Next in my City Guide Series is obviously, New York New York. The non-stop City that never sleeps (..and it's true). I ventured over here last year as part of my 21st Birthday celebrations and can honestly say it was an unforgettable experience! If you're a shopping aficionado, whether it's Topshop or Tiffany's, and love the bright lights and even brighter eccentric atmosphere - The Big Apple is a place to definitely put firmly on your 'to-do' list.
As cliche as it is.. to truly encapsulate the tourist cultural atmosphere of NYC, Times Sq. is a definite must. I fondly remember sitting on the infamous red steps near to the theater ticket office with a Cotton Candy Frappe in-hand, and just being completely amazed by the vast buildings, tall structures, sparkling lights and glowing advertisements (which are equally as stunning in the daytime as they are in the evening). Forever 21 and MAC are perfectly situated next to each other for the fashion & beauty obsessives among us, and the blocks are scattered with several CVS and Duane Read stores, which are perfect for stocking up on U.S cosmetics (and obligatory Reese's pieces treats) to take back home.
Tip - Booking a hotel in Times Square may seem a little pricey at first, but if you're yearning for the true New Yorker tourist experience, I would highly recommend doing so! You're in with the constant hustle and bustle, and nothing is ever too far away. Central Park being only a few blocks away was handy too. We stayed at the Novotel Hotel on 52nd Street, and with a terrace bar overlooking the lively atmosphere of Times Square, it meant we could sip on cocktails & indulge in entrées with the view of Midtown Manhattan without even leaving our hotel - perfect!
The Press Lounge Bar, Hells Kitchen
As I'm sure you're aware by now, Rooftop/terrace bars with a view are my favored bar of choice. Don't get me wrong, anywhere with Strawberry Daiquiri's on the menu is a winner, but when the bar features a view overlooking an entire city or is remotely scenic - I'm there! When I discovered The Press Lounge prior to flying out, I vowed to make a visit at some point of our holiday. 230 Fifth is on my list to visit next with their magical view of the Empire State building, attractive menu's bursting with brunch options, and their iconic 'Little Red Riding Hood'-esque capes to keep their clientele warm and cozy high above the NYC skyline on chilly evenings!
Artists and Fleas, Chelsea Market
Dainty bracelets, necklaces and jewels that closely mimic those of the hugely popular brand Sydney Evan - which I'm especially obsessed with, can be found here. Along with handmade crafts, antiques, vintage-find clothing pieces and homemade delicacies from all over the world. The hugely popular Pamela Barsky, creator of the iconic make-up bags sloganed with her quirky "My lipstick is redder than your lipstick" and-the-like quotes is based here at Chelsea Market. Also, an obligatory trip to Artichoke Basille's pizza - facing just opposite, is a must. (The pizza slices are infamously about the same size as your head, so calorific but so good).
Staten Island Ferry
Everyone loves a freebie, so when I found out you could see the New York City skyline sailing outwards towards Staten Island (and passing the Statue of Liberty on the way) - any time day-or-night, completely free of charge, of course I jumped at the chance. We took our place on the outside viewing platform of the Ferry to truly take in the scenes of the midnight black sky in contrast to the vibrant lights of The Big Apple. It was so stunning and I would definitely take a few trips back and forth if we were to head back there again. Albeit busy, it was a magical experience and one not to miss.
Tiffany & Co. - Fifth Ave
This deserves it's own category, for the sole purpose that it's every girls dream. A wonderland of carefully crafted Diamonds, intricately embellished jewels, and the infamous Engagement/Wedding rings *insert heart-eyed emoji*. As you'd expect, the store is completely immaculate and preened to perfection, with the staff being so welcoming, whatever the occasion for your visit. The tiniest details don't go unnoticed, even down to the careful packaging of your purchase(s). I could happily spend all day in here just yearning over the dreamy Princess Cut Diamond rings.
Other places of interest included Kate Spade on Fifth Ave, The 9/11 Memorial Site, Magnolia Bakery, Sephora and The Rockerfeller Center.