This was my second time to the Big Apple and New York welcomed me back like an old friend. That is, if that said friend was throwing massive shade and giving me the cold shoulder. Haha. It was absolutely freezing the two days we spent in the city, but that made it no less enjoyable. In fact, the cold actually made for an all around better "Christmassy" feel. That was probably what I was most excited about: Christmas time in New York City.
The entire trip was very spontaneous in it's planning, birthed out of conversations with friends and chatting about how we all wanted to travel. Luckily my buddy Kenny, who is a flight attendant, has a pretty good hookup with his job. We were able to land round trip tickets out of ATL for a ridiculously good price. It wound up being three of us that were able to carve out the time for the trip: Kenny, Patrick, and myself. Since this was Patrick's first time to NY, we definitely wanted to hit up some of the touristy spots in the city, which are in no way boring. It has been several years since my first trip and I was excited to see everything again with more mature eyes. We booked an Airbnb that was across the pond in Jersey, about a 15 minute train ride from the actual city. We had the most amazing view of the skyline and it was nice to stay somewhere that was a little more low-key.
Day one was spent walking the majority of Broadway. We started at the 9/11 monument and trekked all the way to Central Park. It's roughly a 7 mile walk, but we really took our time shopping and exploring anything that caught our eye. I could literally wander around New York for a month and still be completely content. It's a miracle I didn't get hit by a car though, seeing as I was constantly looking through my camera at the visual overload that is NY. By the end of the day we were incredibly exhausted, but so full and inspired. I really love the aesthetic of New York; fire escapes on every building and endless cafes and coffee shops, which we obviously had to try.
^ We came across this really cool German heritage festival that was a mass of food and shopping inspired by German culture and history. If you are ever there, be sure to try the Apple Cider and shop around for some really unique Christmas ornaments!
^ We spent, what seemed like hours, looking at talented street artist and their work in different mediums. I just wanted to drop a small fortune and buy everything to decorate my camper with.
^ You can't go to New York and not go to Time Square.
Blame it on jet lag or the many miles we walked the previous day, but we didn't get started on day two until 1pm. We planned that night before to take a ferry to see Lady Liberty herself and all her glory. We kind of got a late start, so we were literally running across New Jersey to make it to the ticket booth before our boat left. We paid for our tickets in advance, so you can imagine my anxiety as we were trying to make it. Praise God, we made it in time and boarded the ferry, but only after going through security and getting a very thorough pat down. Hahaha. I don't know why, but going through security makes me a nervous wreck. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to basically strip on the spot and then feel rushed because of the long line of people behind me. I just want to see the statue people!
^ The ferry made a pit stop on Ellis Island at the National Museum of Immigration. I would definitely recommend checking this out if you ever have the chance. We spent a good 5 hours here, viewing the 4 floors of the museum. Being visual, I didn't do the audio tour that is offered, but chose to explore on my own with my camera, which was just as interesting and informative.
^ Ellis Island has one of the best views of the NYC skyline. I could not stop taking pictures!
^ I spy the Brooklyn Bridge
After checking out the statue for a bit we took another fairy back into New York and explored a little more of what we had missed the prior day. A lot of interesting things happened that night including: nearly peeing myself in a bookstore, because public restrooms don't exist in Manhattan and getting involved with some sketch purse dealers in China town. Haha. So many memories and hilarious stories that I will never forget! This trip was such a good experience and so needed. It was so great to explore the city with my friends and get inspired and refreshed from a creative stand point. New York is one of my favorite places in the world and I cannot wait to go back.
Best, Dillan Moore