Thursday, November 07, 2013

Travels | New York, New York!

    Hello, Hello! Welcome to another installment of our travel series. This one’s a bit late, but better late than never!

    Last month, a group of friends and I took a lovely little weekend trip to NYC. It’s my best friend’s dream city, and I’ve always wanted to go, so considering her birthday had just passed, we decided to round up some of our friends and take a little vacay!

    We left on the night of October 11th, by Greyhound, and after 12 hours of stories, sleep, unflattering pictures, one late night truck stop bathroom run (which seemed more like a prison bathroom), one stop over, and one bus driver exchange, we finally got to the city.

    Once we navigated through Port Authority, we stepped out onto the New York streets and hailed our first yellow cab. After directing the driver to 39th Avenue of the Americas, and squealing over the TV’s in the back of the cab, our cab driver stopped and we promptly got out. ONLY TO REALIZE that he had dropped us off SOMEWHERE on the Avenue of the Americas, about 600 blocks away from where we were supposed to be… So we hailed another cab, and proceeded to drive to what seemed like the opposite side of the city, where our hotel actually was; but not before our new cabdriver got pulled over by the cops.

   Finally, we were at the hotel (the Hilton Garden Inn in TriBeCa) and able to put our bags in storage! We then grabbed some maps and headed out the door to explore for the 3 hours before our check-in time. First on our list was FOOD! We strolled down the city blocks in search of a place we all agreed on, not that we cared at this point. Eventually we stumbled on a little café. The doors next to our table were open, and the sounds of the city poured in. We sat, people watching, talking, and mapping out the places we wanted to spend our weekend. For some reason, from the minute we stepped out into the city, it felt like home. It didn’t feel like we just got off a bus, but rather like we woke up and called our friends out for a bite to eat.

   After lunch, we walked around, stopped in a few stores, and headed back to the hotel to change before heading to Central Park.

   Once we were changed and ready to go, we looked around for a cab, and after not finding any willing to take us to the Central Park Area, we noticed a subway station right outside our hotel. THIS DISCOVERY CHANGED THE FACE OF OUR ENTIRE WEEKEND. Note to anyone going to New York: Don’t let the reputation of the NYC subway system scare you. Some people say it’s hard to navigate, others say it’s rough and tough down there. Not only was it super easy to figure out where to go, and not only was it super fast to travel on, IT COSTS $3 TO RIDE. Instead of paying three times that per cab ride for the whole weekend, definitely take the subway. It’s easy, quick, and we got to hear a really cool spoken word performance, and see an old guy singing Motown tunes. WHAT’S BETTER THAN THAT?! By the end of the weekend, we were hopping on and off the subway like we lived there. ALSO I got to ride “the 6”, which I thought was pretty cool (SHOUTS TO JENNY FROM THE BLOCK).

   A quick and life changing subway ride (and a quick walk) later, we were at Central Park. We went there with the intent to ride bikes through the park, so we found two guys renting bikes out and we were on our way. Now, I haven’t ridden a bike in YEARS, so I was kinda scared, but I’m telling you if you ever find yourself in NYC: RIDE BIKES THROUGH CENTRAL PARK. It was absolutely amazing. You can’t ride on the trails themselves, but there are roads where runners and bicyclists can go. Riding through the crisp fall leaves, with the breeze my hair and a group of friends in tow was one of the best experiences I’ve had. It felt like we were in a movie. We cycled around for two hours, stopping at lakes and various other scenic points along the way. One memorable point was Strawberry Fields. Strawberry Fields is an area of Central Park that pays tribute to the late John Lennon, of The Beatles, and is named after their song “Strawberry Fields Forever”. Being there was indescribable, and I would definitely recommend you take time out of your stroll to visit. After Strawberry Fields, we hopped back on our bikes, and left Central Park. 

   We went back to the hotel, and got ready for our night out! This was the night we decided we would head to the party scene. Hours later, we were all ready to go. We got to the club we planned to go to, however the cover was $50. We then cabbed to Spring Street, an area some boys outside of the club recommended. Note to anyone partying in NYC: cover/booth at clubs seemed to be pretty expensive. Especially for university students used to paying $1 for beers on a Thursday night! Down on Spring Street, things seemed to be relatively the same price until we stumbled across what looked like a lounge with no line, no cover, good music. We walked in, found a table, and ordered a bottle of GIN for the 6 of us. Judging by the hazy memories of belting out 80’s classics, my best friend getting her foot stepped on by a little girl in stilettos, and feeling like Snoop Dogg while sippin’ on “Gin & Juice”, I gathered it was a pretty interesting night.  I really wish I could remember the name of the place (because we didn’t look at the sign before walking in, not because of the Gin), but if you’re ever partying in SoHo, remember Spring Street. It has exposed brick, a gazebo and fairy lights. Yes, it was magical.

That was Day One of our Two Day trip! Stay Tuned for Sunday!

Remember :
·     Ride the subway!
·      Bike Ride through Central Park
·     The little lounge near  Spring Street is amazing

Have a great Wednesday!

Twitter: @vmahh
VineVarsha Maharajh

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