the big apple

Its October. I’m well and still shopping – so nothing’s changed tbh.

I know I haven’t posted in about 4 months, but I learnt that working full time, trying to enjoy summer and finding time to blog is rather challenging! Ironic because London is one of the best places to take photos… But if you did feel like you missed out, I did update my Instagram regularly – so go and have a little scroll!

This post isn’t about my lack of posting, it’s actually all about my trip to New York. To preface, I went for about 4 days in mid-September with my older brother, who is a fast walker, but a shite photographer. So if you’re looking for some NYC style inspo, you’re not going to find it here. #soz

I was (obviously) in charge of organising the trip, and as we were only there for a few days, we had to be selective with where to go and when. Hence, before leaving we bought CityPasses (£100pp) which provides admittance to 6 top attractions. And honestly, I could not recommend them enough if you wanted to do all of the touristy thangs. So here’s what went down…

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Thursday 14th September

After an afternoon flight from LHR to JFK, we arrived during rush hour so getting an Uber to the hotel a lengthy process. Nevertheless, we did make it to our jotel; the Millenium Hilton UN Plaza, Midtown East within an hour.

By the time we checked in, grabbed something to eat (e.g. croissant), we crashed out. Wild.

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Friday 15th September

The first real day was hot. Like 27 degrees and sunny.

We started with a very basic Pret breakfast and made our way to the tourist hotspot of Rockefeller Centre. After a quick walk around, we cashed in our first CityPass voucher to go to the Top of the Rock! With unobstructed views of both Central Park, Downtown and the Empire State Building – it was amazing. And although the observation deck was only 70 floors high, which is comparatively low to other skyscrapers in New York, I think it’s one of the best viewing points.

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We then made our way to the American Natural History Museumvia a walk through Central Park, bypassing dozens of horse-and-carriages. The museum was included in the pass and not going to a lie, it was a bit shit. When you compare it to the awe of the Natural History Museum in London, there’s a clear winner!

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By this point it was lunch time, so we continued to swelter through Central Park and head to Upper East Side where my brother found an Italian restaurant called Sarefina Pizza. Yet, we were super edgy and decided to get pasta instead… again, wild. It was pretty good, the tiramisu was the best part though!

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To walk off the carbs, we had a mooch around 5th Ave visiting the Uniqlo flagship and a J Crew, which proved to be very lucrative for my brother. It wasn’t great for myself and things weren’t much cheaper than back home.

As it was a Friday, the infamous Museum of Modern Art or MoMA holds ‘Free Friday Nights’, in conjuction with Uniqlo.  Tickets are usually $25 for adults, so I embraced bustle and had a wander. It was incredibly busy, but I did see some renown pieces from Warhol, Monet, Rauschenberg, van Gogh, Picasso and more. The outdoor sculpture garden is a must, it was much more tranquil than the galleries.

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After heading back, we went to a fast-food Lebanese place for dinner called Naya Express for a giant falafel box. Yum. The combination of a food coma and jet lag kicked in, so day one was over.

Saturday 16th September

We had another basic breakfast at a nearby Le Pain Quotidien before going to Grand Central Station for a quick photo-op.

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Next up was New York’s most popular attraction – the Empire State Building. And of course, we go on a morning that is completely fogged over. Let’s just say it added to the mystery and wonderment of the 102 floors – so much so you couldn’t see.

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We carried on our escapade downtown to the Flat Iron Building, because you know, Instagram! And after a terrible OOTD attempt, we were hungry and ventured into the tiny Eatly Cafe. Much to our astonishment, it just kept on going and going, to this maze of Italian delicatessians. We eventually found the pizzeria in the back and ate some, well, pizza. And you can’t go wrong with pizza in NYC.

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Post food baby and midday heat, we jumped in an Uber to SoHo. And a Saturday afternoon in SoHo is the same as a Saturday afternoon in Oxford Street – chaos. Regardless, this did not deter me from the half-an-hour Glossier queue, because GLOSSIER PEOPLE. I went up to the showroom and spent a bunch of money – full haul to follow soon.

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I had a look around shops like Madewell, Reformation but everything was no less than $100. And although the pieces were beautiful, it wasn’t worth it. However, again my brother bought loads – from t-shirts, trainers, socks, shirts. New York is much better if you’re a) a guy, or b) have more money. Sigh. 

Bags in tow, we took the sweaty subway back to Midtown to refresh for dinner. We had a dinner reservation at Hangawi, a vegetarian-slowdining-Korean restaurant. And yes it may sound pretencious, but it was sooooo good!

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The CityPass allows readmittance to the Empire State, for a evening viewing. So we made our way back up, for some less foggy shots to see the NYC skyline by night.

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Sunday 17th September

Our last full day in the big apple started with a less basic breakfast (finally) at the Chelsea Bagel of Tudor City. 

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We then headed Downtown to the 9/11 memorial and museum, which was probably the best ‘attraction’ we went to. It explores the events, the people and the future of the attacks. It did take a good couple of hours, so don’t rush it! My favourite part was a blue mural downstairs, created from hundreds of squares. Survivors were asked to paint the colour of the sky as they remembered it from the morning of 9/11, and the result was stunning.

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If you do go to the World Trade Centre, pop into the Oculus. It’s a random shopping centre, but it is incredibly satisfying to look at!

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The exploration downtown continued to The Highline, 1.5 mile greenway built on an old railroad. It’s truly an urban oasis that combines nature, city views, and peace in a big city. 

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The last attraction we exchanged on our pass was a cruise. We decided to go on the Circle Line Harbour Lights Cruise. It went from dusk until dark, allowing you to see both the sunset and Statue of Liberty, but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

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As a last stop, what better place than Times Square. It was a complete sensory overload, so we ran up the stairs, got a photo, and literally evacuated. It was a bit much…

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Monday 18th September

It was time to leave. We did some last minute shopping, checked out, tried to escape the UN circus due to Trump’s visit and one $100 Uber later, we were homebound.

And that was it. That was my trip to the big apple. And don’t worry, the haul will follow soon…

much love,

sajni 🙂

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