A Home Away from Home.
Everyone remembers their first love, right? New York City was mine. It’s was the first city my family and I went to on a road trip to during the first years we moved to Canada. At the tender age of 12, I was lured into the bright lights and sky high buildings. It was the start of an ongoing love affair for years to come. I always dreamt of the day I would move to NYC and live my very own Sex and the City life, but reality hit when I became an adult and understood was rent money means. Toronto was a much cleaner and responsible place for me to stay.
I’ve been going back to New York City almost every year. In my 20s, it became an unofficial birthday tradition and a quick getaway where I can run off to and get lost in too many bottles of Ciroc and broken tables. New York City isn’t unfamiliar to me. I’ve always felt like a local and been able to find my way around the MTA. But every time I’m back in New York City there is always a new corner to discover and a new dish to feast on.
It’s Been Swell.
In my opinion, the entire city is a tourist trap really. You can’t assume you’ll find a hidden gem on the unbeaten path in Manhattan really – unless you go outside of the island. So just enjoy and be one with the locals and tourists, they are going to bump into your anyways. Gain some combat training fighting through the crowd in Times Square. Earn your honorary badge of blisters by walking all of Central Park. Eat your way through Soho, Chelsea and Greenwich Village, then drink your way to East Village for what seems like never-ending happy hour.
Then, when you can muster the energy the next day, indulge in obesity (‘murica after all) with a sinful brunch in Williamsburg. If getting fat isn’t your thing, perhaps find a hipster cafe specializing in Pour Over coffee and sip a cup of sustainable brew as you people watch.
Nonetheless, this city does not lack in flare. Don’t forget to bring good walking shoes!
The MTA or walk – there really isn’t a more efficient or inexpensive way to get around the city.
Places to see:
- MoMa – Free Friday evenings
- Central Park – the castle and lake in the middle of the park is gorgeous!
- Williamsburg – less crowded and cooler people reside here
- Staten Island Ferry to get a great (read: free) view of the Statue of Liberty – hidden secret, there you’re welcome!
- East Village for happy hour drinks – $2 shots? yes please
- Queens for a cool art vibe
NYC experiences all four seasons. Depending on the weather it can range from very cold to very hot. Google is your friend.
NYC tends to be expensive if you’re new to the city and manage to get stuck in the tourist areas (i.e. Times Square). For a more budget friendly stay, I recommend a hotel or Airbnb in East Village or Spanish Harlem. I don’t recommend these areas if you’re new to NYC or new to a city in general. These areas have a bit of grit and character but completely safe and more than your serving of amazing restaurants to choose from.
4 days, 3 nights (in CAD$):
- Accommodation (Airbnb – East Village): $100 per night
- Food: $500 – $600 total
- Dinner: $50 per person per meal
- Fast food: $10 for a basic “fast food” take out
- Alcoholic beverage: happy hour $4 shots, $4 beers, Regular price: $12 per drink
- Street meat – $5 – $8 (Halal Guys Food Stand – Chicken and Rice!!)
- Broadway Show – $50 – $100 per person for nosebleeds
- MTA (metro: ~$3 per ride
- Coffee: $2
- Misc. expenses: ~$200
As much as I love NYC, I think I’ve exhausted my time here. I’ve taken what I can from this marvelous and fast city. During my last trip here, I felt as if I wasn’t enjoying the speedy locals who tackle their way past you, fire engine sirens outside my Airbnb (and the cockroach in that Airbnb) , over priced tourist areas and then some. I think it’s time to put an end to my relationship with NYC and thank it for all the pleasures and drunk endeavours it gave me.
In another life NYC! I’ll miss you dearly.
Photos from combined trips to NYC.