Travel Tuesday: New York

I want to be a part of it! It’s easy to begin a passionate love affair with cities like New York; they’re busy, organised and full of things to see, places to be and opportunities. It’s even easier to forget that just behind the shimmering doors of Macy’s, or the gleaming top of the Chrysler building are people who have lost their homes in hurricanes, or because of the recession. New York is like toy town, bright and bustling and it’s easy to forget all the toys have been broken and discarded over the years.

Can you spot me?

My family assumed I would be overwhelmed by the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan, but there’s something so enticing about them. The grid system means the city is relatively easy to navigate, and once you work out the rough time it takes you to walk a block then you’re well on your way to strolling easily through the Big Apple. Money wise it is easy to blow your entire life savings and then some in New York, but there are definitely ways around it. For one, almost all the major attractions can be viewed for free and with a little bit of forward planning you can walk from uptown to downtown, slowly, across the course of a day. That way, you can take in some of the biggest sights of New York at your own pace. However, be warned, your feet may well ache for days after this experience. We fell into the trap of the typical tourist excursion – the open top bus tour. After a little chatting with the sales guy we managed to secure something resembling a good deal and boarded our red dole decker. It was roughly $25/$30 each for this hop on/hop off bus and we sat tight for the first loop of midtown and downtown New York. We decided to listen to the jolly commentary and take in the sights from afar, before deciding where to get off the bus and explore a little more.

Being a shameless fangirl of Tina Fey I of course had to stop off at 30 Rock and buzz around taking photos of everything and singing the theme song at any available moment. The NBC Experience store is hugely expensive but it does contain some brilliant merchandise including the famous Troy and Abed in the Morning mug, a necessity for any Community fan!

NY-THATEMILY-002Of course, I follow in every cliche in saying that being there made me feel like anyone, with any dream or ambition could find a place there. Greenwich Village was just how I imagined, Barnes & Noble was the most inviting place in the world and importantly for a commercialised coffee addict such as myself, you can barely step 8 feet but hit a Starbucks. However, the hipster in me loved the tiny coffee stores and delis and shopping is a complete dream. If you can save up so that spending money isn’t too much of an issue, New York is an amazing place to shop and be a typical tourist. However, if you need to travel on a budget then stick to travelling on foot, take a picnic to Central Park and hunt out some great value coffee shops around Manhattan. It’s an insane but amazing place.

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