Without a doubt, the best thing about New York (and also the worst) is that there’s so much to do. Whether you’re there for a one day or ten, it’s impossible to fit in all there is to offer. You’ll never get bored; with never-ending opportunities to chase the next adventure under the bright lights. But if you suffer from a little OCD and love ticking off what’s done and dusted and what’s left to do, you might have a problem on your hands! New York to me is tall, eclectic, intense, diverse…and requires a whole lot of energy. I understand why there’s a coffee shop on every corner; New York’s pace without coffee is non-negotiable.
Back in March, I spent 5 days in The Big Apple, with my days jam packed with sight-seeing, shopping, bus tours and of course, plenty of eating. It was freezing during that trip, with snow everywhere, and I remember my hands being so cold one morning that I ran into Starbucks to warm myself up over a tiramisu latte. Tiramisu is my favourite dessert, so I lost myself in a wave of excitement; naturally. They never did quite find themselves on the menu over here. Perhaps one day! At least toffee nut lattes are around the corner.
Five months later and I’m New Yoik bound again, where the weather wasn’t half bad. I’ve been there in the height of winter, early spring and the middle of summer, and so far early September is a definitely a winner for the climate conscious. We spent just 24 hours there, because when it comes to New York; my family are divided. Some love it, some could leave it, and never return. FOREVER! Caps are so good for adding dramatic effect.
We drove in to the city by the George Washington bridge, with the city skyline in view, and passed by the IAC building which looks like somewhere Elsa from Frozen could call home.
Sent on a mission by a dear friend, we headed to Greenwich Village to pay 1849 a visit. Greenwich is so pretty; definitely one of my favourite NYC spots. I love the whole feel of The Village; it’s far more relaxed than Midtown. This friend (we’ll call him Paddy) asked me to stop by 1849 for memory’s sake. Ten years ago (he’s 31 soon…gah!) he spent a summer on a J1 visa working in New York. He used to hang out at the 1849, and his picture was taken and framed on the wall all those years ago. Curious to see if a piece of his younger self still remains there after all these years, I had to investigate. Sure enough, I found him in a frame on the staircase, his younger self suspended there…FORVER!
That’s him in the middle. As nerdy as ever. Hi Pee! He came with me to Klaw in Temple Bar recently, if you guys recognise his face.
All this detective-ing worked up quite the appetite, so we went in search of food. I could feel my hangry levels rising fast (it really doesn’t take long) so we stayed in lovely Greenwich and went to The Malt House around the corner for some brunch. It was the afternoon, on a Sunday, in New York city. What else would you be doing? Brunch is so much craic wherever you are (I do love a good long and leisurely brunch in Dublin city of a Sunday) but it’s a rite of passage in New York; a cultural institution, if you will.
Obviously New York has a ridiculous amount of choice in terms of places to eat, so I’m no expert. The Malt House was a great choice though, and I’ll return next time I visit and would recommend it if you’re in the area too. The music was fantastic, the décor is minimalistic and clean, and the food, beer, wine and cocktail selection are all top notch. Brunch cocktails are also bottomless for a whole two hours for just $15! Dublin brunch spots need to get on board. If they trust us enough, that is…
I was well and truly hangry at this stage, so ended up ordering in quite an un-brunch like manner, but whatever, I was happy! I figure a majority of dishes are passable as brunch when paired with a cocktail during the day. And sunglasses. I even instagrammed it! In flat lay! Nothing can stop me.
I had the Breakfast Burger – black angus beef, applewood smoked bacon, sunny side egg, aged cheddar and house cut fries. Accompanied by lots of mimosas and some coffee. Delicious!
I’m actually feeling quite hungry as I type this. If I could choose something to have right now from their menu, I would try the Fried Chicken Waffle Club. That, or the Cowntown Breakfast Tacos. Or maybe their blueberry pancakes?
When we left The Malt House the sun was shining. The weather was perfect; not too humid or sticky. We went for a walk around The Village, aiding a glorious brunch go down. I gave the camera (and iPhone) a break; and with plans to go to Midtown later on, we left Greenwich and headed for our hotel.
Some colourful and cheerful graffiti I saw on the way to our hotel! Cute.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites, a hotel chain that will feature quite a few times on our trip. You really can’t beat Embassy Suites. Their rooms have everything you need, their breakfast can’t be beat and Happy Hour isn’t half bad either! I love their layout – while this particular chain’s atrium is quite modest, some have palm trees, duck ponds, bridges…they’re always a spectacle.
I had to start Happy Hour with a Shirley Temple; something I always went bananas for as a child on American trips. It wasn’t long until I asked for one spiked with vodka, however. Rested, relaxed and ready to take on the bright lights (on the fuel of a successful Happy Hour) we were ready to take Midtown BY STORM! Or by car. The traffic was really heavy. We got there eventually.
Mesmerising lights! Five Guys! Shake Shack! I’m in there somewhere at the back of that Love-cam shot. I am a celebrity! Well; I was, momentarily, in Times Square. In the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
Adorable stuffed Empire State Buildings in Toys “R” Us leads us on to our next New York pitstop! Having been to The Empire State Building before, I only witnessed the city in its enormity during the day. I always wanted to see the incredible views at night time, so we all agreed to pay a visit to one of the tallest buildings in the world.
We walked from Times Square to West 33rd and 5th, with the Empire State in our view for the majority of the walk. You can’t get lost, even if you tried, and New Yoik’s grid system is very easy to figure out. It definitely owns the title of ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ as the streets were crowded, despite how late in the evening it was.
These pictures need no introduction really, but I’ll give you one anyway. Our view, from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building observatory on a balmy Sunday night. We spent nearly an hour up there, looking over the city and the breathtaking view. The view from the top also made me think about how teeny and insignificant we are as a species in the grand scheme of things (gulp! deep…) We’ll save existentialism for next time.
The next morning I woke bright and early and went back into bustling and buzzing Manhattan for a meeting. When we wrapped up, I got myself a breakfast bagel and a coffee (at a corner-shop, naturally) raided Sephora, got some I <3 NY stuff (you have to!) and packed up my shiny new purchases in my suitcase, ready to move on to The City of Brotherly Love.
Until next time, New York.
♥ ♥ ♥