Back in August 2015, I headed back to the Big Apple to visit some friends and family (read about my last visit in March here). I had just graduated from college and finished my summer internship in Washington, D.C., so I decided to launch a celebratory trip. Indeed, I had an epic break planned, starting with the Adirondacks in upstate New York, moving on to New York City, then onto Copenhagen and Barcelona! But first, let’s take a look at my NYC trip.
Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side
I arrived after spending two days with my friend Rosie who lives in New Jersey. I was due to stay with my aunt and uncle, but Rosie and I decided to hang out for a day in NYC! We made our way to the tram and explored Roosevelt Island. There are many islands around Manhattan, so I was excited to see at least one of them.
After taking the tram back to Manhattan, we explored the Upper East side a bit. We ran into Dylan’s Candy Bar, and wow! What a colourful, chaotic dream!
We then met up with one of our study abroad companions, Elodie, who lives and works in Manhattan. We ate at Serafina, an Italian New York-city born restaurant chain. It was so nice to catch up and see how things have changed since being abroad in Belfast a year before. After dinner, we walked around the Upper East side and picked a bar to relax in. The night was very hot and sticky, but we sat outside anyway. I then said goodbye to Rosie and Elodie, and then went to go meet my aunt and uncle.
Brunch and Live Entertainment
Friday, I met up with my friend Hannah who lives in London but was visiting NYC for brunch! We went to Sugar and Plumm and had a relaxing morning. I headed back to the apartment. For dinner, we went to the Met to listen to some live music upstairs on the Great Hall Balcony. They also had set up a little restaurant, so we grabbed some appetizers and small plates to share.
After some snacks, we had a look at one of the exhibitions called China: Through the Looking Glass. This exhibition explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. At the Met, the exhibition held many costumes, fashion pieces (haute couture and avant-garde), and paintings to depict Chinese imagery. It was a fashion/Asiatic presentation and everything was beautiful! I loved it.
On Saturday morning my aunt and I went out for brunch at Bouchon Bakery at the Rockefeller Centre. The bakery offers a unique twist on traditional French boulangerie fare. We then went to the local independent movie theatre to watch Phoenix. The day was pretty uneventful but was full of laughter and bonding time. For dinner, my uncle joined us at one of our favourite Indian restaurants.
On Sunday we just hung out at home for the most part. I adore my aunt and uncle’s apartment on the Upper West side, so I didn’t mind taking it easy. My cousin from New Jersey stopped by, and we had lunch at American Table, inside the Lincoln Center.
To the Whitney and Chelsea
On Monday, we were back out again and we went to the Whitney. The Whitney focuses on 20th- and 21st-century American art. Its permanent collection comprises more than 21,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, films, videos, and artefacts of new media by more than 3,000 artists.
Notable works include Rothko’s Four Darks in Red, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918, and Alexander Calder’s Calder’s Circus.
On our way, we also explored Chelsea and had lunch at The Green Table (inside Chelsea Market). I would highly recommend it! It’s so cute and the food is delicious. In the evening, my aunt took me to see Avenue Q because she was shocked that I hadn’t seen it! Great show. I appreciated how the humour was very updated. We had a late dinner at Taboon, a Mediterranean restaurant.
Libraries and Memorials
My flight from JFK to Barcelona was due to depart very late Tuesday night. But, during the day I made sure to make the most out of New York City — not a difficult task, I might add! I first made my way to the New York Public Library
Afterwards, I headed to another library: the Morgan Library and Museum. The Morgan Library was founded to house the private library of J. P. Morgan in 1906, which included manuscripts and printed books, some of them in rare bindings, as well as his collection of prints and drawings.
I also visited the 9/11 memorial, located at the former site of the Twin Towers. It was completed to be opened on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The memorial consists of two pools with waterfalls, the largest man-made waterfalls in the United States, in place of where the Twin Towers once stood. The waterfalls are intended to mute the sounds of the city, making the site a contemplative sanctuary. Along the walls of the pools are the engraved names of those that perished in the September 11 attacks (including the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, Flight 11, Flight 175, Flight 93, and Flight 77) and the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
Whew! I tried to go to all those places that I hadn’t been to yet in NYC!
In the evening, my aunt and uncle sent me off in a private car to the airport. Before I knew it, I was on a plane to Copenhagen.
I can’t wait to go back to NYC — it will always have a piece of my heart.