Wow! You know how people always say time flies? Well, I completely feel that. This week we will have been living in NYC for 6 MONTHS! How scary is that?!?
In some ways, I feel like I have been living in the Big Apple for ever. I feel settled, know how to navigate the subway and have made some wonderful friends.
But in other ways the time has just flown in and I feel that it was only last week that we moved to this wonderful city. 6 months is a really long time and it is amazing how much has changed in a year. In March 2015, NYC wasn't even on our radars. We were busy getting ready for our wedding in May and constantly thinking about colours, dresses and seating plans. Fast forward, a year and I'm sitting in our cozy NYC apartment with a big mug of tea, searching for work, blogging and loving life in our new adopted home.
So, I thought I would share my favourite things about the Big Apple. Here's what I love about NYC.
- Everything is open all the time. NYC really is the city that never sleeps and everything is just so damn convenient. Fancy a doughnut or pad thai or a bubble tea at 3am? Easy street.
- Each area of the city is so different and has a unique vibe, which makes it perfect to explore. No matter what sort of mood you are in, you can find somewhere to suit and have a great time. From laid back cocktails in the East Village, to hipster brunch spots in Brooklyn, culture galore on Museum Mile in the Upper East Side and speakeasy bars in Flatiron, the city really does have something for everyone.
- There is so much green space. Although NYC is a fully developed city and real estate heaven with construction seeming to happen on every corner, the untouched eden of Central Park is amazing. In five minutes you can be lost in the beauty of this green space, well away from the honking of cars and busyness of the streets. I try to head to the park at least once a week for some calm and always discover something new, it's just that big.
- Everything is just so big. Things in NYC are the epitome of bigger is better mentality. From the skyscrapers to the shops, the burgers to the cocktails. It's all just so bright and vibrant, that you can't help but feel incredibly small wandering around in the mix of it all. It really is a grounding experience.
- There is an energy in NYC that cannot be described but it will draw you in and is pretty addictive. Everyone is always on the go, trying something new. This energy makes want to go out, explore and make the most of the time you have, which can only be a good thing. No FOMO for this gal.
- There is so much to do and see that you could never be bored in NYC. To explore the city fully would take your whole life I expect. From top culture and word class theatre, delicious restaurants and truly special cocktails. NYC really does have you covered.
- The choice of theatre. There is just SO MUCH theatre to watch that it makes me such a happy person. I could quite easily, single handedly keep the Broadway theatres in business.
- The cocktail and speakeasy culture. Cocktails are such a big thing in NYC and Robin and I have been slowly working our way from bar to bar, Manhattan to Manhattan, sampling ALL the drinks. I love that bars are hidden from the naked eye, behind secret doors in barber shops or at the back of 5 Guys. There is just something about them that is so much cooler than going to a regular bar and you feel like you are part of a secret. I also discovered my love of whisky in NYC.... yes it took me leaving Scotland, the land of whisky, to discover my love for it. I owe our favourites Attaboy, with their whisky based penicillin cocktail a debt.
- The brunch culture. GUYS, BRUNCH HERE IS SO GOOD! IN NYC, brunch is done right with thick croque monsieurs covered in cheese, baked eggs and my ultimate favourite, smashed avocado on toast with a poached eggs. Food heaven right there baby. Bottomless mimosas with brunch are also entirely acceptable and encouraged, which makes for a pretty fun start to your weekend. I love The Smile, Jacks Wife Freda, The Penrose, Penelope and Pardon my French.
- There is a lot of history in NYC but not a lot of it is noticeable at first glance,like cities in Europe. The modern NYC, with all it's tall buildings can disguise the history and so I love being able to discover surprising stories, sometimes hidden right in plain view.
- Talking about views...There are just so many amazing views and I don't think you can get a better sight that the NYC skyline. Whenever I seen it I often have to pinch myself, as I still can't believe that I am lucky enough to live here sometimes. I love walking along The High Line at sunset. It's stunning and sometimes the sunsets really do take your breath away. Top of the Rock is also beautiful at sunset and dusk, when you see the city lights starting to wake up.
- The countryside and some wonderful wild areas are only a short train ride away. Although NYC is pretty ace, sometimes you want to get away from all the hustle and bustle and it's so easy to do that. In an hour and a half you can be somewhere as pretty as Coldspring or Bear Mountain, perfect for long walks and fresh air.
- There are so may places to eat that if you wanted you would never have to eat at the same place twice. Every sort of cuisine, dietary requirement and budget is catered to and easy to find. Now, I am a creature of habit and so I enjoy going back to the same restaurants, especially when I've had a good meal. Some of my favourites are Hu Kitchen, Almond, Gingersnap Organic and Bare Burger. Oh and Cafe Lalo for cake! The restaurants are also really experimental with food and I've enjoyed a ramen burger, a rainbow bagel and a cronut since moving to the city.
- Don't fancy going out? No worries as most of your favourite restaurants will deliver takeaway to your house! A nifty little app called Seamless is wonderful for grouping together all the restaurants nearby that do takeaway, making ordering quick and easy and hey presto, your yummy dinner is at your doorstep in half an hour. I like Seamless a lot as the choice is huge and you aren't just restricted to traditional takeaway food or pizza, currys and burgers, nice as they are. Hiya sushi!
- The city is so laid back that you could literally wear anything and no one would take a second look. This mentality has made me a lot more confident in my outfit choices and more experimental too.
- The subway makes it so easy to get around! Its ace. Also if you are lucky you might see a pizza rat equivalent and break the internet.
- It's pop up heaven, from shops to restaurants to bars to museums. The NYC scene is constantly changing and a place that was there one week will be gone the next. My favourite so far has been the Museum of Feelings that I visited before Christmas.
- There are tasty as food trucks on every corner all which smell amazing, so you can never be short of a tasty snack or two. When we moved here I couldn't understand why there were queues at food trucks as my experience of them from the UK, other than Edinburgh Fringe time, was greasy burgers and chips. But my tiny mind was soon blown by how good they are. Fresh, tasty food, fast. My favourite is Falafel King - HELLO!
- The snow and the city wide car ban. I have never seen anything like it in my whole life and I loved it so much. It was like being in Narnia.
- Robin and I live only one block from the East River, which makes it the perfect place to go for a run or a long walk and gaze back down towards the city. It is so nice to have a small bit of green space so near us.
- In true Taurus fashion, I like certain things. So I was a bit anxious about being able to find the taste of home, i.e.. Yorkshire tea bags and Irn Bru which are my absolute favourites and a necessity for a fully functioning Li. Luckily for me you can find whatever you want in the city pretty easily and there is something to make everyone feel like home, no matter how specific a craving. I found Irn Bru within a week of arriving at a cute little shop in Greenwich Village called Tea and Sympathy, which stocks all manor of UK goodies even maltesers for the inevitable malteser based emergency, so I'm sorted.
- Every inch of the city looks iconic. It probably is as there's a high chance you will have seen it in a movie. One of my favourite games is to try and guess what movie I've seen a specific landmark in. My recent discovery was working out that the National Museum of the American Indian was actually in Ghostbusters!
- There is a rooftop bar for every occasion because there is nothing better that drinking outside. It makes you feel like you are constantly on holiday.
- The people may sometimes seem scary but strike up a conversation and they are the friendliest ever. I've now met friends in a dumpling shop, at theatre festival and in taxi, after being brave and starting to chat. You really do meet people in the most random of ways and it's great!
What are your favourite things about NYC?