Back in April of this year, I went with my family to New York City, and for whatever reason, I never ever got round to writing a blog post about our trip, so 6 months later, here it is!
I've spent the last week or so re-editing all the images from the trip, I wasn't massively impressed with a lot of them to be quite fair. There was a lot of haze and harsh sunlight in some of the shots, but I'm more happy with the images now I've had a chance to re-edit them. Really looking forward to going back to NYC though now that I have my new camera, forever wanting to shoot everything I done before with my D750.
Anyway, let's get to it!
The first part of our trip to New York City begins in Aberdeen.
The Journey -
Aberdeen airport is tiny, so we had to get a connecting flight via London Heathrow, but thankfully I had the breakfast of champions (sarcasm..) in the Aberdeen BA Lounge, consisting of a rowie, a bag of crisps, and apple juice. Can't beat that.
So my first ever time to the United States of America, and to say I was excited was an understatement, the whole trip was an absolute buzz, from getting on a B747 for the first time, to thinking the toilet was overflowing when apparently the toilet water is just really high in America? The tiniest of things were getting overly excited, and I hadn't even stepped foot out of JFK yet.
Big shout out to British Airways for the smoothest 7 hour flight ever, and the constant supply of as much orange juice as I wanted. You'd be surprised how many films you can watch and orange juice you can drink in 7 hours! Shame about the dirty windows...
DAY 1 -
Arriving at JFK at stepping out the main doors and seeing the yellow cabs was definitely a pretty cool moment! My whole knowledge of and thoughts about America are purely from years and years of American TV shows, and movies, so it was great to see it in the flesh.
We arrived in the evening, and got a Dial 7 car to our hotel which was the New York Marriott East Side on Lexington Ave at 49th Street. Really couldn't have asked for a better place to stay to be honest, right in the heart of Manhattan, ideal!
After we had unpacked and chilled out for a bit, as with every place we go (I get this from my folks), we went a wander to get our bearings, and by now it was quite late in the evening, our first taste of New York by night. The streets and avenues setup was really easy to grasp, but damn, walking a block can feel looooooong sometimes!
By this point we were absolutely starving, and had reached Times Square, so if I remember correctly, I think we just dived into one of the first places we found
down a street off the square which happened to be a TGI Fridays. Filling food and a lot of cola! No complaints from me.
Times Square was absolutely heaving, as expected I guess, but really cool to see all the lights, billboards and giant TVs, definitely blows London's Leicester Square out the park, that's for sure.
After a full day of travelling, it was time to hit the sack, and prepare ourselves for all the tourist shit tomorrow, and the next day, and the days after that! But I think I was more looking forward to eating pancakes for breakfast...
DAY 2 -
First full day in NYC, and it was going to be a long one, so I had to lace up my New Balance 991's for ultimate comfort.
We asked the reception where a good spot was to get some pancakes, and they recommended the Comfort Diner which was relatively close to the hotel.
PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST @ The Comfort Diner!
They don't look like much, but man these pancakes were good... and you can tell everyone else had the same idea! You've gotta love that American style diner too!
We decided that the first "tourist" thing we would do was check out the Empire State Building, and this wasn't too far from where we grabbed some breakfast, so we walked a few blocks and then joined the inevitable queue.
Finally, after an hour in the queue outside, we reached the front door, but only to be greeted with more queues. You've gotta be pretty patient with these types of things, even in off-peak times.
It was very rammed at the top, and obviously everyone wants to get close to the barrier on each side, but with a little argy bargy, I made it to each of the sides. Big shout to my mum for holding my camera bag and swapping out my lenses when I needed them, haha.
There was a lot of haze that day, so some of the shots didn't turn out so good, but there's a bunch below.
After the Empire State Building, we needed to refuel, so went to one of the million Starbucks in NYC and done just that, and it's always a good place to grab wi-fi.
I have two sisters, so naturally, being in NYC, they wanted to go shopping, and with the Empire State Building being on 5th Avenue, shopping was next on the agenda!
Madison Square Garden
One World Trade Centre in the distance
Instore custom booth at New Balance NYC
Before I went away, I made up a list of all the stores in NYC that I wanted to check out, but sadly, I only managed to get to the New Balance Store where I picked up the New Balance 997CCF, pictured below.
New Balance 997CCF
New Balance NYC was our last stop in terms of shopping for this day, and as it is in the Flatiron District, what do you go and see next? The Flatiron Building!
We walked through Madison Square Park which is in front of the Flatiron Building, where the above pictures where taken, and there were loads of squirrels which were all extremely tame. If only we had some nuts to give them!
As we had done the Empire State Building during the day, our plan was to check out Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Centre in the evening, so we could see New York by night, but we had to go sort out tickets as you have to book for a certain time in the evening, so we made our way back up 5th Avenue.
The Rockefeller Centre itself is a pretty impressive complex, and as it was Easter time, there was a giant Easter bunny made of flowers.
The world famous ice rink was also still up at the Rockefeller Centre.
It was an absolute nightmare to try and get tickets for the Top of the Rock, but after getting lost a few times, and asking a couple of people, we eventually found the ticket office and sorted out tickets for an evening slot.
St. Patrick's Cathedral in on 5th Avenue opposite the Rockefeller Centre and is a really breathtaking building, especially when it's in the middle of Manhattan and has all the giant buildings surrounding it.
As above, the same can be said for St. Bartholomew's Church which is on Park Avenue, and as you can see from the image below, it is almost totally dwarfed by all the huge buildings.
I honestly can't remember what we done next, I know we went back to the hotel to rest for a bit, but after that and before we went to Top of the Rock, I have no idea. It was 6 months ago, my bad!
Anyway, let's jump straight to Top of the Rock. We headed back to the Rockefeller Centre in the evening, and this was a much quicker and less stressful process than the Empire State Building.
Empire State Building and One World Trade Centre
Empire State Building and One World Trade Centre
After experiencing Top of the Rock, we headed back to the hotel to get an early night as the travelling and busy day had caught up with us!
Day 3 -
Honestly, if I could start every day with pancakes for breakfast then trust me, I would!
Another pairs of the 9xx series for today, in the form of the New Balance 990HSN x hanon shop, one of my favourite pairs and again super comfy.
We're always ones for embracing the local public transport system, and on this day we wanted to pay a visit to the Statue of Liberty, and the best way seemed to be to get the underground from Grand Central Station to Battery Park.
Sadly though, the underground is shocking... certainly in comparison to London's underground, big up the Oyster cards.
At least it gave us a reason to check out the amazing Grand Central Terminal.
We sent my mum and one of my sisters to go and join the queue, while the rest of us went to get the tickets. Again, a bit unorganised, but what can you do? Doesn't help either when you ask a bunch of people and they all tell you different things...
At least there's a pretty neat view of the One World Trade Centre while you're queuing.
We got on the Miss Ellis Island boat which would first take us to the Statue of Liberty, and then we would have the opportunity to check out Liberty Island.
Straight to the upper deck to grab some seats, but damn, that short boat ride to Liberty Island was windy!
Some of the views leaving the dock, and then approaching Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty.
We spent some time on Liberty Island checking out the Statue of Liberty and of course, taking in the pretty awesome views that you get of New York City. Sadly, we never had the opportunity to go up the Statue of Liberty to the crown as you have to book it well in advance. Here's some views of NYC and some close ups of Lady Liberty to make up for it!
Once you're done on Liberty Island, you head back to where you got off one of the boats, and hop back on a boat to take you to Ellis Island, where you are free to have a look in the National Museum of Immigration, a really cool place for sure.
Combining a little bit of jet lag, with long days filled with walking and queueing, some of us were pretty drained, so another chilled night was on the cards but the Lindie family are big fans of the Fast and Furious franchise, and the 7th film had released while we were in NYC, so we figured we'd find somewhere to watch it.
Maybe a strange thing to do when you're on holiday, but a good way to pass some time and chill out in the evening for sure!
We found a cool little spot to watch it at Cinema 1, 2 & 3, which had reclining seats and all.
And that was it for day 3 in NYC!
This post is already pretty lengthy, so I'm going to continue this post on a part 2, rather than making this one even longer. Be sure to check the second post here.