Tuesday, May 10, 2022

On Island Time - My Quick Visit To NYC!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of celebrating one of my oldest friends in her new city. Sofia, Taylor, and I have all been friends for almost 20 years! Sofia was turning 27 and tickets were cheap so we flew from Chicago to New York City to celebrate with her! 

We were lucky enough to stay with Sofia. Whenever I’ve gone to New York (I’ve only been with my mom before this trip!) I have had the pleasure of staying with locals - so I can’t be totally helpful there but I would recommend researching what you want to do, where it is, and then picking a neighborhood to stay in that is close to most of what you want to do and a subway station. 

The subway will be the quickest and most affordable way to get around in NYC. If you map our where you're going on your phone there should be an option for taking transit to get there and that will help you navigate the subway. If you're from a big city then riding the train or public transit may be normal to you but factor in the differences from city to city. For example, a CTA ride in Chicago is $2.25 but an MTA ride in Manhattan is $2.75. Try not to have headphones on and be aware of your surroundings. There are usually police officers and plenty of other commuters in subway stations at any hour of the day. 

We wore masks on all our subway rides because it's still encouraged but also it's a compact, shared space with a lot of people from different walks of life and it made us feel safer. 

Most of the time we took the subway and walked. You walk A LOT in New York. I think the least I walked in a day was 13,000 steps. I would I pack vans, dr. Martens, and other comfortable walking shoes. Even for going out, I planned to wear my Chelsea-styled boots because it was raining but also I knew my feet would be swollen from walking everywhere! 

The neighborhoods we spent the most time in were Murray Hill and SoHo but we also ventured to downtown, NoHo, Chinatown, Hell’s Kitchen, the Flat Iron district, Bowery, Gramercy, Tribeca, East Village, and Chelsea. In the past, I’ve stayed on the Upper East Side as well but we didn’t get around to it on this trip. 

The most notable moments of our trip (and my past trips) included: 



Most places sell pizza by the slice. The pizza place we went to a few times Murray Hill was Libretto's Pizza. We also stopped by Famous Ben's Pizza of SoHo. If we had, had more time we would've gone to Ray's as well. 


The reason we were able to hit so many bucket list locations was that we had a really good, local tour guide! Sofia knew where to take us, and we all have known each other so long that we trust each other and go with the flow. You have to be able to adapt to a city like New York! So be prepared to make plans and have them change based on the weather, capacity, and morale of your group. 

While we didn't go to any shows this trip, I have gone before with my mom on past trips. My advice is to try and get discounted tickets for shows or buy them in advance online! Look at all the times offered (usually matinees are less expensive) and make a realistic plan for coming and going. For any shopping, make sure that you factor in suitcase space and taxes! I totally get wanting to make a big purchase for a special memory, but factor in if buying it more locally may be easier on your wallet. 

Overall, this trip was amazing and I know we'll be back to visit our little buddy, Sofia. For now, I'm going to rest my feet and detox from all the cheese I consumed! Happy travels! 
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