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)
- Day Seven – I am not going on that *5 minutes later* LETS DO THAT AGAIN
- Day Eight – No faith in Brooklyn
- Day Nine – Conquering my fears, like a boss
- Day Ten – I just want my Shake Shack
- Day Eleven – Quick little adventures
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 got given random flowers on the subway today to celebrate summer ☀
Today I will walk down the streets of NYC as a fairy princess 🌸🌼👑 pic.twitter.com/mWUFCz7YO0
— Pauline P. Narvas (@paulienuh) June 21, 2017
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? 😝)
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. 😅
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!)
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!
— Matt Burman (@_mattburman) June 22, 2017
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)
— Matt Burman (@_mattburman) June 22, 2017
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.
Pauline is covered in chocolate dust from food from the motherland@paulienuh
— Matt Burman (@_mattburman) June 22, 2017
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!
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…
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!)
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 ~
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.
- 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
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 💖