The Travel Post #8: Discovering New York City Part 2

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A few weeks ago, I blogged about part 1 of my first trip to the Big Apple (if you missed the first installment then check it out here!) and today I’m going to give you the lowdown on the second part of the trip featuring a fifth avenue spree and some serious foam finger action…

Day 4 - Ladies who brunch

Our forth day in New York was a Saturday, and what better way to start off the weekend in one of the best cities in the world than with brunch? Brunch is my favourite ever meal, and I like to try and have at least one kind of brunch in every place I travel to. The day before, we had taken the On Location TV and Movie Tour (find out more about that in part1!), and the New York born and bred tour guide assured us that there was only one spot to get the best brunch in New York City – Bubbys.  Bubbys is located in Tribeca and it’s a favourite for celebs, locals and tourists alike - our waitress told us that the week before Emma Stone and Andrew Garfunkel had been coming every day! The food was amazing, I went for the Eggs Benedict and Em couldn’t resist the pancakes with bacon. The hearty american feel and amazing food was definitely up there with some of my best brunch experiences and it set us up nicely for a day of serious shopping!

After a busy few days we had planned to just spend a couple of hours making our way down fifth avenue to give ourselves a bit of down time before the evening…yeah right! After stopping off for a cup of tea in The Plaza (so regal!), we spent more like six hours methodically checking out all the shops on the famous shopping strip. We visited all the major department stores, where I got my hands on a gorgeous Bloomingdales decoration for my momma and got very excited at how cheap the mac make up was, and after a quick stop off to check out the beautiful christmas tree in the NewYork Public Library, it was a mad dash back to the hotel to get changed before making our way over to Madison Square Garden.  Now it was time for one of my favourite parts of the trip…The Knicks!

Along with our tickets for Broadway, The Knicks was something we booked and paid for back in the UK. I’ve mentioned this before in this travel tips post, but I think it is always good to have a few things planned during your stay before you arrive and if possible, pay for them before you go too. Not only does this give you specific things to look forward to but it means you reduce some of the cost while you are over there. We had two fairly inexpensive evenings in New York because we had paid for the things we were doing before we went and this can be really useful if you are trying to see the city without the cost mounting up. Anyway, back to the main event! Without knowing we had actually booked super good seats as they allowed wheelchair user access too, which meant we were up in the suite section with an amazing view! Everyone had told us The Knicks were having a bad season but we must have been the lucky charm because they beat the Philadelphia 67’ers 91-83, wooo! I’ve been to a few sporting events before back in England but this was my favourite I’d ever been too. There was so much going on with entertainment during every break including cheerleaders, celeb spotting and the world famous kiss cam! It was an amazing atmosphere, with everyone in the crowd getting involved. Of course we had to get one of the foam fingers and the biggest hot dog I could find!

Day 5 - Sundays in the city 

I woke up on the day of our fifth and final day in the city super excited because we were going to tick off one of things on my ultimate travel bucket list – we were heading up to Harlem to listen to one of New York’s best gospel choirs. I think gospel music is some of the most beautiful in the world, and it always amazes me how incredible their voices sound when they sing together.
After some intensive google researching we decided to visit the First Corinthian Baptist Church on the outskirts of Harlem. We wanted somewhere that was a genuine authentic choir but that was happy for people outside of the congregation to come and listen and this was recommended as one that would be perfect for that balance. There are things called ‘gospel tours’, but many of the reviews claim that they are very staged and inauthentic and take you to see choirs that have been formed purely for tourist entertainment, which is not what we wanted at all – which is why we decided to visit it on our own.  The service was beautiful and the choir genuinely took my breath away. I was also super cool to see the sermon of a Baptist church, which was exactly like the movies with the congregation dancing, clapping and hollering at Pastor Mike!

Our last afternoon in New York was spent exploring Central Park. We took one of the bikes around the majority of the park and stopped off at all the main spots to take a few snaps and explore the areas a little bit more. I couldn't get over how huge the park was and how beautiful it was to have this big green space in the middle of such a buzzing city. It was such a nice way to spend our last afternoon, experiencing a more chilled out and relaxed side to New York. 

We finished off the day by doing a quick stop off to check out Grand Central Terminal and then heading up to Top of the Rock to watch our last New York sunset. The good thing about Top of the Rock is that you get a similar view of New York as you would when you climb the Empire State Building but you can also see the Empire State itself. The Rockefeller Center itself was super busy with everyone getting ready for the opening of the big Christmas tree so for this reason I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the empire state, but there’s no denying how beautiful New York looks from the sky at night!

Since we had to be up at 5am the next morning to get to the airport, we finished off our trip in true New Yorker style by getting the biggest takeaway pizza we could find and chilling out in the hotel room. After an amazing but exhausting few days we were completely knackered and it was actually really nice to just relax and chat about our favourite parts of the trip.

My first taste of New York was AMAZING and I already can’t wait to go back. I loved packing in all the touristy stuff, but I’m also really excited to go and experience the city at less than 100mph! Luckily for me one of my best friends has moved out there for a year’s internship so me and 2 of my friends are flying out to spend New Year’s 2016 with her and I CANNOT WAIT. Until then I will have to fill the New York hole in my heart with endless gossip girl marathons.

Have you been to New York or are you planning a trip? If you have any good New York tips or want to ask me any questions just leave me a comment below or tweet me @charlphilpotts.

Charlotte x

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  1. I just love reading your blog, through reading i just lost back in my national air and space museum tour. About few months ago i was just dreaming of NY's tour but now its true. During this tour we explored my favorite one destinations of NYC.

  2. Well, Amy Calven. NYC is also my favorite travel destination. I also visited many of the times. Last time visited there beforeglen canyon dam tours. I saw a lot of interesting and amazing things there. It is also famous as the tourism point of views. The Niagara Falls is an ideal place in NYC. It is also nice to enjoy summer vacations.

  3. I do agreed with you NYC is most prominent one destination for visitors. I also had great time there during my tours from boston to niagara falls with my friends. As you said it is home for ideal summer vacations, so let me know some names of your favorite one summer spots. So i could get more information about my favorite one destination.

  4. I love to take tours from nyc to niagara falls to view the beauty of stunning waterfall. It's true Amy NY is a place which offer diverse kind of places for visitors and gab there attention to go there.