I had been looking forward to this trip all my
life, but I think I over-hyped it in my head too much. It was still
really impressive, but honestly it's not my favorite place I've been.
I had always imagined that once I visited, I'd want to live there
forever. I could see myself living there maybe for a couple of years,
but the job offer would have to be really good.
Day 1 (Thursday, April 30):
Two of my friends and I arrived at
LaGuardia airport a little after lunch. Just like I'd heard many
people say, the view of the city from the plane is something everyone
should see and cannot be described. We took a cab to our hotel on the
upper east side. On a sidenote: All of the cabs we took had
touchscreen internet info, GPS, and TV broadcasts where you swiped your
credit card. I thought that was cool. Anyway, I wish we hadn't gotten
a hotel so far from the subway. It seemed like a good idea at the
time, but when you're heading back to the hotel at 3:00 in the morning,
that extra 10-15 minutes of walking lasts forever. We checked into the
hotel (Courtyard Marriott at 92nd and 1st Ave.) and headed to the
subway that took us into Times Square. My first reaction when stepping
out of the subway in Times Square was very similar to stepping out of
the subway at Prague in Old Town or Rome at the Coliseum. I couldn't
help but smile when I finally saw in person what I'd seen on TV and
movies all my life.
We walked around Times Square a bit where we settled on a Thai
restaurant for lunch called Pongsri, which I highly recommend. Then we
walked around Broadway to decide on a show to see. We had originally
planned on seeing "The Lion King," but we settled on tickets that were
half that price for "Mary Poppins" for Saturday night. Obviously this
was my first Broadway show, so I didn't feel like shelling out $120 in
case it wasn't enjoyable.
We wandered around shops in Times Square including Hershey's and
M&M World. I honestly didn't think they made enough M&M stuff
to fill 3 floors of a store.
After strike number
1 at the Empire State Building observation deck (they told us it was
too cloudy to see anything), we had dinner at Lombardi's Pizzeria, the
oldest pizzeria in America. It got better with every slice, but
honestly it wasn't the best pizza I'd had. The atmosphere was great,
After that we walked by NYU and
Washington Square Park on our way to check out some nightlife.
wasn't impressed with the nightlife so far (especially the tiny,
expensive drinks), but we gave several other places a shot the
following days. Overall I only really enjoyed one place, but even
then, I enjoy Dallas nightlife better.
Day 2 (Friday, May 1st)
For lunch, we ate at an Irish pub &
restaurant called Connolly's, which was nothing special. Then we
headed over to the Museum of Modern Art, walked around the Trump Tower,
and picked up some chocolate at the Lindt store.
was definitely the highlight of this day. We ate at Mario Batali's
Italian restaurant called Babbo. We each did the pasta tasting + wine
pairing, so they brought out 5 courses of pasta, 3 courses of dessert,
and 8 wines to go with each course. It was the most I've ever paid for
a dinner, and it was worth every penny. I highly recommend it.
We checked out more nightlife and then headed to the Empire State Building for strike number 2.
Day 3 (Saturday, May 2nd)
got up early and ate in the Empire State Building at Heartland Brewery
for lunch, a place I do NOT recommend. Finally, we purchased our
tickets to go up to the top of the Empire State Building. It's $20 to
go to the 86th floor and $35 to go to the 102nd floor. We probably
waited in line for about an hour, but it was definitely worth it all.
This was my favorite part of the entire trip (I love a good view).
After spending an hour or so at the top, we headed over to Chelsea
Market (where Nabisco was founded and where Food Network headquarters
are). Then we had dinner at a Cuban restaurant called Son Cubano. It
was pretty good.
"Mary Poppins" was actually pretty cool. I'd seen the movie as a
kid, so I remembered most of it. The thing I liked the most was the
stage effects and the way they changed sets. I guess I never really
thought about how they did it, but on some sets they would lower them
down with cables, some would pop out of the ground, and the main set
was on a conveyer that brought it backstage.
For a late night snack, we ate at Max Brenner, Chocolate By the
Bald Man. It's a really cool place, and their selection of chocolate
snacks is huge.
Day 4 (Sunday, May 3rd)
We took the subway to
Yankees Stadium, where we were packed together like sardines. That was
our most crowded subway trip (and what a great time for it, right in
the middle of the Swine Flu/H1N1 scare). At Yankees Stadium, we waited
around for about an hour and a half for a rain delay, had an overpriced
lunch and ice cream, and then the game was cancelled. At least we got
to see the stadium...
Then we checked into our new hotel (long story short: hotels.com
sucks) at the Westin in Times Square. I loved the location and the
view of this place. For 1.5x the price of the Marriott, it was 10x
For dinner we had the best sushi I've had so far at Bamboo 52.
After our final and best nightlife experience, we called it a night.
Day 5 (Monday, May 4th)
only had time for a fast-food lunch on this day, and it was a horrible
way to end a NYC experience. Don't ever eat at Chicken Bar.