Biting the big 🍎

by Pauline on July 15th 2017

Today I’ll be continuing to share with you the second half of my trip in New York with Matt. I still can’t believe I’m typing that I did all this, but it happened and it was one of the best experiences of my life! You can read up on the first half of my trip here.

Skip to a specific day:


Day Six – the best view of NYC (yet)

My colleagues recommended buying a City Pass to see the typical tourists’ sights. Looking at the City Pass, Matt and I decided to buy the C3 City Pass which gave us three passes to the main tourists’ attractions. As most of the museums were technically free, we used our C3 Passes to get on the Top of The Rock, a cruise (more on this later) and the Empire State Building.

You all know how much I love viiiiieeews so using the pass on two different buildings to see New York better felt like the right choice.

Once we had breakfast, we took the subway to Rockefeller. On our way out of the subway, there was a girl handing people flowers to celebrate summer. I decided to put them on my bag, every time I turned around I would accidentally hit Matt in the face which was super fun.

We went aimed to get up the rock by 9am to avoid crowds (and get those amazing Instagram shots! Thankful for Matt for understanding my ‘gram needs 😉)

After going through some tight security (where the guard crushed my flowers cries) We were graced with…

Yeah, I know.

Yeah, I got emotional.

The views were amazing, I couldn’t believe I was looking at it in real life rather than just on Google images/my desktop background/VR – I was SO happy. It was the best view of NYC (well, at the time it was… *cough Matt *cough)

After this, we visited tthe Nintendo Store and took selfies with all the things~

Running up to lunch time, we got on the subway to East Village passing by Washington Square Park (at this point we were getting a bit more comfortable with the system!) where we ate lunch at Momofuku Noodle Bar and had ice cream at Snowdays NYC (thanks for the recommendation Liv!)

East Village is such a cute little neighbourhood, it had a more chill and hipster feel to it. If I could go back, this would be a place I wish I explored more! There were lots of interesting places to eat, drink and artwork around (as part of the neighbourhood!) Matt really liked East Village because of all the ice cream places (he has a strange obsession with cold things / ice xD)

We planned to use our C3 ticket again to get on an evening cruise around Manhattan – to get a different view of it! When we finally reached the pier, they told us that the cruise was cancelled that evening but was running the next day so we just hung around the pier and watched the other cruises!

Battery Park was just a few minutes’ walk so we went to watch the sunset again. It is no doubt one of my favourite places in NYC. There were a lot more people at the park in contrast to when Matt and I went a few days before. Whilst we were setting up our equipment to film a timelapse of the changing sky, the people around us suddenly dropped to the ground and just laid there.

As you can imagine, it was so weird.

I was a little freaked out.

After a while, they all got back up in sync and just got on with their evening…

At least so it seemed…

It wasn’t until people started going up to us and giving a total of 4 dollars, hi-5s, compliments that we realised that it was planned. Matt caught on faster than I did, “It’s a flashmob” xD You can watch our reaction here (good thing I’m on it with the documenting on Snapchat, although I do wish I just had it on video)

The mob eventually moved on. It was weird, but the most spontaneous thing that had happened to us so far. In contrast to when I went on holiday with Hamdah in Europe, New York was pretty much chill until the mob.

We continued the rest of the evening just watching the sunset and completing our time-lapse of Battery Park. This caught two New Yorkers’ attention – Sophia and Dave (hey there 🙋🏻, told you I’d mention you on my blog 😆) – which was nice, it was the first time we spoke to other New Yorkers’. They gave us a few recommendations before heading off, they were awesome (also can we have your accents, please? 😝)

A post shared by Matt Burman (@_mattburman) on


Day Seven – I am not going on that * five mins later * LETS DO THAT AGAIN

After Dave’s recommendation, we headed off the Roosevelt Island. On our way, there we went past the United Nations and Trump’s World Tower.


To get to Roosevelt, you had to go on a subway train there – the Roosevelt tramway – at first I thought it was just another subway train underground but soon realised that it was one that followed the Queensboro Bridge IN THE AIR, like a cable car. Remember when Hamdah made me get on one in Portugal? Was that happening again? Yes. Was I going to get on it? Absolutely not.

As with the one in Portugal, I was just overthinking it. It turned out safe and I found it quite fun! In fact, I couldn’t stop asking if we could go on it again to Matt. 😅

Roosevelt Island

We went on a stroll down towards Franklin Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, where we flew Matt’s drone (although the footage wasn’t ~great~ it was fun to play around with!)

Queens

For lunch, we decided to go to Jollibee. For those who don’t know, Jollibee is a Filipino-fast food chain that have THE BEST – no lie – fried chicken and spaghetti. Matt and I had found it as we were researching for places to eat over breakfast earlier that week that so decided to visit; I was eager to show Matt how awesome Filipino food is too!

 

After travelling from Roosevelt to Queens and walking about half an hour to a very Filipino-dominated area in Queens (also known as Little Manila – which literally was just populated with Filipino restaurants and shops; it felt like Manila), we got there and it was closed.

I was heart-broken (as you can tell)

 

They had maintenance going on so were re-opening on the 24th (my birthday) I joked that we could go all the way back to Queens to have the Jollibee but Matt had other plans. 😏

Luckily, we still had Filipino food. Matt now loves Adobo. HELL YEAH.

I also bought some Filipino snacks. SO GOOD DAMN FORGOT HOW GREAT IT IS.

 

In the evening, we went back to Lower Manhattan and used our C3 City Pass on the Hornblower Alive after Five Cruise. I hadn’t been on a cruise before so didn’t know what to expect, it ended up being quite loud (with a party going on the whole time) but we managed to find a corner (which ended up being the best seats!) and enjoyed the sights of Manhattan and New Jersey.

I saw Lady Liberty up close and nearly cried.

Well, not nearly. I did cry. xD

I really do recommend the cruise – seeing a different view of everything we saw on foot from the sea was awesome!

A post shared by Matt Burman (@_mattburman) on

Day Eight – No faith in Brooklyn

… that song is the bomb. Listen to it if you haven’t already! Hoodie Allen is boss.

Unfortunately, we didn’t start the morning the best way. As we were topping up our MetroCard, the machine took the money and charged us but didn’t work. It was frustrating because we had to phone and report it which we really didn’t want to do because it would take a lot of time. Luckily, the ticket guy at the station let us in after we explained the situation without making us pay again which was nice! He also kept asking us to keep talking because he loved our British accents, ha!

On our way to Brooklyn, we passed the New York City Hall and park. You might have already gathered, but I love the parks in New York! Green space in the big, busy city was always so refreshing.

From here, we went towards Brooklyn Bridge thennnnn…

A post shared by Pauline P. Narvas (@paw.lean) on

Walked the Brooklyn Bridge.

EEEEeeek, another thing I can actually say that I went and did. *cries*

Although it was packed with tourists walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn and Brooklyn to Manhattan, along with cyclists and runners, the views made it worth it! At the start of the bridge, there was a guy selling a dollar ice cold water too which was nice (they usually start at 3 dollars everywhere else!)

Dumbo, Brooklyn

This was the only area we really explored and in hindsight, I wish we explored Brooklyn a bit more – it was less crazy in comparison to Manhattan and had lots of cool little places to see and visit.

What did we do in Dumbo?  

  • Find out that Dumbo stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass
  • Had ice tea at Brooklyn Roasting Company
  • Had THE best pizza at Grimaldi’s Pizza. Matt had gone to Juliana’s last year and so wanted to try Grimaldi’s (they are literally neighbours and are have a bit of a pizza rivalry but who really cares? I just want that pizza!)
  • Matt had ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
  • We chilled out at the Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 1, where we found one of the La Mer Wave Walk artwork around.


I wasn’t feeling great in the evening (I think it was all the bad unhealthy food I had been eating since we arrived) so Matt kindly treated me with an amazing protein bowl (IT WAS SO GOOD GUYS. Felt very energetic and much better after for sure!)

Day Nine – Conquering my fears, like a boss

You can read the full post here, it was the best day of my life, ever. A bold statement, yes. But seriously, such a wonderful day full of love 💖 Thank you a million times to all those who took part in it across the world!

Day Ten – I just want my Shake Shack

After such an amazing day the day before, we were exhausted but woke up early anyway. After breakfast, we decided to take a walk from Central Park to 5th avenue towards Madison Square Park. I had been craving a Shake Shack since the first time we got it. It was funny because that morning, Matt had said “I could really do with a Shake Shack” SAME, BAE, SAME.

On our way, there (we decided to walk because the subway had screwed us over the day before and it was nice to walk down the blocks anyway, even though they were long!), we had taken different routes (going through Bryant Park again) because of the Pride march.  As we got closer to Madison Square Park and the Flat iron building, there were loads of people crowding around to watch the festival.

We couldn’t figure out how to get to the park (i.e. where Shake Shack was) because there were crowds of people. We ended up heading to Eataly where we ate at the rooftop restaurant – Sabbia and then had ice cream at Lavazza.

I also bought some chocolatey treats here – they were AMAZING.

On our way, back towards Central Park (as this was our last full day, we wanted to return to our favourite place!) we made a stop to Koreatown where I bought a face mask for Hamdah, for myself (and Matt LOL) and listened to some K-pop music (what a throw-back!)

We ended the day at Central Park relaxing/people watching ~

A post shared by Pauline P. Narvas (@paw.lean) on

Day Eleven – Quick little adventures

On our final day in New York, we decided to spend a little more time at Central Park then went on a little walk towards the west end pier.


We:

  • Ate at Chipotle Mexican Grill; y’all know how much I love fire flames burritos
  • Had ice cream at Haagen-Dazs where we had a shared ice cream of mango-coffee… it was interesting xD
  • Walked into Bloomingdale’s Outlet, decided we don’t really like shopping and walked back out.
  • Appreciated the Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial
  • Chilled out at the Riverside Park – watching people and admiring New Jersey
  • Got really warm so went to Starbucks and ordered that peach iced green tea #basic

Because Matt couldn’t part from his one true love (Shake Shack) we had at JFK airport. A week later when I got back though, Micah told me there’s two Shake Shacks in London so xD

Conclusion

And that’s that – in summary(ish)!

Throughout the trip, I felt very safe especially with Matt. Comparing to my holidays in Europe with Hamdah, nobody really approached us and no strange men tried to win my heart by trying so hard to the point I was uncomfortable *cough @ Italian guy in Nice*Everyone was friendly and although I got looks sometimes (in dodgy areas), I felt very comfortable and didn’t experience any cat-calling or anything. Well apart from that time a guy shouted at me “hey girl, you fineeee!” as I was shoving a hot dog into my mouth which made me feel quite the opposite, let’s be real though, HE AIN’T WRONG #selflove

I think Matt’s presence made a difference or maybe, New Yorkers are just very nice? 😁

I must comment on the food: I didn’t particularly enough the food in the US. Most of it is because they are unhealthy and the healthier options were always a bit pricier, so to not blow my budget, I ate lots of unhealthy food which in turn resulted in unhappy body and mind on certain days (also got tired easier – good food is my FUEL!)

If I could go back, I wouldn’t stay in Manhattan but in Brooklyn – less people, more of a ‘local’ feel. And in addition to exploring Brooklyn more, I want to see more of the East Village – THAT PLACE IS CUTE ASF. Free artwork on the streets; everywhere. It’s literally a photographers / instagrammers heaven. 😍

New York City, the city I’ve been talking about to everyone (real life and online) of visiting and experiencing…

…I finally went, visited, experienced and liveeeeed it – earlier in my life than I expected! I absolutely loved every minute of it.

Sure, there were times I was overwhelmed and annoyed with the subway especially and the crowds but it was such an experience. An unforgettable one, that’s for sure! The experience of flying all the way to the US (that 7-hour plane ride though), trying to decipher the NY subway, walking around those big streets (and avoiding those guys who tried to sell you mixtapes), flying in a god damn tiny plane over Manhattan; all helped boost my confidence in not only travelling but in everyday life. I mean, if I can get on a plane to the US and fly a tiny plane (bear in mind, I couldn’t get on trains alone before) and explore a big city without breaking down from anxiety then I can do anything. 💪🏼

Thank you for the best experience of my life NY, you didn’t disappoint. I’ll be back ✌🏼

Also a big thank you to Matt for experiencing my dream city with me, I am so grateful 💖


Posted under: Explaw🐾


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10 comments

  1. March says:

    Ah got jealous woth this! I would love to visit NYC too to kickoff what’s in my bucket list! Nice photos 😉

    https://marchhappythoughts.blogspot.com/?m=1

  2. Cindy says:

    I’m glad you had an unforgettably amazing experience in NY; it’s such a fantastic city, isn’t it? Also, you hit up some amazing food spots (Momofuku! Grimaldi’s!), A+ taste.

  3. Eena says:

    WAIT I NEED TISSUES BECAUSE I’M LEGIT CRYING FROM HAPPINESS FROM READING THIS POST. You and Matt are the cutest! And props to Matt for making your visit to your dream city the most amazing thing ever! Also, can I just… that photo of you guys at the very bottom – so adorable.

    HOW DARE JOLLIBEE BE CLOSED WHEN YOU WANTED IT?! I’m glad Little Manila had other Filipino restaurants and that Matt got to try adobo – it’s seriously so good. When we went out of town and Chris came along, he was stuck with Filipino food all day err day, so he got accustomed to eating lechon & lumpia shanghai! xD But seriously though, Filipino food is so good yet so bad.

    Loving your outfits by the way! And glad you got to walk the Brooklyn Bridge 😀

  4. Nancy says:

    A city pass is a smart thing to buy when it comes to getting a tourist package! I’m noticing a lot of hipster shops opening up these days. Totally loving the vibe they give out. Look at you going through all of these sceneries! Ayeee, look at you with all of these legit shots.

    It’s kind of funny that I live near a few Jollibees but never made the effort to go XD. Though, I do hear a lot about it! SAME GOES ABOUT SHAKE SHACK. Hey, glad you’re having a bunch of these great food experiences!

    I agree with you, the *affordable* food we have tend to be on the unhealthier side. I compared my grocery receipts between my healthy eating week and unhealthy eating week and there’s a $$ difference. It’s okay, you were traveling and deserved to eat something different ;).

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  5. Cat says:

    I love all the views of NYC that you captured! It makes me really nostalgic. When I used to live in NY, we’d visit the city almost weekly, and it always made me happy when the skyline came into view while driving in. Top of the Rock is a great place for a good view!

    I also love the Nintendo Store. I make a point to go to it if I’m in the area (and try my best not to buy too much, haha). I think that’s funny that you happened to be in the middle of a flash mob! I imagine that’s really confusing at first!

    Ooh, Roosevelt Island looks like a lovely place to visit, and that’s great that you were able to see the Statue of Liberty closer on the cruise. I think that’s a good way to see it. When you’re on the island, the statue is like… too close to really admire, haha.

    That’s too bad you didn’t get to go to Jollibee after you were looking forward to so much! I’m glad you still managed to get some Filipino food though!

    I also love that photo of you sitting on the Brooklyn Bridge! It’s a great angle!

    I’m glad you had such a good time in NYC! It’s a city that’s still very near and dear to my heart, especially Brooklyn. Manhattan is exciting because it has most of the well-known places, but like you said, Brooklyn is a bit more laid back and lots of areas in it are becoming more “hip”. I hope you’ll get a chance to visit again!

  6. Claudine says:

    Aww, great post! I’m super happy that you enjoyed your trip to New York! 🙂 You visited some wonderful places, I’m taking some ideas for my next New York trip! Heehee!

    I super duper love city views and I think I would be all emotional too when I see a stunning view like that! <3

    That sucks that you guys weren't able to have Jollibee! 🙁 But at least you were able to make Matt try Filipino food! Haha adobo is my absolute favorite – hands down!

  7. Amy says:

    I know this isn’t a way to start a comment but, THE NINTENDO STORE! I want to go so much, it looks amazing! I wish there was one in Leeds haha. I love the Pikachu statue, that’s so cute.

    It’s great that you got passes for the main attractions. That’s such a good way to get to see everything. And all the food sounds fantastic. Hopefully you get to visit Jollibees next time you’re there.

    I loved the flashmob video. That must have been such a strange thing to see happen. I would have been terrified at first! Apparently there was a flashmob in Leeds City Centre a couple of months ago, where a woman got proposed to. It’s so weird how popular they’re becoming.

    I love the flowers you got! Laughed so much at the hitting Matt in the face bit.

    All the photos you took are absolutely beautiful. Glad you had an amazing time in New York!

  8. I swear to God, I legit lived vicariously through your Instagram posts/stories while you were in New York! While it’s not my ultimate dream to go there, I do want to visit the city one day (or at least one weekend). If we ever end up planning a trip there, I’ll definitely take your tips into consideration!

    P.S. Stay happy and inspiring! 🙂

  9. Chynna says:

    I’m working backwards through your NY posts because the way they show up on my Feedly 😂

    I wish I had bought the City Pass when I went to NY, but I know for next time to invest! I feel like you’ll get more out of NY if you do get one. Also, how cute of the girl to give away flowers <3

    I am definitely a fan of views, as well – those views are STUNNING. Thank God you got up early, it was definitely worth it.

    (PS. THE NY SUBWAY IS SMELLY AND I HATE IT BUT IT'S EXPERIENCE, AMIRITE?!)

    *cries at the picture of you looking sad because Jollibee wasn't open* I FEEL YOUR PAIN, HUNNEH.

    The Brooklyn Bridge is sooo cool. Mutay isn't a fan of bridges but she went over it with me just for me and I LOVE HER FOR IT. It was hella rickety, though! Also, yeeee if (no when) you go back, definitely explore Brooklyn more – that's where I stayed 😀

    Next time you're in LDN, we're going to Shake Shack 😉

    I am so glad you finally got to visit NY and I am SO happy you had such an amazing experience! Can't wait to ready more of your travel adventures 😉

  10. Liv says:

    Awwwww <3 I'm so excited to have scrolled back to this post – so sorry I was delayed by my own trip to NYC HEHEHEEEEE.

    I think Top of the Rock definitely has the best view of NYC from above because 1) you can't see the Empire State building if you go up there for a view and that's the building that defines the skyline, and 2) Rockefeller Center overlooks Central Park so you get one on each side!

    I've seen the Roosevelt Island cable car many times as we drove into Manhattan but I've never been on it! I've never been to Roosevelt Island HAHA!

    I'm sorry you missed the Filipino food, but I would've recommend Ugly Kitchen in the East Village! EV is definitely my favorite place in the city too. It's where all my friends hang out since our school NYU is located just slightly to the west. I definitely think there's a lot of unhealthy food there but that's probably why my friends and I have dadbods HAHA. I've become healthier after moving to California.

    You guys should've taken the Staten Island Ferry to get a better view of Liberty! It's free and sails right past the island. 🙂

    I'm so glad you enjoyed NYC and you made the best out of your precious time there! Next time you visit please include me on the plans please hehehehe.