Following a gap of three years we were making our fifth visit to New York City, spending eleven nights in the New Yorker Hotel...where we had stayed during both our 2015 and 2016 holidays. We really like the New Yorker Hotel, and we find it’s central location - opposite Penn Station and just a short walk from the Empire State Building - ideal as a base to explore our favourite city.
After arriving in New York yesterday afternoon we had spent the our first evening in Times Square. For the first breakfast of our holiday, we opted for the convenience of the classic American Tick Tock Diner within the ground floor of the New Yorker Hotel. To start our day we enjoyed poached eggs, breakfast potatoes, carrot cake pancakes...and plenty of coffee!
With a forecast of cloud and showers, we altered our plans for the first full day of our holiday and decided to head over to Long Island City in Queens. We had been up on to the Ed Koch Queensboro (59th Street) Bridge before, and also rode alongside it in the Roosevelt Island trams, but today we walked all the way across it, over the East River to Queens...the largest of NYC’s five boroughs.
We had seen the iconic Long Island sign before from Roosevelt Island but today we made our way over to Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City to see it up close for the first time. The waterfront park was a very pleasant area with great views back across to the Manhattan Skyline.
After crossing the Queensboro Bridge, we had made our way from Long Island City through Gantry Plaza State Park and over the Pulaski Bridge to Greenpoint in Brooklyn. We wandered between the renovated industrial buildings and found Maman, a lovely coffee kitchen tucked away on Kent Street. We treated ourselves to a S’mores Cookie and a slice of Chocolate & Walnut Banana Loaf with our coffee while we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere inside this cozy, neighbourhood bakery.
Starting in Manhattan in the morning, we had walked across the Queensboro Bridge to Hunters Point in Queens, before arriving in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Greenpoint in the early afternoon. After exploring Greenpoint for the first time we continued down to Williamsburg...which is more familiar territory for us and one of our favourite areas of New York. We wandered along the bustling Bedford and Metropolitan Avenues before heading into McCarren Park (for a quick lap of the athletics track!) then making our way over to Domino Park on the East River waterfront.
It was early evening when we reached Domino Park...a riverfront zone in Williamsburg that is in the process of being redeveloped. We explored the area, enjoyed the views from the waterfront across the East River and ate at Taco Cina, before making our way back to Manhattan across the Williamsburg Bridge.
We had planned to watch a New York sunrise during this trip and strangely we were both awake at 4:30 so we decided that this morning would be as good as any! After quickly getting ready we rode the subway from nearby Penn Station down to South Ferry then made our way up the East River Esplanade to Pier 15 in time to catch the sun rising behind Brooklyn Bridge...a very special memory and a great way to start the day!
Since we ‘discovered’ Friedman’s in Hell’s Kitchen during our 2015 holiday, it has become our favourite place to go for breakfast when we visit New York City. We really like the location and interior of the restaurant, the staff are friendly and the food is great. We both had Housemade Granola with Greek Yogurt, Mixed Berries and Wildflower Honey with toast and coffee...delicious!
After enjoying a lovely breakfast it was just a short walk to The Vessel...the extraordinary new centrepiece of Hudson Yards. We had pre-booked tickets for an 11 o’clock visit and as we climbed the intricately interconnecting staircases of this unique landmark, we enjoyed new perspectives of the city from the different heights, angles and vantage points offered by the 80 landings.
From Hudson Yards, we made our way along the High Line in hot sunshine down to Chelsea Markets, stopping at the High Line Hotel for a coffee from Intelligentsia on the way. The High Line is a former elevated railway line that has been transformed into a linear park, popular with both tourists and locals. It provides a unique, walkway above the streets of Chelsea and we love wandering along the landscaped paths during the day and at night.
After wandering around Chelsea Markets and the Meatpacking District we made our way back up on to the High Line to relax in the afternoon sunshine. At around 2 o’clock, we thought that it might be a good idea to get out of the hot sun for a while so headed to nearby Birch Coffee where we enjoyed delicious coffee and indulgent muffins!
From Greenwich Village, we made our way through Washington Square Park to Astor Place then took the subway down to Brooklyn Bridge. Crossing this New York icon is one of our very favourite experiences, and something that we never tire of. The views of the bridge itself and the surrounding skylines are stunning. From the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center, up to the world famous Empire State and Chrysler Buildings and across the neighbourhoods of Brooklyn...stunning! The atmosphere on the popular crossing feels unique as New Yorkers head to and from work while dodging excited tourists enjoying the views and taking selfies...all while cyclists whizz by, and traffic zooms past below!
After crossing Brooklyn Bridge we wandered down in to DUMBO where we made our first visit to Empire Stores...a modern urban marketplace located in a revitalised coffee warehouse on the Brooklyn waterfront. We shared a pizza from Juliana’s in the Time Out Market before heading out on to the rooftop to enjoy the stunning views of Brooklyn Bridge and across the East River to Manhattan. We think that Empire Stores is an excellent addition to one of our favourite neighbourhoods.
What more perfect way to end a summer’s day in New York than to share the stunning panorama from DUMBO’s Pebble Beach as the sun sets behind Lower Manhattan opposite. The views of Brooklyn Bridge and across the East River to New York City’s famous skyline are unforgettable. A hot sunny day transforms into a balmy evening as Manhattan lights up before us...simply stunning!
At the end of another long and amazing day in New York, we made our way from DUMBO back up on to Brooklyn Bridge and wandered back towards Manhattan’s dazzling skyline. The crossing is far less popular at this time of night and the experience is very different...but the journey is just as special.
After breakfast at the Tick Tock Diner we headed for the Rockefeller Center where we bought ‘Sun & Stars’ tickets for one of our favourite New York attractions...the ‘Top of the Rock’! At 10:30 we took the express elevator to the 69th floor observation deck, which was bathed in hot sunshine under the clear blue sky. The panoramic views from the ‘Top of the Rock’ are breathtaking and, in our opinion, the best in the city...with the highlight being the picture postcard view across the Midtown skyline to the Empire State Building and down to One World Trade Center and beyond...amazing!
After enjoying the stunning views from the ‘Top of the Rock’ this morning, we took the D train out to Coney Island on Brooklyn’s coastline. We sunbathed on the beach for a while and went for a walk along the boardwalk to Brighton Beach before making our way back to Luna Park and it’s iconic Wonder Wheel. From there, we continued along the boardwalk past the landmark ‘Space Needle’ and down the Pat Auletta Steeplechase Pier before catching the train back to Manhattan.
After starting our day by enjoying the views from the ‘Top of the Rock’ in hot sunshine, we had spent the afternoon out at Coney Island before heading back to the Rockefeller Center just before sunset to complete our ‘Sun & Stars’ experience. We have watched the sun setting from the ‘Top of the Rock’ on each of our visits to New York and this time the observation deck was the busiest that we had ever seen it. Watching the Empire State Building and famous Manhattan skyline sparkle and glow after witnessing a dazzling sunset is an unforgettable experience...amazing!
After breakfast at Friedman’s we headed up through Hudson River Park to 59th Street then made our way over to Central Park via Columbus Circle. It was gloriously sunny and very hot as we wandered through the park to The Pond and Gapstow Bridge. Surrounded by lush greenery and with the skyscrapers of Central Park South as a backdrop, this small body of water and it’s arched stone crossing is one of our favourite areas in the park.
We made our way underneath the canopy of trees along The Mall then headed back out into the hot sunshine when we reached Bethesda Terrace. We soaked in the bustling atmosphere as we enjoyed the views across the Terrace to the Fountain and Boating Lake beyond...before finding a place in the shade to relax and enjoy the muffins that we had bought earlier from the Whole Foods Market at Columbus Circle.
After spending the day exploring Central Park in the hot sunshine, we took the Subway down to 23rd Street and wandered over to the Flatiron District, where we enjoyed a caffeine boost from the welcoming Birch Coffee near Madison Square Park.
At the end of another amazing day in New York City, we decided to treat ourselves to a night out in the Meatpacking District, where we enjoyed a fantastic meal at Bubby’s. Serving delicious homestyle American food, we love the atmosphere at Bubby’s and it became a real favourite of ours since we first visited the restaurant in 2015. After a really enjoyable evening, we headed up on to the nearby High Line and made our way back to the New Yorker Hotel.
We had enjoyed the experience of witnessing a New York sunrise so much that we wanted to do it again, but this time we were going to try and watch it from on Brooklyn Bridge. We headed out of the hotel before 5 o’clock and took the Subway from Penn Station down to Chambers Street then made our way over to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway. It was so special to watch the sunrise from such an iconic vantage point, and amazing to have the bridge virtually to ourselves...an unforgettable experience!
After the unforgettable experience of watching a New York City sunrise from Brooklyn Bridge, we headed down into DUMBO in the warm early morning sunshine. When Empire Stores opened at 8 o’clock we bought coffee ‘to go’ from Feed and enjoyed the awesome views from Brooklyn Bridge Park across the East River to Manhattan...not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning!
We’d had an early start so that we could watch the sunrise from Brooklyn Bridge and the views from Dumbo before taking the Subway back over to Manhattan for breakfast at The Wild Son...an attractive little restaurant tucked away under the High Line in the Meatpacking District. The atmosphere was lively, the decor was attractive and the buckwheat pancakes with banana and granola were delicious!
We had watched the sunrise from Brooklyn Bridge so we had already done plenty by the time we were crossing Williamsburg Bridge early in the afternoon. Although it is a much less popular crossing, Williamsburg Bridge is full of character, and we always enjoy making the journey over the East River to spend time in the fashionable Brooklyn neighbourhood.
We arrived in Williamsburg and wandered along Bedford Avenue for a while before making our way over to Devocion on the corner of Wythe and a Grand. After taking a seat in front of the two storey vertical garden wall of the open-plan day-lit cafe, we enjoyed a delicious pain-au-chocolat and granola bar with our coffee. The coffee was perfect, the atmosphere was great and we really liked the reclaimed wood and exposed brick interior of the former warehouse. Devocion may just be the best coffee shop in Williamsburg!
After spending the afternoon in Williamsburg we enjoyed a picnic from Whole Foods Market on the Fifth Street Pier. From there, we made our way down to Domino Park, a public park popular with families at the site of the Domino Sugar Refinery, which is currently being redeveloped. We headed up on to the elevated walkway, suspended from salvaged Gantry Cranes, and enjoyed the spectacular views across the East River to the sun setting behind the famous Manhattan skyline.
A sunny Sunday morning in New York City and we were going for breakfast at our favourite spot...good times! Friedman’s in Hell’s Kitchen is a lovely neighbourhood restaurant, just a short walk from the New Yorker Hotel along 35th Street. We were seated in a booth (which is always a nice bonus!) and after coffee, we thoroughly enjoyed our delicious Housemade Granola with Fruit, Yogurt and Honey.
After spending the morning exploring Chelsea and the West Village, we had headed up to Central Park to enjoy the hot sunshine. From there, we made our way over to Magnolia Bakery on Columbus Avenue for our favourite dessert... their famous Banana Cream Pudding. We indulged ourselves with tubs of classic Banana and flavour of the month, Reese’s Pieces...wow! Absolutely delicious, and well worth the calories!
After a spot of retail therapy on a Fifth Avenue, we bought sandwiches and potato chips from Maison Kayser and took the subway down to Brooklyn Bridge / City Hall then walked down to The Battery. Whilst the sun set behind the Jersey City skyline, we ate our picnic and enjoyed the views across the harbour to the majestic Statue of Liberty.
Following an evening wander along Battery Park City Esplanade, we took the Subway from Fulton Street up to Times Square, which was very busy... even for Times Square! After a quick look in the Hard Rock Shop we found a place to sit on the iconic Red Steps from where we soaked up the unique atmosphere and visual overload that surrounded us.
After breakfast at the Tick Tock Diner we took the Subway down to South Ferry and wandered around the redeveloped Pier 17 and historic South Street Seaport District on a gloriously sunny and very warm morning. We made our way along the riverfront on the Lower East Side Peck Slip between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges to Boots Steps at Pier 36. We relaxed on the big swings and enjoyed the stunning views before making our way over to Manhattan Bridge.
Manhattan Bridge is much less popular with pedestrians than its neighbour so it can sometimes feel like you have the whole bridge to yourself. What makes Manhattan Bridge so special is the unrivalled views of Brooklyn Bridge that it offers, together with the stunning panorama from Dumbo around to Manhattan’s iconic skylines.
After crossing Manhattan Bridge we made our way through Dumbo and had a look around inside Empire Stores...an modern urban marketplace in a redeveloped coffee warehouse on Water Street. From there, we headed over to Butler’s Bakeshop where we enjoyed coffee and treats to eat with a picture perfect view of nearby Brooklyn Bridge.
From Dumbo, we made our way up to historic Brooklyn Heights and wandered along the Promenade in the hot afternoon sunshine while enjoying the stunning views across to Manhattan...a nice way to spend a Monday afternoon!
We decided to get up at 4:30 so that we could head down to Brooklyn Bridge to watch the sunrise again. After waiting at the wrong platform for a while, we eventually caught the train from Penn Station to Chambers Street and made it up on to the bridge in time to witness another memorable sunrise.
After enjoying an açai bowl breakfast in the morning sunshine, we wandered through Brooklyn Bridge Park and found this view of One World Trade Center framed by one of the Manhattan Bridge pylons.
We decided to have a picnic lunch in Bryant Park so we made our way to Grand Central Station where we bought fresh sandwiches from Zaro’s bakery in the dining concourse before visiting the whispering gallery and majestic main hall.
We had visited the Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium back in 2015 but this year we were treating ourselves to one of America’s great traditions...a ball game at the iconic home of the ‘Bronx Bombers’. We explored the concourses and viewing galleries of the huge stadium before taking our seats in the upper tier to experience the atmosphere and excitement as the New York Yankees took on the Arizona Diamondbacks in front of 47,281 fans.
We were on a high after thoroughly enjoying our evening watching the world famous New York Yankees baseball team in action at Yankee Stadium...so we decided to finish our day with a visit to the Tick Tock Diner where we treated ourselves to a late night dessert!
After spending the morning planning out the last few days of our holiday, we made our way around to Friedman’s in Hell’s Kitchen...our favourite spot for breakfast in New York City. Their Housemade Granola with fresh fruit, yogurt and honey is delicious...and we love the atmosphere of this neighbourhood restaurant.
Although rainstorms had been forecast for the afternoon, it was very warm and sunny as we strolled along Brooklyn Heights Promenade, enjoying the stunning cityscape views across the East River to Lower Manhattan.
After making our way down Atlantic Avenue, we had explored Boerum Hill and Gowanus before stopping for a delicious coffee at the Australian inspired Abbotsford Road Coffee Specialists. A rain storm passed through as we relaxed with our coffee sat in the window seats of their roastery store.
Despite the intermittent rainstorms, we really enjoyed exploring Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill and Gowanus neighbourhoods...and found some bargains in Beacon’s Closet and L-Train Vintage stores.
After spending a stormy afternoon in Brooklyn we had coffee and a treat to eat from Feed in Dumbo’s Empire Stores before making our way across Brooklyn Bridge...which was a lot less busy than the other times that we had crossed it in the daytime. Crossing the bridge is always an enjoyable experience and the wet conditions and stormy skies added to the atmosphere.
After spending a humid, stormy afternoon over in Brooklyn, we headed back to our room at the New Yorker hotel to get ourselves ready for an evening out in NYC. Taking the subway from nearby Penn Station/34th Street down to Christopher Street, it was then just a short walk to one of our favourite restaurants...Caliente Cab Company
Dining outside on a hot summer night at the landmark Caliente Cab Company restaurant in the West Village is an experience we would recommend. When we arrived, we noticed that the iconic vintage yellow cab was no longer parked outside, which was a shame, but we were seated straight away and shared quesadillas, enchiladas and burritos...delicious!
It was the penultimate night of our holiday and after a lovely meal at Caliente Cab Company we made our way to the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District. We headed up to the bar on the 18th Floor from where we enjoyed stunning panoramic views across the Manhattan skyline while we sipped on our ‘Morally Inclined’ and ‘All Inclusive’ non-alcoholic cocktails. It was a new experience for us and a great way to end another fantastic day!
It was the last ‘whole’ day of our holiday and we were up and out of our hotel in time to be making our way across Brooklyn Bridge just after 7am. There was some cloud around and it didn’t feel quite as hot as the mornings earlier in the week...or maybe we were just getting acclimatised!
We wanted to visit somewhere in New York City that we hadn’t been before so we decided to take the A-Train out to Rockaway Beach...passing Aqueduct Racetrack and JFK Airport along the way. We got off at the train at 36th Street Station and wandered along the expansive boardwalk all the way back to 86th Street where we headed down on to the sandy beach and relaxed in the hot sunshine. After a while we made our way over to Rockaway Roasters for coffee and a treat to eat. We had previously thought that Rockaway might be too far away but we were really pleased that we went and will definitely try and go back there whenever we are in New York.
We enjoyed some great cityscape views during the hour or so journey from Rockaway Beach back to Penn Station. The convenience of our hotel being just across the street from the station meant that we could quickly head up to our room to freshen up for the rest of the day.
We had seen Blank Slate’s (huge) S’mores Dip Skillet on Instagram and we were running out of opportunities to try it. So we decided to head across to their kitchen and coffee house on the corner of Madison Avenue and 30th Street to indulge ourselves as we began the last evening of our holiday!
After taking the Subway from 28th Street down to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall, we made our way across the bridge as the sun lowered dramatically behind the Manhattan skyline...an unforgettable experience that we will never tire of.
What better way to spend the last evening of another amazing holiday in NYC than watching the sunset from the steps of Dumbo’s Pebble Beach on a warm summer night, Seeing the sky darken while the iconic Manhattan skyline illuminates the East River, framed perfectly by the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges...stunning!
It was the last day of our trip and we wanted to make most of every minute so we got up before 5 o’clock and headed down to Brooklyn Bridge to watch the sunrise one last time...until next time!
We made our way across the Bridge and around to Dumbo where we headed up on to the rooftop of Empire Stores to watch the early morning sun rise between the silhouette of Manhattan Bridge as the sky glowed orange. From there, we made our way down to the waterfront of Brooklyn Bridge Park to enjoy the views across to Manhattan...we’re really going to miss this!
We left Brooklyn Bridge park just after 7 o’clock and treated ourselves to a takeout coffee from Butler...another great ‘discovery’ for us during this holiday.
It was still before 8 o’clock as we made our way back across Brooklyn Bridge after spending the early morning in Dumbo. We almost felt like New Yorkers when we helped a couple of young European girls with directions...explaining in detail, offering advice and even giving them our map! The sky was blue and the sun was warm as we thoroughly enjoyed what would be our last journey across the Bridge...until next time!
There was only one place we wanted to go for the last breakfast of our holiday...Friedman’s! After checking out of our room at the New Yorker hotel we made our way down 35th Street in the warm morning sunshine. We really like the interior design of the Hell‘s Kitchen venue, the atmosphere is laid back, and the Housemade Granola is delicious...it’s a great little neighbourhood restaurant.
After leaving Friedman’s, we made the short walk over to The Vessel and wandered all the way along the busy High Line from Hudson Yards down to the Meatpacking District.
Because we knew we would be sad to be leaving, we wanted to give ourselves something to look forward to so we pre-booked tickets for One World Trade Center. It wasn’t our first visit, but the stunning panoramic views from the 102nd floor observation deck are breathtaking every time. The 360 degree views across New York City through the floor to ceiling windows are unrivalled and offer unique perspectives of Lower Manhattan and beyond.
For the last indulgence of our holiday, we decided to treat ourselves to Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery. After buying them from the store inside Penn Station we enjoyed our layers of vanilla wafer, fresh bananas and creamy vanilla pudding sat in the hot afternoon sunshine in Pennsylvania Plaza...reflecting on the amazing time we had spent in New York.
We love having the New Yorker hotel as our base from which to explore the greatest city in the world! From the friendly welcome on our first day to jumping in a taxi as we say goodbye for now, we always enjoy making our way through the stylish lobby at the beginning and end of each day of our New York adventure...we’re already looking forward to our next visit!