Unfortunately I woke this morning tired, really tired. I wasn’t feeling very well – woman issues and hadn’t had the best sleep compared to the other nights so far. We left the house later then usual but I knew that I had to somewhat pull myself together – look half decent and head out. First stop – Roxy’s diner!
We had been recommended this place by a family friend so we thought we would check it out. Definitely an old American styled diner and the food seemed to be the same. I will be honest in saying I was let down by this place. I guess having heard it was good my expectations were higher but sadly the food didn’t live up to it. Now I’m not a coffee drinker but Nath is so he ordered a coffee and it came… in a giant mug. This did not only come but a plate full of small tubs of milk/cream and little containers of jams and butters. This was the true diner experience and what was even more amazing was that the coffee you paid for one cup and it was just continuous refills – for free!
It was now time to start adventuring again. We had decided that we would hop on the downtown bus loop again and make our first stop Soho. Today was a lot windier then the previous days we had experienced so it was time to rug up – especially as were going to be sitting on top of this double decker styled bus. On we hopped and away we went.
As talked about previously in my other posts seeing the sights of NY this way was great! So much to see, you often find yourself looking up all the time or just down at all the cars and people. See following photos for just some of the amazing experience…
Getting to our Soho stop it was perfect timing. There was Sephora – the make up shop that everyone had told me to go into. Also the fact my sister wanted this $50 eyeshadow kit was a fact that I had to enter the building. Now these stores are everywhere in NY so it wasn’t exactly hard to find one but it was just even better that our stop was right near. I dragged Nath into the store and there was make up everywhere. I had heard that the store was known for cheap make up, cheap but good make up. Unfortunately as soon as we got inside there were just the expensive make up brands in sight – Bobbi brown for example. Most of you will know but if not I am the biggest bargain hunter or one to not spend anything over like $30 without major hesitation! Going to New York I was determined to let loose but still when it came to make up I wasn’t up for buying one make up item for like $80 to $100 – eeeek!
After going through the entire store of all the more expensive brands we got to the back and there was the Sephora brand itself – the cheap brand, the reason of me wanting to mainly come in here! Collecting up two lipsticks, an eyeshadow, lip liner, lip gloss and setting spray I was ready to leave. Overall my opinion of the store is that it was nice. If you are a big expensive make up spender then you will love it, for me I loved it for the cheap but still good quality deals too. Check it out if you ever head over – you won’t miss them. They are everywhere.
It was time to work out where we were next headed. First – the bathroom was needed. So in NY Starbucks is a big thing. Probably in all of America! In NZ we have one in most shopping malls and on occasional streets in the city. In NY they are literally almost on every corner and even though they are so close together – all of them are busy! So pit stop there to queue in a long line for the toilet, ridiculous really.
Back into fresh air I was still not feeling 100 and Nath was determined I choose the next place to go. Unfortunately I just didn’t have it in my brain to achieve this and we stood on the street of Soho unsure what our next move was. You see, this is why we are planners and usually fail if we don’t make a plan! After about 10 minutes we decided on walking down into Little Italy to see what it was like. To our surprise a festival filled the streets and as we got closer to it the busyness got us intrigued and excited. Ferris Wheel and all we walked past all these stalls selling food, toys, ornaments and more. You could even partake in games like at any carnival. It was soon that we realised what kind of festival it was once we chose one of the many directions to go down. It wouldn’t be Little Italy without an Italian festival and this is what was happening.
It was an incredible experience and atmosphere and overall fairs, carnivals or whatever you want to call them make me happy! What I loved most was the food stalls that filled the streets. Restaurants within Little Italy having put up marquees out the front of their place filling the masses with beautiful chairs, tables and food.
Before grabbing food we spotted a make up stand – now this was not small. Imagine all of this cheeeeap make up and beauty supplies in a big tent. Some not so good quality but nail polish that was!! Yes, I have a bit of an obsession in this department. We filled our basket and as we did right next door a mass crowd had gathered.
Unfortunately it was just to hard to get a photo but we were amused by this crowd as what they were watching was a meat ball eating contest! Being short I typically could not see much but I could hear it and it was hilarious – 17 meatballs one man was up to when we decided to move on!
It was now time to head in the other directions that we had yet to check out. The festival really did just keep going down one massive street and I swear we covered a couple of blocks. I wanted to sit in at one of the Italian restaurants but it was just to hard to decide which one. Plus with so many food stalls as well it was just so overwhelming. All I knew was I wanted Italian food – pizza or pasta and FAST! We decided on a slice of pizza first….
As we continued to find it hard to choose from all the amazing places – creating incredible smells. I decided taking photos of this experience was at least worthwhile. That’s when we tried these deep fried oreos – oh my! (last photo).
Definitely no loosing weight whilst on this holiday! We next stumbled across a cronut stand… I will be honest it looked delicious. Unfortunately it was quite dry so wasn’t the best but the topping was still so good. Pictures slightly tell you otherwise though – ha!
It was now time to wave goodbye to all this crazy atmosphere and yummy food. Off to the bus it was to head to the world trade centre and area where the twin towers stood. More sightseeing obviously happened as we were on the bus again and as we hopped off we stumbled across this park with a beautiful fountain.
It’s then that we spotted a squirrel and I got a wee bit excited!
Continuing our walk we headed to the world trade center. The building that stands in place of the twin towers is massive – just picture the sky tower except twice the size!! As we got closer we noticed this incredibly intriguing building and it happened to be labelled a Westfield shopping centre. Heading inside it gave you the feeling of a museum of some sort and heaps of people were just bustling in and out. That’s when we decided to head down the stairs to see what this place really was all about. That’s when we spotted a few shops and walked into the following…
You could tell this place was brand new and shops were only just starting to get up and running. It was an incredible building with so many people and it just seemed very unreal. We didn’t buy anything here but just witnessing it was awesome.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to the actual 9/11 memorial museum but just being around the area was a great experience. Heading back out to the street we spotted Century 21 the department store and in we went. I always expected this store to be like dress mart in NZ. To my surprise, no – again a many leveled store but filled with high end brands by expensive fashion makers. $800 dresses down to $400 – oh what a bargain, not! hahaWe again didn’t go through all the levels but we did end up getting a nice bow tie for my dad and a NY hat for me which I had planned to purchase on this trip!
That’s when we realised we were going to miss our next tour – the night tour! We were really far downtown and we had to get all the way back near our hotel to catch the night tour bus. So now it was time to move fast again, heading back to where we were dropped off we waited for the next bus. Now the time being at least 6pm! Once we got on the bus we soon realised we highly likely weren’t going to make it back in time to catch the night bus and it was almost dark anyway. By this time I was over it, I was tired and I knew that we still had to go to the Top of the Rock building before our voucher expired – too much cramped into these days. That’s one thing I would recommend; if you go to NY and can afford staying more then 5 days do so. If 5 days is what you have to work with then just spread your adventures out more otherwise you just crash!
So the bus we were on became our night bus tour as it took us about an hour to get to our final stop anyway. It was now dark and it was awesome to see NY at night this way. It was pretty chilly and windy on the bus at the top but I took the opportunity to take photos and enjoy the sights.
We hopped off at the winter garden and boy was it magical looking. All country flags around the outside, fairy lights everywhere and an incredible fountain. Top of the Rock was right next to this so in we went to get our tickets and wait half an hour before our session to began.
I will just pause and say that I somewhat feel like this blog post isn’t that great, especially nearing the end. This is because once it got to the Top of the Rock part our lives got rocked and we couldn’t think clearly no more. Just before we entered the building for our viewing we checked our phones, that’s when we saw things that made us believe one of our close friends had passed away. All we could do was turn off our phones, do the tour and hop the thoughts racing through our heads weren’t true. The views from the Top of the Rock were beautiful and spectacular but because we had done the Empire State it really was the same experience except with beautiful lights spread across the city.
We quickly found the exit and Nath checked his phone as soon as we stepped onto the street and there were the words from his best friend – our friend had passed away. Both in tears, breaking on a random street in New York – so so far away from home all we could do was hold each other. Wanting to get home (back to our hotel) even sooner then before we walked holding hands tightly. Having had nothing to eat for a while we stopped for a hot dog – make sure you try one of these!! $3 and so good.
We got home cried more, talked to friends and felt numb. I will be honest I cried but I didn’t break down cry. All I could feel was that it wasn’t true. It got later and later. From the time we went out to the time we had gotten back was 10am-10pm! We were needing to eat properly so trying to look half decent we walked along the street and found the first pizza place. We then finished our night by getting a gelato – a really good one and thought about our dear friend the whole time.
Even though it was such a devastating ending to our day all I can say is I am so grateful that I am still on this earth. That I am lucky to have the most incredible fiance and amazing family and friends. Goodnight NYC and goodnight NZ family and friends.