submitted by Anna Aldridge
‘One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.’ – Tom Wolfe
I’ve always felt a connection to New York, and I think we all share this connection, a dream with the city. My dream is to live there for a few years and experience life as a true New Yorker. But for now I was just happy to get the opportunity to visit for 3 days, let alone a few years. The city was everything I expected it to be and more, and if you ever get the chance to go I recommend visiting these places.
For breakfast at Mama Sbarro’s was the all American bacon pancakes drowning in maple syrup, alongside a pathetically small bowl of watermelon I got just to make myself feel better. Soon after this I learned very quickly that it’s impossible to walk through Times Square without people trying to sell you something or just to get your attention. My favorite was a man who shouted to my boyfriend ‘AYO JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE’. He was pleased with this comparison and the engagement ended with a fist bump. Another unforgettable moment was the homeless man with a sign beside him that stated how he needed money for food, weed and bitches. Damn straight.
Later that day we visited the Friends apartments, which were surprisingly small and I hate to break it to you but… there is no Central Perk. However, ugly naked guys flat is still across the street, which restored some faith within me. I recommend visiting the apartments if you’re a fan of the show, and the quiet neighborhood is also famous for Magnolia Bakery, featured in Sex In the City. The banana pudding is to die for and I now understand why Joey doesn’t share food.
Dinner in the heart of Times Square was at Planet Hollywood which is filled with hundred’s of infamous Hollywood props and costumes. If you’re a movie fanatic or perhaps a media student I would definitely recommend a visit, as well as ordering the mac and cheese.
Day 2 consisted of a walking tour of the financial district of New York, which initially sounded to me like a drag, but ended up being an interesting experience. It’s always important to explore the history of a place your visiting, and this tour was the perfect chance. It had everything from the New York Stock Exchange to classic scenes from Wolf of Wall Street, anything DiCaprio is always something to be excited about. When I arrived my tour guide was fully equipped with a microphone, briefcase and a fedora. He meant business and I felt somewhat unprepared. After 2 hours of walking I tried Chipotle for the first time which I must say is amazing. I couldn’t help but eat my burrito rehearsing the famous vine (rip) ‘oh my gawd I love chipotleeeee chipotleee is my lyfeee’. Here’s a fun fact: There’s a Starbucks every 5 blocks in New York, and it tastes so much better there. The portions were giant and I don’t recall eating anything green.
In the middle of bustling Manhattan is Central Park, one of my favourite parts of the city. It’s free to explore unlike many other of the popular attractions and offered a break from the busy city that surrounds it. I woke up at 6am just to visit the park in complete silence whilst my friend smoked a cigarette. Hiring a bike for $15 later that day to explore the area was incredible, as well as exhausting. 5th avenue was a dream. I spent all my time and money in Sephora, which is a lot different to Boots. There’s a thrill in the atmosphere that drives you to spend $40 dollars on a face powder through no fault of your own. I also felt it was necessary to go to Victoria’s Secret, and even though we have it here in England, my stars and stripes pants are now a staple in my underwear draw. I also wanted to take a quick visit to Grand Central Station well… because Gossip Girl. The same with the top of the Empire State building, I found myself low-key searching for the flowers Chuck left for Blair in the bin. I also met Chuck Bass’ hand double, something to tick off the bucket list?
Those were my 3 days in New York. I am in love with this city and feel strangely homesick by the thought of it.
– Anna Aldridge