Travels | NYC Series | Hidden Gems

When people talk about their trips to New York City and the surrounding boroughs, you often see a rattled off list of the typical tourist hot spots – Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty etc etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with this but when I was planning this trip I knew I wanted to do little bit more exploring than usual. Now don’t worry I certainly hit up the breathtaking sights we know and love – more of that in a few blog posts time! – but I also found a few hidden gems of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn that I fell for.
NYC Chelsea Market sign
NYC Chelsea Market exteriors
Chelsea Market | If you cast your minds back to my NYC bucket list, both Chelsea Market and the High Line were on the list for me to visit during my stay. Thanks to the unpredictable weather I did manage to get down there for one of the sunnier days in the city and boy do I regret not revisiting the area more. This area on the west side of Manhattan is in a booming regeneration phase and is one of the more picturesque and ‘artsier’ areas of the city. Chelsea Market is a central hub for this borough and total foodie heaven! Walking through you’ll definitely find your mouth watering at the diverse range of restaurants, cafes and bakeries. I settled on fresh pasta…and then proceeded to the doughnut stand – where they batter and cook mini doughnuts with cinnamon and icing toppings fresh on the day ^_^. The whole market has a really cool underground Camden feel and ends with ‘Artists & Fleas’ of Chelsea, a collective of indie stalls with local boutique businesses selling jewelry, art and clothing (it’s also where I finally picked up my graduation dress!).

NYC Strand Bookshop

Bookish Finds | I soon discovered New York to be a city were I just ‘stumbled upon’ literary sights walking around the streets to get to the ‘bigger’ tourist spots. My finds included the Charles Scribner Building along 5th Avenue (you have to crane your neck to see the sign!), an exhibition on children’s books at the New York Public Library (see more about it in my Blogger’s Bookshelf post!); the SoHo Scholastic Building and store (which had a cool statuette of Harry Potter from the US editions of the book in foyer!); and for all you comic book nerds, Midtown Comics just by Times Square. Then there was, of course, Strand Bookstore with ‘over 18 miles of books’, stacked in shelves that reached the ceiling and lined entire walls across three whole floors.

Charles Scribner building//The ABC of it exhibition//Harry Potter statue at Scholastic//Truffle oil pasta at Chelsea Market//Midtown Comics//A quiet park in Williamsburg//Brooklyn Mac//Duck Duck in Williamsburg with my cousin

Brooklyn’s Here | My cousin was also lovely enough to let me stay with her in Brooklyn and I found myself wandering round Williamsburg on a sunny morning taking in the area. I eventually found a park and indulged in a little writing, plus some proper American mac and cheese at Brooklyn Mac (yes, there is an entire diner dedicated to mac and cheese). Brooklyn, and more specifically the Bed-Stuy area, is another area I really want to explore more. It’s full of boutique shops and local cafés, plus the bar scene – which I only got to experience very briefly wandering round with another cousin – is much less crowded than the central Manhattan area!

NYC Rivington Street NYC The High Line artwork NYC Strand Kiosk Central Park

‘Stumble Upon’ in IRL | Other casual finds during the trip were Rivington Street (formerly home to a young Lady Gaga); incredible street of the famous ‘kissing sailor and nurse’ whilst walking along the High Line; and a little kiosk branch of Strand Books right by Central Park.

So those are my little finds from exploring New York, there’s obviously plenty more where that came from so keep an eye out for more in this series!


Travels | NYC Series | The Crossroads of Old &…

Hey hey! Back in the UK and back into blogging and writing up what I got up to in New York. I managed to pack in quite a lot over the time I was there, but I know you guys don’t wanna hear me bang on and on about it! So I’ve condensed all the highlights into a nifty little series of posts for your enjoyment. So sit back and relax…

NYC Times Square Skyscrapers (c) Ria CagampangNYC Skyscrapers (c) Ria CagampangNYC Plaza Statue (c) Ria Cagampang NYC Downtown Manhattan (c) Ria CagampangNYC church (c) Ria CagampangNYC church (c) Ria Cagampang

One of the first things that’s apparent about New York as a city is it’s sheer size. With over 1.6 million inhabitants spread over the tiny island of Manhattan alone there’s very little space to move on the ground, so where else is there to go but up? By constantly craning your neck to the skies you can see that the city has been building up and out since it’s earliest days, so much so that the city is now a veritable melting pot of new and old architecture and sculpture.

NYC The Village
NYC The High Line (c) Ria Cagampang NYC Different architectural design (c) Ria CagampangNYC St Patrick's Cathedral (c) Ria Cagampang

Walk down one street and there’s the famous steel giants, housing corporations and suited business folk, then walk down another and there’s columned buildings dating back to the early 19th Century. The High Line Park, parts of downtown Manhattan and a lot of Brooklyn are examples of this crossroads, where there’s a constant hum of regeneration amidst buildings and structures that are sometimes hundreds of years old. The work currently happening to rejuvenate of parts of Times Square and the entire structure of St Patrick’s Cathedral are working demonstrations of the city’s need to change with the times, but also it’s need to hold onto the it’s history too.


Travel | New York City Bucket List

My June trip to New York City is fast approaching – arghhh! – and in the midst of revision for my last exam I’ve been taking breaks to do some travel planning. There’s some obvious tourist-y places I know I have to go to (i.e. Times Square, Natural His…

Travels | Taylor Swift @ The O2

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Travels | Top 5 Dream Travel Buddies

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