them!
Upstate was great, barely lit to allow us to see the street and its animation, and the food was amazing – for american food anyway.
We also saw the Times Square M&M’s Store, and I saw the famous Carnegie Hall on my way back to the hotel (on foot, because I’ve heard you don’t take a cab for less than 10 blocks here). I could never have dreamed of a better first day in this wonderful city, THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS.
Take care & have a good one,
Lilly, aka The French Hat
*No reference intended to SATC for you fans out there 😛