1. The buildings
The first thing you think of when you think of NY is of course the skyline with all the skyscrapers. This was something I was super excited about when I came to New York. When I first got out of the subway on my first day when I was on my way to my cousin it was the first thing I noticed. The buildings were HUGEEEEE. Wow. I was amazed, it’s just something you can’t really describe, but they’re so impressive.
The parks in New York are AH-MAH-ZING. They are so lovely and it’s such a nice and calming atmosphere. Central Park is obviously the most well known park and it’s so huge, I only saw parts of it when I did a bike tour through it. It’s beautiful though. Two smaller parks I absolutely loved are Bryant Park and Washington Square Park. Bryant Park is literally in the middle of huge buildings in the centre of Manhattan and next to the Public Library, it’s the cutest park with lovely old fashioned chairs and in the summer evenings they play movies there! Washington Square Park is such a vibrant happy place to be, there’s lots of people making music and you can just sit there and read a book. This was my favourite thing ever to do in NY, just sit alone in a park and read a book. Perfect.
This might seem like a strange one, but I really loved the subway. It’s the easiest way to get around in the city and I really enjoyed traveling that way. I guess I really like to just watch people and in the subway there’s all kinds of them and I find it interesting. Something else I noticed were all the adverts inside the subway, they were SO American! It was hilarious to me, because I feel like advertising is just very very different here in The Netherlands. The thing I liked about it as well was that it reminded me of all the movies of New York when they travel by subway or the scary ones when they hide in the tunnels and stuff like that.
The people in New York were seriously so nice! Super helpful, polite and kind. Like random people in the streets would just say things like “Have a nice day” or “Have a good one” or they would just greet you and it’s so lovely!!! I really missed that when I came back to Holland, because people don’t do that here at all. I also love that in NY there’s ALL kinds of people and it doesn’t matter what you look like, because there are so many different people. That’s one of the things I love most about big cities.
The food, oh my, oh my. I’m pretty sure that I’d gained a few pounds in my 2,5 weeks in NY. Because, damnnnn, they have good food. Let’s start with MEXICAN food, something that hasn’t quite made it’s way into the mainstream fast food industry here, but what a shame, because it is absolutely freaking delicious. I had a serious foodgasm when I had my first burrito and same with the second, third.. and so on. Burritos are the love of my life and I miss them, because they don’t do them by far as good here as in de USA. Secondly I just really loved all the sweets: ice cream sandwiches, cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cheesecakes, chai lattes, iced coffees. Everything was SO GOOD. Oh and then the pizza, need I say more? NY does the best pizzas. (I’m getting real hungry writing this, lol!)
6. The freedom
The feeling that made me the most happy when I was in NY was the feeling of complete freedom. You kind of just feel on top of the world when you’re there and I can hardly imagine what it must be like if you have a lot more money to spend than me, because you can do anything there. It’s such a huge city and there is so much going on and so many interesting places to go. I guess I also felt really free, because I was on my own and could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I just loved exploring the city and all the beautiful places in it.
Now, I do have a slight obsession with pretty lights, but I think everyone would be amazed by New York at night. Just walking through the streets at night is lovely, but theres a few places you can go to have the most amazing views. Like from Bryant Park, where you’re in the middle of all the tall buidlings, or from the top of Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center. I haven’t been on top of the ESB, but I still think I would recommend going on top of the Rockefeller Center, because then you have an amazing view on the Empire State Buidling, which is something you really want! The view from that high up is breathtaking. I spend about three hours up there, because I couldn’t get enough of it. Also the view at the skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge or Brooklyn Heights is pretty amazing.
When you think of New York the first thing that comes to mind is usually Manhattan, but let’s not forget about Brooklyn. Brooklyn is absolutely amazing. It has a whole different vibe to it that Manhattan, it’s less busy and crowded and the buildings aren’t so high. Brooklyn is a lot more alternative and hipster and I really really like that. There are a lot of vintage stores, lovely coffee bars and cute bakeries. Also, the streets in Brooklyn are beautiful. There’s lots of trees everywhere and then you have those gorgeous houses with stairs to the front door. So yeah if you go to NY I would definitely recommend exploring Brooklyn!