How to see New York in a day

2:00 PM

A few weeks ago in June, I packed my bags and hopped on a flight to New York for the Governor's Ball Music Festival. This entire trip started when I got a new email notification from my phone at work and, like normal, unlocked my phone to check it expecting it to be some email from a store I really should stop spending money on but no! Not this time. It was a newsletter/announcement from my all-time favourite band, The Strokes (who, if you don't already listen to, you really should). The subject line was probably something like "The Strokes to headline Gov Ball in NYC this June" and that was enough for me to go bug eyed and for my heart to start racing. I'm not even kidding, but for as long as I've wanted to see the Strokes (at least 5 years now) they have never come to Toronto. And I had never been to New York either, so that seemed like the perfect plan. I immediately rolled out of my desk chair at work and ran to the hallway to call my boyfriend--"OMGOMGOMG WE HAVE TO GO SEE THE STROKES IN NEW YORK!!!!!!!" etc etc...and being the amazing person he is / hearing me complain enough times of how I NEED to see The Strokes play he was all in.

We were able to get 3 more friends and one of my oldest/best friend in Canada to join us and we were so pumped. We decided to go for 5 days, leaving Thursday morning and coming back Monday afternoon and since the festival was Friday through Sunday, that left us one day to see as much of New York as possible. Obviously, it's not humanly possible to see everything New York has to offer in one day and we accepted this but made the most of it!

We started off at Times Square which was such a surreal experience in person--the noise, buzz and colorful atmosphere is really there, just as you'd expect.We then found M&M's world and it made my chocolate heart so happy to be in a store in theme of my favourite chocolate. ALL THE M&M's IN MY TUMMY PLEASE. But seriously. We knew we wanted to climb one of the buildings but we we weren't too keen on the price tag/long line for the Empire State, especially considering we needed to save as much time as possible. We decided to go up the Rockefeller Center instead, which was so worth it! It was only about $30 and we had a perfect view of not only Central Park but also of the Empire State and it made for some really amazing shots. Following the Rock, we stopped by Nintendo World, which to be honest, was quite underwhelming. They went for a really minimalist layout for the store and most of all, not enough Pokemon plushies...because I would have definitely walked outta there with a stuffed Eevee, Jigglypuff or Starmie if they stocked it. Just saying!

One of the things I really wanted to do in New York which is not really American at all, was visit Laduree! I miss French macaroons so much and if I'm not mistaken the only store in Canada is in Vancouver, so New York is as close as I can get. I got a nice big box to bring back for my family (that may or may not have been squished in Daniel's backpack...*tears*) and it was delicious nonetheless. Laduree was conveniently close to Central Park, so that was our next stop! We weren't able to walk it entirely, but we did see the Friends fountain, Strawberry Fields and the John Lennon 'Imagine' memorial which felt so special to me. By this time, it was nearing late afternoon and we were not only exhausted but starving. We stopped by the Shake Shack for some burgers (really good!!) and then walked all the way to our final stop--Brooklyn Bridge. It was so stunning, the pictures definitely don't do it enough justice but it was on top of the must-see list and i'm so glad we got to go.

Friday and Saturday were phenomenal days at the festival, seeing Of Monsters and Men again was as magical as always and I was so excited to see Haim too! They are like a bad-ass sister band and I love their music. They played so well & fit in some new songs too which I am still patiently awaiting to be released. A lot of good artists in between too, like dancing to Miike Snow playing Genghis Khan in the rain was so much fun, and of course, the Strokes were EVERYTHING. I should have definitely been at the front considering the amount of screaming and jumping and singing that was happening with me but I really appreciated my friend group sticking with me till their set ended with fireworks, AH it was so magical. One of the happiest moments of the year for me.

Unfortunately the morning of day 3 we all got notification on our apps/emails that the festival has been "delayed" until further notice due to thunderstorm warnings which really put a damper on the day because we weren't sure yet if it was going to be completely cancelled or just starting at a later time so we ended up just waiting to hear back. In the end, it was cancelled entirely which meant no Kanye West, Death Cab, Chvrches, Chet Faker, Two Door Cinema Club, Galantis etc... so heartbreaking but we decided to try and seize the rest of the afternoon in New York. We went to the BEST italian restaurant as per a friend's recommendation called Eataly and oh my goodness it was phenomenal. The place itself is like two different restaurants, a gelato shop, a coffee shop, book store, beer store, kitchen supply store, supermarket, everything! It was so cool. Even though we had to wait 30 minutes to be seated we had more than enough to see just walking around the entire place. I ended up buying some biscotti and Italian chocolate to take home. The food was amazing, I had a great gnocchi paired with a nice white wine and I was super satisfied. After dinner we uber'd off to the Comedy Cellar for some stand-up and it was the best decision we ever made! It was so funny, if you seriously need a not-so-cliche thing to do in NY, go to the Comedy Cellar!! So worth it.

That pretty much covers it all! I know if you're someone who has been to NY multiple times or lives there you might be thinking that I really didn't "do" NY in a day, but my friends and I were pretty content with what we saw in the amount of time we had. If anything, it has made me excited to go back for longer and experience more of its food, art and shopping culture. So if you pride yourself in being a Yankee or know any good places to visit/restaurants to eat at please leave me a comment!! I am already making plans to go back next summer so it would be super helpful!

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  1. This all sounds amazing and I'm glad you had a lovely time chick :) I've never been to New York but it's the place that's at the top of my list x

    Always, Alice


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