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While I was very excited to show Anders around my hometown of Albany and my childhood vacation destination of Martha’s Vineyard, he was understandably most excited to shown around the city of my most recent residence: New York.

He could only take so much time off work, so our time in the Big Apple was limited to a mere two and a half days. However, I realize plenty of people come to the city for a weekend getaway — so consider this post my first timers’ guide to a weekend in New York.

Our “weekend,” however, began on a Sunday morning. So we did as any good city dwellers do and headed to a nearby buzzed-about brunch spot. Friends Steffi and Chris joined us at , which was chosen for its location between our Crown Heights digs and our DUMBO final destination.

When we practically rolled out the door I remembered one of the reasons I love New York so much. New Yorkers walk an average of seventy billion miles per day — that’s a scientific figure, obviously — which means we can pretty shamelessly stuff our faces with the assurance that we’ll work it off later.

And so off we waddled to DUMBO, the magical land beneath the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. We took a quick obligatory stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge, which was a prime excuse to take part in another favorite New York pastime — loudly bitching about the number of camera toting tourists doing, you know, exactly what we do when we go to other cities.

The weather could not have been more beautiful on this late September day. I miss this city big time, and visits like this — filled with friends, familiar favorite haunts, and clear blue skies — pull at my heartstrings something fierce.

We mostly relaxed and lolled around the park and people watched, and bided our time until it was socially acceptable to dig into our next meal — a sampling of local treats from weekend food vendors set up inside the historic Tobacco Warehouse. I settled on mango juice and nutella s’mores.

I was actually feeling a little guilty that we weren’t doing more “sightseeing” at this point, and checked in with Anders to make sure he was enjoying the day. “If this is how real New Yorkers do Sunday, that’s what I want to see,” he assured me — but with a much cuter accent.

The next morning we set off for Manhattan. Obviously our first stop was to the Union Square location of the fabled , which Anders had heard me talk about every single day and also in my sleep mention once or twice — it was a hit. From there, we started strolling north, hitting all the major sights and monuments along the way, content to enjoy the free views from the outside rather than fork over major entrance fees. (Are you kidding me, Empire State Building? Thirty four bucks?)

I haven’t taken my real camera around the city in years, so it was actually quite the fun outing for me as well, despite having walked these streets so many times before.

New York City Photography
New York City Photography

We took a brief stop before hitting Times Square. Gotta introduce the European to all my favorite American chains! So far we had walked over twenty blocks and a couple avenues, but we forged ahead. Times Square is what it is — I’m kind of desensitized to it at this point but Anders loved it.

I may not have been too entertained by my surroundings but I did laugh myself silly when a baffled barista renamed Anders to “Handers.”

We hit our final destination of Central Park right at what I like to call by its official name, Pretty Light Time. Even this seasoned city girl was impressed by the views. The day had taken us across more than sixty blocks and four avenues by foot, and hadn’t cost us more than subway fare and food bills. Along the way we checked off several New York icons — Union Square, The Flatiron Building, The Empire State Building, Times Square, and Central Park.

We kicked off Anders’ final day in the city with a trip to Lower Manhattan and a solemn visit to the Ground Zero Memorial site. I was feeling quite emotional and didn’t take any photos, though you can see the site through my lens from my previous visit. I look forward to the memorial museum finally opening in the spring.

Our final stop on the whistle-stop tour of New York’s highlights was a first for me as well — a State of Liberty viewing ride on the Staten Island ferry. I had originally wanted to take Anders to Liberty and Ellis Islands to see the lady in green up close, but I learned Ellis Island was actually closed that week. So due to time and money constraints (and the lost value — ticket prices were the same despite half of the trip being skipped) we went for the free DIY version instead.

New York_24

New-York_23

It was the perfect end to an active and affordable weekend in New York. My rare time in the city these days is spent in hibernation working punctuated by whatever time possible with friends, so it was quite fun to get out and play tourist again. And, as sitting in my friends’ apartments with my laptop and ordering takeout does not a great post make, I rarely get to blog about it either. Which is a shame — there isn’t nearly enough NYC pride around these parts. Till next time, New York….

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34 Comments...
  • Caty
    October 14 2013

    Aww you two are too cute! But this really made me miss NYC. I lived in Westchester County for a year almost 9years ago and every sunday all of us girls would go into the city and every sunday I would take the staten island ferry at “pretty light time” =) because it was just so beautiful. I went every sunday and then a few extra times when family and friends came to visit. Definitely one of my favorite things to do in NYC! Great post!

    • Meihoukai
      October 14 2013

      That sounds like a wonderful tradition, Caty! I still can’t get over the fact that it’s free, either.

  • Carmen Allan-Petale
    October 14 2013

    Sounds like a lot of fun. Good tips. I also thought the price for the Empire State was ridiculous! You should’ve tried to get a freebie through the blog 🙂
    Carmen Allan-Petale recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 14 2013

      I didn’t even think of it! That kind of thing takes so much time and emailing, sometimes its just not worth it.

  • Annie of TravelShus
    October 14 2013

    come to Fort Greene next time you are here. 🙂
    Annie of TravelShus recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 14 2013

      I really should! It used to be so close to where I stayed… darn those girls moving to Crown Heights 🙂

  • Sarah Somewhere
    October 14 2013

    Love this! You painted a picture of such a lovely, relaxed day in one of the most amazing cities on earth. Love seeing you two together – seriously model material (both of you)!! P.S I want some fro-yo…
    Sarah Somewhere recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 14 2013

      Ha, when we were in Lush and I was buying my solid shampoo (which I’m crazy in love with already) all the girls there were asking him if he was a model. I, of course, was just laughing.

  • Beautiful photos as always 🙂 Looks like you two had brilliant days (even weatherwise)!
    Stef – Food & Photos around the world recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      We lucked out! The weather in New York was great all through September which made it harder than I expected to leave. Luckily, it rained for three days straight right before I left 😛

  • Heather
    October 14 2013

    I’ve only been to NYC once, for a few days and man did I lurve it! I’m sure it’s VERY different when you *live* there (as with all places) but I think that’s one place I’d like to try. Oh, and I want to live in the Flatiron building because it’s SO AWESOME!
    Heather recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      Are there actually residences in there? I always assumed it was offices but if so that would be AMAZING!

      • Heather
        October 19 2013

        Uh, maybe when I’m a gajillionaire I’ll buy the offices and make a residence? Until then…wishful thinking. 🙂
        Heather recently posted..

  • Rika | Cubicle Throwdown
    October 14 2013

    I love this! It looks so relaxing – not really how I picture New York… for some reason it’s always so frenetic in my head.
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      That’s why I always loved living in Brooklyn, Rika… it’s a totally different pace!

  • Jennifer M P
    October 14 2013

    hahaha! I literally laughed out loud when I read the part about “Handers!” Silly mix up! Also love the pictures under the bridge!

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      Glad we could provide you with a little laughter 🙂

  • john bourke
    October 14 2013

    Dear Meihoukai, I love NYC, and go yearly with my daughter, stay at the Waldorf Hotel, and hit Broadway nightly…and walk, walk during the day seeing the museums, and different areas of city.You certainly have shown me a different way to see the city ,lots that I have missed…thanks !jb

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      That sounds like a very special father daughter trip! Thanks for sharing!

  • TammyOnTheMove
    October 14 2013

    Aww, this brings back so many good memories. I loved NY when I went a few years ago. I particularly loved Greenwich.
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      I’m glad to hear that Tammy! Any post that induces some nostalgia is a success 🙂

  • Chris
    October 15 2013

    There’s something wonderful about being a tourist in your own back yard, and it’s obviously even nicer to share it with someone special.

    NYC is definitely on my ‘To Do list’ when I eventually get to the States!
    Chris recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      I’ve recently started tackling my own US travel bucket list… it’s funny how sometimes we leave our own backyards for last! I hope to correct that soon.

  • Shaun
    October 15 2013

    NYC is one of my fav places for sure. I’ve been there on four separate trips including May this year.

    I try to pump this place as it’s one of my favorite places in NYC is Rudy’s Bar & Grill in Hell’s Kitchen. Total dive bar, cheap beer and FREE hotdogs! You can’t beat that!
    Shaun recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      I’ve never been! Thanks for the suggestion… I’ll head there next time I’m home. I’m all over the free hot dogs!

  • Aw I love NYC! It’s about a 6 hour drive from me & definitely worth the trip, though I haven’t been in a few years! x
    Jacquie @ Must for Wanderlust recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      I feel lucky that NYC has always been such a big part of my life. Even now, I’m back several times a year.

  • Iman Hidajat
    October 15 2013

    “Belum ke Amerika kalau belum ke New York City” (Indonesian). Meaning “you haven’t been to the US if you haven’t visited New York City”. Love the city very much! Warmest regards from Indonesia!

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      I love the little language lesson! Thanks Iman 🙂

  • Wes
    October 16 2013

    I can think of other posts with you on your laptop in an apartment ordering takeout.

    I like the pictures of you and Anders like everyone else but next time i think you should stand up.

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      If by “takeout” you mean “delivery McDonald’s” and by “an apartment” you mean “your apartment” — now that’s a post I’m sad I never wrote!

  • Stephanie
    October 16 2013

    I’ve heard that Top of the Rock has great views and is a little cheaper. I plan on going there during my next visit to NYC.
    Stephanie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      October 18 2013

      I did Top of the Rock for my birthday a few years ago… the views were absolutely fantastic!