New York City Trip Recap

After my previous blog post before I left for NYC, I figured it would be a great idea to provide a bit of a New York City Trip Recap. Overall I can’t say anything bad about the city, as a person who already lives in one of the largest cities in Canada I’m already used to the fast paced living that comes with big cities. Some people may have to worry about a bit of an adjustment period, but right away I loved it.

New York City Trip Recap

The Cheap Students New York City Trip Recap

Restaurants

A New York City trip recap wouldn’t be complete without discussing the food. It was unfortunate that the first night we arrived at about 9pm and it was pouring rain, but we still ended up finding a great restaurant located within walking distance of our hotel, Nizza. The restaurant was great given we basically stumbled in there to get away from the rain and didn’t look up reviews before hand. Another restaurant we tried out was 5 Napkin Burger which reminded me a bit of The Works in Canada but fancier and of course in NYC. It was a good restaurant but service was a bit slow. Overall, my favourite place was Pure Thai Cookhouse which was where we ate the last night. I’m a fan of trying out a variety of different restaurants and this was the closest thing to authentic Thai I’ve ever had. The restaurant was quaint and the service was awesome. We purchase 4 dishes and split them all, and realized how spicy Thai food really is. Loved this place and would definitely recommend it.

What I would do next time – Head to Brooklyn for a famous NYC slice of Pizza.

Getting Around

First of all, I want to thank everyone who commented on my last blog post-transportation is one of the biggest factors in NYC. If you don’t think ahead things can be costly, and they definitely had some great tips. I realized this when I got to NYC that you should NEVER drive there, it’s nuts, it’s crazier than Toronto and people are really aggressive. Take a cab, walk the city or take the subway. I have to say, the city is extremely easy to navigate, it’s a grid and the streets and avenues go highest to lowest..it’s a dream. I also want to note that in my last post I mentioned driving, we did drive but parked our vehicle in New Jersey at a friends place and never went near the city in the car (saving us some seriously inconvenient city parking issues). The subway system was also fairly easy to figure out and was inexpensive-it makes me a little jealous because of how lame Toronto’s system is. We also took NJ Transit back out to Jersey to grab our car and it was also super easy to use.

Daisy @ Prairie Eco ThrifterThe subway system is great there and easy to use. You can get anywhere on it”

Latisha Styles from Young FinancesIf you rent a car, watch where you park. We got a $95 dollar ticket for parking on the street in the wrong location!”

What I Would Do Next Time – Fly, holy crap driving takes forever. It was budget friendly for the 4 of us to drive but those are 16 hours + of my life I won’t be getting back. Gas was cheap though..

Where to Stay

As mentioned in my last post one of the most important things is where you stay, and this was something I knew should be included in my New York City trip recap. We stayed in Hell’s Kitchen at the Holiday Inn Express and booked through Hotwire. The hotel had free breakfast and was brand new, a little cramped but what do you expect..it’s NYC. Also it had this awesome patio in the front where we always chilled out after a long day of walking, might have been my favourite part of the hotel. Overall found the hotel experience to be great but if you have a smaller budget Andrew from Living Rich Cheaply suggests, “that you can find better prices if you’re willing to be a little farther away (like New Jersey or Queens).” Something to definitely think about if I ever go again (probably soon!) without my fam.

What To See

There is a massive list of things that we set out to do before we went to NYC and they all would have been awesome to see but it just wasn’t doable. Some of the really great things to check out are (definitely a limited list);

Empire State building-great views, but there is a massive line. Everyone was there when we went of course (around 9:30am) and then there wasn’t a line by the time we got down.

9/11 Memorial-Honestly just a really moving place, and then you can also check out the Freedom Tower being developed nearby which is also a beautiful building

Century 21/Macy’s/5th Ave.-You’ve never see stores this big or beautiful, overwhelming but awesome. If you’re willing to put in a good day at one of these stores, especially Century 21, you will find some great deals.

Times Square-Duh…but in all seriousness, we went during the day and I wish I had of gone back at night. It’s just this overwhelming place that’s in all those cool action movies and stuff… Definitely a must.

Central Park-After walking around the busy streets of NYC for 2 days it was amazing to walk into a park within a city. Really beautiful, too bad we were dead tired or I would have stayed there forever.

Central Park

Central Park – A little bit of city and park.

China Town-You’ve got to go, it’s essentially a market where you can buy everything from purses, wallets, watches, perfumes. You can even experience people coming up to you trying to sell you some seriously undercover fake designer stuff. I didn’t try and I’m pretty sure it’s not legal but if you want to, test your luck. Also..did my very first negotiation in a market, got the guy down $15, must say I was pretty proud.

What I Would Do Next Time-Times Square and the Empire State Building at Night. And also find all the places they shot Gossip Girl, I might be a bit of a fan. Also I never went to any bars, definitely a must for next time. Also, check out a Broadway show and go to a Yankee’s game.

Miscellaneous

Keep your eye out for stars, famous people, athletes. My only celeb sighting was actually a player from the Brooklyn Net’s and was part of a mob chasing after someone near Saks 5th Ave. and the Rockefeller Centre (no idea who it was though). Be creative in your meal choices and walk the city. We walked 8 hours a day-burned a crap ton of calories and really got to experience the whole city instead of just being underground or shooting by in a taxi.

Overall I loved NYC and will definitely be going back again. Hopefully this little New York City trip recap provides a bit of a guide for those wanting to go to the city.

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  • Looks like you had fun! Definitely walk over the Brooklyn bridge and grab a slice of pizza at Grimaldi’s next time. Glad you found the subway system relatively easy to navigate. I know a lot people are intimidated by it, but it’s not that complicated.

    • Definitely did 🙂 And will for sure be grabbing a slice of pizza the next time, and for sure a fan of the subway it’s a well put together system.

  • Looks like you had a great time! My Mom and Sister went recently and they went to some of the same places you did. I’ve read all of Donald Trump’s books so they stopped at the Trump Tower in honor of me haha. I have never been to NYC but I would like to go there sometime within the next few years. Flying is a MUST imo, as I would be coming from Minnesota.

    • Nice! We stopped by the Trump Tower as well, the lobby was beautiful. And definitely makes sense for the flying part, our drive was doable at about 8 hours and we got to stop off in Pennsylvania for some outlet mall shopping so it was a win win.

  • I’ve lived in NYC for ten years and think I’ve had two or three celeb sightings total. Hells Kitchen is a great place to be, I love NIzza and basically every restaurant on 9th avenue between 42nd-57th. Did you not see a Broadway show? I would definitely recommend that if you ever come back. Also the Brooklyn Bridge and a day on citibike just riding around to different neighborhoods. SOHO and the West and East Villages are three incredibly neighborhoods to just wander aimlessly.

    • Maybe I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time haha. Also wanted to go to a Broadway show but we just ran out of time, added that to the list of things to do next time, can’t believe I forgot to put that in. Also Soho, west and east villages are also on the list, I’ll definitely be staying longer next time. And Hells Kitchen was great, really enjoyed the place!

  • Shannon

    Sounds like so much fun! I agree with Andrew on Grimaldi’s pizza in Brooklyn. I actually like walking across the bridge and then getting pizza (it helps burn some of the calories). I would add Museums on your to-dos for the next trip back. There are a number (the Met and Museum of Natural History) that allow you to “pay what you wish” so you can get in for next to nothing.

    • Definitely a fan of burning the extra calories, and in all honesty I hadn’t thought of any museums first time around. I’ll be adding those to the list as well, and I’m shocked at the idea of the “pay what you wish”, Toronto museums don’t have the same policy.

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