January 05, 2017

My love affair with New York began after a trip with my family in 2006. I finally made it back 10 years later when my wonderful boyfriend took me for my birthday. We flew out on a Monday morning from Heathrow and were wandering around Times Square later that afternoon. We stayed in Midtown at the Hotel Metro on West 35th. The location was fantastic right in the centre of Manhattan with a subway stop at the end of the block. We decided to get a Metro Card for the week as it was only $32 and gave us freedom to travel all over the place.

On our first full day Mike had booked for us to go on a helicopter tour. It lasts for 20 minutes and we flew all around Manhattan and up the Hudson River. If you can afford it I can’t recommend it enough, the views are simply breath-taking. We were a little unlucky with the weather as it was a bit hazy but nothing could spoil the experience of being in a helicopter for the first time.

Much of our week was spent eating our way around the city. What can I say, I love my food! The real culinary highlight was Katz Deli, pastrami sandwiches as big as our heads. Other notable places were the Oysterbar in Grand Central Station – the location is beautiful, Creamline in Chelsea Market for grilled cheese and tomato soup, Korea Town – you will definitely over order and the food will be hotter than you could ever imagine and Little Italy - we stumbled across a tiny restaurant just to get out of the cold and it turned out to be the best pizza I'd ever eaten, and I eat a lot of pizza!

Something I have wanted to do for the longest time is walk the Brooklyn Bridge, so one morning we took the F train out of the city to explore Brooklyn. The wind chill made the temperate -10 degrees and I’ve never felt cold like it. After walking as much as we could we bundled into a little breakfast spot called Iris Cafe to warm up. The coffee was delicious and my mountain of French toast was just what I needed! After filling our bellies we began the walk across the bridge. The walk is about 1 mile long and it took us about 45 minutes with all our photo stops.

Somewhere that didn’t exist when I visited before was the Chelsea Highline. As we were in the depths of winter there wasn’t a huge amount of plant life but there was something very beautiful in the juxtaposition of nature and industry right next to each other.

If you can get tickets going to a Basketball or Baseball game is a great way to spend an evening. We went to see the Knicks vs the Washington Wizards, the Knicks lost but I got a foam finger which was really all I was going for! Another great spot to while away the hours in the evening (if a little more on the pricey side) is Bar SixtyFive in the Rockefeller centre. The views are almost as good as going to the top, it’s warm and they serve booze, what more could you want! Get there early to get a good seat by the window.

One of the most poignant moments on our trip was visitng the World Trade Centre site. I still remember 9/11 like it was yesterday and when I visited in 2006 it was still a huge hole in the ground. When we arrived it had just gone 9am and there was nobody about, it was nice to just take a moment to remember.

One of my top tips for anyone visiting is walk as much as you can. Some of the best pictures I took were just from being in the right place at the right time. Oh and pack comfy shoes, I had to buy a pair of trainers as my boots ended up giving me a blister when we walked 11 miles in one day!

Where we stayed -

Get that 'I'm freezing my tits off here' look 

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Copyright Charlotte Kerr 2017.