The first time I ever went to New York City was when I was a Sophomore in high school – it was the time in my life where NYU and FIT were my dream schools and after I attended one of those schools, I would move to Paris and be a fashion designer (haha who am i kidding… thats still my dream today). I went to NYC with my fashion merchandising class for a field trip (why was this a thing in HIGH SCHOOL? idc, thank God it was) and it was the most amazing trip of my life- I loved NYC so much. I even thought the subways were the coolest thing at that age – but I didn’t know anything about traveling because I was with a teacher and a whole class so I didn’t get to learn the city the right way.
Five years later… my best friend’s mom texts me and asks if I would want to go to New York City with my best friend for her birthday. Keep in mind- I have asked my mom at LEAST once a year for the past 5 years if we could go to New York Fashion Week and it never happened, so when this happened, I said HECK YA and my mom said yes VERY EASILY so I saved money for a flight and a few months later was off to New York City- to explore like a true traveler this time!
This is what my list of things to do looked like:
(peep the Instagram caption idea for the Met steps hahaha)
So Jasmine (my best friend and the birthday girl) flew from San Diego and arrived around 5am at JFK. I did not get to JFK until 10am I believe. So she ubered to the city, found the hotel, kept her stuff there and explored the area – ALL BY HERSELF, very impressed!!! Then I finally arrived like a million hours later. We met in the middle of the street… what a cute reunion! We went to the hotel- turns out we were at the wrong location- oops! We found the right location, put our stuff there and went out to explore!
The places we actually went from that list:
Empire State Building
Top of the Rock Observation Deck
Grand Central Station (funny story… i’ll get to that)
Brooklyn (we saw the bridge, didn’t walk on it though!)
Washington Square Park
Metropolitan Museum of ArtGuggenheim Museum
American Museum of Natural History
We purchased the C3 City Pass – you can choose 3 attractions for $76 dollars. We thought this one was more beneficial than the other City Pass because we did not NEED to see everything. So with the C3, we purchased Top of the Rock, Guggenheim Museum, and American Museum of Natural History. We purchased Empire State building tickets separately.
To the left, was the map that we followed to know where everything was the whole time. It’s pretty crazy to look at NYC like this on a map because everything looks so easy to understand and get to – which it definitely was. The day we went to Brooklyn, on the subway back, we got off on the Financial District stop and literally walked through Tribeca, Soho, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and Garment District to get back to Times Square (which is where out hotel was located). I don’t know why we did not uber and our feet sure as heck hurt, but I’m glad we did it this way because we got a feel for each of these areas. I think Jasmine decided that Soho was her favorite.
Aside from the ones listed above, the places on the map that we touched also include: Times Square, Midtown West, Midtown East, Upper West Side, Central Park and Upper East Side.
Guys, I’m not even kidding you… we walked (and took the Subway) EVERYWHERE to make sure we saw EVERYTHING!
We are very big Gossip Girl fans so we definitely found our inner Blair and Serena on this trip. We went to Brooklyn and saw how Dan, Rufus and Jenny lived. Saw Chuck Bass’ place in Upper West Side. Ate breakfast for dinner as I hope Blair and Serena would in Upper East Side. We even saw Constance Billard School for Girls.
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Brooklyn Pizza… Is it Bella talking if theres no talk about pizza lets be real?! Yes, I’m from Chicago, I’ve had Chicago pizza. I’ve had real Italian pizza from Italy. But this pizza…WOW. It was GOOOD. I don’t remember where we got the pizza and if it was a famous place known for its pizza or if it was one we found on Maps. So I’m sure you can go anywhere and find good pizza.
Okay its also not Bella talk if I don’t talk about bagels. New York is known for their bagels, right? I’m known for my love of bagels so I HAD to go to The Bagel Store in Brooklyn. Very cool. To be honest with you, I didn’t eat the bagel because I did not want to ruin its beauty but I’m sure it was amazing. Lol
While we’re on the topic of food, I’m gonna go ahead andgive a shoutout to Serendipity 3 (225 E 60th St, New York, NY). The frozen hot chocolate is a must! You might be asking “what the heck is frozen hot chocolate? isn’t that just ice cream?” To be honest, I have no idea but it is AMAZING. I still have dreams about it today, so just do yourself a favor and try it!
Remember when I said I had a funny story about Grand Central Station? Here it is!
On the first day of the trip, Jasmine and I were just strolling around.. Seeing every which way we could walk. We walked through Bryant Park without noticing. Then all of a sudden, I see a big building with a statue on top and I said to Jasmine, “oooh I wonder what that building is and if its anything important.” I squinted my eyes trying to see a name somewhere and started to read “Graaannd… Centraal… Station! OMG its Grand Central Station!” And we both started freaking out. Ok I’m sorry if that wasn’t THAT funny but to us, it was the most hilarious thing for some reason. We just kept walking past popular places seen in movies… and we did it again!
Central Park is just beautiful… and in the SNOW! Its a lot to walk ALL around but at least walk a lot of it! You can end up in some cool spots!
(Not to fangirl about Gossip Girl again… but we saw where Chuck and Blair got married and I don’t know if my eyes were watering because of the cold or if I was actually crying…)
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Just remember! Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler 🙂
Take advantage of your time there, explore different and random areas… you might find your new favorite city/town!
And definitely take any place as a photo op!
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