How to Explore New York from a First Timer If it is your first time to the Big Apple then this is the guide you need.

So I finally made it to my dream city, New York! I am now thrilled to take you through  my entire journey.

I will tell you all about my Expectations, disappointments and of course what will bring me back to New York.

We left Dubai at 8 am and arrived in New York at 14:15. (Prepare for a 13 hour flight note that  Dubai is 8 hours ahead of New York). So you gain a day which is cool (you lose a day when you come back).

We are true frequent flyers of Emirates and enjoyed a First class flight with a shower on board, service at your call, food on demand meaning you can fall asleep and wake up as you please without the annoying hostess bothering you to eat. You actually call them when you are ready. (Talk about jet setting who needs a G5 anyway when you have Emirates.)

First of all lets get something out of the way when it comes to planning; I am probably the worst person at this. Which is why,  all the planning comes from my other half.  He does all the nitty gritty and I basically just have to make sure I know when I am departing and arriving. (In order to make it of course).

He gives me all the details of the trip. One of the things he told me was that the weather would be at its best, meaning it would be “spring”. Lets just bring up the definition of spring quickly (the season after winter and before summer).I repeat the season after winter and before summer, one would assume this would mean it would be approaching summer therefore in my mind I was looking forward to a sunny, floral dress sun kissed New York! Boy was I wrong! I really need to start paying attention to that weather app! Spring in the city means it can be all sorts of tempatures, so pack for all weather would be my advice to you.

Arriving in New York, at first sight it was everything you hear of and see on television. Tall Sky Scrapers all sitting close together, narrow roads and busy bodies moving beside chaotic yellow cab drivers. From the airport heading into Manhattan there is not much I could tell you that would interest you unlike when you approach Downtown Manhattan and this is where the fun begins.

Macys Brooklyn Bridge Wall Street The Highline IMG_3304 IMG_3161 IMG_3535 IMG_3534 IMG_3502 IMG_3501 Meatpackers Chelsea Market Google Empire Building Empire Building Central Park Central Park Times Square IMG_3428 IMG_3427 IMG_3389 IMG_3300 IMG_3296 IMG_3277 IMG_3264

Below is my To Do list of New York. I would highly recommend reading this list before heading out. These are all my own thoughts, reviews and tips on what is worth seeing. Trust me, you should go see it too:

  • Chelsea Market and Meat Packers District :Absolutely it was well worth the visit. Full of eatery`s and a unique place for cute findings also it is right next to Google which for me is a big deal. Their building was not anything major to see but the fact that it was Google was enough for me.
  • Glass Waterfall Tunnel:I always put too many things on my list and forget about them when I arrive in a new place. I found this sight on Pinterest but I did not go! 😩  If you do visit, feel free to leave a comment on this spot. I will visit again so let me know if it is worth my while.
  • Grand Central Station, absolutely  amazed me!! I stood in the middle just like Serena from Gossip Girl in awe of what the iconic building! 
  • Small Doors pomander walk: Thank you Pinterest for the beautiful pictures, but it would have been nice to know that only people who reside here are allowed to enter and see the infamous small doors!
  • Brooklyn Bridge:We took a subway from Manhattan down to Brooklyn bridge and walked along it.  We did not go all the way into Brooklyn but it was an absolute picture perfect huge bridge. Actually it is the biggest bridge I have ever seen.
  • Flatiron Building/ Flatiron District: If you have been to Europe then there is no real fuss as it looks just like the old standing buildings in Amsterdam,but it is an area in New York that is up and coming with street food markets that we were lucky enough to catch. I love street food. Plus they have beautiful Tulip gardens around this area. When I say Tulip I mean like the hugest Tulips you have ever seen, just so stunning!! There is a residential park across the road and people come running through and little kindergarten children are with their teachers for a day out. It is a way of life I do miss here in Dubai.
  • Bethesda Terrace Central park : Central Park in itself is a whole day event. I was lucky enough to go in season to watch the Cherry Blossom come into Bloom. Beauty was everywhere as the flowers went from white to pink. Nature really does take my breath away. Huge, though not so friendly Squirrels, were roaming around everywhere. No, I did not feed them like a tourist dork I just stopped and snapped my little friends.
  • Empire State Building :Living in Burj Khalifa Dubai really takes away all the fuss of Empire State building.  To be honest I did not even go up to see the skyline as our hotel had a pretty decent view. It really is not that tall it basically is just there. I would recommend the Rockefeller center as you get a great view of the Empire state building.
  • The High line Park / Meat packing tour :The High Line is a great way to see New York without getting stuck in a cab all day. You can have a nice walk along this what was a rail track which is now the modern park of New York. Head down to Chelsea Market first then hit the High Line where you will enjoy views of The Hudson river too! It really is NYC best kept secret! 
  • The Standard Hotel : is great for cocktails and views from the top. Since it was raining I did not get to enjoy a rooftop cocktail but this Hotel is so cute an chic. The view did look promising had it not been gloomy.
  • Times Square :Oooh who does not love the lights! Times Square makes you want to sing Alicia Keys and Jay Z Empire State of mind.  Times Sqaure makes you feel as if you can conquer anything in this world. Seriously, it was amazing even though it was freezing. I literally went every night just to do a 360 spin in the middle, looking all the way up.
  • Love Sign: Not much to see but you have to go take a picture good for your snaps around New York!
  • Broadway: Going to the theatre is something I look forward to each and every time I go to London which is why my expectations for Broadway were so high. I loved the Broadway Theatres. I saw Aladdin which was absolutely hilarious. The staging for the magic carpet genie was absolutely out of this world! We also saw The Colour Purpule with Jennifer Hudson and that was spectacular! You need to go to New York just to see the shows they are phenomenal. It is just one of those things that has to be on your bucket-list.
What to Eat:
  • Fig&Olive Meatpacking – Very sophisticated and elegant not snobby at all prepare to pay around $150 for 2. (You can walk in)
  • Lavo Brunch- So Dubai of us to attend an afternoon party brunch, which was amazing. It had a great vibe and real people, not pretentious. All very down to earth. Only thing is the food is really disappointing, so do not go for the food but go for the party. Remember you need to book in advance!
  • The Halaal Guys: These are the famous food trucks around New York which are on every street but these guys were the best. Enjoy a coke and a yummy biryani with a coke on the go. Only $2!
  • Doghnuterry: The most yummiest mini doughnutsI have ever tried. We need this in Dubai! Go on a nut for them.
  • NewYork Hot Dog: At every street, on every corner indulge in a true New Yorker style Hot Dog! Even now  writing about them I crave one. So funny it was freezing every day I was there with rains and winds blowing me to another city the Hot dog made it all worth it!

What to Pack: 

As I mentioned before I am the worst planner and I do really need to start learning how to use the weather app. I arrived in NYC so unprepared. At least I had the intention of going shopping while I was there. Until I hit the shops, what was I going to wear? Do not be like me, do yourself a favour, take a warm coat and a pair of boots. Best to go prepared for the cold than for the heat! I just can not deal with the cold.  Those  who say its warm this time of year, sorry but that spring stuff is just a polite way of pretending the winter is over! Thought I cannot imagine what real New York Winters are like!!!

ESP:Zimbabweans believe me when I tell you pack your warm clothes no matter what! Jeans, coat, scarf and BOOTS, a few tank tops and you should be fine !

Where to Shop:

We have most of the brands in Dubai so I am not going to fuss too much on the shopping rather than just tell you to go. WOODBURRY is where you will find the best deals on all brands and clothing items. You will find the likes of Michael Kors, Victoria Scerets and many more here. Be prepared to literally wait in que to enter the store. You need at least the whole day for a good days shopping here. This was the best shopping experience of my life, yes of my life! And I live in Dubai but there is literally nothing better than shopping in Woodburrys. The wait is worth it for the deals you will find.

You can shop on the famous  5th Ave but products are priced up for tourist here. It’s still an amazing street to wonder around some of the world’s biggest brands flagship stores.

Where to Stay:

We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental in columbus park right next to central park. The locations it was perfect and we had an amazing view at breakfast. The hotel itself is suppose to be the Burj Al Arabs of New York but honestly it was not all-that! Mainly because the bed was slightly uncomfortable. That is the most important thing after all, a good nights rest and we were staying in a super high end hotel so really should have been a little better. The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental was the best massage I have ever had in my life if you go to New York be sure to have a massage. I will definitely go back just for a massage!

Mandarin Oriental Hotel New York 5th AvenueNew YorkNew YorkTimes Square

Overall:

New York was everything I expected her to be, she did not exceed my expectations. The surprising thing is that I have to say I am definetly more of a London kinda girl! I really did not see what all the hype was. The City was just another big well developed jungle  with a lot going on and that is about it. Will I go again? I am sure I will but it will have to be for business rather than leisure as I feel there is just so many other cities waiting for me to discover. When you think of Wall Street you would assume it to be just like an episode of Suits but it really is not like that either. It has so much security and I really was looking forward to seeing business men crawling the city.

This was one of the most amazing experiences for me and I would advise you go planning to spend at least a week with a well prepared suit case and remember everyones experience is different. This is just a summary of my honest thoughts and views of my trip to New York and how I wish I had packed better!

Have you been to New York? Planning on going soon? Let me know by commenting below would love to hear from you!

Love always,

Brunettebee

2 Comments

  1. Wowww amazing!!! Love it

    • The Working Bees

      We are glad you enjoyed it Yusveen. Let us know if you try any of our tips!

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