We were literally in NYC for twenty-four hours. We rolled up to my cousin’s apartment at 11:45 on Tuesday morning, and as I cranked the car on Wednesday, the clock read 12 noon. I would probably advise spending more time in NYC because THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO! However, we took advantage of it while we were there and did a lot of things. Not all of the things, but a lot.
We headed straight to Times Square after dropping our stuff at Lydia’s, where I managed to drop my phone in the toilet. (Note to self: Old Navy shorts don’t have great pockets and maybe always have “toilet rice” on hand from now on.) Times Square was, of course, crazy and busy and everything you see on TV on New Year’s Eve minus Ryan Seacrest.
After Times Square, we headed over to Macy’s/34th Street. I’m not really sure what that area is called, but that’s where we were. Macy’s is INSANE. We walked in, saw a lot of Kate Spade, and walked out. I was of course happy to see my favorite store ever, The Gap, not too far from Macy’s. Give me a million dollars, and I could’ve done a lot of damage.
We then walked some more, saw the New York City Library, and headed to Grand Central Terminal to take the subway to the 9/11 memorial. We entered in at a side entrance that was not very GRAND. So, we didn’t see the iconic location everyone has seen on TV, but at that point we were tired and ready to get to the 9/11 memorial and museum. I can’t speak highly enough about that! If you were alive (even if you weren’t) when the towers collapsed, I would say this is a must do. It was chilling to be in this spot where everything happened that I vividly remember so much about. It was definitely a highlight of our time in NYC for me.
We finished at the 9/11 musuem then headed to Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. We did this instead of the Empire State Building because friends recommended that for us. It was a great view, and I’m glad we did it (although sunset seems to be a busy time to go).
On Wednesday morning, we walked all of Central Park, from the north to the south. It was definitely pretty, and I was surprised at all the trails and hills! I wasn’t expecting that!
- Have some food options ready. I hadn’t done a lot of research when it came to food in NYC because I figured we could just figure it out as it happened. That’s alright, in theory, but when you’re standing in Times Square and you have no idea where to go, it would’ve been nice if I’d had some ideas to throw out. Our schedule was kind of up in the air, so even if yours is, too, just have some general thoughts about where you might want to eat.
- Take a taxi ride, at least once. We used the subway for most of our transportation in NYC when we weren’t walking, but we took a taxi ride from Rockefeller Center to my cousin’s apartment Tuesday night. That was fun! Even though it was night time, we were able to see other parts of the city we wouldn’t have if we’d been underground.
- Do things in the same area. We were literally all over Manhattan. It was mainly because we were trying to do so many things in such a limited amount of time, but if I did it over again, I would do things differently based on geography. It takes a lot of time scooting around from one place to another in NYC. If you can, do what you want to do in Midtown one day, Tribeca another, and Greenwich Village another. It’s just easier in the long run.
- Get free tickets to the 9/11 museum on Tuesdays. I somehow came across this on Google, and this was truly a blessing for us because we were in NYC on a Tuesday. From 5-8 on Tuesday evenings, you can get free tickets into the 9/11 museum. They go up on the site at 9 on Monday morning (just the day before), but you can also wait in line that afternoon for tickets. I wouldn’t want to waste my time, so hop on and grab some on Monday morning. So worth it!
- Explore Central Park. I’m glad we did this. It was a lot, and we walked a long way just in Central Park, but it’s kind of awesome to be in all that “green” in the middle of the city. We walked down it, from North to South, because of where my cousin lives, and we took the subway back to her place because we needed to head out. However, you could spend all day there and still not see the whole thing.
- Know where you’re going. I am a big map person. I like to know the general direction of where I am going at all times/how to get somewhere in case my phone isn’t working. However, I failed miserably on this trip in NYC. If I could go back, I’d study the maps better/talk to more people who have been to NYC/who live there to figure out the best way to get from Point A to Point B.
I am glad that we made it to NYC. I almost changed our plans and took NYC off the itinerary just two weeks before we left because, well, SO MUCH IN SO LITTLE TIME. But, I didn’t, and I’m happy to say that we went, we saw, and we survived!