Welcome back to the last instalment of my travel journal from New York.
Sunday 6th March Another day, another adventure. This day was actually a pretty quiet one. We didn’t do too much. Karo wanted to go down 23rd Street again near the Flat Iron building. She discovered some sort of Craft store online that she wanted to visit. After a bit of difficulties, we found it and spent quite some time. The amount of Easter stuff they had was crazy. Not just decorations and paint Easter eggs, they also had made up Easter Baskets starting at 9.99$. If I had the space in my suitcase, then one of them would have definitely had to come with me.
On the back going uptown I picked up a sandwich because it was lunch time already. I have to say food in Manhattan is very expensive and the most annoying part of it is that there is generally tax cost on top of it so you never know what you actually pay.
We walked back to 49th Street as we planned to go up to Top of the Rock. The building is massive and you can certainly get lost in there. Once we found the entrance and where to purchase tickets, we decided against it though. 32$ was a bit much in my opinion. I think it included a tour but still too expensive for my liking.
Instead we went to Nintendo World store and I picked up a present for hubby. A new Nintendo World T-Shirt. He already has 2 from New York but a new one was in order as clothes stretch overtime. I am a big Nintendo fan myself. It is just a shame that I barely get time to play the games.
Our next stop was Central Park. Right beside Central Park was the Apple Store. The reason why I wanted to see that was because it was built in a glass cube. Pretty cool and you go down the stairs then but oh my god, it was mad busy. We left pretty quickly again.
Shortly after we entered Central Park. Along the park there are a lot people with horse carriages. I didn’t see the price how much it would be but I’d say it’s not cheap anyway. I did see a sign and it said 50$ max. Central Park has a zoo but it’s tiny so we didn’t bother going in. The park is much nicer during the summer so we didn’t spend too much in it. The squirrels in the park are so friendly that they touch your hand with their nose and you are able to feed them no problem. It is not advised to feed wild animals though because it attracts rats, there are signs all over.
To roll of the day, we walked down to… guess where… Times Square again. This time for some well deserved Cafe Latte in Starbucks. The amount of people with coffee, frapuccionos or simple water from Starbucks on the streets is mad. It’s a shame we don’t have Starbucks in Sligo. Down the road from our hotel, Papa John’s was our dinner for the evening. Pepperoni Pizza and Harry Potter movies in the hotel room. After so much sightseeing and walking, I think we deserved it.
Monday, 7th March For me this was my last day really as my flight back was the next day at 5.30pm and I had to get onto the subway pretty much by 1pm which meant there was not much to do and we couldn’t go too far from our hotel.
Just outside our hotel we had the subway station that led us to Chinatown for the day. I have never been before and this was definitely on my to do list in New York. Once you come out of the Subway station, it’s like another world. It’s still New York like but it’s so different. All buildings and houses have chinese signs. People sell tons and tons of food on the streets and chinese sweets. You certainly feel weird walking down the street with all the Chinese people passing you. After taking it all in, we walked back to the Subway station off to Lexington Avenue.
Lexington Avenue is located near Roosevelt Island. A tram takes you from Manhattan to the island just across from the Queensborough Bridge. The ride is basically the cost of the Subway and you can take the Metro Card for it,too. Once we got on, it was a bit scary because we were so high and went over the river and under all the cars. On the way back though, we got used to it and took some lovely photos.
We decided to walk down Lexington Avenue and pass some shops and have a look inside them to see if we can find anything nice. It was more looking and window shopping than anything else though. On the way we passed another Starbucks, as you do in New York, there is probably one in each street, and because the weather was so nice and it was so warm, I wanted to get a Caramel Frapucciono. Walking down the avenue further, we passed Grand Central Station.
In the evening to celebrate our last evening in New York, we walked up to Times Square and went for dinner in Applebees. I used to love Applebees when I stayed in New York for a few weeks a few years ago. With the dinner we had a big glass of Sangria which was I have to say delicious.
Tuesday, 8th March The day of check out. We had to check out by 11am but we could leave the suitcases behind until we headed off to the airport. Karo didn’t leave for another 2 days but she was staying in a different hotel then. That day the sun was absolutely booming. It was so warm. I managed to do a bit more shopping for myself and Karo picked up a new pair of converse in a converse shop that had sale on. I wanted to go to the Disney store again and pick up a Mickey T-Shirt for Matthew. On the way back to the hotel I got a sandwich, it was more like a baguette which I ate in the hotel.
Shortly after I said my goodbyes to Karo and took the Subway to the airport. I arrived just around 3pm which gave me plenty of time. We left on time and landed at Dublin airport at 4.30am. This was a bit of a killer because I didn’t exactly sleep properly and the time difference had me jetlagged for 2 days. But after all I had an amazing time.
A blogger asked me if it was worth the money and if it’s expensive to go…
Well, if you book early enough, hotel and flights can be got just over €1.000. I do not recommend to go to New York during the summer time. There are 2 simple reasons for it. 1. It’s way too warm, it’s unbearable and 2. This is a peak season which makes the hotels extremely expensive. The best time to go is March/April or September/October in my opinion.
Is it expensive to commute in New York?
Subway: Recommended is the Metro Card which can be topped up with desired amount. We started off with a 10 dollar card and had to top of up another 10. One ride is around 2.75$. Doesn’t sound expensive but the system is a bit unfair. If you want to take one line from Manhattan all the way down to Brooklyn you pay the same price but yet when you commute in Manhattan only 3 or 4 stops, it’s the same.
To be honest if you have good footwear with you, then nearly everything can be reached by foot.
What’s the cost of the food like?
Food: It seems expensive to me. A normal baguette/sandwich you can buy for 8 dollars which is around 7 EUR. In Ireland I can get one for 4 Euro. But I suppose it’s New York. That’s not the annoying part though. Everywhere you go, anything you buy, there is tax on top. You never know what the end sum is of what you are paying. It’s something you would have to get used to.
How much money should I take with me?
Cash: I took 300 Dollars with me thinking I will return some of it. Not at all. Even you are not the biggest spender, you will need quite a good amount of money if you are staying in New York for 5 days or longer. In the end, higher amounts I paid by card which made it easier and it meant I had cash on me for other things like snacks or lunch.
A credit card in New York is the way to go. You really have to mind it though. In some shops, they don’t even require for you to sign what you paid which means anyone can buy stuff when they have your credit card. Whereas other places, like Hard Rock Cafe, is actually asking for ID to make sure it is your card.