Waking up on our second last day of being in the most incredible city in the world (in my opinion) was bitter sweet. I wanted this day to last as long as it possibly could. The ‘New York glow‘ really is a thing and I didn’t want it to fade as soon as I touched down in the UK early Monday morning.
After moving all of our Saturday plans to the previous day due to the weather forecast, it seemed as though the prediction of snow might actually be true and that one of my ultimate dreams may come true….seeing New York covered in snow. Only time would tell.
One thing you MUST try when you’re in New York is a bagel, seriously, do not leave the city without trying one or else you will end up regretting your poor decision making. After realising we still hadn’t tried one during the trip I took a couple of minutes out of my morning routine to find a local place nearby that sold bagels. There are many well known places that are famous for their bagels in New York such as Tompkins Square Bagels, but I opted for a smaller and more local shop. Just around the corner from our hotel was a place called Lunch Box, a tiny little eatery with around 4 seats. With a tea or coffee costing less than 2 dollars, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the prices on the menu, especially given what we had been paying the last few days for food. All in my breakfast was around 10 dollars or less, and yes sometimes cheap doesn’t always mean good but in this case it was seriously amazing.
I ordered the sausage, egg and cheese breakfast bagel and it was genuinely the best thing in the world, so much so that I ended up eating bagels for almost a week straight when I got home, even though they didn’t compare in the slightest to this one. A bagel really is true New York style and I tucked in to it quite happily watching yellow cab after yellow cab pass by. With very few seats and many locals popping in for a bagel and hot drink to start off their morning, I’d say this place was more for takeaways, but we sat and savoured every bite of that bagel reluctant to head out and face the cold. I can only wish we had discovered Lunch Box earlier on in the trip as I would have gladly ate here every morning. You can never say no to amazing food at even better prices.
9/11 MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM
After the bagel of all bagels, we headed to what would be a very emotional stop on the itinerary, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Throughout the museum photography is permitted in certain areas but not in specific exhibitions, which is understandable given that some of the items that are displayed here can be very distressing or graphic. I took some pictures of the more positive aspects that came out of a tragic situation like this, such as quotes or what people created in memory of those who were affected by this event, however I won’t be sharing these as I don’t feel they should be posted so publicly, and this museum is something that should be experienced in person.
The only words I have to describe the museum is touching, emotional, empowering. I couldn’t and still can’t quite get to grips with how a city as big and as busy as this one (or any other cities or countries affected by such horrific acts) can carry on with daily life as normal. It takes a great deal of courage to do that, and although there’s many parts throughout the museum that will reduce you to tears or leave you with a massive lump in the back of your throat, you can’t help but come out feeling empowered in the sense that us humans should stick together, look out for everyone and just do good in the world. Positivity is everything.
It’s true that a lot can happen in a whole two hours, particularly with the weather…this can drastically change. When we exited the museum after spending just over two hours inside the city was completely white and the snow was coming down hard. Given that we had just seen and heard many distressing moments, this museum can be emotionally draining to say the least, so to come out and see New York’s take on winter wonderland was somewhat uplifting.
ST. PAUL’S CHAPEL
After taking several pictures in the snow (way more than that actually) and facetiming basically everyone back home in the UK because I was just so overjoyed to see this city in the snow, we took a short walk to see St. Paul’s Chapel.
Fact: St. Pauls’ Chapel, nicknamed ‘The Little Chapel That Stood’ was given such a nickname because it is one of the oldest surviving churches in Manhattan. Also, given its close proximity to the World Trade Center, it survived the September 11 attacks without even a broken window and became almost a second home to recovery workers afterwards.
Although a very quick visit, I couldn’t believe something this old was still standing, and standing with pride in such a busy Manhattan street. This is definitely worth a visit if you are already in the area for the World Trade Center or the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
To escape from the cold we decided it was time for a spot of lunch and ended up at Wasabi Sushi and Bento. Again, attempting to try as many different foods as possible we fancied some Japanese and so this was the place for some quick and delicious Japanese food.
We shared a box of mixed Gyoza between us after the delicious dumplings from Mimi Cheng’s the day before, and I got the Chicken Katsu Curry whilst Sangeeta went for the Teriyaki Salmon. This was another place we ventured to that didn’t disappoint and is worth visiting if you want something quick and tasty.
On route back to our hotel we decided to stop in at Sephora as this is one place I always visit during any trip to stock up on products, purely due to the fact Sephora doesn’t exist in Scotland. I’m a massive fan of their face masks and exfoliating wipes, but my new found loves that I now highly recommend are their face mask applicators and their lavender foot masks. I didn’t even know foot masks were a thing but I can now confirm that they definitely ARE a thing. These are an ideal travel essential for when you’re on a city break or for when you have returned from one, they are SO relaxing with the lavender fragrance and the best product for giving your feet a good break when you have been constantly on the go.
As if lunch an hour or two before wasn’t enough, it was time for more food. America certainly changed me and my appetite, I’m not sure whether for the better though.
Our usual evening routine so far would usually consist of going back to the hotel room to get ready and then heading back out for some dinner, but given it was the last night and the snow was still coming down hard, we decided we would get ready leisurely in the room and have a pizza party.
Seeing as our stop on the train was Columbus Circle it was only right that we took another trip to Turnstyle Underground Market to try out another one of their eateries – if you have been following my New York posts then you’ll realise that we had almost worked our way round this street food market. Champion Pizza was up next and New York pizza just kept getting better. This place obviously is the champion when it comes to pizza as plastered all over the walls were pictures of celebrities that have also tried a slice of heaven.
Behind the glass counter was every kind of pizza possible, vodka margarita anyone? Given the size of a slice in America and the fact I had not long ate, I only went for two slices of pizza Mac and Cheese and Buffalo Chicken (I completely regretted getting two slices after I tried this pizza). I picked up the pace walking back to the hotel, desperate to get into the warm hotel room, if the pizza tasted as good as it smelt then I was in for a treat. Whilst I tucked in to my pizza Sangeeta actually went for a massage at a local beauty salon so it was a pizza party for one. I’ve always been curious about macaroni cheese on a pizza, more so because I love both, but what would it be like when you put the two best things together? INCREDIBLE. I wish mac and cheese pizza was more of a thing and on offer everywhere as it would probably be my new go to pizza order. As for the buffalo chicken, this was just as nice – I’d say I have good taste when it comes to pizza and I definitely made the right choices on this occasion.
MAGIC HOUR – MOXY TIMES SQUARE
Seeing as it was our last proper night in the city, this required some celebratory cocktails as we had well and truly conquered New York and had grew even closer as friends (I didn’t know that was even possible due to how close we were in the first place but it was). Being a tourist during the day is fantastic but living like a local in the evening is even better so we headed to Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge at the Moxy Times Square. If you like pink then this is the place for you as when we visited, Magic Hour had a pink fairground theme running, with plenty of fairy lights and a rotating platform almost resembling a carousel that you could lounge on with a cocktail.
We got straight to ordering one of the limited edition 22oz Snow Globe cocktails in a snow globe shaped glass in hope that the alcohol would soon heat us up. Again, this is something that I’ll be featuring in a later post so I won’t delve too deep. All I will say is that if you like pretty flower walls, pink décor, fun cocktails and tasty bar bites then this is the place to go with some breath-taking views of the city.
With the trip very quickly coming to an end, find out what we got up to on our very last day in the big apple, from bellinis at breakfast and another visit to Central Park, followed by my last yellow cab in a long time. The last of the New York Travel Series will be up next week!