.: Last morning in NYC :.

One of the things we hadn’t done yet was to have a proper American breakfast. As we had been enjoying the delicious fresh breakfast in the hotel, we hadn’t really been out. So our last morning had to be the one. Even better because we had one of the most famous places right in front of the Marquis: Junior’s. There is always a queue, so you’ll probably wait 30m but it’s worth it.

I’ve ordered pancakes with Canadian bacon. So good and filling! It looks much smaller than it is! I just couldn’t finish it

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So good!!!!

After that we went for a walk before getting out taxi back to the airport.

Couldn’t resist this one…. windows playing it’s magic

We’ve ended up going to Beer Authority (they also have a beer garden) Really good choice actually. It looks like a pub, it has a really good selection of beers, staff is really friendly (yes I know, this has been quite a theme). Perfect place to chill out with some friends.

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I just had a stout and I think he had at least 3 different pints. I’ve also ordered a pizza just to help me out with the beer, but I have to admit I was still so full from breakfast I couldn’t finish it.

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And then it was time to get back to London. Our flight ended up being delayed almost 2h due to problems with the traffic control plus extra 30m flying in circles in Heathrow. It felt good to be back home.

In the end I would say NY surprised me quite a lot. It was not my dream trip at all, just wanted to visit it and I’ve really enjoyed it! It has a lot to offer and to explore in Manhattan alone. Wouldn’t mind being back in a few years time 🙂

Have you been in NY? What’s your thoughts?

.: New York Day 6 :.

This was going to be our last full day in NY and also the day I had decided to swap hotels and move to the centre of the Times Square to the famous Marquis Hotel.

It was actually sad to check out from the Essex House, as we really felt so comfortable and almost at home. The staff was so friendly and just in front of the central park, what else could a girl want? But I was keen on experiencing the buzz on our last night.

So after breakfast and before check out, we went for our last walk in the central Park. There’s not such a thing as too much central park, especially on such a sunny morning like this

Did you know there is a castle in the middle of central Park? Yap, there is, and it has a really nice view

Then time to check out and check in at the Marquis Hotel. If you want to experience all the buzz from the times square, this is the place to be. On the first floors it’s actually a theatre.

Challenge nr 1 was to find the reception. One would assume reception would be on GF or maybe 1st floor right? Not here, this one is on the 4th floor. It’s just so huge! Because it’s so busy, you won’t get the same cosy and personalised vibe as you would get elsewhere. But that’s part of the experience too.

Our room, even if big was a big disappointing. I guess we’ve got spoiled at our previous hotel. The view was also to a backstreet.

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This is the famous lift area. You press your floor and it will tell you what is the next available lift. It’s quite impressive to use these as you go all the way up to the top.

 

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We went for a lunch and for a walk around then it was time for a shower before heading up to the top bar. So the Marquis is also quite famous for it’s 360 view rotating view. That’s right, the top floor with the bar and restaurant rotate around so in 1h you’ll be able to enjoy a 360 view, which is called The View.

We’ve ordered a few beers while enjoying the view.

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But with all the mirrors it’s almost impossible to take any decent photos

Then we’ve headed down to photograph the Times Square

Then we’ve headed back to the hotel for some rest and I also wanted to call my sister who was in Amsterdam celebrating her birthday. Once I’ve turned the computer my dad told me about the sad news from France, well I guess you know the rest. But maybe because I was away from home, most specially in NY it hit me quite badly. I kept on following the news on telly trying to understand what was going on. It could have been us. But I guess this an important reason why we need to enjoy every moment we have, all of them, including the little things, because sometimes everything can get turned upside down.

.: New York Day 5 :.

The end of our week is approaching! It went to fast I have to admit, I really felt peaceful and enjoyed all my walks, even though it felt my legs couldn’t cope with all the miles. And yes, when I think about NY I don’t think about the buzz, I think about a quiet city with amazingly tall buildings and lots of good food available.

It was still quite rainy, so we’ve decided to explore Central Park in the rain.

The autumnal colours in central park were simply amazing! The photos don’t even show all the beauty around it, believe me!

It was also the day we’ve dedicated to some shopping. He wanted to buy soap so we went to visit a few stores.

And we had a stop for delicious hot chocolate. One of the best I’ve ever had

In the evening it was time to visit another rooftop, Upstairs. It was a shame they were having a party in the main area, so I couldn’t enjoy the best views, but the area we’ve stayed was really cosy!

Since I didn’t wanted any fancy cocktail, ended up ordering a Baileys

Baileys is a match made in heaven for chocolate fudge!

After that we went for a walk around. NY is one of those cities that is totally worth exploring at night. I would say it’s even more interesting at night. But without a tripod it becomes a challenge to make any decent photos. So mind the grain in the next photos

.: New York – Day 4 :.

The holidays fly too fast, don’t they? Working week again… 😦

At least the holidays were good for catching up with all the photos from New York! Getting there I hope
As you remember, on our 3rd day in NY it was really rainy. I was hoping for a better day the next day, if for no other reason, just because it was my birthday! But I’m afraid it was mostly cloudy and a bit rainy and quite cold.

We woke up early in the morning (still in UK time), and after another delicious breakfast we’ve headed up to visit the Statue of Liberty. I’ve booked the tickets online (which is totally recommended to avoid big queues).

We didn’t enjoy the cruise as much because it was cold! The views are really nice though. Once we’ve reached the island we’ve decided to walk around first, but it was too windy

Did you know that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to US and was designed by Gustave Eiffel (the same guy behind the famous Tour Eiffel)?

I’m sure the views are a lot better on a sunny day. We’ve decided to stop by our best friend Starbucks to warm up for some coffee before carrying on walking all the way until lunch.

I was fascinated by this building, because it’s simply concrete with pretty much no windows

For lunch I wanted to visit ABC Cocina, quite a well known restaurant in NY by Michelin start Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I’ve really enjoyed the quirky decor and the friendly (and good looking too) staff

Photo from google

It looked really promising! The main concept of ABC Cocina is a relax environment to share some tapas with your friends. We’ve ordered 3 each from the lunch menu

shaved beets, portobello mushrooms, queso blancoand herbs

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mushroom empanadas withgreenchili mayo

The starters were really tasty.

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crispy chickensalad, salanova lettuce, citrus dressing, market vegetables

My salad was really fresh and the chicken crispy as it should be.

The disappointment was the dessert, this was supposed to be a white rice pudding (and I was thinking of the yummy cinnamon flavoured rice pudding from Portugal), but the citrus compote was simply too much. Couldn’t enjoy the combination of flavours and didn’t manage to finish it either.

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caramelized whitechocolaterice pudding

So I would say that, even though I’ve enjoyed the ambiance, it didn’t match the expectation. The food wasn’t that memorable for me. Maybe I went for the wrong choices. I would say the starters were the best.

ABC Cocina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

11/11 is also a very special day all over the world because it’s remembrance day (Poppy day in UK) and means the end of WWI. In France it’s actually a bank holiday. In US they do the veterans day parade, which started at 11a.m and at 16h it was still on-going.

The other highlight I had saved for today was a visit to the famous Empire State building. It feels it takes forever to get to the top due to the queues, but it’s so worth it! Loved it all. It’s a shame it wasn’t as sunny as I had imagined in my head, still breathtaking

Back to the 5th avenue, the parade was still on-going

.: New York Day 2 :.

After the amazing day visiting central Park and midtown, we were ready to stretch our legs and visit Brooklyn. This also meant our first underground ride. Gosh, it felt such a travel back in time! I didn’t took any photos inside, which I have to admit it was a bit shameful, but I didn’t feel secure enough to do so.

It feels like I was travelling in a museum artefact! Well it works. Really loved the concept of the express trains, which skip a few stations and end up being the fastest way down-town.

The easiest way to travel actually, it’s way faster and cheaper than a taxi ride. You can buy the metro card and top it up in any station. A single ticket costs you $3, but with the card it’s $2.75.

Love the architecture! These buildings are simply gorgeous in my point of view

Now here’s something silly, I didn’t check the settings on my camera and apparently I was photographing with ISO 1600, this is why the exposure looked so funny.

Tip: Always check your camera settings and ensure you’re reset them before you turn off the camera. Always!

So many of my Brookly Bridge photos are rubbish and were deleted. Plus the light in the sky was too high, which meant a lot of glare. But still managed to save a few I like

Here’s another place I had on my wishlist but where my photos didn’t turn out the way I was expecting and picturing in my head.

Expectation

Reality:

Tip: The best view from Brooklyn Park is at sunset / night, so ensure you save the bridge for the late afternoon

After a stop at Starbucks (yap, we’ve spend loads on Starbucks, as we went at least twice a day) in Dumbo we’ve decided to go back into the city via Manhattan bridge

The views from Manhattan bridge are really awesome as they include Brooklyn Bridge in the scene

You can also enjoy the views into Chinatown, which I recommend!

After Chinatown, which I found a lot more interesting than it’s London version, it was time for Little Italy. This is where I’ve spotted quite a famous painting by Tristan Eaton (from Brooklyn). You can visit his website here.

After our long walk in the morning, we were more than ready for an american lunch (big portions!). He decided to visit Katz, a famous dinner in the east side. And oh wow, quite an experience!

Katz's Delicatessen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As you get in you notice this buzz of people around. It’s quite big! You will get a ticket upon arrival which you’ll be using at every counter as you order your food. We went for the famous pastrami sandwich. Next time we’ll order 1 for the 2 of us. One was huge! I could barely do half of it

The pastrami was really delicious! I ended up not having any dinner, just a tea, cheese and crackers at the lounge as I was still full!

One of the famous spots that needs a visit is the Grand Central Station

Again it was really hard to get a decent picture and actually I’ve ended up damaging my card trying to get one. Fortunately we’ve later managed to save the photos from the card (just lost a few ones)

But the building is indeed quite beautiful and totally worth a visit. We’ve decided to carry our walk back into the hotel, even though I could barely feel my legs after this point.

It was our first walk through the famous 5th avenue.

Once I’ve reached the hotel (17km later) I could barely move my legs. This is what happens when you do pretty much nothing during the year, your legs can’t cope with all the walking.

After a big of rest and some nibbles at the lounge we went to visit another rooftop, which was recommended by the staff in the hotel (we’ve asked for a nice rooftop nearby).

The Roof @ Viceroy Hotel

I didn’t really took pictures of the rooftop so using the website ones

The Roof Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Which rooftop is your favourite?

.: New York Day 1 :.

After a good night sleep we were more than ready to go outside and enjoy the views from the central park, so this is precisely what we’ve decided to do. What a surprise! I have to say that although I didn’t had big expectations, the park surprised me a lot by it’s beauty. Even though you can see the huge towards from most of the park, it’s very easy to forget we are in a big city as the colours are so gorgeous and each area of the park so diverse!

What I was expecting

So something similar to Hyde Park in London but with taller buildings around. The reality was way better! This is where it feels it was a great idea to go over Autumn

You can see our hotel from the park (House of Essex)

And the magnificent autumnal colours

After our walk we went to swipe our rooms and then we went back to the city to try to find a data card and for some lunch.

Tip: If you’re going abroad check the number of days you’ll be out and how much your operator will be charging you in roaming. In most European countries for example Vodafone offers the passport, which costs £3 a day to use the same services as in UK. But, if we are let’s say 1 week away, that would be more than a pay as you go card. So do the maths and check what works for you. In some places you’ll find free WiFi, like most Starbucks, but if you feel the need to use google maps while you’re trying to find a place maybe you’ll reach the conclusion you need data!

We had some amazing Tacos in a local Mexican grocery store @ Hells Kitchen. I forgot to take pictures. But this is the place Tehuizingo

Tehuitzingo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Photo from Zomato

You know a place is good when someone that is leaving ensures you know how good it is. So tasty!

And the first rooftop of the week, spyglass. We were feeling tired by then and most of the rooftops only open after 17h, so once we  found one that was nearby and already open we had to give it a go: Spyglass

I ended up going for a cocktail with gin, ginger and lemon (yap, I’ve spend the whole week with a cool, so was feeling sore throat and tired) ($18 per cocktail, which seemed to be pretty much the standard everywhere we went)

Official photo from spyglass

The view wasn’t perfect as the place is pretty cosy, but it was awesome to enjoy the golden tones over the city

After the cocktails we went for a warm shower and rest at the hotel as I couldn’t stop coughing.

For dinner we went to KatsuHama for warm cosy ramen!

Really friendly and relaxing place and the ramen was pretty good, exactly all I needed (although I have to say the sauce was a bit to thick for me)

Katsu-hama 55st Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Could get used to this life!

.: 8 Nights in NYC – 8 Rooftops :.

Can’t hardly believe my first time visit to NY is almost there! Most of the people I know have already been at least once, even my sister managed to get earlier in the year as well. But we’ve never really managed to reconcile our holidays long enough to be able to go, or prior to that when we left university we didn’t had any money. But hey, finally going 🙂

One of the things one must do while in NY is to explore the skyline, and a very good way to do so is to explore the different rooftops in the city. So I’ve decided to create myself a list of 8 rooftops I want to visit. I’ll confirm back those I managed to visit in the end – it will also depend on the weather, as November is not necessarily quite hot, and if it doesn’t rain I’ll be extremely lucky!

In no particular order:

W Downtown Terrace 

Sky Room

 

Tip – There is an happy hour Tuesday to Friday 5PM – 7PM

Bar d’eau

 

Rooftop Lounge Library Hotel

This one looks so romantic

Gallow Green

This one looks beautiful as well and a bit more weather proof

Sheltering Sky

The Strand

This is probably one of the most well known and also most expensive!

The view I’m expecting to get from my hotel

Yes that’s central park outside!

For the last night, the view will change to Times Square

Any recommendations from your side? Which rooftop should I really visit?