So, I've told all of you how I'm obsessed with NYC, right?
It started when I was about 4 or 5 years old, and it's just escalated from there.  After going last summer, I figured either one of two things would happen.  I'd either not be as obsessed with it, because I had experienced it (sometimes things aren't as magical as you imagine them to be), or I would become more obsessed because I would love it.

The latter happened.

I completely fell in love with NYC!  So much that I am going back this December (December 27th to January 3rd).  

I wanted to talk about my past trip, though.  I want to go through all the days and post a few photos.  So, here goes!

Day 1:
We just want wandering around, and we ended up going to Magnolia Bakery, Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwarz, Trump Tower, a little bit of Central Park, and ended up in Times Square.
We arrived in NYC about noon NY time.  By the time we go out luggage, a cab, and into our hotel, it was around 1.  We changed then went out to wander around to find food.  On the way, we passed Macy's, and we also realized later we had walked right by the Empire State and didn't even realize it.  
We also found Magnolia Bakery.  It is the best bakery ever.  The one we went to is located on the corner of Rockefeller center.  My sister and I split a red velvet cheesecake.  It was amazing. 
After that, we accidentally ended up in Rockefeller center.  We took our baked goods and were going to eat them outside, but it started raining.  So, we ran into a building and then realized it was Rockefeller center.  Somehow we found our way to the dining concourse, and we ate down there.  I really liked Rockefeller center, we ended up going there 2 or 3 more times during the course of our trip. 
After we ate our desserts, we found FAO Schwarz.  We took pictures with the guards, and the friend we went with, Amy, got a picture with Captain America.  We saw the giant piano, Batman made out of legos, and Hunger Game shirt replicas.
We passed by Trump Tower and decided to go in.  It's very gold in there, and the escalators are very tall.
We finally made it to the park (which was a much longer walk then we had all realized).  It was still sprinkling, so we didn't stay long.  We did end up at the Central Park zoo at the perfect time, because it was on the hour, and we got to see the monkey's bing the clock. 
We left there and headed to Times Square.  We decided to eat at Planet Hollywood that night, which was a good thing, since it was the last night for it to be open (don't worry, they just closed it down for renovations, it's open now).  I did get to see the dress Bella wore and the suit Edward wore to prom in Twilight, the dress Vanessa Hudgens wore in Beastly, and the black hoodie Alex Pettyfer wore as well, the drive-in outfit Sandy wore in Grease, the beauty school drop out dress from Grease, and a few other neat things. 
We kind of hung around Times Square after that, just looking around, taking pictures, and soaking it all in. 

Day 2:
Brooklyn!  We went to Coney Island, then up to Prospect Park. That night, we went to Cowgirl Seahorse and Grand Central.  
I really liked Brooklyn.  Coney Island was neat, it was the first beach I've been to since I was about 3 or 4 years old.  We ate hot dogs from Nathan's, went to the Aquarium, and then went and sat on the beach. I even got to put my toes in the water, but it was ICE COLD.
After we left there, we headed to Prospect Park.  It was a really pretty park, and I'm glad we ended up going to it.  They had a Civil War memorial for the Union (GIANT memorial) at one end, which was super awkward since I had family members who fought against the Union. 
Right across from the park was the Brooklyn Library.  It is a beautiful building (and had clean restrooms, just so you know).
That night we went to Cowgirl Seahorse.  This is located almost directly under the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side. It's basically a restaurant with southern food and seafood.  We walked across to the East River to search for Dan's house (from Gossip Girl).  I thought it was located by the bridge on the Brooklyn side, but I was wrong.  It's by the Manhattan bridge on the Brooklyn side.  So, I took pictures of the wrong building.  
Afterwards we made our way to Grand Central.  That is such a beautiful place, I loved it.  The ceiling is exactly the way I imagined it, and it's massive.  There were so many different types of people moving through it.  We also found the Whisper Wall, which is located in front of the Oyster bar.  It really does work, too.  It's so fun.  Go stand in opposite corners and place your ear against the wall.  Whisper into the wall, and the person that is diagonal from you can hear it through the wall.  

Day 3:
Battery Park, Liberty Island, Ellis Island, Bowling Green, Soho, and Greenwich. 
First thing that morning we headed to Battery Park.  One thing I am sad about is that I thought Battery Park and Battery Park city was the same thing.  It's not. I had planned on finding the "secret playground" that is located by Battery Park City.
Other than that, the place was amazing.  They had a sculpture that had survived the 9/11 attacks (it had a few dents, but it was still standing). 
Liberty Island is everything you'd imagine and more.  Just seeing the Statue of Liberty was so amazing.  She is beautiful.  And if you have the chance, walk around behind her, and you'll see that she is a bit prissy.  Just go look (hint: look at her feet). 
Ellis Island was really interesting.  It was neat to see the Registry room, some of the luggage that was left behind, as well as families who came through and their clothing.  We also saw the Graffiti Columns, which were pillars that all the immigrants wrote on.  It has drawings and a lot of different languages on it.
After we got back we headed to the Bowling Green.  The Bowling Green is one of the oldest parks in Manhattan.  Back in it's day, it had a statue of King Henry (one of 'em).  The fence around it had crowns on top of the posts (the large posts, not the pointy ones), and during the Revolutionary War, colonists knocked them off and used the statue to make bullets.  You can still see where they knocked the crowns off.
Also by the Bowling Green is the giant Wall Street Bull (Yes, the one from Arthur, and yes, it has big balls).  The story behind the bull is quite interesting, I'd look it up if I were you.
After that, we headed to the Soho and Greenwich area.  We went to Peanut Butter & Co. for lunch, and as we walked through the area, saw some NYU buildings.  I loved Soho, the architecture there was so colorful!  We found DASH (Kardashian store!), and I thought that was pretty cool.  I bought a pencil there for $4.  A pencil was $4.  Be prepared.



Day 4: 
Empire State building, New York Public Library (outside, saw a photoshoot!), MoMA, Chinatown and Top of the Rock.
So, we got to the Empire State close to when it opened (the observatory) and we didn't really have to wait in a line.  It was awesome to be up there first thing in the morning, to see the city waking up and moving around.  I could see for miles (and miles and miles..). 
As we were headed to the MoMA, we passed by the Library.  We were going to go inside but they weren't opened yet.  We did get to see a photoshoot going on, though, and it was pretty awesome!  I took a few photos, shhhh. 
The MoMA was pretty cool.  I got to see two of my favorite paintings, which is Van Gogh's Starry Night and Dali's Persistence of Memory. 
We got to see the old CBGB buildling after this.  It's now a John Vervatos store, but a lot of the original graffiti and posters were still up.  It was amazing.
After we did this, we headed to Chinatown.  It was okay, but it wasn't what I imagined.  I probably wouldn't go back another time, but I guess it's good I got to go once.
The Top of the Rock was AMAZING.  I loved it.  It had a really cool elevator (just go, you'll see), and it had 3 levels so there was a lot more room to move around.  There is a light room located on the second level of the observatory, and it's awesome.  When you walk in, the room assigns you a color, and it follows you.  Pretty neat!
Funny story:  A French couple, a British couple, and we were trying to go down.  We got on this elevator that only went down to Floor 65.  We thought maybe you just had to switch elevators, so we got in.  Well, we ended up on a floor that only had restrooms, and there was no other way out but the elevator.  We pressed the elevator button and it took forever for one to come.  When it did, it opened, and we told the people inside that it was just restrooms and we needed to go back up.  Well, they closed the doors on us, and left us.  By this point, we're all cracking up, because we're stranded in restrooms together and can't get an elevator.  We press the elevator button again, and the SAME elevator with the same people open up, and they leave us AGAIN.  All of the Europeans we were with just kept saying, "It's only the toilets!"  Ah, foreigners are funny.

Day 5:
The Bronx (Edgar Allen Poe's house, Botanical Gardens), Guggenheim, Dylan's Candy Bar, and Serendipity 3.
Just some words of wisdom: if you ride the subway to Poe's house, don't try to walk to the Botanical Gardens from there.  It's a very long walk through a very scary neighborhood.  I thought I was going to be KILLED.  Plus, it was probably the hottest day in the time we were there, so it was a very warm walk.
The Botanical Gardens were pretty when we finally got there, but we were so hot and thirsty (and scared), we were a mess.  We found the cafe and got drinks (it reminded me of Wild Hogs, when they run out of gas, and get to the town, and start drinking out of pitchers), but we were still pretty hot and tired so we didn't stay at the Gardens long.
The best thing about the Guggenheim it is the building itself.  I suggest going on Saturday night between 5:45 and 7:15, where you can pay what you wish.  The artwork in the Guggenheim is not really that impressive.  In fact, most of it looked like a child's drawing, blown up.  There apparently was a room that had Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, etc., but it was off to the side so I missed it.
Serendipity had an hour and a half wait, so we headed down to Dylan's Candy Bar to pass away the time.  That place is awesome.  It's 3 stories of candy, and it's so pretty in there, too.  I love the way the inside looked.  Plus, if you're a fan of Gossip Girl, that is a place they filmed at before. 
Serendipity was awesome, too.  It's kind of a small place, but it is decorate very cute and the food was good.  The frozen hot chocolate was pretty amazing as well. 

Day 6:
Harlem Gospel Tour, Puerto Rican parade, Palace Hotel, Times Square.
New York was a lot different than I expected, but one of the main things that was completely opposite of what I expected was Harlem.  Harlem is not this rough, scary neighborhood with gangs walking around and bars on all the windows (at least not where we went).  It's actually a pretty neighborhood.  The perception of Harlem is bad because that's all we're ever told.  But go there (we went on the Harlem Gospel Tour, which was really interesting) and see for yourself.  We also attended a Pentecostal church there, and it was awesome (that was part of the tour, too).  There is a lot more history in Harlem than you might think, so if you have time, definitely check out the Harlem Gospel Tour.
After we got back, we headed to 5th Avenue to see the Puerto Rican parade.  This is the largest parade of NYC (yes, larger than Macy's), and it's insane.  There were so many people, so much music, floats, and so very many flags.  We watched that for awhile.  Be prepared to see a lot of skin, though.
We headed over to find the Palace Hotel after that.  I, being a huge Gossip Girl fan (don't judge me), kept trying to locate sites that are or have been on Gossip Girl.  If you watch GG, you know the Palace Hotel.  Well, we went and saw the outside of it, but the gate was closed.  
We walked around to sneak into the lobby, and this older woman came out (who I'm pretty sure was intoxicated), and she said, "Oh, you can go in and pee, it's fine!"
So, we went inside to the lobby, took some pictures, and went out on the little terrace part that you always saw Serena and Dan talking on.  It's a beautiful hotel.
That night we ended up in Times Square once again.  It was very fun, we ended up going into the Disney store, Forever 21 (just to look), and a few other places.  We also met an Iron Man that night and took pictures with him.  Sadly, it was not RDJ under the mask.  Bummer. 


Day 7:
American Museum of Natural History and Broadway (Chicago).
I saw the "gum, gum, dumb, dumb" guy!  I won't lie, that was one of my favorite parts of AMNH.  It was a huge place, and I also enjoyed the Native American room, and the Dinosaurs.  RAWR. 
Broadway was AMAZING.  I loved it.  We went and saw Chicago, and our seats were in the very top of the theater.  Literally.  Well, right before the show started, a woman who worked there asked if we'd like to move up, so we got to move to the lower mezzanine.  It ended up being about 15-20 rows closer, so that was awesome. 
Chicago is a great show. I had never seen a production of Chicago, or the movie, so it was a whole new thing to me.  I did know a few of the songs from it, though.  It was a very fun show, I loved it.  I'd recommend it to anyone (except kids).

Day 8:
Central Park, The Cloisters, 9/11 Memorial.
So once again we try to go to Central Park and it's raining.  I mean, really?  The luck. 
We went and walked through a little, but it was just too wet (and our hairs were curling quickly).  As we were headed for the subway, we saw a guy who drives the little bike carriages for a living (I've completely blanked on what it's called, but it's like the horse carriages, except smaller, and instead of a horse, it's a guy on the bike).  Well, he talked us into taking a ride through the park.  He was a very nice guy, his nickname is Frankie Legs, so if you decide to do that, look for him.  He was at the entrance of the park where the U.S.S. Maine Monument stands.  Central Park is beautiful.  We stopped at the Bethesda Terrace and walked around (it's the place from 27 dresses, where they are talking about the boathouse, and the boathouse is across from it), and at Strawberry fields (John Lennon memorial). 
After the park, we went to the farthest northern part of Manhattan, where the Cloisters is located.  A piece of advice: take the bus up there once you get to the subway stop.  It's on top of this giant hill, and we had to climb it.  In the rain.  I was miserable and pissed off. 
It was a pretty neat place, though.  They took actual architecture from the 1300-1700 and somehow built it into a new building.  It's neat to see.
That night we went to the 9/11 Memorial.  It's such a surreal, intense, yet amazing place.  The memorial is huge, bigger than I imagined.  It is the exact outline of the buildings.  It was a very sad place, heartbreaking.  It's a very strong feeling that comes over you.  It's very solemn.  They did make a beautiful, respectful memorial to all those whose lives were taken.  It's hard to see the names of all the people, rather than just a number.  You know each individual name is someone's family member, friend, co-worker, etc.  It really makes you stop and think, it makes you realize how much you have.  It makes you realize how fast it could all be taken away.  It makes you want to pray that America gets stronger, and all those affected by 9/11 heal.  It was raining when we went, and it really went with the mood of the place.  What's also eerie is seeing the new building rising up, and since it was rainy and foggy, we couldn't even see the top of it.  It was a weird feeling.
That night we went to Cowgirl Seahorse once again, then decided to go to the library.  Well, it was closed. So, we decided to walk to Baked by Melissa.  Keep in mind, it's still raining pretty hard.  We get there, and it's closed.  We were 4 minutes late.  So, we finally make it to Grand Central to take the subway (and play with the whisper wall again, heh), and our subway cards screw up.  We ended up taking a taxi. 

Day 9:
Lombardi's, Soho, UN, and Shopping/Times Square
The last full day we headed down to Little Italy to go to Lombardi's.  Lombardi's is the oldest pizzeria in the USA.  It's delicious!  The prices are going to seem expensive at first, but once you see how big the "small" is, you won't think so.  It's amazing. 
We headed to Rice to Riches after that, which is a rice pudding place.  It's amazing.  A single serve is $7, but it's huge.  My sister and I shared it and had plenty.  I got chocolate hazelnut, it was amazing.
After this, we headed to the UN for the tour.  It was pretty interesting for the most part.  It was something our friend mainly wanted to do, so I didn't really know what it was much until I went.  It was interesting to hear about.  Although I can't say I agree with their gun policy.  
What was weird is that our entire tour group, except for 3 Brazilians, was from Texas!  What are the odds?
We finally got to do our shopping after all this.  We strolled down 5th Avenue (I love saying that!).  We went into Henri Bendel's and acted like we could afford it (ha!).  We found an H&M, which is the best store ever.  I loved it.  I got a pretty blouse and so did my sister (hers was only $5, mine was only $17). 
After that we headed to Times Square for dinner and more shopping.  We went to Forever 21, M&M Store, and Walgreens for souvenirs.  We were going to go in Sephora, but they were closed for remodeling (story of my life up there, Victoria's Secret was also closed for remodeling). 

Day 10:
Flight home.  :(
I was so sad to be leaving NYC.  I truly loved it there, and it was starting to feel normal after being there for so many days.  I can't wait to go back!

Keep on the look out for more NYC posts in the future (food, interesting places, tips). 

Now, for some pictures.  :)
 





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