After a trip of 12 days to the Big Apple, I am back in Belgium. It was fun, I got some great pictures, saw some amazing things, but I am glad to be back home.
After having been to NY in ’97 and again in ’04. Now I was finally able to go out and see the sights. Although everyone told me that 12 days was way more than needed in NY, I was still not able to see everything that I wanted to see. But I definitely saw more than most when they go and visit NY. On the positive side, I will have to go back to see the rest.
1. What to see
- Empire State Building
- Statue of Liberty + Ellis island
- Rockefeller Center – one of the best views of the Empire State Building and Central Park
- Times Square
- Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Museum of Natural History
- Guggenheim Museum – mainly a spot to visit for the architecture of the building itself
- Public Library – one of the biggest and historic libraries that I have visited
- The Apple Store on 5th Avenue, which ended up visiting 4 times
- Central Park
2. Where to eat
New York has an enormous variety of restaurants and chains. There is something for everyone’s taste. If you’re looking for something more cossy and a great kitchen you should definitely go to:
- BXL Cafe – I had a great time here, having a great diner with real Belgian food: “Carbonade flamande with Belgian fries ” and off course a Belgian Stella Artois from draught. This all on my 21st Birthday, was a great birthday meal.
If you’re looking for just a good meal at a decent price then there are tons of chains all over New York:
- Hard Rock Cafe at Times Square
- Red Lobster
- Olive Garden
- Jimmy Rockets
But honestly, while those above chains all serve good food do go into the smaller restaurants and brasseries where the New Yorker’s go. They go there for a reason and chances are that you eat better for less.
And for great quick snacks do one of the following:
- Eat a pizza at Lombardi’s or Nick’s or John’s
- Buy a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery
- Have a Belgian waffle from Waffles & Dinges
- Also don’t forget to eat a real New York Cheesecake at Eileen’s Special Cheesecake
Just walking on 5th avenue you start to realise why people fly here just for a shopping spree. There is something for all just listing up a couple of the luxury boutiques on fifth: Abercrombie & Fitch, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Armani, Fendi,Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Cartier, Omega, Chanel, BCBG Max Azria, Harry Winston, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nike, Escada, Swarovski, Bvlgari, Emilio Pucci,Ermenegildo Zegna, Diesel, … and many more
But if you don’t like to walk from one store to another just go one of the big department stores such as Macy’s, Century21 or Saks. You will definitely find what you’re looking for there.
4. Where to stay
I stayed at the AKA Times Square Hotel. This was just amazing, you stay in a mini one-bedroom flat with your own kitchen en desk area and are on Times Square in less than a minute. This location made it possible for me to do all trips by foot and walk +/- 15 km a day, always arriving at the hotel when I was tired. But I still could go out for dinner as I had dozens of option within 5 minutes of the hotel.
5. What I will remember
The things that will stay with me are:
- The nostalgic feeling of having a birthday lunch at Hard Rock Cafe, which was like every birthday that I had at HRC: “Fun to get embarrassed!”
- Second the amazing view of New York from Rockefeller Center, in my opinion much nicer than from the Empire State Building.
- Third just the general sightseeing walks (7-8 in total each more than 15 km)
As a conclusion, it was a great trip and I saw a lot but I will definitely have to go back in to see the rest.