NYC in 2.5 Days
So, this trip really tested my traveling independence lol
As soon as I landed at Laguardia, I had to buy a Metro Card & find the bus stop to take me to Manhattan which wasn't too difficult. I think the bus I caught was the Q70 to Astoria Blvd & 31st.
When I got to the bus stop, there was a dramatically long line of other people waiting for the same bus mixed with a dramatically long line of people waiting for a taxi.
Every 15 minutes or so a new bus would come....but they were ALL full! Some of them didn't even stop. So, we would see a bus come, get prepared to get on and it would just drive right past us lol. Even when a bus did stop, no one acted civilized enough to effectively get on. There was a lot of pushing instead of just getting on based on who was in front of the line. So, I go back and forth debating on whether or not I wanted to continue to wait for this bus or take an Uber. There was so much traffic at the airport that the Uber took forever. So, I texted my friend YoYo who lives in NYC about tips on catching this bus lol. I don't remember her exact words but they were along the lines of "MAKE YOUR WAY ONTO THAT BUS OR YOU'LL NEVER GET TO WHERE YOU'RE GOING" LOL!
SO.....The next bus came and I became one of those people that pushed the other people to get on lol. It was fun! Y'all....when I tell you this bus was so packed...I was basically kissing the windshield. Thats how smushed in we were. I wasn't even in an area where people were allowed to stand. I didn't care. I completely disregarded people with babies, elderly, WHOEVER! I was livid. I had been at this bus stop for almost two hours.
Aside from LaGuardia being a crappy airport (it reminded me of Coming to America..I guess because its in Queens lol), being on this bus really made me feel like I was in New York. The driver was mean, he didn't even speak...and I speak to everybody. Maybe that's my problem lol. People had strong NY accents, there were Dominicans, and at this time of the year, there was snow everywhere. The most I had seen in my entire life. Cars were completely covered, streets were plowed, and people were functioning as if it was a regular sunny day. I hate I didn't get a photo of it.
I finally get to my stop which was a subway station. I used Google Maps to help me navigate. That's how I discovered which bus to take, etc.
The subway system is extremely easy to use. I was headed to 34 Herald Square. The entire commute was about an hour, not including the waiting and walking I had to do in between.
After walking all over trying to find my hotel, I finally find it with the help of a stranger and I check in.
My hotel was pretty dope! I stayed at Hotel 32|32 which is this super cool boutique hotel in Manhattan that I got dirt cheap. For 3 nights, I paid about $185 from Hotels.com
The hotel was really cute and the view from my room was literally other fire escapes from the buildings beside the hotel. I probably could’ve jumped from my balcony to the next. There was water dropping from the bricks form melted snow, there were clothes hanging over the rails, there was a kitchen restaurant that I could look up and see directly into and the hotel walls were thin so I could hear people moving back and forth. This was so exciting!
I took a good amount of time just resting in my room before doing anything else because I was extremely tired. I landed in NY pretty early but it was mid afternoon when I finally had a chance to sit down. I got hungry to I went for a walk. I can’t remember the place I went to but it was a waste of money. I hate I went to a commercial type restaurant instead of one of those private owned spots that look like a hole in the wall, but will get you steak and shrimp better than anywhere you’ve ever been (not really, but you get it). I got my food, went back to the hotel and texted my friend Kamala. She lives in New Jersey, but works in NY and we had made plans before I came to link up and go to the Museum of Sex.
19:00 Kamala and I meet up. We hadn’t seen each other in a while! Idk how many years but the power of social media keeps us all together. We start strolling. The museum was only a 8 minute walk from my hotel.
The entrance to this place was literally a sex store, a very nice one!
The museum was pretty cool. It showed me that sex really hasn’t changed, no matter how creative you think you’ve gotten lol. It showcased old styled condoms before latex was a thing, they had sex toys, costumes there were video and audio clips from porn, nude photos from the 1800’s and earlier. There was even a segment of animal sex lol
We had a lot of fun! This was unlike anything I had ever seen before, seriously. At the end of the museum tour, there was a bounce house of boobs. I’m glad I can say I was able to experience this lol
We ended our night at a random bar. we ate fries I think, lol. She had a couple of drinks and I probably had water. I don’t drink lol
Another friend and I had breakfast provided by the hotel. It was a little unconventional when you compare it to other hotels. I had to get meal vouchers from the check in desk and redeem them at their partnered restaurant around the corner if we wanted to eat. The food was decent and it was cooked fresh. Unlike typical hotels that serve the pre-frozen food to feed the masses.
After eating, our voyage began at 10am. I can’t remember our exact order of operation, but I know one of the first places I saw was the Empire State building. We didn’t really go to it, but you could see it from the corner where our hotel was.
As mentioned before, the subway was extremely easy to use. There was no official itinerary, but there were paces that I knew I wanted to see. So, as long as the path taken would get me there, I didn’t mind stops in between.
10:35 Next Stop…Times Square! This was pretty exciting for me. I was looking forward to that moment of being in the middle of all the lights, reliving my imaginations of when I would watch TRL in middle school, hoping that one day I could come to NYC and be on the show. :(
Times Square was everything you imagined, too bad I didn’t get to experience it at night. We stopped by a couple of places to snap a photo. We passed Radio City Music Hall, The Tonight Show, and we went inside the M&M factory…just because.
11:45 After passing through Times Square, next on the list was Central Park. This park is huge! Lots of snow and lots of opportunity to slip and fall. My highlight here was the areas I recognized from Home Alone II, and some live music as we walked through.
Next sights to see along the way was the Apple Store 5th Avenue (a 24 Hour Apple Store), The Barclays Center, Bryant Park, and The World Trade Center.
14:44 The World Trade Center was an emotional stop. Seeing the names of all the victims that lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on 9/11 in the very area we were standing. The memorial was beautiful.
15:22 we were at Battery Park. We only came here to see the Statue of Liberty. We had a pretty horrible view of it across the water, but it was enough for me to say I saw it in person.
15:40 After this moment of reflection, we end up on Wall Street. Wall Street was interesting to see. It was never really part of my plan, but seeing the buildings for the New York Stock Exchange was pretty cool. There’s also the area where George Washington took the oath as the first president of the United States.
16:26 On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by Grand Central Station. One of my friends worked here at the Apple Store. I think we had just missed her. She wanted us to come see her in the Bronx but we were soooo freaking tired. None stop walking for the past 6 hours. There was no way we could do anything else.
We did stop by a pizza place near the hotel. I wish I could remember the name! The pizza was SO GOOD! OMG, I’m so mad at myself for not knowing. I only eat cheese pizza and this was the greatest slice I’ve ever had. If I saw a picture of the interior, I think I would recognize it. I’ve checked bank statements and everything and can’t find it. I think m friend might’ve paid for it. Ugh
This was the end of our first day in New York City.
I had literally done everything I wanted on Day 2. Everything else at this point was from pure wandering around.
10:45 We checked out of the hotel, hopped on the subway and ended up at the Brooklyn Bridge. We didn’t go into Brooklyn because we didn’t think we’d have enough time before our flight back. So, I just made sure I got my typical scenery selfie as proof I came.
We began just walking back into Manhattan to see where we would end up.
At some point, we ended up in China Town. This place was exactly what I imagined….sketchy! LOL! There was discounted knock off products every where. They sold things anywhere from Coats, Uggs, “Beats by Dre” all the way to luggage lol. This was one area where my credit card would never be used. No way! There was nothing exciting see here except to just say you saw it lol
12:14 We’re back in Times Square, on the way we passed by Broadway which was pretty cool to see. We visited some of the stores just because. We went to H&M, got some mediocre pizza at a random spot in Time Square and saw Rockefeller Plaza. We went into this huge Starbucks, grabbed some food and just chilled here…for hours lol
15:44 YoYo finds us! I hadn’t seen her in over a year when she left Atlanta. She had just gotten off work and wanted to ride with us back to the airport. She really stayed with us the entire way on every subway and every bus. She even walked us into the airport. I appreciated this because it was out of her way from where she was initially headed and we also had some time to catch up.
Overall, New York was great. I know there is so much more I could’ve done and seen, but I’m into sight seeing and I saw every single thing I intended to.