Krista: Hello friends! I’m giving you a break from the onslaught of Camino de Santiago posts to share a guest post from my friend Lashauna and her twin sister Lauren, who recently traveled to New York for the first time. Since NYC is one of my favourite places, I always love to others’ impressions and suggestions for other first-timers.
L& L’s NYC IMPRESSIONS: WHAT WAS GOOD? WHAT WAS NOT?
Lauren and I took our first trip to New York City on Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend 2014. Here is a quick review of our Top 5 highlights from the City that Never Sleeps.
1. TOP OF THE ROCK – ROCKEFELLER CENTRE
If there is one thing I despise, it’s spending time in very long lines. In terms of options for viewing NYC from above, there are two main options: Empire State Building or Rockefeller Centre Observation Deck (Top of the Rock). Top of the Rock was definitely a good choice. When you buy a ticket, you choose a specific entry time. Show up at time of entry. Get whisked through security and into an elevator to the 66th floor. The total time between arrival and reaching the 66th floor was approximately 15 minutes. We were very impressed with the courtesy and efficiency of the Top of the Rock employees as well.
2. SUBWAY EFFICIENCY
Thanks to a recommendation from Krista [Krista: you’re welcome!], we both purchased the 7-day unlimited MTA pass (even though we only used it 3 full days), allowing unlimited rides on all MTA subways and buses. We did not use the bus system, but did make good use of the subway. This is a great way to quickly move up and down Manhattan to see and do things in various neighbourhoods.
3. MATILDA ON BROADWAY
One word. Amazing. I would see this again if I had the opportunity and am now addicted to the Matilda soundtrack. What made the show even better was finding out the music and lyrics are by Tim Minchin. If you don’t know who he is, YouTube the song “Prejudice”.
4. EATING OFF THE BEATEN PATH
As an avid lover of The Food Network, Lauren saw an episode of Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives featuring a restaurant called “The Redhead” in the East Village. What could be more appropriate? Their buttermilk fried chicken (Lashauna) and flat-iron steak (Lauren) was delicious, topped off with a cocktail called “The Redhead Fizz”. YUM.
5. GETTING OUT OF MANHATTAN
One of the great things about attending the Twinsdays Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio is the many great friendships we have made across Canada and USA. Fortunately, one pair of friends lives just 25 minutes north of Manhattan in Ossining on the Hudson River. We visited Sleepy Hollow and went to the Haunted Horseman’s Hollow at the historic Philipsburg Manor. It wasn’t really scary, in fact the four of us spent most of the tour laughing, however; shrieks of terror were heard from other visitors.
Overall, I would say we had a great first trip to NYC. Personally, I would go again, as there are so many things to see and do that 3.5 days only scratches the surface.
Krista here again: Thanks, Lashauna! I love sharing these “first-timer” posts and if you have suggestions for what Lashauna should do next in New York, let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @bitesizedtravel!