Hey there! Welcome to Part 2 of my trip to New York City. If you missed Part 1 and fancy seeing what I got up to my first day there, you can check that out here. And if you’re curious to know what I packed in my travel makeup bag, you can find out in this post here.
This post is pretty heavy content wise, so get comfortable! Majority of our second day here was spent at the MoMA, which I have wanted to visit since I was a kid. The weather was beautiful again this day. We were so lucky with the weather we had while we were here.
View of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden from the 5th Floor.
A quick pick-me-up at Terrace 5. My mum and I are both Henri Rousseau fans—I love his distinct style, the crisp, clean lines of his work and the dreamlike look all of his works seem to possess (he was influenced by illustrated books and Paris’ botanical gardens). Needless to say, I was very excited to see two of his most famous works, The Dream and The Sleeping Gypsy, here at the MoMA.
Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. For some reason I was a huge Claude Monet fan as a kid (I think because I did a few assignments on him in school), so I definitely appreciated seeing these.
Van Gogh’s Portrait of Joseph Roulin – a good friend of Van Gogh’s. His family sat for many of his paintings and one portrait of his wife titled, La Berceuse (Augustine Roulin), was actually at The Met (didn’t realize until editing that I never took a picture of it).
Obviously, one of the highlights of visiting the MoMA was seeing Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Mum and I have talked about seeing this work together for years. Happy to report that we can finally say we did!
I also got to finally see some works by the one and only, Salvador Dali, which was crazy. The detail in regards to the size of his works is insane and it was so cool to see The Persistence of Memory, as well as Illumined Pleasures, which I never knew even existed.
Outfit Day 2:
Boyfriend Blazer – H&M
Tank – H&M
Printed Trousers – Joe Fresh
Loafers – Ardenes
Sunnies – H&M
Bag – David Jones
Nothing too fancy here. My favourite printed pants (that help disguise any potential food babies), paired with a basic tank, a loose blazer and a pair of shoes I got for ridiculously cheap, with the intention of mucking up, and have now become one of my favourite pairs of go-to flats.
Next, we decided to head up towards Tom’s Restaurant aka the exterior used for Monk’s Café in Seinfeld. We stopped through Strawberry Fields (memorial for John Lennon) along the way there to see the ‘Imagine’ mosaic.
Feeling quite hungry, or in my case, hangry, we decided to finally indulge in some pizza. We went to Patsy’s Pizzeria located in the Upper West Side. Delicious brick oven pizza with the perfect thin crust topped with red onion, mushroom, black olives and fresh basil. We also devoured their fried zucchini and eggplant which comes with a garlic yogurt dip, which was amazing—I’m now salivating as I type this. It was also close to a Trader Joe’s which I had never had the pleasure of experiencing (seriously wish we had one in Toronto).
I have never seen a Banksy in real life, so I was ecstatic to know there was one along our journey to Tom’s Restaurant. If you are not familiar with the English graffiti artist I would highly recommend watching the documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film. This work, titled Hammer Boy, is located at 79th Street and Broadway and is one of his pieces from his ‘Better Out Than In’ series. Most of the works from this series have since been defaced or tagged, but this one is now protected thanks to a plexiglass cover that Saul Zabar (owner of the nearby specialty store, Zabar’s) installed.
Exhausted, but we finally made it!
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine – the fourth largest Christian Cathedral in the world
The Peace Fountain – this felt very eerie (probably due to that terrifying moon face)
We were quite exhausted by the end of the day, so we decided to call it an early night, so we could recuperate for the next day.
Our last day in New York we ventured down to the 9/11 Memorial. Like our journey to Tom’s Restaurant, we planned our route accordingly so we could see certain things along the way.
The first of our many stops was at Grand Central Terminal – of course as first time tourists here we had to visit this iconic location. I didn’t feel overwhelmed visiting Grand Central, probably because it just reminded me of Union Station (especially because there was a lot of construction going on outside of it), but it was quite nice and I specifically loved the astronomical ceiling (no pic to share, as I couldn’t get it to photograph well).
Next stop was the New York Public Library. I easily could of spent hours here. It was absolutely jaw-dropping beautiful and I would highly recommend exploring it if you visit New York. Unfortunately, the Rose Main Reading Room was closed, but fortunately there were plenty of other areas to see.
The original stuffed animals that belonged to Christopher Robin Milne and inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories actually call the New York Public Library home. I don’t think a lot of people are aware they are here, as despite the library being packed with tourists, this was not. I think most people would assume something like this would be in England (I certainly did), but I ended up finding out it was here by fluke when I was on the NYPL website. The toys are kept in the Children’s Center, which you can get to on 42nd Street. Also, how adorable is Piglet?
Outfit Day 3:
Dress – H&M
Jacket – Urban Outfitters
Loafers – H&M
Sunnies – H&M
Bag – Target
A pale dress to compete with my paler legs. This day was pretty overcast and not as warm as the previous two days which we were spoiled with.
We then headed to the West Side to walk on The High Line—an abandoned, elevated railroad turned urban park, which I LOVED. Such a unique park of New York City.
We took a little detour, so we could walk through SoHo. I popped into Ladurée, which was so adorable and grabbed some scrumptious macarons.
I wasn’t quite prepared for how emotional it would be at the 9/11 Memorial. It’s crazy to think that something this horrible happened here and how it can still affect you emotionally almost 14 years later.
The ‘Survivor Tree’. The only tree that, despite extensive damage, survived the 9/11 attacks. It’s presence, if not already powerful enough, is made stronger as it is the only callery pear tree surrounded by swamp white oaks.
Tired, we decided to take the subway (successfully) back to our hotel where we freshened up before heading to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We knew we wouldn’t have enough time to explore all of The Met (I knew it was big, but I didn’t actually realize how big it really is
that’s what she said), but we knew we had to see at least some of it.
The Met could easily be a whole day excursion, as there is just so much packed inside and I definitely was left disappointed that I couldn’t venture to every nook and cranny. I would definitely suggest visiting in the afternoon and staying until the sun sets, as it sets this incredible mood and casts the most amazing shadows throughout the gallery, specifically in the courtyard of the American Wing, which you can see below.
Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer of Fourteen Years – wasn’t aware how large this sculpture really is.
Georges Seurat’s study for A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte aka pointillism at it’s finest.
There were so many Van Gogh works I got to see on this trip. I felt on Cloud Nine!
Wheat Field with Cypresses
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat
Afterwards we headed to a pub near our hotel for some food and to cheers to our last night and an amazing trip!
Well, you’ve made it to the end. Congratulations! Now, I thought it might be helpful to offer some tips for someone visiting New York City for the first time, based on my first experience.
My Personal Tips:
- Accept that you can’t see it all. Especially for the 3 and a half days we were there. To be honest, I don’t know if you could even squeeze everything in in a week. I think New York City is just a city that can’t be done in one trip.
- Plan your days accordingly. Before we left on our trip we made a list of everything we wanted to see and do while we were there. Then, once we got there, we got a map to help us plan our days accordingly by figuring where things were (like the day we headed to Tom’s Restaurant we realized the ‘Imagine’ Mosaic and the Banksy piece were along the way). Nothing is more annoying than going somewhere and realizing afterwards there was something else to see right by it.
- Tying in with the previous point—get a map! The foyer of our hotel had a stand with brochures for tourist attractions and the one had a map of Manhattan which we tore out and highlighted and always had on hand. It was an absolute lifesaver numerous times and rid our trip of a lot of unnecessary annoyance. It was also fairly small, making it more discreet than a massive map that would have just screamed ‘tourist’.
- Walk to your destinations! I think people rely way too much on transportation to get them from point A to point B. Not only does it save you money, but it’s the best way to get yourself familiarized with your surroundings and often turns into an experience in itself. Plus, it’s good exercise.
- Pack good walking shoes! I totally sound like my Dad saying that, but if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing and are spending majority of your days on your feet—seriously—bring a pair of comfortable shoes. By the end of the trip my feet were in quite a lot of pain and that definitely becomes a distraction when you’re trying to enjoy yourself. I will definitely be packing my Nikes in the future.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I got up to while I was in New York City! I had such an incredible time and I am already planning my next trip there. Next time I definitely want to dedicate a full day to The Met, as well as visit the American Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim (we decided on the MoMA and The Met over it because my mum and I had already seen quite a few of the works there when an exhibit for it came to the AGO). I would also like to explore more of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, as well as venture across Brooklyn Bridge and see Brooklyn—honestly the list of things I still want to see are endless!
Thank you so much for reading and until next time!