My Top 10 Tips To New York City!
Last week, I told you about how I had to go to Camp Good Life Project. I knew as soon as I saw it that they would be my people, and once I decided I was going I crafted a two week holiday around the camp. I was mainly in New York, and it was exactly as I had hoped.
My number one highlight of New York was finally meeting, in person, my amazing IIN peer coach Anna. She and I spent over a year chatting and waving on skype for an hour each week as we helped each other through the course and with our businesses. After the little dude was born the calls have become more spread out, but we know each other pretty well by now!
I was waiting in our hotel room for her to arrive on her flight in, and when she knocked, I screamed like a maniac! Lots of hugging, lots of laughing. I was very happy to give her a real life hug.
But, I realise not everyone can get Anna to fly over from the Cayman Islands, so if you’re in the unlucky position of being in New York without her, you can still have an amazing time by taking these top ten tips from my trip!
Here, in no particular order, is Sam’s top ten of New York!
1. Central park.
Iconic, green , beautiful. I’d like to be able to say peaceful but I only found that in pockets. But there ARE those pockets, plus a carousel, lakes, grass, trees, horses, bikes, joggers… A hive of healthy activity, with little spots where you can hide away. I love Central Park.
2. Brooklyn Bridge
Iconic, grey, spectacular. I’ve been to New York before but I’ve never walked across Brooklyn Bridge. This time I walked all the way across it, then got a ferry up the East River to Williamsburg, and it was rad. The bridge is absolutely beautiful, with bikes tootling across it, cars to the side, lots of people walking, the river below, other bridges up river (or down river? I don’t know, one way along the river) and the city skyline behind. Plus, obviously, the exciting prospect of bumping into Steve and Miranda along the bridge somewhere.
3. Immersive and experimental theatre
I went to Fuerza Bruta and Then She Fell. Had I had more time I also would have got myself along to Sleep No More. I absolutely LOVE experimental, GOOD theatre. Unfortunately I find the Aussie theatre scene a bit underwhelming. Lots of serious, dramatic work in the big companies, and lots of mediocre fringe theatre. The beauty of a place like New York is there’s so much funding and so many artistic people concentrated in one place that the quality is astounding.
Then She Fell was held in a big house, with only 15 audience members. We were lead around the set by the cast members, at one point I painted white roses red with the white rabbit (did I mention it was based on Alice in Wonderland), at another I went to a tea party with the mad hatter and drank tea while they did a hatters dance around me. Truly amazing, what an experience.
4. Amazing food
You knew that had to be on there, right?
I ate out a lot, and the hightlights were:
The Butcher’s Daughter – this place is mostly veggo. I got some eggs and avocado, and a tasty green juice! There was great music and a very friendly vibe.
Pure Food and Wine – this place is vegan, I think, and the meals were stunning. Pieces of art, every one, with desserts to die for (but let’s not kid ourselves, just because they’re dairy free doesn’t make these things healthy. Tasty, yes! But healthy, no). Biodynamic wines, raw meals, oh so tasty.
Bare Burger – I love a good burger, and this place has all organic, free range, yada yada yada. I ate bison. It was meaty.
Wholefoods Market – I put this one in here because it’s such an institution, but to be honest, I think it’s a bit overrated! Expensive, and full of ‘fake’ health foods. You know, chocolate protein bars and ‘sugar free’ desserts that are actually FULL of sugar (just natural sugars). The salad bar is pretty spectacular there though. I ate all the things.
Hu Kitchen – all real foods, paleo, and the friendliest staff ever! I had a couple of delicious meals there, and always left feeling satisfied and full of vitality. This one was a good one.
Juice Bars – in Sydney I don’t drink a lot of juices (more homemade green smoothies, and I try to steer clear of too much liquid sugar, even if it comes from fruit). But in New York there were lots of organic juice bars that had great green juices, with minimal fruit. They were great for making sure I got a bit more green into me while I was travelling.
5. New, crazy experiences (tarot and palm reading)
I had my tarot cards read on Bleeker Street, for the first time ever. She told me I’ll have another child (Chris was happy to hear that), I should do more yoga (my yoga gear was actually IN MY BAG as we were going to check out Tara Stiles at Strala Yoga after that), I have lots of surface level friends and only a few really close friends (this one’s true, and has stuck with me since she said it), and that in the coming year I would really focus on my relationship with my hub and growing my business. Some great predictions in there!
This is us, post-tarot, with Tara.
6. Times Square and the consumer frenzy
Oh wowsers, Time Square. The shops don’t shut until 1am, the stores are behemoths, the streets are jam packed, the spray paint artists and chess contenders are out at all hours. So much hustle, so much bustle, and it REALLY felt like we were in New York when we were there.
7. Sleeping in a shoebox.
A trip to The Big Apple isn’t complete without staying in a comically small room, so we did that. It had one set of bunk beds pushed against the wall, a bit of space between the beds and the other wall, a sink, a hanging space, a shared bathroom and patchy internet. But it did the trick, we slept, it was quiet, and thankfully we weren’t trying to cook in the room!
8. 9/11 memorial
Last time I was in New York was 2006. The site of the Twin Towers was still pretty much rubble. Now they have built an awe inspiring memorial. Truly beautiful and breathtaking. They’ve also saved the one tree from the site that survived the attack, and replanted it. I love the symbolism of that.
9. Empire state building
The views from up here never get old! We excitedly ran up the (final sets of) stairs and took photos from every angle. I had to laugh at the woman who couldn’t find Central Park (it’s enormous. She was fixated on a spot about three blocks south of the park and could NOT look any further north, until I pointed it out to her. She then did have the grace to laugh at herself.)
10. The bookstores
Ahh the bookstores. I totally thought I’d shop a bit in New York, but it was too hot, and the consumerism actually put me off a bit. But I loved the bookstores, and went into at least one every day. I also managed to get myself along to the book launch and signing of Chris Guillebeau’s latest book The Happiness of Pursuit. Score!
So in summary. New York was hot, tasty, inspiring, interesting, moving, bustling, peaceful and wonderful.
I’d love to hear your top New York tips for when I go back (because I WILL go back).
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