Thursday, 3 October 2013

New York - Being Tourists at Last!

Whoopsy daisy, my blog hasn't had much love in the past week. What with being back at university, lectures properly starting this week, people to see and getting back on the trampolining bandwagon, I haven't really had the time to talk about what else happened in New York after Shake Shack.

We spent our Sunday getting all the touristy things done - so that we had Monday left for some last minute eating and shopping before jetting back to Heathrow from JFK. (Where I must add, we were greeted by a freezing Tuesday morning.)
Starbucks New York
Caramel Apple Spice Starbucks
Katie and I decided to grab breakfast en route, and head on up to Fifth Ave as obviously that needed to be done. We stopped off in a Starbucks for some warming drinks, I went for a Caramel Apple Spice, in a heavily Pumpkin Spice Latte branded takeaway cup... if I liked coffee, I would have gone for that, but I still just don't - and not for lack of trying!
New York Public Library
A library lion
Vanderbilt Avenue Grand Central Station
Outside Grand Central
We passed the Empire State Building - not going to lie, from the ground I just didn't notice it until Katie pointed it out, crossed the road at the New York Public Library, complete with people in fancy dress outside - goodness knows what they were doing, and did the compulsory trip the Grand Central Station. Which always will make me think of Gossip Girl, and also reminds me that I should stop watching trashy TV programmes all the time as they aren't real life! We picked up breakfast from a bakery in Grand Central (too many choices of bagels to cope with again!) and I got a bit snap-happy.
Rockefeller glass chandelier
An amazing chandelier
Rockefeller Top of the Rock tickets
My ticket - Lunch atop a Skyscraper
Next stop, Top of the Rock. We decided that this was the better choice, if you go up the Empire State Building you can't see it, and you get a great view over Central Park. The Chrysler building is a bit hidden, which is a shame as I think that's one of the prettiest of the skyscrapers, if you can ever call them pretty that is. I definitely took far too many pictures once we were in the Rockefeller Center, but there was just so much to do and I had plenty of space for them on my camera so why not?! With about 3 levels at the Top of the Rock giving you slightly different views, I got quite a good selection.
Central Park view from the Rockefeller
Katie and me in front of Central Park
Top of the Rock observation deck
The lift up to the top
Empire State Building - New York Skyline
The Empire State Building
From the Rock, we went to explore the Upper East Side, via a lunch stop for sushi and a big bento box. I do not know what the Japanese restaurant we went to was called, just that it was a couple of blocks uptown from Sprinkles Cupcakes. Where we went for pudding of course. And got a buy one get one free voucher on our receipt, so may have gone again on Monday for frosting shot (yum!) and a cupcake for the plane. Sprinkles has such a great reputation and was a lovely shop, the icing was amazing on my triple cinnamon cupcake, but the actual cake was ever-so slightly dry. My red velvet the next day was scrummy though.
Sushi Bento Box
Sprinkles Cupcakes New York
Sprinkles cupcakes frosting shot
Frosting shot
We hit a few more shops, and found Dylan's Candy Bar for Katie. SO MUCH SWEET STUFF! All in one place, I felt sick just looking at all of it! You walk in and get hit by the sweet smell of sugar and unbelievable amounts of Pick'n'Mix. My favourite section was definitely the pink shades of sweets, they had iridescent pink sugary things which made me happy just to look at. The stairs were also full of sweeties, which was impressive.
Dylan's Candy Bar Pick'n'Mix
Pink sweets
Dylan's Candy Bar Sweet stairs
The stairs
We explored the Upper East Side some more, then cut across town through Central Park. It's amazing how as soon as you step across the road and in to the greenery, it is so much quieter. You can completely forget that you are in fact in the centre of the city. We compared it to all the parks in London, but they just sprawl across here and there, whereas this is the only 'green' bit of Manhattan, and you can understand why it's so special.
Central Park New York
One view of Central Park
Central Park New York
Across the bridge
Our reason for crossing Central Park? Levain Bakery. Katie has a cookie recipe based on their cookies, so we wanted to try the real thing. I had a dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie, but didn't eat any of it that evening. It made a good breakfast... how I'm not ridiculously obese after New York I do not know. As it was a touristy day, we were braving Times Square, and I wanted to go in to the massive Forever 21. W hopped on the subway, via Trader Joe's - I have never seen such massive queues in a supermarket but it was quite a cool one, with cute signs and interesting groceries on sale.
Levain Bakery NEw York
Levain Bakery Cookie Queue
Trader Joe's New York
Inside Trader Joe's
Times Square New York
Times Square
For all the hype of Times Square, I didn't enjoy it much. I had enjoyed being in New York and not having to battle through crowds constantly like you would have to do on Oxford Street, but Times Square was ridiculous. There were far too many people everywhere to take it all in, and to be honest it's just lots of lights and advertising... Not so enamored!
Kate Spade Shoes Madison Avenue
Kate Spade shoes... so pretty!
And so we went shopping and flew home...
Pink sunrise over clouds from the plane
At least the Tuesday morning sky was pretty!
I'm well and truly back in to Nottingham life, and that's all I think I have to say about New York. It was a fantastic end to an amazing year out of the UK, and now I just have the thoughts of oncoming coursework deadlines to keep me going, and a downpour outside! At least I have these lovely girlies to keep me going.
Girls in Revs Hockley
The girls are back :)

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