TLE Travels: My Favorite NYC Locations
I am an east coast girl through and through. And very proud of it. More specifically I am a Brooklyn, Ny raised girl. And damn proud of it. Ok now that I got my boasting out of the way. Basically, no matter where I am living New York City is home. Currently I am living in Northern California 7 months out of the year, the rest is spent back in New York. Every summer I get excited to explore the city that I love, that seems to be always changing. New York can be an overwhelming city to visit, there is so much to see and do. I think that is the main reasons why tourist stick to the usual top attractions and locals keep the rest of the city to themselves. For me personally, as much as I want to explore new parts of the city, I tend to navigate to the same four areas. Here are my top four favorite parts of New York.
There is not a day that goes by when I am not thinking about my beloved union square. The energy, the culture, the food, you can't go wrong with this hub of entertainment. Not to mention it the best place to people watch local New Yorkers. You can walk to fifth avenue, make your way to Soho, or explore the many floors of Barnes and Nobles. Not to mention, my favorite Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Market is located in Union Square. Like the coffee shop in the show Friends, Saigon is our go to place, to eat,shop and enjoy our city.
I.Love.Shopping.Period. And fifth avenue is your girls best friend. Every clothing and home decor store you need is along fifth avenue. Whats not to love.
A few years ago my besty took me governors island ( a place I didn't know existed ) and its been pure bliss since then. Governors island is an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are no cars, no stores, and more importantly no crowds. If you are looking for a relaxing day trip where you can nap under the trees in quiet, or fall asleep on a hammock this is the place. Not to mention the 360 view of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skyline, as well as views of lady liberty. Goveners island is a short fairy ride into blissful heaven.
Brooklyn bridge/Brooklyn bridge park.
To be fair Brooklyn bridge park is a new find for me. Ive always known it existed but never really ventured into the DUMBO area until recently. Or I should say I never ventured at night which is the best time to go. Decorated with white Christmas lights, and lined with food vendors Brooklyn bridge park is Brooklynites favorite summer hang out spot. Brooklyn bridge park sits right on the water, under the Brooklyn bridge with views of Manhattan...so basically its an amazing place to be. Dumbo is also an amazing area by itself, with cobbled stone streets, and the old industrial buildings original to the city. There is so much history in the Brooklyn area and the streets of dumbo is no less awe inspiring than its Manhattan neighbor.
Bonus- My least favorite part of New York
Why so crowded Times Square, why so crowded? I know, I know its tourist central and I legit get it. However because I've been there and done that I avoid that place at all cost. If you are a first timer to the city it is a must. However if you are visiting for the second, third or dare I say fourth time, there is no need to crowd the streets anymore. There are plenty of places to explore with half the crowd size. Might I also add that downtown LA can't hold a candle to Times Square, not even close.
34th Street Harold Square
Once again, why so crowded. I worked on 34th street for a summer and I dreaded it every day. Like Times Square there is a steady stream of crowds throughout the entire day, even at night as people often go into the area to view the city from the top of the Empire State building. If you are visiting, no matter if you are new to the city or you've been before the Empire State building view from the top is worth the crowds.
Tips and Tricks for new or repeat visitors to New York City.
1. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge. The view from the bridge is amazing. Start on the Brooklyn side and walk over to Manhattan.
2.Get an unlimited metro card. More than likely you will be traveling the subway. Getting an unlimited is smarter than constantly standing in line to top up your card. Trust me you will be happy when you don't have to stand in those lines.
3.New york is very humid in the summer months, plan your days according to the weather. If its going to be a scorcher spend the day in one of the many great museums. By late evening the day usually cools off and is more bearable to walk around in.
4. The best time to visit New York, June-August, and December during the Christmas season. Christmas in New York is absolutely amazing, and due to global warming (yes global warming is real) we haven't had heavy snow fall in December in years. Anytime after New Years to early spring there is a change of multiple blizzards or heavy snow fall. Early fall is also hurricane season and the heavy rain can put a damper on walking around the city.
5.Get an MTA subway and bus app. Recently I saw tourist using an MTA paper map, yes you've read correctly, a paper map. I almost laughed out loud. Nothing screams look at me I'm a clueless tourist like pulling out a giant map. Get an app it is so much easier than a map. Or use the platform maps, or in train maps located in every train car. Lastly when in doubt ask someone. Despite popular misconceptions, New Yorkers will yell at you if you ask a question. We will point you in the right direction. Trust me we do not bite.