Top 50 New York Experiences

The Big Apple has been top of my bucket list since I was a child. I have always dreamt of visiting and experiencing everything I had watched and read about this amazing city. Living in London, I always found it more convenient to visit European cities for holidays, given the proximity and cheap fares. But in 2017, I knew this was the year to book that dream holiday, and I finally hopped on the plane to JFK! I spent a week in New York during the holiday season, and it was everything I imagined and more! Having fantasised about this city so much, I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my very high expectations. But it did… it was larger than life… a concrete jungle packed with so much magic, that even the smallest of things take your breath away. Here are my favourite New York experiences in no particular order:

  1. Walking through Central Park on a snowy day and feeling like I was in a winter wonderland
  2. Taking in the view from Top of the Rock
  3. Walking up the grand staircase at the New York Public Library
  4. Waking up feeling like I was floating in the NYC skyline every morning at the beautiful Arlo Nomad Hotel
  5. Eating too much Korean barbecue at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
  6. Catching the Rockettes in action at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
  7. Being amazed by the Rockefeller Centre tree and its multi-coloured lights
  8. Seeing the frozen fountain at the Bryant Park Winter Village
  9. Witnessing Christmas on steroids at Dyker Heights and being amazed at the most over-the-top, spectacular Christmas lights and decorations by the houses in the neighbourhood
  10. Having the Brooklyn Bridge all to ourselves during an early-morning walk
  11. Taking in the grandeur of Grand Central and then a tipple at the secret speakeasy, Campbell Apartment
  12. Seeing the giant baubles, Christmas lights and trees on 6th Avenue
  13. Eating the most delicious cupcakes in the world at Magnolia Bakery
  14. Enjoying the art and architecture at the The Guggenheim
  15. Getting late-night takeout from Anthony Bourdain’s favourite restaurant in Chinatown, Hop Kee
  16. Queuing outside Serendipity 3 for its famous frozen hot chocolate
  17. Admiring the Christmas window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Tiffany’s, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel
  18. Sitting at the iconic ‘When Harry Met Sally’ table at Katz Deli and savouring the meat-laden pastrami sandwich
  19. Being blinded by the lights (and tourists) at Times Square
  20. Walking the Highline and stopping by cool and quirky spots like Chelsea Market
  21. Doing a ‘Friends’ walking tour in Greenwich Village and seeing the apartment on Bedford and Grove
  22. Binging on NYC street food like hotdogs, burgers, chicken on rice and tacos
  23. Seeing the ‘The Starry Night’ at the MoMA
  24. Walking around the Meatpacking district and making a pit stop at the Whitney Museum
  25. Hopping my way around incredible New York speakeasies like Employees Only (inside a psychic shop), The Garret (behind a Five Guys), The Back Room (through an abandoned alley), and Please Don’t Tell (behind a phone booth inside a hotdog shop)
  26. Watching the spectacular Saks holiday light show
  27. Nabbing a table at the super popular Spotted Pig for brunch
  28. Almost combusting with excitement seeing the abundance of my favourite chocolate in Hershey’s World
  29. Eating my way through Chinatown and finding the best dim sums at Nom Wah Tea Parlour
  30. Spending an entire day at The Met
  31. Coming face-to-face with the Statue of Liberty
  32. Exploring Central Park and seeing all the pretty spots including the Wollman ice rink, Bethesda Fountain and Bow Bridge
  33. Navigating the 11 floors of Macy’s Herald Square and burning a big hole in my pocket
  34. Living my Jurassic fantasy at the American Museum of Natural History
  35. Watching the chefs assemble the most delicious ramen bowls and pork buns at Momofuku Noodle Bar
  36. Walking away with a ‘medium brown bag’ from Bloomingdale’s
  37. Replaying the scenes from Home Alone 2 in my head whilst standing outside the iconic Plaza Hotel
  38. Feeling the presence of money at Wall Street
  39. Visiting the futuristic Oculus and World Trade Center Transportation hub
  40. Eating a classic NYC ‘slice’ filled with cheesy goodness
  41. Hopping aboard a New York water taxi and admiring the most stunning views of NYC from the water
  42. Feeling a wave of emotion at the 9/11 memorial
  43. Being overwhelmed by the volume and variety of Italian goodies at Eataly
  44. Having a delicious brunch at Egg Shop
  45. Feeling the excitement outside Madison Square Garden before a Knicks game
  46. Getting the perfect shot of the Flatiron building
  47. Feeling envious looking at all the vintage luggage at the Louis Vuitton exhibition ‘Volez, Voguez, Voyagez’
  48. Enjoying a slice of New York cheesecake from Eileen’s Special Cheesecake
  49. Exploring the Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO area early in the morning
  50. Queuing endlessly for a bagel from Russ and Daughters