Bitting into the Big Apple – Part II

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” 
― Tom Wolfe

Just over a year ago, I was perpetually the person who would get excited over a book where the protagonist had just moved to New York, or a TV show based in the city or basically just anything to do with NEW YORK. I sometimes find it hard to believe that I have been living in the city for seven months now. Seven glorious months. Every time I walk out of the Roger Smith (the hotel I live and work at), I am lucky to be welcomed by the stunning sight of the Chrysler, by the bustling street with all the hustlers, with the Halal stand that we should not have such easy access to, and I could just go on. Just being hit by the vibe of the city on a daily basis is fulfilling.

I am always worried that I am not exploring enough or getting the full New York experience. But what I have come to realize is that being caught up in how overwhelming it can be, or how pressurizing it can be to check a ton off things off, I am missing out on sharing the things I actually have done and are worth a mention (and it was high time I got over my writer’s block and did something about it!)

So dear readers, here are a few of my favourite things about the city that has grown to become an emotion:

  1. Smogasburg

          As if the food trucks and endless restaurants were’t enough, New York also hosts one of the biggest open air food markets called Smogasburg. It gives individuals and groups a chance to showcase their culinary talents, experimenting with different food; and gives all of us the chance to keep eating more good food! Over the course of the weekend, it takes place in three different locations:

Friday’s – World Trade Center (11 am – 5 pm)

Saturday’s – Williamsburg , East River State Park (11 am – 6 pm)

Sunday’s – Prospect Park , breeze Hill ( 11 am – 6 pm)

Combining spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline with exotic food like fluffy pancakes and ramen pizza, I would choose Saturday’s for the complete Smogasburg experience.

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Smogasburg: For your mandatory instagram posts

2. Albertine 

    One of my fellow trainees, Marina (always with the best recommendations), had told me about a book store that I had to check out. Housed in the official landmark building – the Payne Whitney Mansion, Albertine only enhances the Upper East Side experience along with having close proximity to Central Park and the MET.

As if it weren’t enough that books transport you to a parallel universe, Albertine goes the extra mile of creating a conducive environment to ensure you enter that magical world.

 

I had a tough time concentrating on books because I got carried away by how beautiful the store was. The ceiling observed in the pictures above, was hand painted and is modeled after the ceiling of the music room in Villa Stuck in Munich. Albertine also happens to be the only bookstore in New York that offers French books. All you book worms out there, you know where to head in New York! 

3. Belvedere Castle 

Dear Mortals, 

 After months of  walking back and forth between Lexington and 5th and through the thick and thin of Central Park, battling the urge to capture cute dogs on their walk, bracing the cold and the hot, I finally made it, I have conquered my quest to make it to the top of the Belvedere. I am here now, watching over you as I see the city shining brighter than ever. 

Sincerely, 

Overly Obsessive New Yorker

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Considering how much I romanticize everything, it is safe to say I was set out to conquer my castle in New York City. True to its nature, this castle was not an easy one. After three attempts to try and get in, twice with an entourage, and once as a one man army, I failed, not because I wasn’t worthy of it, but because it was……..being reconstructed.

The day that I went to check out Albertine, the store was closed for lunch, so I had about an hour to kill. I was an explorer on a mission. True to my millennial explorer roots, I took out the only tool in my possession: Smart Phone with Google Maps. Once I had chosen the Explore nearby option, I had to read the name thrice to confirm that I it was indeed Belvadere Castle that I was looking at; ten minutes from where I was. But I was not going to be foolish this time, I looked up articles to make sure the castle was open (Thank you, Time Out, New York).

Oh, what a great feeling it was, to see the Belvedere, stand tall, showing off, nonchalant amongst the skyscrapers.

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The viewing deck at the top of the castle offers panoramic views of Central Park. It is a great spot for children and adults alike, and for romantics like me, it is just another way to live our imaginations.

A big thanks to my main girl Simran Mehta for the best recommendations, always!

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4. Governor’s Island

     If you ever catch yourself feeling bored in New York, you are not doing something right. If the city in itself wasn’t enough, Governor’s Island, formerly used for military installations during the American Revolutionary War, is  now open to the public to have a day filled with activities. From renting a surrey to relaxing on a hammock, Governor’s Island is the picnic spot you did not know you needed. Approximately 800 yards from Manhattan, the round trip costing $3 from Pier 11/ Wall Street Station is a 7 Minute ferry ride. I would recommend carrying some food and anything (Frisbee, Football, Board Games) you might enjoy with the company you are going with.

And like me, if you never get tired of the Manhattan skyline, this is yet another place that will give you abundance of those spectacular views!

 

Our totally epic ride!

 

 

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If riding the surrey wasn’t enough workout, taking this miniature hike is totally worth it!

5. NYPL + Bryant Park 

    If there is a place in New York that I will never get tired of going, it would be the Rose Main Reading Room (pictured below(R) )  at the New York Public Library (I know, of all things?!) It’s the space where I find my calm, gives me space for my writing and doodling and for those of you who may not know, Christopher Robin’s real toys that shot to popularity with Winnie The Pooh, have found a home at the NYPL (the excitement was very real guys!) When I walk out of the library I tend to walk to Bryant Park which is right next to it (and every cell inside me tries to control the urge to walk through the park to go to Whole Foods).

 

I feel Bryant Park deserves a lot more credit than it gets. Movie Nights in Bryant Park is a HELL YES! To make the experience more fancy, you have wine offered by Chandon (and comfy pillows that come with it: Stole a couple for my room..Sshh…) And excellent spot to catch the sunset and the insane colors that New York transforms into!

P.S. Ideal date spot 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Bitting into the Big Apple – Part II

Add yours

  1. I love this, Rachna! All of my favourite places too – next time you have some free time and if you haven’t been here already, take the Roosevelt Island tram from Manhattan and explore there – it takes 5 mins to get there from Queens, I believe, and it is so worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Simran ! Thank you so much darling ! And as always , for the recommendations !

      And yes , I have been meaning to do Roosevelt Island , but haven’t gotten around to it !

      Aye aye captain !

      Like

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