CityGuide Featured Travel Diary U.S.

City guide: New York

March 19, 2017

New York, New York .. Who does not dream of going to New York or going back again and again? If you are fervent readers of the blog (if you are not yet it is still time ^ ^) you know that I am a fan of Sex and the City, so I grew up in the streets of New York through the (I’ve long believed I could become Carrie in real life, I already had the generic tutu remember you), I devoured every episode of How I Meet Your Mother, Gossip Girl, Friends, The Mindy Project and so on. It’s funny how streets can seem familiar to us by having seen them only through a screen but for years and years. New York it was finally time to meet us.

Listen to the playlist of our stay by reading the article on Spotify. (Thanks Mag <3)

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How to get to New York?

It all depends on where you started. Unless you live in the USA or Canada you will need to fly! Be careful at the arrival airport, try to choose it from the side of your accommodation so you do not spend 1h30 in the bus like us (Arrival at LaGuardia, airport which gives more desire to leave than to stay between us). If you’re thinking of taxis, we paid $ 20 per head door-to-door without sticking with the suitcases (I’m the person who is the most difficulty with his suitcases being honest ^ ^).

How to move to New York?

The New York subway called MTA is not straightforward at first but with some explanations you should get away with it as leaders. It has the great advantage of being economical since for 7 days you can have an unlimited pass to 31 $ also including buses of course. Knowing that a single ticket costs $ 3 the account is quickly made even if you stay less than a week.

A “local” line stops in all stations, while an “express” on the same line only stops at certain stations. Be careful this can change your whole journey ;). Download also the MTA application that will serve you well.

You can of course travel by bike, you will find several self-service stations as in France.

Like everywhere there are always classic taxis to stop on the street (I stopped my yellow taxi I was like a crazy!), Uber (for your first use use my Uberfringinto code for $ 10 discount) and Lift! We are glad to meet them after walking for hours or going out one night!

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Where to stay in New York?

Great question, probably the one that kept us busy: where were we going to sleep? The city is huge and it is especially difficult to realize where you want to be when it comes to a first visit. I would therefore recommend to be close to a metro station quite simply. We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriot Upper East Side a few minutes walk from the Q and R line. A 15 minute walk to Central Park. For my next visit I would prefer to be in the Soho / Nolita area for example. Our neighborhood was very quiet, restaurants and shops within walking distance.

As in all cities you will find AirBnb accommodation (for the first time use my referral link to receive 25 € discount on your first booking).

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Where to eat in New York?

We tested several addresses that you will easily find on My Addresses:

  • Tal Bagel: they have multiple addresses, it’s the kind of meal we took after a big day of sightseeing, takeaway and dining at the hotel! Quite copious all the same.
  • Oficina 1M: one of our favorites in the middle of the Nolita neighborhood. Superb deco, very well presented dishes but honestly we probably would not have gone in by simply passing by, I had spotted them on Instagram.
  • Bareburger: organic burgers yes yes! A very good address also presents in Toronto besides.
  • Sugar Bar: We went for the show, a singer and her live musicians! In the Upper West Side, in a place away from the tourists it was nice too.
  • The Writing Room: the place was beautiful in photo, library area, nice frames everywhere, beautiful marble tables. No luck for us the restaurant was full so we browned on the bar. It was still very good, just think about booking;)
  • Shake Shack: I think every person who told us about NYC recommended a burger there! We went there 2 times .. in case we were to be sure the burgers were really good;) A must for the New York burger scene ^^
  • Bridge Coffee Shop: After crossing the Brooklyn Bridge we were hungry, after turning for a while to find something we stumbled upon this restaurant that does not look like the outside and yet! We enjoyed it! Traditional cuisine from Latin America.
  • J.G. Melon: another well-rated restaurant for burgers on the internet. Tested and approved ! A regular customer of the restaurant recommended us for a burger and we were not disappointed! (Do the same thing because I can not remember the burger name of course ^^)
  • Luigi’s Pizza: in Friends Joey often order at Luigi’s Pizza. It’s certainly not him but … Mick being a big fan of Friends we ordered 18-inch pizzas at home! Mick was happy and we had a full belly: happiness is a matter of little.
  • Pho Saigon: delicious Vietnamese food, super fast and very plentiful.

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What to do in New York?

It all depends on what you like of course, we are not too touristy so we did not really follow the traditional route. Then with 10 days in front of us we could take the time to stroll without running around.

  • Strolling on 5th Avenue, you will feel the New York atmosphere.
  • Discover the neighborhoods of Greenwich, Nolita, Little Italy and Soho, which you can reach by walking around. I loved the architecture and all the emergency stairs that many of us loved. Soho is more shopping for big brands while the rest is more designer shops according to me.
  • Museums are numerous in NYC so I advise you to choose the ones that speak to you the most. Knowing that a museum can easily take you 2 hours minimum depends on the time you also have. I give you more info about museums then.
  • Times Square is also a must see.
  • Addicted to shopping but especially the good plans? Go to Century 21 you will find very nice brands at very attractive prices! I did not buy there but my friends did and they enjoyed it. (Designer brands super accessible, kind of the Lagarfeld pull at less than 50 €).
  • Spend an evening in an open mic bar to listen to different types of voices, check the type of music not to be surprised like us during our visit to the Sugar Bar.
  • A gospel Mass in Harlem, we found an address on a French blog and we were not the only ones, many French were present but it did not change the atmosphere of the Mass, we were very good Welcome. Think of having money to leave something during the quest, a way to thank them for welcoming us. The ladies were dressed in their pretty white dress with their white hats. We loved it. You can search on this site. For info we went: Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church – 1975 Madison Avenue and 126th St East Harlem, every Sunday at 11am.
  • Want to see the Statue of Liberty? It’s no longer a secret you can do it for free by taking the ferry that connects southern Manhattan to the island (which does not think of the episode of Sex and The City where they will party at Staten Island in Going there?) The departure is done every 15 minutes, it’s free, you will pass near the statue. Remember to take your big lens and do not do as I leave it at the hotel … All info on their website. Metro station just opposite, great access.
  • Central Park: I admit that we spent very little time there, it is quite cold with the wind. I plan on going back in good weather I will spend more time there. For info on iPhone there is a Central Park application with the map accessible even without network.
  • An increasingly trendy neighborhood: Brooklyn. It was the day that I probably least prepared and it felt. After the crossing of the bridge with a nice view of Manhattan I admit that our visit was a bit rough, we did not spend a bit near Brooklyn I think, we missed a lot but we will be back! I advise you to prepare your day well (and sorry I do not have much information to give you: /)
  • Enjoy a guided tour in French with New York Off Road. Elise and her team offer tours off the beaten track. We tested for Harlem and I admit that we would never have seen it all by ourselves. Especially the history side is very nice.
  • Enjoy the lovely view of the rooftops, we were at 230 Fifth on 5th Avenue. View of the Empire State Building, bubbles to sit inside and enjoy the outside even when it’s cold, bathrobes are even available. Attention you will be asked for your identity card.
  • Walk to Flatiron building to admire its unusual architecture, facing Madison Square. Not far away you will also find a “market” called Eataly. There is a bar in Nutella. I say that.
  • Take a photo in the LOVE at 1359 Ave of the Americas.
  • Open your eyes and admire the street art that is hidden on every street corner!

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But still: other suggestions not tested:

  • Attend a baseball / basketball / hockey game depending on the season.
  • Buy tickets for a show even in the last minute thanks to the site TodayTix (available in iPhone application) or on the go.
  • Climb up the tallest buildings to choose from: Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Rockfeller Center.
  • Cycling in Central Park.
  • Try to find Carrie Bradshaw by passing the apartment used in the series. Address: 66th Perry Street. In Greenwich village. There is even a tour bus to discover all the cult places of the series. See here.
  • If you did not find Carrie you might find Rachel from Friends at 90 Bedford St.
  • A trip to Coney Islands of course! On my list next time. Beaches, an old amusement park partially out of service.
  • Take a ride in New Jersey. Like in the movies !

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Museums in New York:

It is good to know that museums almost all have a slot where they are free. You can make donations. Good to know to enjoy a little more of its budget.

  • The MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) is free all the time. You are asked if you would like to donate. You can answer no or give $ 2 as the lady in front of us. Up to you.
  • The Memorial 9/11 is free on Tuesdays from 5pm to 7pm. Tickets are available online or between 5pm and 7pm, we arrived at 5pm and we only waited for the 5.30am ride back. Donation possible too. Museum very interesting but I recommend doing at the end of the stay, history not to depress or distress in the middle of the stay.
  • The MoMa is free on Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm thanks to a partnership with Uniqlo. The wait was not long however there were quite a lot of people.
  • The Guggenheim Museum is free on Saturdays from 17:45 to 19:15. We did not go.

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How long to stay in New York?

We stayed for 10 days, of course we did not have time to do everything but we already had time to see quite a few things and we already started preparing our next stay. A week is already a good start! Having every day of the week allows you to enjoy more things.

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What to do around New York?

If you rent a car and want to move I will suggest Philadelphia, the Hamptons, Washington or Boston. But also all the smaller, more authentic towns that will show you a different America. You can also use the bus or the train.

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I hope you enjoyed this visit to NYC, you were several to write me during my stay to tell me that you had a planned stay this year! I’m looking forward to your feedback.

Belle soirée mes petits loups à frange.

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