Tuesday, 6 September 2016

New York in Summer Day 1: Midtown & Central Park.

For years I'd wanted to visit New York City, like years and years. And whaddya know, 2016 was the year I would finally visit not once but twice in six months. If you'd told me this last year I wouldn't have believed you. But my goodness I feel so lucky and happy right now. I'm so excited to share everything with you partly for my own selfish reasons so I can relive it all, haha. And honestly, NYC in summer is just magical...despite that famous sewer drain smell around Times Square ;)

All photos are mine, unless I'm in them, in which case Jasiminne took them! 

Shortly after I returned from my last trip to NYC back in February, I received a couple of emails inviting me back to the city, but I wanted to wait until the summer so I could see Central Park in full bloom and feel the heat everyone always talks about (yes, I love hot weather). Before I knew it it was July and the hotels were sorted and my flights booked. I invited Jasiminne to come with me, she's my travel buddy after our trip to Cuba in 2014 and our trip to Milan back in June. We just enjoy the same things and are both equally as crazy, so it works well.

Jasiminne's had a bit of a rubbish time this year, and as it was her 30th while we were in NYC I was hoping it would cheer her up and remind her just how awesome she is. I think it worked? ;) haha. We ended up doing four nights in New York City and then we flew down to Orlando to spend three days at Disney and Universal (because what better time to be children again than in the years of your 25th and 30th birthdays?!). 

So after a few weeks of me planning out our entire trip, we boarded our flight to Newark from Heathrow on the Wednesday morning, and landed on the Wednesday evening excited and very hungry. I was on antibiotics the whole time we were in NYC as I had a severely infected mozzie bite (my entire left thigh swelled up and was bright red and rock solid - ew), so it messed me around big time with eating. 

The antibiotics I was on made me feel like I was constantly starving hungry to the point I was going to be sick, but when I did eat I could only manage a few mouthfuls before feeling so full I was going to burst. Not the best situ for when you'd planned to eat your way around the city, and it made me feel really rubbish. But it's OK, I managed, and I just made up for it in Orlando!

Our first evening in NYC was a lovely one, despite the disappointing hotel (read more about it in my review of our second hotel). We got unpacked and freshened up, and then made our way to Burger Joint for a good ole greasy burger (which I loved and Jasiminne hated - she's not a fan of grease, whereas I was in desperate need of it), and then headed back to our hotel for an early night. 

The next day we awoke bright and early (hello jetlag), and ready to take on New York! As our hotel was round the corner from Times Square on 8th Ave, we wandered towards Times Square and saw LeBron James being interviewed for Good Morning America! Much excitement ensued, and after snapping some pics we kept walking in search of a bagel. We found the best bagel stand ever with a very flirty American guy serving us, and munched on our cream cheese bagels as we walked up towards Central Park.

We passed Radio City Music Hall, and the famous LOVE sign that I missed last time. I grabbed a Teavana iced tea from Starbucks to quench my thirst, and we finally arrived at Central Park...and I finally saw it in full bloom with the gorgeous lush green leaves swaying in the light breeze.

The park was quiet and we slowly meandered through it, stopping every so often so Jasiminne could catch a Pokemon (that girl is addicted).

The heat and humidity was getting very intense by this point, and so we found a shady rock by the lake and took it in turns taking photos of each other. The reason for this? Because we're bloggers, and I can only pose when Jasiminne is pointing a camera at me and shouting directions to me.

FYI this black dress was a total lifesaver in the heat and humidity! So light and freeing and yet stylish. And a total bargain at ASOS!

We wandered through the park towards the Natural History Museum and it's beautiful beautiful air conditioning. I love the heat, but Jasiminne doesn't cope with it well, so the beautiful air-con stopped her moaning for an hour :P I luckily had the rest of my NYC CityPass that I had last time I was in New York, but Jasiminne had to pay around $17 for her entry ticket. We did meet a lovely security guard on our way in though who told us we looked like movie stars...so really after that comment we had to pay to go in. 

After our quick visit to the Natural History Museum we were getting a bit peckish as it was around 1pm, so we power walked round the corner to Luke's Lobster. On the way we were shocked at how stunning the Upper West Side was - the buildings are just gorgeous and so dreamy! 

I'd been desperate to visit Luke's Lobster on my last visit, but just didn't have time. Apparently it's the best Lobster Roll joint in NYC. So was the 6 month wait worth it? HELL YES. It was probably one of the best lobster rolls I've ever had in my life. Just look at it!

After lobster rolls and blueberry lemonade we then walked back across Central Park to the MET Museum to have a drink on their Martini terrace. Only when we got up there we couldn't actually find the Martini terrace? It was just a terrace with no seating, no tables, and just a kiosk bar? Very strange, so we took a photo and then walked over to Emack & Bolio's on the Upper East Side for ice-cream. 

This ice-cream place you guys. Oh my days! It's so instagram-worthy and SO delish. I chose an Oreo cookie cone, with a scoop of raspberry sorbet and a scoop of raspberry and chocolate chip ice-cream. It was deliciously refreshing, and I managed to eat the entire thing...unlike J who only managed half of hers and the rest was wasted on the trash can. 

We then got a taxi back to our hotel, had a quick change of shoes, and then ran round to Sephora on Times Square to stock up on bits and pieces!

After getting out beauty fix we then headed back and got changed and freshened up for sunset at the Empire State Building, dinner, and drinks and clubbing. Yep, we were packing in as much as possible!

We hailed a taxi and whizzed round the corner to try and get to the top of the Empire State Building by sunset. I'd done the Rockefeller Centre when I was last there a few months ago, so didn't really want to go up it again, and hello, it's NYC - you have to say you've been up the Empire State building!

Once again I had a free ticket thanks to my CityPass left over from my last visit, and Jasiminne had to pay, so I offered to pay for half of it as I felt so awful for constantly getting in for free everywhere! We got up there quite quickly...but then we hit the queue for the lift. It was a 45min queue, so we decided to take the stairs (six flights of them).

Thankfully I was smart and was wearing my butterfly twists with my heels for later in my handbag, but J was wearing huge wedges...so she struggled a little. I felt so proud of her at the top - I couldn't actually believe she climbed six flights of stairs in heels!

The top was incredibly crowded, but the views were breathtaking...

After watching the sunset we headed back down and got a taxi round to Brother Jimmy's BBQ. Obvs I got a quick selfie in the taxi before the light went dark from sunset. I wore my fave jumpsuit and changed into heels after dinner before we went clubbing!

I went last time and loved it. It was amazing. This time it was still delish (and you can't beat the atmosphere!), but because of my antibiotics I couldn't eat as much as I would have and only had a few bites before feeling full and icky from the anti-b's. Jasiminne didn't like it so much, but she's not a huge fan of All-American-Comfort-Food (it's ok though, I'd planned three restaurants right up her street for her birthday weekend - compromise people).

After our dinner I slipped on my heels, put my flats in their little discreet bag, and we got a taxi to the East Village to meet Jas's friend Amy for drinks at Please Don't Tell, a famous speakeasy bar that's apparently one of the best in the world. Sadly there was a two hour wait when we got there as it's super small, so we went to a bar round the corner instead, and met my friend Mercy there. Mercy and I have been friends for a coupla years now, and she moved to NYC last year to persue her plus-size modelling career (she was recently in People, Buzzfeed, Today, Evening Standard, and The Daily Mail). She's SO much fun and we always have the best time, so I was so excited to see her again!

We left the bar we were in and headed over to Sanatorium, an awesome new hospital-themed bar that's funky and a little bit out there. It sound strange but I promise it works, and the cocktails looked incredible, but I couldn't have any so stuck to water and co-cola *sob*.

Next up was Gold Bar, a club with walls adorned with gold skulls. The four of us got another taxi there, and enjoyed half an hour or so of dancing before leaving to head to the club at Tao Downtown. I'd promised Troy that we'd head over there to say hello, and Tao Downtown ended up being my favourite place of the night. It. Was. Epic. I'm gonna do a blog post soon on how to have a night out in NYC, how to get into them, and my favourite clubs in the city as I've been to quite a few now (eight I think? In just two trips to NYC!).

I didn't take any photos that night apart from the one Mercy got above (I look so short compare to her hahaha). It was so liberating and refreshing to just enjoy every second and not take any photos and not have my camera with me (it's all about balance you guys) - I had such a fun night even though I was 100% sober, and headed back to the hotel around 2am. Below you can see our epic 'night-out map' haha, we covered so many different neighborhoods!

You can see Jasiminne's blog post from Day 1 (including a few pics from our night out) here!

And of course the NYC Vlog is coming soon so pleaseee give me a subscribe and keep your eye out for it! ;)



  1. Taste of France06/09/2016, 10:02

    Next time you must visit the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal. No jeans, no sports shoes. It's very hard to find, tucked in a corner that you get to from the outside. Google it!
    Also, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and check out all the cool stuff going on in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Heights is absolutely gorgeous with a nice little business district, and then there's the uber hip Boerum Hill, with trendy restos and shops on Smith Street.

  2. WOW - dream itinerary! I love NYC but we only stayed for five days last time...you and Jasiminne have inspired me and I now feel like I need to go back to cram in some more of this wonderful city! Love the blog shots you both took in Central Park by the way. This is why bloggers should always travel in packs! ;-)

    Polly xx

  3. These photos are making me want to go back! My trip was short but incredible, although there were no flirty american men! xx

  4. The Natural History Museum looks fascinating, sounds like you both had an amazing time

  5. Looks like the perfect girls trip and I love the Central Park photos! I'm a big fan of Tao Downtown, Mr S and I have been to the restaurant twice.

  6. Gary J Berry08/09/2016, 20:55

    Well now I need to go to NYC! Gary x

  7. Hayley Rubery09/09/2016, 04:57

    Loved this post girl - looks like the best trip! I'm currently in NYC now and leaving tomorrow which I'm SO sad about, it's my favourite city in the world! P.s hotel looks/sounds fab!

    Hayley xo

  8. Thanks Hayley! Ah I'm not surprised haha, every time I leave it make me so sad :( I wanna go back already!

    C x

  9. It was so much fun! We ate at Tao Downtown on Jasiminne's birthday on the Saturday and LOVED it!

    C x

  10. We had such a great time!! x

  11. Ahh, I always seem to get the flirty American men haha! Every time I go, as soon as they hear the accent they go straight into charming/flirty mode. x

  12. It was so great! We only stayed 4 nights and I wanna go back again already!!!

    And totally agree, bloggers are awesome travel buddies hehe

    C x

  13. Oooh I'll definitely make a note of it for next time!

    We were going to do the Brooklyn bridge and Brooklyn, but on the day we were going to do it (our last day) it poured with rain and there was a huge thunderstorm all day :( I'll have to save it for next time again!

  14. OH my gosh everything looks incredible! I can't wait to go to America one day! xo


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