After a couple of nights spent re-writing and searching for blogging inspiration, I’ve finally decided to have a bit of a blog overhaul. Not only have I been unable to spend much time on my blog due to being buried up to my neck in dissertation work, assignments and lab sessions, but I’ve also become increasingly bored with my blog and where it is going… So of course I decided to delete everything in order to start again and revamp the content and layout of LabelNV. Naturally I’ll be keeping a few beauty, haul and fashion posts in the mix, but I really want to increase the amount of art, culture, travel, lifestyle and current issue posts that make it onto the blog. I hope you stick with me through this transition, and I’m sorry for my silence this year so far, but I only have one month left of University now and I am more than ready to put the Zoology books away, get stuck in again with LabelNV and create content that I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing it! But anyway… I hope you enjoy this New York post!
My boyfriend and I both turned 21 at the end of last year, so our parents booked us plane tickets for an American adventure in January which saw us jetting off to New York for 4 days before flying to Las Vegas for another 3 days. I’d never been to America before, so I had no idea what to expect, but I was really looking forward to watching a few Broadway shows, visiting different museums and galleries, and trying new foods.
We arrived at the Moxy hotel near Times Square after what seemed like an strangely expensive cab ride, and checked into our room. The hotel wasn’t anything like I’d expected – it was small and decorated in a style I’d probably call modern industrial. Our room was absolutely tiny but it suited us well because we didn’t spend much time in it at all and we didn’t really need to pay extra for any more space.
Before arriving in New York, we booked New York Pass tickets using the app so we could visit any attraction on the list either for free or at a reduced price. The ticket itself is about $199 but includes access to a massive range of galleries, museums and specific sites of interest that would usually cost about $20 each for entry. As we knew we would be visiting many different places, it made sense to book these tickets in advance and save ourselves some money. The New York Passes also allowed us to skip the ticket queues – so that was great for saving time. We used the planning features of the New York Pass app to set up itineraries for the few days we were there, so we were able to fit as much into 4 days as possible – and as a result, we were absolutely zombified afterwards. Before arriving in America, we both created a list of things we wanted to visit in the short space of time we had. The Natural History Museum, Guggenheim, Yankee Stadium, Ground Zero, Central Park and Statue of Liberty all made it onto the list, but we also managed to fit in 2 shows, The Empire State Building, Ripleys Believe It Or Not, the outlet village and Madame Tussaud’s (and probably a few other things I’ve forgotten to mention).
On the first day there we decided that we needed to learn how to use the subway because we were tired of paying $70+ for basically every cab ride in the city – and we knew our budget couldn’t sustain that for long. A $3 subway ticket was much more purse-friendly and we even had a subway ride complete with a singing A Capella group, which was great fun on a cold morning.
Throughout the trip we found ourselves in lots of novelty and fast food restaurants simply because we didn’t actually have much time to eat due to all of the sightseeing we were trying to cram in. I had my first Dunkin’ Donut experience and tried Grape Skittles and Grape Fanta – although I highly recommend staying away from all grape flavoured products because they are grim! On what planet is bright purple classed as grape? *insert barf emoji here* Most of the time we ate on the move and as quickly as possible because we were constantly visiting new places and we wanted to take it all in and experience as much as we could. Hard Rock Cafe became a firm favourite both in New York and Las Vegas. But we also enjoyed Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company and TGI Fridays – although we decided to leave Planet Hollywood before we even ordered because it looked so tacky and rundown on the inside…
We managed to get tickets to two shows while in New York and I would recommend both of them. I have seen the film Pretty Woman a million and one times and can pretty much quote it from beginning to end. The show was basically true to the film script but with a few small changes and a lot more singing and dancing! Even though I personally wouldn’t pay to see it again, I would definitely encourage other people to watch it at least once. The second show we watched was my absolute favourite. We saw King Kong at the Broadway theatre for $49 – so basically half the price of a $99 Pretty Woman ticket. I’d seen it advertised online before we arrived in New York and set my heart on watching it simply because of the giant gorilla puppet. We had planned on seeing it on the first night but it was sold out, so we had to wait a few days before we managed to snag tickets… And it was fabulous! The staging, the acting, the singing, the puppetry – everything was amazing. I’d watch it again and again. It was our favourite by far and I can’t stop looking at the photos.
We made a few trips to various shopping malls and outlets during our time away. But I have to say, the tax and tipping made shopping and eating out a bit more stressful than it should have been. However, by the last day we just about had the hang of it. New York has always been on my bucket list. Perhaps the films, songs, theatre shows and books I’ve been spoon fed throughout my childhood raised my expectations of this city a bit too high – because while I loved every minute of being there, it wasn’t exactly what I’d thought it would be. Everything seemed to be one constant rush and although navigating through the city was easy, in a weird way I felt a bit pressured and stressed constantly. I also found that the people weren’t particularly friendly or welcoming, and the way we were treated by a few staff members at various restaurants and attractions made me question exactly why I had decided to leave that 20% tip! Of course I recommend visiting New York – it is an amazing, bustling city and there is so much to see and do. The way of life is really different to that of the UK and has to be experienced! But just be aware of tax, tipping servers, hotel staff and cab drivers, and being scammed by people dressed in costumes asking for pictures ($20 for one photo is excessive…) Hopefully I’ll be able to visit New York again soon and take things at a slower pace. I’d love to go back to the Natural History Museum and spend more time exploring the City now that we’ve done all of the typical touristy things.
Have you ever visited New York?
Little Green Cars –> My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me