I always judge a city on whether I could see myself living there, and the moment we arrived in New York City, I felt right at home. I was suddenly glad that Tall had convinced me we should stop there for five days in February 2009, on our way back to New Zealand for our wedding.
It was busy and bustling, but not overwhelming. The people were friendly and helpful, the food was mostly really good (the BAGELS! Oh my goodness, the bagels were to die for!), and the sights and sounds were all so…so…New York.
We rode the Staten Island ferry, and marvelled at the Statue of Liberty as we sailed past.
We explored the harbour and lower Manhattan, wandering through parks and busy streets. We stopped for a moment at a memorial to 9/11, and absorbed the magnitude of such a tragic event; seeing it on the news is one thing, but seeing the continuing aftermath is another.
We went up the Empire State Building and enjoyed the amazing views from the top, and explored the streets. The Flat Iron Building was a sight to behold, and Times Square was a vibrant, bright, people-filled joy.
We went to an ice hockey game, and Tall had a try at ice skating in Central Park. Our half-day walk through Central Park saw us cover such a tiny amount; it is one of the most amazing green spaces I have had the pleasure of exploring. There you are, lost in the tranquil peace of this huge park, in the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities.
We shopped (mostly of the window variety) and ate pizza, hot dogs, and pretzels from street carts, and went for a meal in Chinatown. We discovered a diner near our hotel in Midtown East, and breakfasted on blueberry hotcakes and endless cups of coffee. We went for burgers at an Irish pub, and the waiter laughed at my lack of a “New York appetite” – the burger was the size of my head, and I’m convinced it came with a kilo of fries.
We loved every moment of our time in New York, and I am desperate to go back. My sister once mentioned that she’d like to have a girls’ weekend in New York for her 40th birthday, which is in two years, and I am madly hoping that she still wants to do it!