United States of America · 8 Days · 44 Moments · May 2013

Discover New York (go all the way)

16 May 2013

AirTrain to JFK This is where you will need your AirTrain Ticket again. Within the area of JFK AirTrain is free. Make sure to check your boarding gate beforehand,JFK is hella big. Arrive early because a lot Airline (even internationals) offer a kind of self check-in and security check takes quite long. The Duty-free is neither big nor chic so is the food mall, but I guess it´s alright though (depends on which gate you are in!). Hope you have a nice flight and had a nice week! :)
Tai Thai It´s a nice cosy curry cuisine. Got the red curry and it was superb; and I know a thing or two about curries! ;) They don´t have much vegetarian food and the cocktails are alright. They have all the standard spicy Thai-kitchen meals and a cheap lunch special. Bedford Avenue in general has a lot to offer when it comes to food; so you might just wanna walk around a bit and get your dessert in any of the bakeries and coffee-shops around!

15 May 2013

Bodega Party? Brooklyn? Mr.Piná So Bodegas are the after-hour bars of smoothie-drinking new yorkers. Mr. Piná (right under Marcy Ave.) is open 24/7, or at least it was always opened when I came by, which was after all 2 or 3 times as late as 1 am in the morning. Pay your smoothie or raw vegetable drink (if you fancy that) on the counter first, walk over to the smoothie-making man and tell him what stuff you want in there. Choose from a wide range! It tastes heavenly! Whatever you want! They have nice bio-eco-fresh and -whatnot food - ready made or to go! (The shop-picture is a screen from Google Maps since I didn´t have any pictures! Sorry for that!)
Williamsburgh Bridge by night So we were living in Brooklyn and of course every holiday has to end -sadly! Anyways we walked A LOT!!! - and if by any means you can walk any of the bridges across the East River by night, take the chance! It is really nice and you´ll get a few nice pictures as well. During the night atop of Williamsburgh Bridge you can see the skyline illuminated and during the day you can see as far as the bronx. Good photospot here, but watch out for the bicycles and runners!
Looking for a real american sportsbar? Might just go there! I ain´t gonna sugarcoat this: this is an american after-work sports-bar. Bit worn down, quite ´round the corner of Flat iron district! You´ll get proper burgers, sport tv flatscreens, buff american sport-fan-boys and suited-up after-work-cocktail drinking men. All you can ask for, right? I shouldn´t be declaring this as an "insider" tip, but if you are looking for some real new yorkers, you gonna find a couple of this species here!
Square? well kinda round I suppose?! So apparently this is "square" garden, although it´s round- silly americans. It is atop of Penns sattion and if you walked the high line from south to north, you can easily connect this sight here on your way home. If you have the chance to see a concert here, do so! It is situated next to United States Post Office, which is huge and has the longest pillared colonnade in the world.
Kiosk - the design shop for adventurers If you are a design-aficionado ...go there!!! It is a bit hidden on the second floor and all nerdy when it comes to a real shopping "experience".Don´t be shy- go in and ask something about the stuff you find interesting! The shop-owners apparently travel the world and collect these mostly handmade items with their unique stories. They aren´t cheap but you´ll have a story to tell and a proper gift other than a tacky "I went to NY and all I got was this lousy shirt"-shirt!
walk the High line The high line is an old closed railroad track right through the top of the houses of west-chelsea near the harbor. It is extraordinary beautiful and a really nice spot for relaxing in the sun, taking a few stunning pictures and have a real nice lunch! If you around flat iron take the high street; it´s just a quick stroll around the neighborhood!

14 May 2013

Baby light my fire! The Time Square at night! We decided to go to Times Square quite late in the evening since the lights and the ads would pop even more in the dark. Although it was already 11 pm it was fully crowded with all kind of weird actors and costumed people. If you fancy a drink, go to a nearby comedy club- they are cheap and there are lots around.
Grand Central´s Great Birthday! 2013 Grand Central Station (Terminal) celebrated it´s 100th Birthday! Basically it´s all busy during the day with a big Apple store located on the front upper head end of the hall. It is the largest train terminal in the world by number of platforms (67 tracks). Downstairs you´ll find a nice food court. Be sure to walk to Times Square from here -it´s not even a 5 min walk there.
Eat italian? EATALY! Since you gonna be just around the corner of Flat Iron, have a look at Eataly. It is a really nice restaurant-café-marketstall mix with all kinds of different food departments and delicacies. So give your taste buds a treat! Prices are middle to high range.
Flat Iron This is a number 1 Photospot! Flat Iron is a classic. There is a nice food spot on top of it, but we weren´t able to go there due to the late hours. But fear not! You won´t be hungry for long! Eataly is just above the Street! Lots of nice boutiques around like Victoria Secret or American Apparel. In general the Flat Iron District is very photogenic!
Union Square On your way down to Flat Iron District make sure to stop by Union Square. Check out one of the many Coffe places around and chill a bit in the park. During lunch time, you will see lots of New Yorkers hanging around having a drink. This intersection between 14th street and Broadway is quite busy.
Head Shoulders Knees Toes! Flagship Kiehl´s For everybody who is not familiar with the name Kiehl´s: It is a quite expensive, parabene-free premium skin, hair, and body care product brand. It’s been around since 1851 and looks like an old apothecary. Get a free skin consultation and spoil your skin with a relaxing massage or facial scrub! They also have loads of men care products. Be sure to ask for free samples when you check out and check out their recycling programme. Stuff from Kiehl´s always makes a great gift! ;)
Candy heaven awaits... Dylan´s Candy Bar nom nom nom We just came by this shop with walking the street and I decided that i like the facade so went in there. I am a bit of a licorice aficionado, so that was my first though. But they got loads of sweets and chocolates on 3 floors - and when I say A LOT, well I mean A LOT; since it can get quite crowdy in there. Anyways believe me you´ll find something; even if it just your inner child (wanting that huge lollipop)! LOL

13 May 2013

The Top of the Rock So you gonna need this "I am on Top of the world feeling"! yes! Totally! And better, get it at the Rockefeller Center because 1) it´s basically the same view as from the Empire State Buidling 2) it is not as crowded (as we experienced it!) and 3) you have a better view to Central Park and overlooking Midtown!
6th forth and back So here we go again. I think you can probably walk these streets without ever getting tired of this vast heights of skyscrapers here. We have been around 5th and 6th already but decided to walk past the Rockefeller Center and it´s streets around.
Tea-Time! Time-Out! Alice´s Tea Cup Alice in Wonderland meets british tea time. Catch a breath in this wonderful surrounding and enjoy your tea and a fresh pastry or danish!
3 letters that equal ART? MET! We went for the ongoing Punk (Chaos to Couture) Exhibition. As a big fan of Alexander McQueens Beauty Savage this was rather a small and cutty exhibition. Nonetheless the MET is a must-see on your way around Grand Central Park. Their permanent Exhibitions and collections are really superb curated and displayed. As an entrance fee you can pay whatever you semm fit- don´t be a skinflint! It´s for the arts, right?!
Mr. Solomon is that yours? The Guggenheim is conveniently located right next to the Central Park. Check their Homepage for on-going exhibitions, highlights and opening hours. The museums café was quite expensive- but I guess everything is, up here ...
A posh stroll through Central Park and upper East side! So we got off somewhere on Park Avenue and started exploring the upper East Side. It is quite a posh area and you will find a lot of nice niche boutiques and expensive shops up there. We headed straight to Central Park. You´ll notice quite a few street vendors. Central Park is really nice and breezy in summer, although for a European who lives by a lake, the Water Reservoir looks quite like a concrete bathtub. Up here you can visit all the famous museums (Guggenheim, MET, Natural History) which are all located around the park.

12 May 2013

TeaNy Formerly the bar of the DJ Moby and now under new management, but still a hell of a good tip if you are looking for vegan and vegetarian fresh whole foods and a W I D E range of teas. Take a nice stroll through the neighbourhood, it´s really arty!
9/11 Memorial - Ground Zero - WTC 2 So here again BOOK YOUR TICKET IN ADVANCE! it will save you time, otherwise prepare for queueing up for quite a while. Tickets are free but you are charged 2 dollars for expenses or whatnot. Have a valid ID with you. The sight in general is really worth a look. Stunning, beautiful, tranquil. A lot of effort went into this gigantic memorial. You can roam the park and in summer 2013 the museum should already be opened. This sight is gonna give couple of nice pictures, but be decent. WTC 2 is nearly finished (when I was there) and now they are trying to fit 3 more into that tiny gap next to the park! Crazy folk these americans!
Shop till you drop! Arriving at the right, lower corner of Central Park there is just THE shopping eldorado everybody awaits... Apple (open 24/7!!!), Uniqulo (free PHOTBOOTH at the entrance), Tiffany´s (go to the 3rd floor for affordable charms and necklaces), Diesel, Bloomingdales and every mayor brand´s flagshipstore. You wish you had saved more money for this trip ;)

11 May 2013

Catch a picture? As a bit of a movie geek I like go to the cinema at least once a week, no matter what! When we were in New York we watched the Great Gatsby! Seating is first come, first served basis! Movies tend to screen earlier and later throughout the day. There is a ticket machine outside the cinema where you can order and pick up your tickets throughout the day and the day before. Movies mostly air a bit earlier than in Europe, so for me it was abig treat to see this movie in it´s original language.
cheeky dessert? circolo! After having eaten at Il Buco we were a bit cheeky and went next door to get another dessert ;P. Circolo is a (italian?) coffee and snack bar and has the greatest truffle pudding and mousse au chocolat ever. It is really stylish and green with loads of open space and wood inside. I recommend to sit in the shop window for a bit of people watching!
Il Buco Il Buco is a nice, Down-To-Earth italian Restaurant with rustic interior. You Might Wanna get a reservation if you are planning to go there on a short notice. Foods are fresh and change on a weekly basis. Middle to upperclass when it comes to wine and payment.
Shoe-fanatic? Foot-aficionado? Design-Junkie? Go there!!! Wether you are a shoe-frantic shopaholic or a retail design freak, have a look at this United Nudes Flagship Store right next to Il Buco. It is vibrant, the shoes are (not-so) expensive ;) , the salesgirls are aloof and wear 12 inch heels. It is well worth a look! BTW i love my new shoes :P
MOMA MUSEUM OF MODERN ART Book tickets in advance to avoid queueing and check online for ongoing exhibitions. Contemporary art exhibited to the highest standards. A really nice Design Shop just across the road. See Starry Night IRL or some VanGogh, Warhol or Lichtenstein. Art and Design advocate will get their money´s worth! (And even if you are not an artsy person, just go there! it´s basic education!)
What is love? Baby, don´t hurt me... The very iconic sculpture kinda explains itself, doesn´t it? Love public art, Love Robert Indiana, Love taking pictures, Love new york!
Brooklyn Flea There are 6-8 locations throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan where you can basically shop unique vintage finds or just have a nice (experimental) lunch. We went to the Williamsburgh-spot. It was a cozy, small flea market with tasty food and nice vendors right at the East River. Flea-markets are either Saturdays or Sundays and there are special events troughout May till September.

10 May 2013

NHL big Time! Go NY ISLANDERS! So we were able to get some spare tickets for the NHL Quarterfinals in Nassau the week we were in New York.Tickets go cheap if you buy early; spares are all over the internet but verify that you use a proper page though.Getting there was a bit of a knack: It took ages!So plan beforehand, because the trains out there aren´t that frequent.Other than that it was brilliant.Although we were quite in the back,you had a really good view.People were loud,drunk but polite and freaky fanboy-ish (costumes everywhere!) It was one of my best (hockey-)experiences so far! GO NY Islanders! PS:Make sure to bring a proper ID,otherwise you won´t get drinks!
BRGR patty all the way! Nothing to whitewash here: a burger pad with a proper american menu. All sorts of burgers, sides and soft drinks! Knock yourself out and dig in that fatty feast! They claim to use only the best of grass-fed beef, but you know it ain´t healthy (on your hips!)
Explore Midtown! DRAMA BABY! Heading over from Williamsburgh via the Bridge we went straight for the "city-center" (if you can say so). Midtown has a lot to offer: I suggest to just walk around if your time schedule allows you to. There is a nice book shop called DRAMA (250 west) quite next to an old-school comic book store(200 west). We got around Midtwon and Garment district then went up 6th and 5th and had lunch, after that we had to hurry to our ice hockey game. :)
Gourmet Guild... well says its all, innit? Writing this here, I wonder "wow that´s a hella lot of food-tips!". Well, this is another one, right there into your "vegan/vegetarian/nature-friendly"-heart... The Williamsburgh Gourmet Guild right on Broadway/Brooklyn. You´ll find all sorts of homemade products like soap and cosmetic products and local food, sandwiches, coffees and iced teas- opposite Marlow and Sons (kinda!) . All natural!

9 May 2013

FERRY RIDE YAY! So this is one of the most touristy things you ought to do. Go on that (cheesy) boat ride and see the vast skyline of New York, New Jersey, the harbour,Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Prices vary depending on which package you book. In general it is really worth it and nice to see. And come on, you know you want that tacky picture of you standing in front of that old green lady! ;) You have to, ´cos nothing says "I have been in NYC" more than this picture!
MR. Gecko? Gordon is that you? Walking down Broadway and heading for Battery Park, you will eventually come by Wall Street and pass the Stock Exchange. The alley is small but really fricking high. Once you see the iconic bull (or not because it is swamped with people taking pictures!) turn left! There you go! This is where you can basically lose all of your money within minutes or just enjoy a nice coffee break.
Broadway and back Broadway-the big tour: Make your way through Little Italy, up to Lower Manhattan and then all the way down to Battery Park. We believe that we can repent all our sins while walking, or not!- nah but you gonna see much more than being atop on one of these hop-on-and-off buses. Either way, make your way down, don´t fear the small sideways and alleys and go on that shopping and sightseeing spree. It is gonna be crowded and busy, but hey what did you expect?!
Mhhh Breakfast! Bakery? BAKERI! Bakeri is a small bakery between Berry and Kent Street in Brooklyn. A cozy, small room with a sensational smell of freshly baked goods. All the girls working there wear blue jumpers, which is also ...
Fancy food and fresh oysters anyone? Marlow and Sons So there is this thing with big cities near the sea and oysters: I personally do NOT like oyster, not ever! BUT if you are into fancy drinks, good wine and a bit of young, hip(sterish) williamsburgh nightlife -that´s the spot to be! They have weekly changing appetizers and a nice, small dinner selection as well. Cozy seating available inside as well as outside next to the street. Enjoy a nice glass of wine or a dry gin at the end of an evenning stroll through williamsburgh since it is right next to the bridge, which is all lightened up at night!
Want to know where to eat? The real Foodie-Experience! While strolling around in New York, you´ll find lots of different bars and on nearly every street corner your common hotdog or kebab-stand; But if you are really looking for that Foodie-Experience get a ZAGAT-GUIDE. You can buy these in nearly any Book-, Magazine- or Newspaper Shop around town. Get the latest edition; or if you are staying privat (e.g. via AirBnb) ask your landlord, they as might well have it since it is recommended in any good sorted household. Anyways in this guide you will find nearly every mentionable bar, pub and cuisine listed via price, effort of service, decoration, style, etc... it´s well worth it´s price.
Skip the waiting! Hop onto the fast lane! I know it's a bit of a drag, the whole "planning" beforehand a journey, and that's why you are here, but if you are smart and don't want to end up in long cues then book your tickets online. If you are familiar with your smartphone or a tablet and it happens that you have one with you, book your tickets to the sights online (can even be the day before)!!! This will save you time and nerves! Wifi is often free for use in nearly all cafés- so no excuses there! :)
The Metro Card and arriving at JFK The Metro Card is your ticket around town.You can get it in every underground station. Upon ariving on JFK you will need the Air-Train Ticket anyways (from JFK to the city 5 dollar one-way)- it´s the fastest and easiest way. Take good care of your Air Train ticket, there is a refund of 1 dollar and you will need it end of the week. There is also a charge of 1 dollar for your Metro Card which you can top up whenever you want. If you are familiar with the UK Oyster card it´s the same principle! When travelling with large luggage reckon in a bit more time going underground since the stairs are step, the crowd is busy and the passages are narrow!
Brooklyn-Bound Booth We rented a room on Wythe Avenue via Airbnb: The roof top terrace is nothing for the squeamish though. The flat itself and the roommates are charming, although we didn´t really had much contact with them. It is very nice located: quite near to the tube or just walk over the bridge to Manhattan. We had an absolute amazing stay there. The room and the neighborhood overall was just perfect. On the nearby high street there are loads of bars and little shops. I can only recommend this flat. Check the Link for more informations!