New York City

My now husband and I had been dating almost a year. He had never been to NYC and I would leap at any opportunity to visit! So, just before our first anniversary of dating, we took a trip to NYC. In February. Not my brightest moment but we still loved every second of our time there! Pretty much the entire peninsula of Manhattan is considered “must see”. It’s hard to condense everything into one article! I booked EARLY and we scored tickets to the Top of the Crown at the Statue of Liberty – which I had never done before. If you have never gone to the very top, it is a definite highlight and must see activity. However, in Post Covid times, check and see if tours are even being done at this time. If they are, you must reserve a ticket (around $25 per adult) several months in advance as they sell out quickly. (the picture below was taken by me, at the top of the crown of the Statue Of Liberty)

Also, going to the Top of the Rock (aptly named since it is at the top of the Rockefeller Center) OR Empire State Building are fun and daring activities as they are both extremely tall and the views are unparalleled (If you aren’t scared of heights!) just be prepared for claustrophobic elevator rides (again, this was my experience in pre-Covid days) and popping ears. Plus, having $20 drinks at the very top of the monstrous tower makes them taste MUCH better, ha!

A stroll down Canal Street is a tourists dream if you are on the hunt for knockoff designer items like Tiffany and Co jewelry, Louis Vuitton handbags, Gucci belts and so forth. Many times you are led behind faux walls, or told to step inside the backs of vans! I’ve personally never encountered anything frightening or that made me feel unsafe but police are on every corner, trying to keep watch on counterfeit goods.

No visit to NYC is complete in the summer without a trip to Coney Island (and for me, Wahlburgers!) in Brooklyn. It is a fun walk and exploratory time and you have to check out the Wonder Wheel, Thunderbolt ad Soaring Eagle rides!

Of course, you cannot leave the City that Never Sleeps without seeing a show on Broadway. My first Broadway show was “Hairspray” in 2008 with my family. I’ve also seen Ashlee Simpson in “Chicago”, “Annie”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Hamilton”, “Legally Blonde”, “Little House on the Prairie” which starred Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls Wilder on the show, “Little House on the Prairie” back in the day. I’ve also seen “Wicked” at Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Broadway shows are, for me, the highlight of every and all trips to New York City! If, for any reason you do NOT see a Broadway show, still take a few hours and just stroll around Times Square. It’s some good people watching at the very least!

We also walked about 20 miles a day all over the city, taking in all the views and eating pizza until we were stuffed. We traveled to Brooklyn, and of course, got cheesecake from the best, Junior’s! (I also love Roxy’s). Seriously, you cannot go wrong in the city. Anything, anytime, anywhere is fun and has a story behind it. If you enjoy designer “consignment” shopping check out a store called Michael’s There is always a long list of new places I love trying to squeeze in!

I also love to grab my cousin, who lives in NYC, and have girl dinner at Alice’s Tea Cup – it is such a fun, whimsical place and the food is delicious, and priced reasonably, considering everything in NYC is higher than usual. If you want the best milkshake in town, hop over to Serendipity for Frozen Hot Chocolate! After dessert, If you want an “elevated” view of the city that never sleeps, go for a walk along the Highline – an enjoyable way to walk off all those calories! But be sure and work up another appetite for dessert at Martha’s Country Bakery. There are multiple locations but my favorite is the one in Brooklyn because, well, a visit to Brooklyn is simply necessary anyway and what better excuse to go than to get dessert?!

NY style pizza is a must have and it is readily available at pretty much every street corner…which is the ONLY way to eat and thoroughly enjoy NY pizza. It is the one and only time you want greasy, hole in the wall type places because it is simply the best! Walk around Central Park, go to the Jackie O Reservoir and rent a bike and go for a spin around the park. You can’t go wrong in this beautiful place. Of course, you can do all the super touristy things like a bus tour, movie set tour, etc and those are also fun, but you can also just happen to walk past a celebrity on the way to grab coffee, so don’t get too pre-occupied with watching where you walk…for once, look around and all the people!

Most of all, have fun. It is truly the most magical, magnificent city!

View of Empire State Building from our hotel room (Hampton Inn, ESB if you want to stay there. Perfect Location!)

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