This post is coming to you from somewhere between Los Angeles and Brisbane, at about 50000 feet in the air. I have spent the last two weeks living it up in what has become without-a-doubt my favourite city, New York. It was definitely not your typical relaxing holiday, but I have come back feeling a different kind of rejuvenated - refreshed, inspired, and ready to take 2017 head on.
We touched down on the evening of Boxing Day, and no matter how tiring 24 hours of travel can be, nothing will bring you back to life like the intense energy and buzz of the city. We made our way to the Sixty Soho, a boutique hotel hidden in a rare sleepy street of NYC, before stopping in at Jack's Wife Frieda, a tiny but bustling restaurant for our first meal of many.
The next 10 days were jam-packed with shopping, museum browsing, bar hopping, and copious amounts of food.
The amount on offer in a city like New York can be overwhelming to say the least, (and several times on our trip my Dad had to remind me that you could live here for 2 years and still not see all it has to offer). So, to help any of you future-travellers make the most of all your New York Minutes, I've comprised a little list of my favourite eats and activities.
RedFarm - Delicious chinese food at communal tables. The Pacman dumplings are almost too cute to eat. Almost.
Balthazar - Crusty bread, escargot, red wine. 'Nuff said.
Nobu - Hands down the best Japanese I've ever had. The Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalepeno is a must, and is even better with a glass of Sancerre.
Katz' Deli - Famously featured in When Harry met Sally. The portions are huge and quintessentially American. We went for Pastrami and swisse, with a side pickles (duh).
SaraBeth's - The perfect pick-me-up after a long day of shopping on fifth avenue, or a stroll through central park.
Jacks Wife Frieda - Healthy and delicious. If you're there for breakfast, the cantaloupe juice is a must, and for dinner the greek salad is the bomb.
The Butcher's Daughter - A perfect break from holiday overindulging. I opted for a wellness shot and a fruit bowl.
Buvette - A seriously tiny french bistro, serving up classics like croquet madame, or waffles with piles of berries. Warning to fellow long-legged peeps: the tables are SMALL.
SweetChick - Think Soul Food like chicken and waffles doused in maple syrup, or bacon strips the size of your head. Super fatty, SUPER delicious.
Magnolia Bakery - The smell alone of this bakery is enough to make me drool. My personal fave is the cookie bar, and you can't go wrong with a classic cupcake.
The Mandarin Oriental - For a view of New York that rivals the empire state building, this is your bar. Go at around 4pm to see the sun set over Central Park.
The Wythe Hotel - Follow up a day in Brooklyn at the Wythe rooftop bar. Stunning 360 degree views, and a really cool vibe.
Mr Purple - Located on the LES, Mr Purple comes alive in summer. But, if you're around in winter like us, its still worth a visit - if not for the skyline view, then for the Vueve Clicquot Spritz.
Guggenheim, MOMA, The Met - All three are must do's, and great for trying to escape wet weather. Be warned though, crowds at galleries can be brutal on rainy days.
The Highline - A relaxing, picturesque walk through Chelsea. Follow it up with lunch at the Chelsea Markets, and maybe an afternoon at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Chelsea Markets - So. Much. Food. We grabbed a kale salad from Chalait to save room for doughnuts from Doughnuttery. Healthy.
The Subway - Not exactly a sight, but if you can work it out, the subway definitely makes getting around the city a lot easier. Plus its cheaper than a cab, and you're gonna need all that money you save for shopping.
Broadway - Catching a show on Broadway is the perfect way to round out a day in New York. We saw Matilda and Book of Mormon this time.
Brooklyn Bridge - For a scenic walk and stunning views of the Hudson. At the end, catch a cab to Williamsburg and spend the day wandering the neighbourhood, full of quirky shops and good coffee.
Times Square - Call me cliché, but did you really go to New York if you didn't go to Times Square? When we eventually braved the crowds, it started snowing as soon we stepped off the subway. It doesn't really get more surreal than that.
COMME des GARÇONS
Now you'll have to excuse me, I have about a kilo of tamari almonds to snack on, and about 80 hours of sleep to catch up on before we land.
Kirsty xx zzzzzz........