I really apologise for the lack of posts recently, I know I said this in my last post however I genuinely haven’t done much on my layovers other than visit the UK. Sadly on my trip to Bangkok I slept through my alarm and just ended up getting my nails done which I was so angry with myself for doing. However, I must have needed the sleep and with a two week holiday approaching, it gave me a chance to recharge my batteries and pamper myself rather than doing this back in Dubai.
ANYWAY, it was finally time for me to head away and this first stop of our twelve day holiday was to a favourite city of mine, New York. However, it did n’t seem it was meant to be that we would be heading to New York. All Emirates flights that week were so full. I mean great for that company, not so great for me on a standby ticket. We looked at flying out of Abu Dhabi, flying with other airlines and transiting through Europe, things even got that desperate that I even looked into flying with Cathay Pacific and flying from Dubai to New York VIA HONG KONG. Desperate times were calling for desperate measures, and around three hours before we were hoping to depart on the first Emirates flight of the day at 2:50am to JFK, I saw there were a few seats opening up on the flight to Dallas. Not quite New York, but it is the US and I began checking loads from all Dallas airports to all New York airports, and it seemed that this was our best option with loads looking favourable.
Unfortunately, around seventeen hours later when we touched down in Dallas, the loads had rocketed and not one direct flight was looking like it was even going to be accepting one of us, let alone all three of us. It was onto Skyscanner to try and find the cheapest full fare direct flight up to New York but with time pressing on, when we were trying to click buy now, it kept saying that price is not available anymore and was wanting around $900 for a seat. In the end, we had to suck it up and pay $272 EACH, for a flight to Chicago and then across to La Guardia in New York landing at 6pm. Not a great start to our holiday, and having us land nine hours later than planned and having us loose almost a day.
We landed into Chicago to ‘adverse weather conditions‘ which was seriously starting to impact flights, and we were lucky enough to experience only a three hour delay. So, we eventually arrived in New York Monday night and made our way across to the hotel to shower and get out of the clothes we had spent the last thirty one hours in and finally go to sleep in a normal bed and not an upright plane seat. GROSS.
The next morning we woke up early and got ready for a jam packed day, we’d already lost one so wanted to make the absolute most of this one! We were heading down to Brooklyn to a place called The Bagel Store for breakfast. We all ordered the same thing which was a rainbow bagel with funfetti cream cheese. Starting the day full of sugar.
What a beautiful looking bagel, oh my word. This has also got to be one of the best bagels I have ever eaten regardless of how aesthetically pleasing it is. The funfetti cream cheese filling did get a bit much however, but there are numerous other options and bagel types for you to choose from! Definitely go here if you’re in and around Brooklyn!
It was a walking breakfast, and our next stop of the day was Dumbo. We took a twenty minute subway across Brooklyn and then a twenty minute walk in the crisp morning air to walk off that calorie laden bagel.
There were cherry blossoms everywhere and it really felt like spring had sprung despite the lower temperatures than we were actually expecting and had packed for. Before we knew it, we could see Brooklyn Bridge in the distance and we were getting much closer to Dumbo.
A fun fact that completely blew my mind, was that Dumbo actually stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, which is right where this cute photo spot is! Under Manhattan Bridge! I don’t know why I thought it was called Dumbo, but how cool is that?! It was filled with people also wanting to get that picture perfect moment, so my advice is arrive early in the day. There was even a group of people doing a professional shoot with lights and everything.
Being really close to Brooklyn Bridge we thought it would be nice to walk across the bridge back towards Manhattan before heading to lunch. I know it seems like we only just ate breakfast, but there was a significant amount of time in between these two meals.
We were going to a place called Pietro Nolita for lunch located in Lower Manhattan. This place caught my attention on Instagram cause this place is COMPLETELY PINK. Everything in this restaurant is pink, just check out the location tag on Instagram because I definitely did not capture that moment enough in my own pictures.
The restaurant is Italian and we all opted for pasta but the portions are quite small, so if you’re super hungry this would not be a good choice for you.
The pasta was really yummy and we washed it down with an Aperol style cocktail before we continued a bit further uptown. I’d researched A LOT into things to do, see, drink and eat in New York and one place that seriously caught my eye was a place called The Cupcake Market. They sell cookies of celebrity faces and one that I seriously wanted was the crying Kim Kardashian cookie…
But when we got there, these cookies are more like a giant cookie than a regular one and also cost $18 each. As much as I wanted to have one, I did not wanna spend that much on a cookie. Instead I bought a s’mores cookie and I’m going to make a bold claim here but this was, without a doubt, HANDS DOWN, the best cookie I have ever eaten in my entire life. I have not stopped thinking about this cookie, and even now just writing about it is making my mouth water. If you are ever in New York, please go out of your way to go down to The Cupcake Market and buy the best cookie you will ever eat. I can’t wait to see New York on my roster just to go and buy one of these again.
From here we walked up to the Flat Iron building, we wanted to grab coffee outside in front of the building, but quite frankly it was way too cold and we were not dressed for the weather, so after a few pictures we wandered up to the 5th Avenue to do a little bit of shopping before making our way back to the hotel.
That evening we were heading to The Meatpacking District for a comedy evening at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. It had great reviews online and was super cheap, and I’ve been told comedy in New York is a must. We saw a show called This Doesn’t Mean I’m Your Boyfriend which was a one woman show and was really good! It lasted around 45 minutes and they did cheap drinks inside the theatre. If you’re ever looking for something different to do whilst in New York, I recommend checking out their weekly schedule of different performances!
After this we went to a bar across the road and my friend Scott came to join us for a drink or two before we called it a night and walked back to the hotel ready for bed after our very busy day.
The next morning when we awoke it was a VERY special day. It was Grace’s birthday!! So I let Grace partially decide on our itinerary for the day. I say partially, as I pestered Grace for approximately six weeks on what she wanted to do, when I received no response, I gave her a suggested itinerary after she had commented on a few things I suggested which she loved. So we did what Grace wanted to do that day, kind of haha. First up we took a subway over to the West Village for a Soul Cycle class, not before stop for a much needed Starbucks, and I opted for a Pink Drink for the first time. Delicious, thirst quenching and definitely worth a try.
For those of you that don’t know what Soul Cycle is, it’s essentially a spin class. But I’ll show a YouTube clip for an example.
It was probably one of the most intense work outs of my life, five minutes in I was like this is the worst thing I have ever paid $25 to do, why does anyone do this? But when the class finished fifty minutes later, I decided I really quite enjoyed it. I don’t know if I’d rush to go back and pay again, but I can understand why people like it, and I loved the style of the room and the music and lights and how pumped and inspired the instructors try to get you.
Three sweaty betty’s later and we were finally ready for some well deserved brunch. We’d found a place called The Butcher’s Daughter which is a vegetarian cafe that is very vegan friendly. It was only around a ten minute walk from Soul Cycle, and we took a little detour to the Friends Apartment as it was pretty much en route!
We grabbed a small table inside the equally small cafe, that was filled to the brim with people having their midweek brunch. And I can understand why it was packed out as the food was amazing. We all ordered an immunity booster smoothie as it sounded delicious and we all had a few sniffles from the cold weather the day before, and I opted for the quinoa sesame salad with vegetarian chicken just because I was super intrigued by it.
It was red quinoa with steamed broccoli, carrots, edamame and onions with a ginger, lime, sesame and tamari dressing topped with crushed peanuts and sesame seeds and my optional veggie chicken. It tasted SO good, also so did the veggie chicken. I have no idea what it was made out of instead, but it was really really good and I thoroughly enjoyed. Will definitely be back to try out more of their menu!
I can’t squeeze my jam packed four days into one post or you’ll be reading all week, so stay posted for the second part of my vacation in New York City! As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more daily updates: