New York is an absolutely riveting city full of creative inspiration and individuals that no matter where you find yourself you’re bound to meet someone interesting.
Every wrong turn makes for a new adventure and throughout my 2 weeks in the city I made too many that I lost count. Alas, my amazing sense of direction was put to the ultimate test and I’m sad to say I failed quite miserably during my first couple of days there.
I was staying with my two friends in their cosy apartment in the heart of the East Village, the creative corner of New York City that is filled with an array of independent bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for an area to spend your weekday night then St Mark’s Place is where you’ll want to go. It’s less of a tourist hotspot and you’ll meet a bunch of locals who want to hear all about Europe. Right across from our apartment was St. Dymphna’s, a small but buzzing with atmosphere Irish bar, it made for the perfect post work meet up spot. Groups of friends, including ours, would come together and spend hours catching up with one another. It really felt like everyone knew everyone.
That’s one of the things I was pleasantly surprised by. Everyone, even the people who you’ve just met, are so open and friendly, this completely breaks the stereotype of New Yorker’s being rude. It’s really refreshing to see how nice strangers are and how quickly it is to get along with people in the city.
I spent the majority of my trip around the East Village so I suppose I’m being rather biased when I say this was my favourite area of New York City. There’s just something so pure and nostalgic about falling asleep to jazz bands that are playing in the bar below your apartment that makes you feel at home.
As you move uptown, towards the Upper East Side, you’ll notice that the rhythm of the city changes completely, everything is a lot more faster paced with businessmen and women heading to work all suited up. You’re lucky enough to squeeze onto a subway train around noon, which is when everyone has their lunch break so I recommend staying clear of this area by enjoying a trip to Central Park after grabbing some food at Wholefoods in Columbus Circle. Central Park makes for the perfect picnic spot and if you want to make a day out of it, walk further uptown and you’ll reach the MET museum. You’ll probably want to avoid walking throughout the park at midday in the summer, as the heat gets unbearable!
Although I tried to avoid going to any of the tourist hotspots I couldn’t visit ‘The Big Apple’ without going to Times Square, mind you there was no chance I was going during the day. The evening makes for the best time to go because you get to appreciate all the bright lights at their pride and glory. As cheesy as this is going to sound, simply standing in the moving crowd of people and taking photographs of the passers-by can be so satisfying, especially for budding photographers. The lighting is truly amazing and the city really does come alive at night. After all, New York is the city that never sleeps.
Words by Giulia Bardelli