New York City, The Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps…. There are so many names for this incredible place, and no wonder, it truly is something special. This was my second trip to one of the world’s greatest cities and as soon as we arrived in Manhattan, I knew exactly why I had always wanted to come back.
Danielle, my good friend and fashion blogger, and I hopped over the pond last week to hit up NYC and attend the global premiere of the third and final film of the Divergent series – Allegiant (which was an amazing experience!). In the four days that we spent there, we packed in as much as possible. We were south, east, west, all over, spending the days shooting (can’t wait to share the photographs), brunching, sight-seeing, shopping, the lot! Being my second time visiting the city, it was great to experience life like a New Yorker and not have to traipse around the obvious tourist hubs. I love getting to know places like a local and am definitely not one for long queues, as most of my friends and family know!
So, as always after I’ve travelled somewhere exciting, I wanted to share a few tips of what we got up to. Given how ginormous Manhattan is though, I thought I’d split my tips into areas of the city to make it a little easier to navigate:
- Upper West Side: We stayed in the Empire Hotel, right by the Lincoln centre (where I found out a lot of the NYFW shows are located) and at the bottom of the Upper West Side. As as hotel it wasn’t anything outstanding, but in terms of location it was great. We were a stone’s throw from Central Park, 5th Avenue, Columbus Circle and ….. all of which are amazing parts of the city to discover. We had dinner at The Smith Restaurant, a modern American eatery ideal if you’re in the centre of the city but don’t know where to go.
- Upper East Side: Although we didn’t get chance to spend as much time in this part of the city as we would’ve liked, we did discover a fantastic Italian restaurant which is definitely worth a try, Bocca East (Italian food in NYC is just amazing). I’ve heard if you’re big Gossip Girl and SATC fans, then a stroll around the Upper East Side will give you the chance to relive all the best parts of those shows.
- NOHO-SOHO: Heading to the lower east side of Manhattan, you have the two uber cool districts of NOHO and SOHO. We brunched in the Bowery Hotel and spent a morning shooting outside the Bowery & Houston Mural – an enormous graffiti wall which changes its colourful skin every year.
- Greenwich Village: This has to be one of my favourite areas of Manhattan, even on my first trip to New York. I loved the quaintness of the area, the sweet apartment blocks, pastel stairwells and chic cafes. It’s great for boutique shopping, both high-end and low, and is the ideal area if you’re looking for a place to stroll away from the hustle and bustle of the centre of the city. Try Rosemary’s for a great brunch, lunch or wine/coffee break.
- The Meatpacking District: It was the first time I had the chance to visit the meatpacking district, which I’ve been told is very similar to Shoreditch here in London. I fell in love with its industrial vibe and could imagine exactly how it used to be before its gentrification. We spent an afternoon strolling on the High Line (a must-do next time you’re in NYC), had sushi at Koi and sipped on delicious cocktails while overlooking the city at The Standard Hotel (the rooftop bar is insanely cool).
- Brooklyn Bridge: Although this is a more touristic attraction, it was another part of the city I couldn’t wait to visit and shoot at. The bridge is totally amazing and if you head over early enough in the morning then you’ll have it all to yourself. Our last day was spent on Brooklyn Bridge, visiting Jane’s Carousel another beautiful viewpoint and enjoying one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had at Grimaldi’s (we were so hungry and found this rustic pizzeria on the map, it turns out that it’s a hugely popular amongst New Yorkers!).
I hope I’ve given some of you some great tips for next time you’re heading over to the Big Apple. Of course, this doesn’t event scratch the surface of how many amazing things there are to do and see there, but it’s a start!!