NEW YORK

It sure has been a while! It truly is hard to keep up with this but I do like from time to time to post some cool and fun photos of trips I go on! So over Fourth of July weekend, Kyle and I flew over to New York for a mini vacation. We stayed with our friends Cam and Aaron in Manhattan. For as long as I can remember, New York has always been high on my "to-vist" list. We've been saying we're going to visit New York for some time now and finally decided to just pull the trigger and book our flight. We were only there for 3 nights and 4 days so our days were pretty jam-packed. The key is to be organized and have everything planned out- so that is where Kyle comes in. He came up with the most perfect itinerary and somehow fit in everything we wanted to do. We booked our flight in February and all the months leading up to our trip, we were looking up restaurants, dessert places, museums, historical spots and of course, all the touristy spots to go to. We were fortunate enough to have friends living there who knew the public transportation system very well so that saved us a lot of time! Kyle and I took the red eye out of LAX on a Friday night and arrived early in the morning around 7 AM New York time Saturday day. So the moment we arrived at our friends' place, we got ready and were on the go for the rest of the day! 

First stop- THE MET MUSEUM 

A total Blair and Serena moment.

A total Blair and Serena moment.

Van Gogh.

Van Gogh.

Van Gogh's Wheat Field with Cypresses.

Van Gogh's Wheat Field with Cypresses.

So this place is called Xi'an's and it is the best noodle place I have ever had in my life!!! The noodles are wide and the texture is soft and it has the most perfect amount of chewiness! The cucumbers were so refreshing after a hot day and the crunch is real. This place is noodle heaven. 

Next stop is Central Park! You really can't go to New York and not go to Central Park. The park is so green and such a nice place to have a picnic or go on strolls with your friends or significant other! When we went, it was really hot and our itinerary was really packed so we didn't get to spend too much time here but next time, we're for sure going to have a picnic out here! 

IMG_5376.JPG

Took a little break at the top of the Empire Hotel. Hmm, but Chuck Bass was no where to be found...

The storm is coming through. It started pouring heavily shortly after this picture was taken. It was the biggest downpour I've ever seen. 

The storm is coming through. It started pouring heavily shortly after this picture was taken. It was the biggest downpour I've ever seen. 

And then it cleared up beautifully half an hour later. Crazy.

And then it cleared up beautifully half an hour later. Crazy.

Washington Square Park. By the way- we saw fireflies for the first time here! It was magical. 

Washington Square Park. By the way- we saw fireflies for the first time here! It was magical. 

This was the only photo I got from Senza Gluten. This place is heaven for gluten and celiac intolerants. They serve you gluten free bread and butter at the beginning (bread was far from cardboard tasting). Everything at this restaurant is gluten free and there are so many options that they have here. The calamari was super delicious and not many places serve gluten free calamari. If anyone is gluten intolerant or celiac, this is the place for you.

This was the only photo I got from Senza Gluten. This place is heaven for gluten and celiac intolerants. They serve you gluten free bread and butter at the beginning (bread was far from cardboard tasting). Everything at this restaurant is gluten free and there are so many options that they have here. The calamari was super delicious and not many places serve gluten free calamari. If anyone is gluten intolerant or celiac, this is the place for you.

TIMES SQUARE

So Times Square for me was all right. It's one of those places you just go to once and never have to go back again. If you've been down the Las Vegas strip, it's basically that..maybe just 5x more crowded. It was neat seeing the big screens everywhere and the place where they drop the ball for NYE. But other than that, it was just all right for me.

On to the second day! This was our first full-full day out here in the city. Got some decent rest and we were back on the go for the rest of the entire day. We started off our day out in Dumbo, Brooklyn! Brooklyn has such a chill vibe to it whereas Manhattan is super busy and very fast paced.

As we were walking around Dumbo, we stumbled upon a little flea market that was super neat!! It was in this tunnel that had a bunch of vendors with all these vintage jewelry, shirts, music and vinyl and so much more! Way cooler than the ones I've ever been to here in California. It was small but very cool. 

The beautiful Brooklyn Bridge.

The beautiful Brooklyn Bridge.

I hope everyone that is reading this and is going to New York, will come and try this place. It's called Root & Bone and it is absolutely amazing!!!! They have amazing fried chicken and their gluten free fried chicken and biscuits are just as amazing, if not better. Kyle and I still talk about this place and how much we loved it. Cannot wait to come back to eat here again. It's a cute little shop that has a very southern vibe to it. UGH I LOVE THIS PLACE. 

Kyle got us tickets to go on this cruise that sails down the East River and Hudson and it talks about the architecture of Manhattan. It was so coool!!! The cruise itself was beautifully open and had amazing lighting! We also passed by the Statue of Liberty and got to see it up close. I love the Statue of Liberty and all that it stands for. If you didn't know, she is standing on broken chains for freedom, her pointy crown means distributing liberty throughout all seven continents and the book in her hand has July 4th, 1776 on it. Perfect weekend to see the statue of liberty!

Thanks Kai :)

Thanks Kai :)

It's sooooo beautiful!!

It's sooooo beautiful!!

On to the third day! Kyle and I were on our own for the majority of the day today and surprisingly we did not get lost or got off the wrong stop for the subway! Very proud :)

This is basically a cereal bar! If you love cereal, you'll enjoy yourself here. They have different bowls to choose from or you can create your own. It's like a Pinkberry for cereal! All the cereal is Kellogg's and they have coffee and Pop-Tart sundaes! Sooo fun! It's located near Times Square in case any one is wondering! 

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station is sooo pretty! If you ever come, go find the Whispering Wall (look it up)! You don't want to miss it! Felt like I was in Harry Potter or something. After this, we headed over to Oculus, Eataly, World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial.

OTA_9682.jpg

Visiting the 9/11 Memorial was breathtaking, overwhelming and emotional. 9/11 happened when I was only in 5th grade and I remember not really understanding what was going on but being here in person 16 years later, gave me a better understanding and a sense of the pain that the American people were feeling at the time. Seeing things like this makes you have more compassion for humanity and more proud to be an American. 

To the left is Trinity Church- it is one of the oldest churches in all of America. The picture to the right is Alexander Hamilton's tomb located at the back of Trinity Church. SO COOL.

Kyle in front of the New York Stock Exchange! 

Kyle in front of the New York Stock Exchange! 

They say if you touch the balls, you'll receive good financial luck. SO JUST TOUCH IT.

If you're in NYC, you have to stop by MOMA to look at these two paintings. Always heard about them but never thought I'd be able to see them in person--Frida Kahlo and The Starry Night! Unreal. 

The view of The Empire State Building from Top of the Rock. 

The view of The Empire State Building from Top of the Rock. 

OTA_9764.jpg

If you look closely on the picture on the left, you can see the Statue of Liberty on the far right side and the picture on the right overlooks the Hudson River and the sun setting in New Jersey. New York City is one of the busiest cities in the world, but being at the Top of the Rock looking down on the city, it was absolutely calm and peaceful.

Picture of the left shows the view of Central Park from Top of the Rock. Picture on the right is the view looking down from the Top of the Rock. 

My friend Cam had the sweetest little surprise for me! Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery! YUM! So glad we were able to celebrate together! 

Do yourself a favor and stop by any of the Levain Bakeries. The Walnut Chocolate Chip cookies are to die for (and I don't even like chocolate). From what I've heard, the lines can get crazy so what I did was called in my order in advance and paid over the phone! Nothing is better than not having to wait for these babies!

Just because they don't sell Ladurée ice cream here in LA.

OTA_9839.jpg

Spent Fourth of July at the most perfect spot ever- Fraunces Tavern. Fraunces Tavern has been around since 1719 and is one of the oldest buildings in all of New York City. This place served as a headquarters for George Washington and held many of his secret meetings here before and during the American Revolution. You can come here and grab a bite to eat, have a drink or take a little tour of the museum. One of the coolest rooms in the building is "The Long Room". George Washington had his final dinner as general in that very room with his troops. The museum did a great job with keeping everything in its original form! 

Our last stop for this trip was The Dead Rabbit. I'm not much of a drinker so I opted for oysters but everyone else loved their drinks! By the way, this is the number one ranked bar in the entire world!

Last subway ride! 

Last subway ride! 

I absolutely loved New York! I think what made it so much more intriguing to me is how much history this city has. Anywhere you walk, especially in the Financial District, you could be walking down the same path as our Founding Fathers did.  It was so different than being in LA especially with transportation. Everyone relies on the subway or taxis here and people who do actually drive in the city, are INSANE! You thought LA had crazy drivers, try New York! In high school and college, Gossip Girl was my favorite show and I watched it religiously. I remember making sure I was home every Monday night so I wouldn't miss an episode. Since the show was based out in New York, specifically Manhattan, it was so exciting to see all the spots that they filmed at or was a big part of the show- like The Met Steps!

I have to say, my first time in New York was a complete success! I enjoyed every minute of it. So thankful I got to experience the city with one of my bestest friends and my boyfriend! I cannot wait to come back and do more exploring. And of course, eat more Root & Bone, Chocolate Walnut Cookies from Levain and Xi'ans!