New York is the place to be! I have been every year, for the last 4 years and it still makes me wonder, makes me want more, desire more, believe more. New York has it all: the people, the vibe, the food, the lifestyle, the dreams, the weather, the action, the shopping, the fashion, the celebrity, the news…
Last week, me and my boyfriend, Mihai (CEO at Male-Extravaganza.com) got to go to New York for business, moreover, to attend New York Fashion Week. There was no greater news than this, especially that we have been dreaming for some years for this opportunity and it finally came.
Dreams do come true, don’t listen to the naysayers, look up to those that make it happen.
We only had 3 days to spend in New York and we needed to pack light, because to travel from the beach (Bethany Beach, DE) to New York is not an easy ride, because there is no airport and mostly you need a car or some friends who are nice enough to give you a ride (it is a 4-5 hour drive).
We are both perfectionists and we plan everything ahead of time, so we thought we had everything figured out, until we realized that life has its own course and you just have to go with it. Although it has been only three days, we experienced plenty and we got many stories to share. Hope you will find useful what we were reminded this year (cause, yeah, some of the things we have known all along).
New York is a big place and if you want to get the most of it, there are a few things you might want to consider, like the following:
#1. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Sneakers! Don’t walk in flip-flops, extravagant shoes, high-heels, flat shoes, etc… Listen very carefully, you NEED comfy comfy shoes!
You might want to find some inspiration here: 8 Comfy Toms Shoes
We packed light, meaning i had a pair of lace flats, a pair of sandals and Mihai had a pair of Pinch Tassel Shoes by Cole Haan. (see pictures below)
We did not realize that we will walk that much, we figured we are going to use the subway and taxi if needed. I thought, if i am not wearing high heels i should be just fine! WRONG! After 4-5 hours, in our first day, we could barely walk. We have been walking around SoHo, shopping for nothing in particular until we could walk no more. My soles were hurting and Mihai was in real pain, because his shoes were brand new and they were not made for walking that many hours.
Solution: we ended up buying new comfy shoes. He got a pair of Converse sneakers (which saved his feet from pain) and i bought the first pair of comfy shoes i found (every time i would take a step i was like “Ouch!”) which was a pair of black rubber ankle boots!
#2. Prepare to walk some miles
You might be under the impression that “There are only 3 blocks till that street and 2 block to the subway…and 5 blocks to that restaurant” and think that everything is so close by… it is because New York has such tall buildings, but in reality, you will be walking for a few miles without realizing, because you are mesmerized by the view.
Our first day was supposed to be a relaxing day, we wanted to go shopping and eat lunch in Bryant Park. In the end, we ended up walking in circles in SoHo and NoHo and then after getting to Bryant Park we thought we should check Times Square and just walk a bit on Broadway… our backs felt each mile, after we got back to our hotel room, we took a shower and dropped dead in the white, comfortable bed – we were numb.
#3. Shop In SoHo
SoHo means “South of Houston” – and it is the most fashionable part of Manhattan – in my opinion! There are a lot of young people, free spirits, and if you love streetstyle, this is the place to hang out! You cannot find an outfit that does not have that special cling to it. Also, it has plenty of stores, from H&M to Victoria’s Secret…we ended up staying in SoHo from 9 am till 3 pm, which is a lot!
#4. Travel smart: Use Uber
When in Manhattan, i suggest using the subway, it is not very cheap $2,50-$2,75 one way but you get everywhere, pretty fast. However, if you are like us – lazy after a whole day of walking and having a late night in the city with an old friend – you will want to use a taxi. We found the best taxi company so far. It is a new company in New York (it started less than a year ago) and it is called UBER. They have an app and you chose the car you want, the driver you want, add your location and where you want to travel and voila, they will come and pick you up!
Best part about it? You pay with your phone! It is very secure, no worries if you have cash on you or not, no worries regarding “how much will it cost?” because the app tells you that before booking the trip!
And because i like you all, your first ride is on me! Enter “MIHAIH”, coupon code, and you will get 30$ off your next UBER ride!
#5. Have lunch in Bryant Park
There is no year in New York without eating in Bryant Park! It is a small piece of green heaven surrounded by skyscrapers. You can sit on the grass and eat a nice picnic while enjoying the view of the Empire State building. Usually we like to sit at the table, they have these small metal tables and chairs and for 30 minutes you feel you have been transported into a totally different world. Plus, it has Free Wifi (first park i have ever been that has wifi).
#6. Eat at Hale&Hearty
We were introduced to Hale&Hearty 4 years ago when we went for the first time in New York. We were in Chelsea Market and our friend told us about a place that serves the best soup. We were homesick and soup sounded the best thing ever. Since the first time we tried it, there is no year without eating at Hale&Hearty! They have truly the best soups and really affordable menus. For example, we bought the large size soup bowl (did i told you that we like soup?!) and half a sandwich (their Southwest Club was the best this year!) and we each paid around $12. Plus, they give you Seven Grain bread -which is so tasty, you could eat it by itself. My favorite soup this year was Shrimp Bisque.
#7. Go Uptown and check those restaurants on the streets
For some reason, each year we have only traveled downtown (World Trade Center, Wall Street-that part), ate in Little Italy (best pizza ever and lovely festivals on the streets) and shopped in SoHo. This year, we thought of checking out uptown too, and the result: we are in love!
Uptown is more of a residential area, a place where new yorkers actually live. It is amazing to see them going home from work, in their fancy office outfits, spotting those red townhouses which you see in every movie, dreaming what would it be like if i would live there? Plus, at dinner time, plenty of restaurants prepare their outside tables for their guests. Everything is so romantic, small tables, covered with white table cloths, candles and flowers and people sipping wine while engaging in conversation with their loved ones. It was beautiful to spend the evening uptown.
Plus, they have so many small shops, most of them vintage, where you can find all sorts of things. I was in awe, because i love small shops and talking to the owners and discussing fashion … and i actually got to buy a pair of some really beautiful beige suede angle booties and a beige coat. (see pictures below)
#8. Don’t forget about Central Park
Central Park to New York is like lungs to the human body, there is none without the other. There are so many things to do in Central Park, starting with just walking -which i do not recommend, because Central Park is huuuuge, renting a bike – and exercise a bit, or you can rent a carriage – which are pretty expensive, but i guess it might be worth it for a romantic getaway (remember Carrie from SATC, when she was in a carriage with Mr. Big and she wore this amazing dress?). There are so many things to do in Central Park, that one day is not enough, plan at least 2-3 days to visit each famous part and don’t forget to enjoy!
All photos are courtesy of Estilo Tendances.com