New York has always been on the very top of my list of places to visit. It probably has to do with the many movies and shows we see on TV that take place in NYC. It also has a lot to do with the architecture, the art scene, and the food. So when I got there I really had to pinch myself to believe I was actually in Manhattan!
I’ve spent 4 beautiful and full days in the city, with my boyfriend. We really tried to make the most of it and for just four days I am pretty satisfied with all the things we got to see. We will definitely have to come back soon, but for now this will have to do.
And since there are so many beautiful things I want to talk about here, I decided to take you on my trip day by day. Here’s what we did on our very first day in the Big Apple (I’m sorry, I really had to say that, I know it’s cheesy).
1. Brooklyn and Pizza di Fara
We arrived in New York on a late Friday evening. We were really tired so we just grabbed something to eat near our Brooklyn AirBnB and then hit the bed.
First thing next morning, after having breakfast at our lovely AirBnB, we went for a Brooklyn adventure to meet a friend for pizza at diFara. It was our first subway ride and we found it… better than we expected. The neighbourhood is charming with beautiful architecture and it was so free on Saturday at noon.
Pizza at diFara was delicious! I will talk more about on a post dedicated especially to food in New York, but if you are in the area you have to try it! There are a lot of famous “must-try” pizza places in NYC, so don’t go running after a specific one. I would keep the highest rated ones in mind and stop by one that’s in my area.
I would have loved to spend more time in Brooklyn, see Bushwick and its famous murals, but that will have to wait until next time.
There really isn’t anything like Manhattan and that’s a feeling that strikes you the moment you get there. We rode the subway to Manhattan so the impact was even bigger. Because we left Brooklyn with houses and small buildings and when we exited the subway station we were surrounded by skyscrapers. We let out some oohs and aahs before we were able to make sense of it and move on.
I really loved so much the architecture, the huge buildings, the contrast between concrete, blue or black glass and granite. It’s fascinating and something like nothing else I’ve ever seen. I was especially impressed with the CBS Building at 51 West 52nd Street, also called the Black Rock. Its dark granite cladding was how it got this name and the way the sun shone on it made it seem like it was floating among the other skyscrapers.
The 6th Avenue was partially closed for some sort of street fair where I grabbed a scarf for $5 because I was freezing! Totally worth it 🙂
3. MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art
This was definitely the highlight of my trip. Both my parents are talented at drawing, with my mother being a painter. So there’s always been an artistic interest in my house growing up. My grandfather would hand us painting albums instead of other books when we were little. So being able to stand in front of some of my favorite paintings that I had seen only in albums until then was a dream come true!
I was so deeply moved to stand in front of Les Demoiselles D’Avignon by Picasso – I must have stood 30 minutes on the bench in front of it. I literally couldn’t believe it! And I never expected it to be that big. I was just as moved by The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondrian’s Trafalgar Square and Broadway Boogie Woogie and Claude Monet’s Water Lilies to name just a few.
If you love art, you want to spend as much time as possible at MoMA. But with only 4 days in the city and a lot of things to see I spent an hour or so on the main exhibition and then quickly went through the rest of them.
Another wonderful surprise was the Brancusi exhibition on the first floor of the museum. There’s such a deep sense of pride to see a Romanian artist being celebrated. And Brancusi is one of our greatest, so seeing his work there and so many people admiring it was unique.
4. Central Park
From MoMA, we wanted to make a pit stop in central Park. We were lucky that it was such a beautiful, sunny day and we got there just in time for the golden hour. I wish we had spent more than the hour there, but we were super tired and just wanted to get back home in time for dinner.
However, we enjoyed our time there so much. Central Park seems like a wonderful oasis of green and nature in the middle of a concrete jungle. We saw a couple of weddings there and as we were climbing a small hill someone was singing Tales as Old as Time by flute – dreamy!
5. 5th Avenue
After a brief visit to Central Park, we decided to walk a little through the famous 5th Avenue en route to the subway that would take us back to our AirBnB in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
We did a little window shopping at Coach – where we were greeted by a huge dinosaur made of coach bags, Armani and I couldn’t possibly miss Tiffany’s! Of course, I couldn’t touch anything there lol, but it was a fun experience.
And that is how our first day in New York City concluded. With a cinnamon apple bagel and a cuddle with Honey and Biscuit, our host’s two adorable chihuahuas.
Stay tuned for day 2: Chelsea Market, the High Line, Chelsea Neighbourhood, Flatiron Building and Times Square.
But until then check out Adriana’s last article on impressions of an Eastern European in US.