The Travel Post #8: Discovering New York City Part 2

A few weeks ago, I blogged about part 1 of
my first trip to the Big Apple (if you missed the first installment then check
it out here!) and today I’m going to give you the lowdown on the second part of
the trip featuring a fifth avenue spree and some serious foam finger action…

Day 4 – Ladies who brunch

Our forth day in New York was a Saturday,
and what better way to start off the weekend in one of the best cities in the
world than with brunch? Brunch is my favourite ever meal, and I like to try and
have at least one kind of brunch in every place I travel to. The day before, we
had taken the On Location TV and Movie Tour (find out more about that in part1!), and the New York born and bred tour guide assured us that there was only
one spot to get the best brunch in New York City – Bubbys.  Bubbys is located in Tribeca and it’s a
favourite for celebs, locals and tourists alike – our waitress told us that the
week before Emma Stone and Andrew Garfunkel had been coming every day! The food
was amazing, I went for the Eggs Benedict and Em couldn’t resist the pancakes
with bacon. The hearty american feel and amazing food was definitely up there
with some of my best brunch experiences and it set us up nicely for a day of
serious shopping!

After a busy few days we had planned to just
spend a couple of hours making our way down fifth avenue to give ourselves a
bit of down time before the evening…yeah right! After stopping off for a cup of
tea in The Plaza (so regal!), we spent more like six hours methodically
checking out all the shops on the famous shopping strip. We visited all the
major department stores, where I got my hands on a gorgeous Bloomingdales
decoration for my momma and got very excited at how cheap the mac make up was,
and after a quick stop off to check out the beautiful christmas tree in the NewYork Public Library, it was a mad dash back to the hotel to get changed before making
our way over to Madison Square Garden.  Now
it was time for one of my favourite parts of the trip…The Knicks!

Along with our tickets for Broadway, The Knicks was something we booked and paid for back in the UK. I’ve mentioned this
before in this travel tips post, but I think it is always good to have a few
things planned during your stay before you arrive and if possible, pay for them
before you go too. Not only does this give you specific things to look forward
to but it means you reduce some of the cost while you are over there. We had
two fairly inexpensive evenings in New York because we had paid for the things
we were doing before we went and this can be really useful if you are trying to
see the city without the cost mounting up. Anyway, back to the main event!
Without knowing we had actually booked super good seats as they allowed wheelchair
user access too, which meant we were up in the suite section with an amazing
view! Everyone had told us The Knicks were having a bad season but we must have
been the lucky charm because they beat the Philadelphia 67’ers 91-83, wooo!
I’ve been to a few sporting events before back in England but this was my
favourite I’d ever been too. There was so much going on with entertainment
during every break including cheerleaders, celeb spotting and the world famous
kiss cam! It was an amazing atmosphere, with everyone in the crowd getting
involved. Of course we had to get one of the foam fingers and the biggest hot
dog I could find!

Day 5 – Sundays in the city 

I woke up on the day of our fifth and final
day in the city super excited because we were going to tick off one of things
on my ultimate travel bucket list – we were heading up to Harlem to listen to
one of New York’s best gospel choirs. I think gospel music is some of the most
beautiful in the world, and it always amazes me how incredible their voices
sound when they sing together.

After some intensive google researching we
decided to visit the First Corinthian Baptist Church on the outskirts
of Harlem. We wanted somewhere that was a genuine authentic choir but that was
happy for people outside of the congregation to come and listen and this was recommended as one that would be perfect for that balance. There are
things called ‘gospel tours’, but many of the reviews claim that they are very
staged and inauthentic and take you to see choirs that have been formed purely
for tourist entertainment, which is not what we wanted at all – which is why we
decided to visit it on our own.  The
service was beautiful and the choir genuinely took my breath away. I was also
super cool to see the sermon of a Baptist church, which was exactly like the movies
with the congregation dancing, clapping and hollering at Pastor Mike!

Our last afternoon in New York was spent
exploring Central Park. We took one of the bikes around the majority of the
park and stopped off at all the main spots to take a few snaps and explore the
areas a little bit more. I couldn’t get over how huge the park was and how beautiful it was to have this big green space in the middle of such a buzzing city. It was such a nice way to spend our last afternoon, experiencing a more chilled out and relaxed side to New York. 

We finished off the day by doing a quick
stop off to check out Grand Central Terminal and then heading up to Top of the Rock to watch our last New York sunset. The good thing about Top of the Rock is that you
get a similar view of New York as you would when you climb the Empire State
Building but you can also see the Empire State itself. The Rockefeller Center itself was super busy with everyone getting ready for the opening of the big
Christmas tree so for this reason I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the empire
state, but there’s no denying how beautiful New York looks from the sky at night!

Since we had to be up at 5am the next
morning to get to the airport, we finished off our trip in true New Yorker
style by getting the biggest takeaway pizza we could find and chilling out in
the hotel room. After an amazing but exhausting few days we were completely
knackered and it was actually really nice to just relax and chat about our
favourite parts of the trip.

My first taste of New York was AMAZING and
I already can’t wait to go back. I loved packing in all the touristy stuff, but
I’m also really excited to go and experience the city at less than 100mph!
Luckily for me one of my best friends has moved out there for a year’s
internship so me and 2 of my friends are flying out to spend New Year’s 2016
with her and I CANNOT WAIT. Until then I will have to fill the New York hole in
my heart with endless gossip girl marathons.

Have you been to New York or are you
planning a trip? If you have any good New York tips or want to ask me any questions just leave me a comment below or tweet me @charlphilpotts.

Charlotte x