So for those of you that don’t know I was born in Brooklyn, New York and spent most of my childhood exploring Brooklyn and Manhattan with my grandparents. My mom was a single parent so I spent a lot of time at my grandparents house in Brooklyn and I loved it. Even after my mom and I moved to New Jersey, I would still visit all the time. My grandparents spoiled me to no end and they would take me anywhere and everywhere, which is how I fell in love with the city! Sadly they passed 5 years ago, so I don’t really have a home in New York anymore, but I still try and visit a few times a year to remember those memories.
Since I was lucky enough to experience the excitement of Manhattan from such a young age, I want to share with you guys some personal favorite things to do, places to go and where to eat. Let me know if you have any NYC favorites!
What To Do + Where To Go
First let me start off by saying that if you’re coming to New York this time of the year – dress warm! Like warmer than you would normally anticipate since the winds tend to be brutal in the city. Better to dress warm and take a few layers off if you get hot than go there and freeze your ass off – there’s nothing worse than trying to explore a place when you’re miserably cold, trust me!That being said, there’s tons and tons and tons of places to buy hats/scarves/gloves/etc. if you end up needing them for extra warmth.
Okay, so what to do and where to go in New York during this season. Of course there are places like the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree that are really popular tourist attractions (so if you have never visited these places, definitely do). But I wanted to share a few personal favorites that you guys should check out as well!
First, Bryant Park is classic during the winter time because of their Winter Village! If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically when tons of different businesses come and set up shops all throughout the park and it’s honestly just a fun place to hang out. There’s coffee shops, jewelry shops, chocolate shops, scarf shops…you get it haha! There are shops for anything and it’s fun to just walk in and out of them and explore. They decorate with twinkly lights and it’s so pretty! There’s also a Christmas tree and ice skating rink there. I love Bryant Park all year, but especially during the winter.
DUMBO, Brooklyn is honestly a really cool sight any time of the year so I’m throwing it in here. DUMBO, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is located right outside of the city and is a super artsy and creative area. A lot of content creators, artists, musicians, etc. live in DUMBO and the whole vibe is super chill. But like I said before, the reason I’m mentioning it is for the view because it’s so cool! If you stand right by the water you get an insane view of the skyline of New York City, with both the Brooklyn bridge and the Manhattan bridge on the right and left. Also, the famous street where you can catch the Brooklyn Bridge between two buildings is located in DUMBO! So definitely check this neighborhood out if you make your way to New York.
VR World! It’s on the corner of 4th and E 34th Street (so right near the Empire State Building) and it’s the largest Virtual Reality center on this side of the world. There are probably close to 100 different virtual reality stations in this place and each one is a different concept and topic. For example, one of the stations we did was a laying down simulation. So you lay forward in this device and when you put the VR goggles on, it simulates you flying over mountains….and it felt so high in the air and so so real. It was WILD. If you have a fear of heights, skip out on this one – but neither of us have a fear of heights and this was one of our favorite simulations. There are also more mellow ones where you sit down and play a game or listen to music while there is a virtual video you watch. Any type of VR experience you can imagine – they have it (even a Rick and Morty one if that’s your thing). They also sell snacks and there is a bar too. Kevin and I actually discovered this place a about a year ago but we didn’t buy tickets because we had to be somewhere that day, but he was dying to go. So for Christmas his gift was tickets to VR World and we went and both loved it! We spent about 4 hours there and that was plenty. If you get motion sickness, this isn’t for you. But otherwise everyone should check this place out – it’s brand new and really cool!
Another favorite is the Top of the Rock. If you have never heard of it, it’s basically just the top of the Rockefeller Center, but if you buy tickets you are able to go to go up and get an insane view of the city. You see everything New York has to offer, it’s amazing. This is definitely a more tourist-y attraction but the view is incredible and you literally can’t beat it. Especially if there is snow on the ground – it’s so pretty!!
Where To Eat
Given that New York is the food capital of the world, you will definitely never go hungry. That being said, there are definitely a few restaurants/foods that I especially recommend!
So this first one is obvious – pizza. New York has the best pizza and there’s no question about it. If you guys have never been, don’t look for a super fancy pizza place. From my experiences, the cheap “99cents for a slice” pizza shops are the absolute best. I can’t give you a specific favorite pizza place’s name (because most of the time they really do just say “99cents for a slice” hahah) but they are on every other corner so you definitely won’t have a hard time finding a good slice!
I love love love asian food, and if you’re anything like me then you need to check out TAO. There are two locations, one in Uptown and the other in Downtown, and it’s one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. It’s definitely on the pricier side, and you should make a reservation prior to going to the restaurant because they are usually packed, but the food/vibe/experience definitely lives up to the hype. It’s delicious, there’s something for everyone, and both restaurants are so beautiful. Definitely try and book a reservation here if you like asian food – it’s SO good!
The last food recommendation I have is a little rustic restaurant/bar named Alfie’s. It is located between Manhattan and Midtown and every single thing on the menu tastes amazing. It’s also a bar, and is known for staying open until 4am. But back to the food, it’s so good. We order a bunch of little plates to share, and the mac & cheese is one of the best ones we have ever tried. They also have amazing drinks and the whole vibe is super comfortable. Love this place and you don’t need to make a reservation in advance!
Those are all my recommendations for New York! If you have any, definitely let me know so I can check it out next time I’m in the city!
Talk to you soon xx
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