a whirlwind trip to New York

2018, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

I don’t know if you’ve seen from all over my social media but I’ve recently returned from a trip to New York! I went with my university so there was a couple of journalism related activities but it was mostly three and a half days of manically rushing around trying to fit in as many as stereotypically touristy stops as we could.

I just wanted to give a little summary of what we did.

On Monday we got to the West Side YMCA hostel that we were staying in by about 4pm after 14 hours of travelling, we had a couple of hours to sort ourselves out and freshen up before we headed to Times Square! On the way there we’d passed Hard Rock Cafe and on a whim we decided to go for dinner there. We got our photo taken and suddenly we were looking at a menu and eating the biggest meals we’ve ever had and taking far too long trying to figure out the bill.

I 100% look completely washed out and like I travelled over 3000 miles that morning but I just love it – what a great group of humans in a really cool place!

 

We walked to Target after Dinner and bought a few snacks then tried to figure out the subway. We went in the wrong direction at first but we got back eventually.

The next day was the biggest day we had – we went to The Smiths round the corner from the hostel for breakfast and then we ticked off a lot of things we wanted to do:

  1. The 9/11 Ground Zero Memorial
  2. Got a large drink from Wendys (it was a bucket)
  3. Staten Island Ferry and Statue of Liberty
  4. Rockefeller Centre ‘Top of the Rock’
  5. Nintendo Store
  6. Hershey Store
  7. Disney Store
  8. A variety of New York tack gift stores
  9. Shake Shack for dinner
  10. More tack shops on the way back to the hostel

The 9/11 museum is not a happy place and it’s not really enjoyable, at all, just because of the subject but the memorial itself is stunning and I think it’s something anyone that goes to New York should do – it’s so powerful and you really don’t get a sense of the scale until you go, so I thoroughly recommend it.

Shake Shack has also changed my life – the burger was so good I nearly cried it was just incredible. I’ve been to the London one in Covent Garden before but I’ve got to go back and soon because oh my god I need more Shake Shack burgers in my life.

It was a super busy day but I loved it, New York is such a beautiful city and I’m so astounded by it, all those tall building and skylines – it really is the concrete jungle that never sleeps. When we were looking for the Rockefeller Centre we were a bit lost and an absolutely gorgeous old lady wearing florescent pink hat asked us if we needed any help and she could tell we were disorientated because we were standing still – “people don’t stop in New York”. She was incredible.

Wednesday was a much calmer, more university orientated day – we went to Starbucks for breakfast (oh my god there are a million Starbucks in NY) and then went to a digital marketing company called Search Labs which were based in this really cool communal office environment called wework. It was really interesting to talk to them and learn more about PR and marketing and especially to see it as an international company based in a country that isn’t the one I’ve grown up in.

After that we headed to the United Nations, where we were meeting with a journalist for a chat and doing a tour. We travelled via Grand Central Station (which was stunning but surprisingly dark) and then went through the really intense security at the UN. We went on a tour of the UN and it was super interesting – I didn’t know much before we went and it was just so inspiring to see this massive corporation trying to bring peace, development and basic human kindness to the world in a somewhat realistic way. The tour guide was incredibly knowledgable and it was a good afternoon. That evening, everyone else went to a basketball game in Brooklyn but sport isn’t my thing, so I went back to the hostel, sorted everything out and did most of my packing.

Thursday was our last day – I got up super early to have a shower and finish packing, then a group of 17 of us headed to IHOP which was genuinely wonderful. I had the dark chocolate and something pancakes (I probably should have made note) and again, I think I could have cried with how much I loved those pancakes. They were incredible.

From there, Thursday was the day of ticking off the last things we wanted to do before we flew home – so we took a lot of photos from Brooklyn Bridge, headed back to the Empire State Building just to see it in person, walked round to Macy’s where Liane and I sat in the sunshine just chatting for an hour and it was genuinely lush, wondered round Sephora, had one last look in Target (where they had a really good deal on Instax cameras so I may have picked one up…) and then went to Umpire Rock in Central Park.

And we were back at uni by midday on Friday. It was a whirlwind trip and felt more like a recce for a longer trip to be done in the future but it was incredible. I’ve already been looking into other trips and cities I can visit because the travelling bug has been caught – I want to go everywhere.

My advice for anyone who’s going on a shorter trip to New York is to know what you want to do before you go and then have some additional ideas if you find yourself with extra time – my friends and I had an itinerary provided by the university to work with and then we put our own ideas in amongst what was already scheduled. It was really helpful to have a vague sort of plan before we even left the UK.

For packing tips, I just uploaded a video to my YouTube channel about how I packed for this trip so if you’re interested you can watch that here!

Hopefully this year, I’ll be able to do a couple of other city breaks – I should be going to Paris with my boyfriend in the early summer, I’d love to go up to Edinburgh and explore properly, there’s lots of places on my list (I can write a whole blog post about it if people want that?) but I’m just taking it a trip at a time.

For more pictures, I did a NY photography post while I was there so you can read that here! If you want to know any more about specific stuff I did on the trip (or any recommendations for when I go back!) then let me know, all my socials are linked below!

Thank you for reading (even though this post is super long),

Sophie xx

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let me show you: New York

2018, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

As you read this and as I write this, I’m in New York City! It’s my first time in the USA, I think this is the start of a lot of trips and travelling and seeing new places and I can’t wait.

So while I’m out here I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself to have to write a blog post, because I’m only here for four days and I want to make the most of it. But I’ve taken a whole bunch of photos I want to share and I thought this would be the best place to share them all!

I’ve tried to do a photography series before and it was a bit forced so I’m hoping this will be a bit more relaxed but I like this little series title – so, let me show you New York.

Day 1 was an awful lot of ‘omg look how tall these buildings are’ and I’m still not over it and it’s the end of Day 3! I’m not sure what buildings these are to be quite honest, but the weather was SO NICE on the first day! Day 2 was foggy and wow, we’ll get to Day 3

 

I still don’t know what buildings these are but the plane was flying over and it made me think of that photography competition where someone photoshopped a plane into a picture and won like thousands of dollars worth of equipment. This isn’t photoshopped I promise but the association makes me laugh and I actually really like this picture lol

Times Square was absolutely beautiful, I could have quite happily sat on the stairs and watched it get dark. But we’ve only got three and a half days here so no time to loose!

After Times Square, we went to Hard Rock Cafe NYC and it was incredible – the food was great, I bought myself a very expensive hoodie (because I fell in love) and and took this photo I’m really pleased with even though it’s portrait

On Day 2, we went to the 9/11 Ground Zero Museum. This was very surreal with me because the day the planes flew into the Twin Towers was my 5th birthday. The memorial of both towers are absolutely stunning but my friends found someone with my surname and it hit harder than I thought. The staff at the museum put a white rose around each name on their birthday. I don’t know how old Christian H. Maltby would have been on March 20th, but I hope he’s at peace.

The 9/11 museum isn’t somewhere I wanted to take photos – I watched and listened and read and engaged and thought very deeply on the trip and it wasn’t enjoyable, per say, but I recommend anyone who visits New York to go because I don’t think you can truly grasp the scale till you see it. It’s just astonishing how much was salvaged and collected to form this remembrance memorial and I think it’s really important that we remember events like this so we can do as much as we can to prevent them in the future. That got deep. 9/11 Museum was intense.

Right so we went to Staten Island but the Island itself was actually not great because we couldn’t see the Statue so this was taken on the ferry ride back. She was further away than expected so the photos aren’t what I had in mind but she was pretty incredible. If (when) I come back to New York I definitely want to go to Ellis Island to get a bit closer.

Tried to get a selfie with Lady Liberty, this is the best I could get – it was either you could see my face or see her so, we can all see what I picked.

Portrait mode is my favourite thing, I actually adore this photo other than for the fact that I look so uncomfortable it’s laughable (it was to the bone freezing, to be fair)

I am actually in love with this skyline photo – I want to play around with it on photoshop just to brighten it up and make it a little less grey but I’m genuinely obsessed with this

A little story: basically I’m really dumb and I didn’t realise I was taking a photo of the Empire State building because we thought another building was the Empire State but then I found this. This view from the top of the Rockerfella Centre was absolutely stunning – this was meant to be sunset time and I hope next time I come to New York it’s less foggy and I can actually see it all at sunset!

I just found this funny that I tried to take a picture with the backdrop of New York but the depth of field on my camera was too good and it looks rubbish

The photo on my phone was slightly better!

Next stop was the Nintendo NY store and this lil Pikachu was so cute I just had to take a picture of it

I didn’t take many pictures at the UN because I was quite wrapped up in listening to the tour but I saw this view out the window and had to capture it. And yes, it may look like it’s raining but no that is heavy snow and it was snowing heavily literally all day long. Fingers crossed the predicted sun tomorrow means we can still get our flight tomorrow evening.

I couldn’t resist this picture as we were leaving the UN – I think it captures the snow better. After this I went back to the hostel to chill out for an evening and pack everything up.

Some of these were taken on my Canon EOS M10 and others on my phone, which is a OnePlus 5T. Interestingly, not all the best photos came from my camera. I hope you enjoyed the photos and little descriptions!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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