This is my aptly named trip report, as this was all of my friends and families reaction when I said we were going to New York, cue stories horror stories of crime, dirty hotels and streets and horrible people . . . Seriously, I am wondering if they went to the same place as me!
So, 'we' is myself and my partner who I shall name S, in our mid thirties. New York was not actually planned so to speak, we were looking for a short European city break and came across a glitch on American Airlines for direct Manchester to JFK flights £194 return (leaving on 31st March for a week), so in a matter of weeks with the help of the people on this forum, we had a trip planned. Special thanks to those that helped with my itinerary, the help in finding the Hotel New Yorker for $125 a night inc taxes, the Subway guide on here, and the recent forum posting 'how NY stole our hearts' which gave us even more to add in to our trip! I'll apologise now as I am probably the most descriptive and rambling person so if I go on, just tell me to shut up!!
Day 1 31st March 2014
Our flight from Manchester to JFK on AA was absolutely fine, the check-in lady noticed we weren't sitting together as there had been no free seats together when we picked them online and kindly moved us to sit next to one another. We took of promptly and arrived early into JFK. We were surprised to get our luggage and go through security in under 1 hour although we had a minor hold up after collecting our luggage when immigration wanted to inspect my main luggage and asked me to open it and I couldn't get the padlock off. There I was cursing buying cheap travel locks off Ebay when S reminded me I now had a different combination lock code as I had changed it. I felt a bit of a fool but it made the immigration men smile as they thought it was quite funny.
So, we grabbed a yellow cab outside JFK and if ever we needed an introduction to New York, it was the perfect blue sunny skies as we approached the Manhattan skyline. Our taxi took around 35 minutes and we arrived at the New Yorker around 2pm. Our room wasn't ready but they did store our cases and said they had a room with a view of the ESB and it would be ready around 3pm. We grabbed a map and decided to just 'walk' around and and try and find our feet a bit as it was such a nice day. We walked down 8th Av and kept stopping just to look up, we then just got comfortably lost and kept spotting things such as the library, Magnolia Bakery, the ice skating ring near Rockefeller, the Lego Shop, Times Square (in no particular order). I think we were that tired and overwhelmed that we probably walked miles without realising . . .
When we spotted the entrance to TOTR, we decided that we would return for sunset as the weather was just perfect and we didn't want to miss the good weather. I'd been checking it daily for the previous week and according to the weather we were due rain every day (thank god the weather forecast was wrong for most of our stay)! We headed back to the New Yorker and went up to our room, which did have an ESB view, albeit through scaffolding. Within 30 seconds there was the most unbearable noise of drilling/maintenance in the room next door. I went back down and asked for a different room and we were given 2751. It didn't have the ESB view, but it was huge, two double beds (we asked for a one-bedded room, so only used one bed) and two big windows that let in lots of light. We also had a view of the skyline and they bought up a coffee/tea machine for free and lots of posh 'pods'. I'd read reviews that said the rooms had no tea/coffee making facilities so I was quite suprised. I've done my review of the Hotel New Yorker already.
We had a quick refresh and headed for TOTR. This was by far the best day we could have picked for this. What a view, it was absolutely stunning and we must have been up there for a good couple of hours, from daylight to a gorgeous sunset/dusk and the lights coming on in all the buildings, the view of Central Park, it was just beautiful.
After this we were shattered and a little hungry. We headed back to the room grabbing a Subway which we ate in the room and finished unpacking.