And this was a long time coming, I know… let’s just dive into New York, shall we?
Our first stop in our sixth day was Chinatown. Moved by pure curiosity, we had no idea what to expect so we just roamed the streets and had a look around. We found ourselves in a little park right in the middle of Chinatown (I think? It definitely felt like it!) where lots of people were either having a little breather just sitting in a bench, exercising, having a chat… It was very calm and peaceful.
We had our breakfast there and head our way, moving into Little Italy. Now this part was obviously much closer to what we’re used to, culturally speaking. We also stumbled upon a fair, food fair I’m guessing since every truck had drooling worthy sweets.
Now, what we were most excited about was Coney Island! We really don’t have something quite like that in Portugal so we were hoping to get an afternoon to go to a proper amusement park! We made our way until the Brooklyn Bridge so we could cross it on foot and get the subway on the other side.
The Brooklyn Bridge is just the coolest bridge which is the weirdest thing to say, but the combination of people we saw making their way was just amazing. You had your tourist such as us, people who had just finished a race/walk (you go!), families enjoying the weather and the view, friends taking pics and busy bees on their phones trying to avoid everyone else and most likely swearing at us! I’m pretty sure it took us almost one hour in order to cross it because we wanted to stop and absorb the whole thing. The scenery, the impotent skyscrapers, the contrasts the bridge made with its surroundings. We were in aw.
When we (finally!) made our way to Coney Island, our inner child come to play at full force.
Every single day we would comment on how it looked like we were in a movie solely because everything felt so familiar from all the movies that make New York their stage, it only got bigger and better once we were there. But Coney Island felt like a set, its hard to put it into words. We had the hardest time trying to choose which rides to take and I have to admit I was forced to go on the wildest one there because of my friend, I swear my insides were turned upside down when we exited.
And to close our tiring day, we watched the sunset on beach and noting has ever felt so right. We took a million more pics and I did what I enjoy the most (creep alert coming…) people watching. I could spend entire days watching people going on about their days, there’s something so intriguing for me in seeing how people carry and portray themselves, its amazing.
Soho was in our plans from the very start, as two fashion enthusiasts (putting it mildly) we had to drool all over the stores that fill its streets while making our way to NYU, just out of curiosity.
As the morning was coming to an end, we went to the 9/11 memorial and that certainly pull a cord. You can feel it in the air, the atmosphere is tense as you’d expect. I found the memorial beautiful and charged, exactly what it called for, while also giving a very strong sense of peace.
(One thing that left me vivid was seeing people smiling for selfies with the memorial, I found that so disrespectful and distasteful…)
After a good New York pizza slice as our lunch, we made it to…. Brooklyn Bridge again! But this time the final goal was DUMBO so we took our sweet time and explored the bridge as well as the surrounding streets. The view we got was breathtaking, it really makes you fell like a dust in the wind.
One thing people (*cough* the internet *cough*) told us was a cool place to go was the Chelsea Market so that’s where we went first thing the next day. It has a nice concept with different type of stores that offers all that your heart’s desire which, in our case, was a cupcake. We were expecting something bigger, not going to lie.
What we really wanted though was to delve into the High Line. As soon as we climbed the stairs and saw what it actually looked like, all expectations were surpassed. Having that right in the middle of a town is fantastic, it makes you feel like your flowing in between the streets and the cars, having a little green in between that much concrete is amazing. Seeing the train line being covered by nature is a plus.
I don’t even know how to explain this but we totally missed Washington Square Park when we went to NYU (shame on us, I know…) so of course we had our lunch there and enjoy the quite it has to offer in amidst the running around surrounding it.
As this was our second to last day, we wanted to walk along Fifth Avenue to get to The Rockefeller Center and the end our day in Times Square. (I don’t even know how much we walk in the space of 10 days… it defiantly adds to a lot).
Before going, we had already schedule a couple of touristy things to do (avoiding lines was a priority, and spreading the coats is always welcomed) so our last morning was spent at the Statue of Liberty. We took the fairy until the island and I can see why it became such an iconic symbol. It has such a presence, it’s so striking, we were amazed.
The wind was completely against our little photo sessions and was having a battle with our hair, but we did manage to take a few pics for memories. We had a walk around and then made our way to the statue. The view really is awesome, it’s a shame the weather was having none of it.
Once we took the fairy back, we went to Wall Street because you just have to. We went to see the Bull of Wall Street (we may or may not have fulfilled the tradition in order to have luck…) and got a little lost taking all the different buildings in. It has a very different environment, its hotter and more claustrophobic than what we had previously seen.
And the rest of the day was dedicated to roaming around and truly appreciate it. We finished our once in a life dream trip in Times Square and it felt like the perfect closing.
Best part of New York? The people. Every one was so so nice. Whenever we were lost, we didn’t even need to ask for help as sure enough someone would come to us and tell us where to go, which line to take on the subway. The subway was such an experience! We kind of master the whole thing so of course we completely messed up in the second to last day. That’s what you get for being cooky….
Also, funny thing, so many people tough we were from New York! It was so cool when someone came up to us asking for directions, nice to know we didn’t look as touristy as we felt! We also talked to so many people from the city, every one was so open and receptive. The perception I had before hand went completely out the window, never felt so save and at home right from the bat.
New York, you have my heart in ways I wasn’t even expecting. I was so nervous before hand, two young woman “lost” in the big city was such a dream I was sure something had to go wrong. But I came back with a heavy heart, we could have stayed forever.
Also, this trip was done with the best person in the world for that. One of my oldest and dearest friends, the days flew by between the most meaningful conversations and the most random, stupid remarks. Never laughed so much in my life and pretty sure the amount of selfies we have (specially the bad ones!) would make for a whole 500 pages book!
New York takes the cake for trips I’ve done so far, the best one for sure. I don’t know when, but I know I’ll be back to the streets that feel like home.