I wasn’t quite prepared for the effect New York would have on me. Ingredients for my dream holiday would generally consist of soaring summer temperatures, the beach/sea/pool on an island/amidst rolling country hills or even exploring jungles and rainforests. Placing substantial distance between me and the honking horns of stressful city life is key to the process – basically, a complete antidote to the usual daily grind.
But it was off to Manhattan (at least it’s an island) for sub-zero temperatures in arguably one of the busiest cities in the world. And I couldn’t have loved it more.
Here's what we got up to for our first weekend of fun.
Weekend brunching is practically the law in New York. A few friends had recommended Joseph Leonard to us, which turned out to be just around the corner from our temporary West Village home. The general brunch vibe is there's no booking: you go somewhere and they'll tell you how long you need to wait until a table frees up for you (this can be hours). Luckily we managed to get in relatively early (11:30ish?!) – with a short gap that left us just enough time to wander down Bleeker Street, grab a coffee and head back for a mammoth tucking in session. We scored seats at the bar so were able to chinwag with our bar staff Mike and Zoe, who we were introduced to when we arrived.
A TRIP TO THE APPLE STORE
As a freelancer, having the kit is essential. I'm fairly new to it, but it those short few months I've been using Olly's laptop and have completely clogged it up with endless copy and photos. So what better place to buy a shiny new Mac than in NYC's Apple store? We didn't actually head to the flagship Uptown, but found a smaller version near us in Meatpacking. It goes without saying I was pretty chuffed with my new purchase and proudly double-strapped my Apple carrier bag to our next destination...
THE COYOTE UGLY BAR
It was too dark to take photos inside, but imagine girls behind the bar wearing next to nothing, thousands of bras hanging from the wall, a stereo system belting out old American classics and walls plastered in memorabilia. A pre-lunch beer and a game of pool was on the agenda here. I discovered Olly’s a dab hand with a cue, though he was a gentleman and let me win (if you also ignore the fact that I potted the black very early on in the game, but we were all out of quarters to start again).
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
There she is! Hopping aboard a ferry to Liberty Island – cue chilling wind – was our next port of call. Not only were we able to enjoy fabulous photo ops of the Lady herself, but the view of Downtown Manhattan was also killer. On arriving, we gave up on our electronic tour guide Cynthia pretty rapidly (see green string around my neck) in favour of making friends with fellow island visitors and embracing our inner tourists. And devouring hotdogs on the 15-minute trip across.
BROOKLYN FLEA MARKET
After disembarking our ferry post island excursion, it was time to cross another body of water, this time to Brooklyn to catch the end of a weekend flea market on Dean Street. Though we only had half an hour there before it closed, we managed to find all sorts of gems including vintage denim shirts, sweatshirts and a gorgeous necklace from a talented Brooklyn-based designer. More to come on these treasures...
We then jumped on the subway back to the edge of Brooklyn to walk across the bridge by night and take in another sweeping view of Downtown Manhattan. Needless to say it was freeeeeezing...
....but we soon warmed up back at the apartment with an evening that went like this: feet up with truffle-coated take-out pizza from No 28 on Carmine Street... watching the Knicks... in our sweats...