Let me start with my only negative – the weather. August is far too hot, muggy, sweaty to be in NYC. I like to view the positives in everything, but I always want to give you my honest opinion. New York itself was a dream! It is an amazing place to be – words cannot describe. I will be returning, hopefully soon, but I won’t be going back in August again (unless it is for work of course). The heat is not like your usual holiday heat, it was 30degrees Celsius but around 80% humidity. Do I need to say anymore?
Weather aside, I landed in JFK on Saturday 17th August. Once through arrivals, I ordered an Uber to take me into the city. Some of the best views are of the city Skyline as you drive towards Manhattan. Visit my Instagram highlights if you want to get a glimpse of this. I have seen the skyline on countless Instagram photos, but nothing prepared me for how overwhelmed with excitement I became as I saw the skyline with my own eyes.
Within 40 minutes, I arrived at my hotel. I stayed in Midtown, on 30th and 6th – look at me using the language! I was lucky enough to have a friend, who lives in Brooklyn, to show me around as much as possible in my 24 hours available to explore. Once I had checked in, I changed clothes and catapulted myself into the heart of NYC. On a Saturday night, visiting Times Square probably wasn’t the most wise decision – the crowd was intense but, it needed to be done. From there, we walked through Central Park and continued to walk up town to the Metropolitan Museum. I lived out my Gossip Girl dreams on the steps at the front of the MET. To top off my first evening, I visited a couple of roof top bars, the perfect way to wind down after a day of travel. I thought it would help with the jet lag – I was wrong.
Being awake at 4am is never a good thing, but somehow, I didn’t seem to mind. I peered out of my hotel window and stared in awe at the view, the Empire State Building was just a couple of blocks away.
7am rolled around, I was wide-awake at this point and I headed out. With one day to explore, here is what I got up to:
- Times Square
I started by returning to Times Square, it was close to my hotel and I wanted to experience it with less crowds. Early on a Sunday morning, there was nobody around. I grabbed a Starbucks green tea, took a few photos and sat down to enjoy the experience.
2. Breakfast in an outdoor café
There is something satisfying about sitting in one of those cafes, with the seating on the sidewalk. I might not drink coffee but I felt like a New Yorker, able to people watch and soak up the atmosphere. It might have been early on a Sunday but NYC still had its buzz, the same buzz it had on a Saturday night.
3. Madison Square Park and the Flatiron building
After breakfast, I walked across to Maddison Square Park. I photographed the Flatiron building, an iconic New York site.
It was my intention to continue to walk downtown, from Flatiron, towards to financial district to visit the 9/11 memorial. How naïve was I? That is a long walk and even though I had comfortable shoes on it was too much. I got half way and ordered an Uber. I could have hopped on the subway but it was more convenient to get an Uber and in doing this, I got to see more incredible view of the city.
4. 9/11 Memorial
You may have heard others talk about the memorial. It is an amazing site. Where the two buildings stood, is now a water feature. Surrounded with people talking, the only sound you can hear is of the water feature – the area is so quiet, it is eerie. But, a must see in NYC.
5. Wall Street
Outside my love of Disney, The Wolf of Wall Street is one of my favourite films. I couldn’t resist a visit to see the New York Stock Exchange and to stand on Wall Street itself.
6. Top of the Rock
For the BEST view of the city, I hopped on the subway and headed back up to Midtown to go to the Top of the Rock. From here, you get unreal views over Central Park and over the Empire State Building.
7. The East River Ferry
An inexpensive way to see the skyline is to hop on the ferry, from Murray Hill, that takes you down the East River and drops you off at the bottom of Manhattan. It costs $2.75, the same cost as a subway ride and takes you under the Brooklyn Bridge to give you more great view of Manhattan.
8. The Staten Island Ferry
As I was close to Battery Park, I hopped on the Staten Island Ferry. Purely, for the view of the Statue of Liberty. This was a great way to close out my day in NYC.
This is just a snapshot of my day and about as much as I could cram into one day. There is so much more to explore and I cannot wait to plan my return. It is easy to get carried away, especially in a place such as New York. I realised that I just couldn’t do it all and that is ok.
My top tip, for someone with IBD, travelling to NYC is to prioritise the things you want to see and do. Plan your routes out so that you can get the most out of your time.
- Plan time in the parks.
Whether it is Central Park, Maddison Square Park or Battery Park – there are plenty of benches around for your much-needed rest. Simply sitting and taking in the sights is really peaceful and you will enjoy it much more.
- Make time for a Starbucks break.
There are many Starbucks dotted around, they offer sockets to re-charge your phones and the bathrooms are clean (IBD’ers you know!). I used Starbucks a lot as I trusted the cleanliness and could always find one whenever I needed to use the bathroom.
- Treat yourself to an Uber.
Don’t try to walk it all. Manhattan is a big place. We don’t need any more stress on our bodies, or anymore exhaustion. Taking an Uber meant I could rest a little, and also sightsee – it was the best of both worlds.
Here are some of my favourite snaps from NYC:
Follow me on Instagram @crohsnwithme