*Warning I: This is definitely not an insiders guide to New York City*
**Warning II: Don't lose your camera in the airport at the end of your holiday**
***Warning III: Don't relive memories of old travels as they will make you misty eyed***
I was asked the other day for must-dos in New York - I've only been once so I'm definitely no expert, but my favourite spots we visited were all utterly quintessential. It had me thinking and reminiscing, so in throwback style, here are a few ideas for a Big Apple itinerary. We spent 5 full days wandering the city, and riding the (confusing) subway a few years ago, before we made for Florida to take in some sunshine, sample some Southern hospitality via a plate of biscuits with gravy, ride a few Harry Potter roller coasters, dodge a few 'gators and geek out visiting NASA.
I'm happy to admit it, I can be a great big cheese ball at the best of times. Soppy movies always make me cry (no to mention those animal videos on Youtube), sad stories break my heart and I get all moony-eyed at the idea of old-fashioned romance.
Keeping in the same vein, often where there's something touristy, I want in. It's not really fashionable in the hipster-tinged travel community to admit this sometimes, the emphasis usually on being off-the-beaten-track and zany (I'm totally guilty of this by the way) but it's usually the classic, iconic stuff that I'm disappointed to miss once we're on our way home. It's classic for a reason, isn't it?
New York is one of those few cities that seems to have that almost undefinable special something that makes every visitor gush - every visitor that I've met over the years any way.
But what do you have to do?
- The Staten Island Ferry has great, free, views of the Statue of Liberty.
- Brunch on sunny side up eggs with a side of OJ. Especially if it's a local greasy spoon where the same old dudes rock up every morning to perch on the counter.
- Breakfast outside Tiffany's, croissant and coffee in hand, pearls on and coiffure sorted.
- Scale the Empire State (top tip is to go near twilight, you'll miss the worst crowds and get to watch Manhattan light up).
- Take some time to reflect at Ground Zero, the memorial garden for innocent victims of 9/11.
- Stroll through a Greenwich Village foodie walk.
- Go to Kat's delicatessen for a Rubens sandwich - Harry Met Sally sound effects optional. (But, make sure you're hungry, order half sours and go off peak).
- Go to a Harlem gospel performance/practice.
- Have a hot dog on Coney Island boardwalk (renditions of Under The Boardwalk are totally optional).
- Picnic in Central Park.
- Eat pizza slices in the shadow of Brooklyn Bridge.
- Grab a coffee and take in Grand Central Station even if you're not traveling anywhere.
- Buy something ridiculously tat orientated - I opted for I♥NY pyjamas because sometimes you just gotta.
- Get a selfie in Times Square, but it's meh, IMHO.
There are a few bonus tip offs that I was lucky to receive as well;
- Hunt out The Friends building in Greenwich - there are some seriously scrumptious bars and elis nearby.
- Go to Economy Candy near Kat's Diner - it is simply an Aladdins cave of American Candy. Do it. We absolutely couldn't believe our eyes.
- Cat hunting in Greenwich record stores is awesome.
- Try not to mistake Harlem for Columbia (Ivy League) University. They are two very, very different sides of the island, but unhelpfully the tube stations have identical names on 3 branches of the subway system.
- Indulge in a little supermarket snooping.
New York, New York - so good they named it twice! Have you been?
(Ps. Don't forget the travel linkup is live, we're sharing our blog addictions and habits...)