Saturday, 9 June 2012

A bite of the Apple. Part 1

So, as mentioned in my previous post I jetted off to New York at the beginning of May for a few days of shopping, cocktails, sightseeing and more shopping. I've been to the Big Apple twice before, last time was in the February 2002 and since then I had been craving for my next dose of NYC goodness. We found really cheap flights with BA (around £470 return) and booked really spontaneously about 8 weeks before we went. To be honest finding a cheap hotel in NYC is impossible. We were on a budget so headed to the airbnb website to see if we could rent out an apartment. To be honest I was quite worried about renting but we got talking to a really nice guy called Jason whose OHM apartment was roughly a 15 minute walk from the Meatpacking District and all the reviews from previous guests had been amazing. If you're planning a trip any time soon, I'd definitely recommend looking on airbnb. The building had a 24 hour concierge, a bus to and from Penn station regularly, gym, wi-fi lobby and a 24-hour shop. Jason was at the apartment when we arrived to hand over the keys and the view was absolutely incredible. We opened to the curtains to find ourselves staring at the New York skyline (and the rooftop view was even better).

We jumped in a taxi from JFK and got talking to our cab driver about the best areas to go, nightlife, restuarants, best places to catch Gossip Girl being filmed (he mentioned to us that he'd had Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds in his cab a few days previous to our arrival) cue mini heart attack and also the best vintage shopping areas. We dropped off our bags and went exploring. First stop was obviously Times Square, where randomly we bumped into some actors who we'd seen in a show when we went to Las Vegas last September (small world eh), I managed to do my best Jay-Z and Alicia Keys impression on the red steps, visit the biggest Forever 21 I've ever seen, drink a strawberry lemonade frap from Starbucks and then we headed back towards Chelsea. New York is a pretty big place so we did actually get lost a few times, to be honest though, walking was so much better than taking a cab everywhere as it leads you to the most unexpected places and cute little shops.

New York really does hold a special place in my heart (without sounding like a complete loser) the people are so incredibly friendly, will stop you in the street to pay you a complement (if this was London, you'd probably think the person was about to mug you. Sorry London, I do still love you) and if you're looking slightly lost will always be on hand to offer directions. We managed to eventually find Chelsea and then the Meatpacking District (again, cue heart attack) this is where (when I spend my year in NYC eventually) I want to live. I've never felt more Sex and the City than at this moment. We found the DVF building, Chelsea Market, Pastis restaurant (which we would dine at on our last night) but settled for dinner at The Diner; the best steak, egg and chips ever. We potted around a bit more and our plan was to go out for cocktails. however, after being up since 4am UK time, landing in NYC at 11:30am US time and it now being 9pm (2am UK time), we were ready to hit the sack. Obviously not as hard core as we thought but still, we had a whole 6 other days to get our Cosmopolitan on and had been up for nearly 24 hours straight.

I'm wearing:
T-shirt: Topshop
Blazer: Issey Miyake
Skirt: Marks and Spencer
Hi top trainers: Topshop
Bag: Mulberry Alex
Lobster necklace: Tatty Devine

Next morning, my friend Rachel was like an army sergeant and eager for us not to miss one minute of NYC time. We were up and out by 9:30 and ready for our first full day. The bridge from the OHM building took us straight into the Meatpacking district and it is here you'll find Chelsea Market. This is one of my YOU MUST VISIT places. It's so beautiful and full of quaint cupcake shops, designer pop up stores, fresh fruit and vegetable markets and is also home to Artists and Fleas vintage store. We had a really lovely breakfast here (I can't remember the name of the restaurant which is frustrating seeing as I picked up a card from every other place we went to). The weather was quite bad on our second day, extremely wet and quite cold! We spent forever in Artists and Fleas (and a small fortune). I picked up 2 lovely hand made make up bags by a designer called Pamela Barsky.

We walked from Artists and Fleas to Bleeker Street which was recommended to me by an old work colleague. This was another one of my favorite places and home to the famous Magnolia Bakery (and a Mulberry shop were I spent a good hour trying to decided whether to buy the Peace bracelet or not).
The cupcakes are TO DIE FOR and expect a rather long queue but trust me, it's worth it. We stumbled upon Perry Street here too which is home to Carrie Bradshaw's apartment. We spent a while on those famous steps looking up and down the street for Mr Big! The rest of our second day was mainly spent around this area and then heading into Soho to find the Dash store (yes, I'm a Kardashian fan). Kim and Kanye were actually in NYC at the same time but I didn't see them anywhere. After a lunch of chicken wings and Shirley Temples we headed to China Town (an experience than ended up with us being surrounded by what looked like the Chinese Maffia in a park trying to sell us fake Chanel handbags) an experience I have to say! China Town is definitely worth a look if you're after a bargain. I had my hands rather full with shopping bags at this point. We jumped on the train to the Ground Zero and wandered around. There is a memorial here now which you can pay to go and see but you needed to book tickets in advance. The area itself is very sombre and quiet with people there to pay their respects.

We ended up back at the apartment to get ready for a night in the Meatpacking District! My first taste of a Cosmopolitan - woohoo! We ate at the Gaslight bar which is next to Soho House and then ended up meeting a guy called Sammy who got us into a club called TenJune which is on Little West Street. To be honest, I don't really remember much after this, only that we ended up in another bar down the road called Brass Monkey at about 3am for an amaretto and cranberry juice ;)

I'm wearing:
Blazer: Issey Miyake
Top: Topshop
Jeans: New Look Inspire
Pumps: Topshop
Bag: Mulberry Alexa
Necklace: H'n'M

I'm wearing:
Blazer: as before
Dress: Primark

Seeing as this is the longest post ever to grace TGTH, we'll cover the rest of the holiday next week. I wouldn't want to bore you all!