I had the amazing opportunity to visit New York City with Jason to see my best friend and a new photographer friend of mine for my birthday. Let me just start off by saying that I’m from the suburbs. My relationship with public transportation is like a distant cousin. We rarely see one another and it’s always awkward to navigate the conversation. Our first night, Jason and I were proud of ourselves for finding the bus but accidentally ripped them off because we didn’t have coins. We were stranded on one of the subway platforms with low phone batteries. Thankfully our NYC dweller amigos found us and brought us to good food. By day 2 we had learned our lessons and we got some pro tips from the natives. Here are my top 5 tips for navigating NYC.
- The easiest and best way to get around NYC is finding a friend who lives there. Follow them around. Stay close. Give them some cash to cover subway fees then you’re good. Easy peasy.
- Buy a metro card and keep it handy for subway and bus transfers
- Keep your phone charged and use Google maps for directions, transfers and times. Note: the subway tracks change on the weekends because of construction, so listen for announcements. Learned the hard way…
- Comfortable shoes. Simple.
- Hand sanitizer for the germaphobes out there.
Bonus Tip: “Don’t eat the gum on the street. It’s not free candy!”
Elf with Will Ferrell is one of my all time favorite movies. My family watches it every Thanksgiving evening to start off our Christmas season. When I go to NYC I think of that movie and the iconic sites that Buddy is fascinated with like the Lincoln Tunnell, Rockefellar Center and crappy cups of coffee 😊.
When I travel it’s all about the food. It makes or breaks an experience for me. My recommendations for dinner would be Cha Pa’s Vietemses cuisine and you have to try their house special lemongrass pho. So good! I have a new found love of pho and I really love the spiciness of lemon grass so it was sheer perfection in my book. It really hit the spot on a cold January evening. We also went to the Tea Parlor in Chinatown. They have dumplings that I’ve been dreaming about since last January. Their yummy food also reminds me of Pixar’s short film, Bao. You have to check it out its heart warming and will make you cry and probably want food.
Bluestone Lane Coffee shop in Dumbo is super cute and they have yummy, hipster breakfast items. If you want to check out a roomy coffee shop to rest, stretch out and recharge your phone, check out Brooklyn Roasters by the Hudson river. Their mocha was super yum.
As a NYC tourist I enjoy the balance of the rush of the city and then the quiet moments to take in what I was looking at. I’m fascinated about the details of the city. I’m amazed at the design of the subway tiles and the colors of the buildings as the sunsets. There is so much to take in if you slow down to appreciate it.
Photos by my dear friend Marissa Mayberry Photography.