New York City, baby! Man, there is an energy in this city unlike no other place. You can feel it as soon as you get near. You can feel it as soon as you step foot on any street, this city is alive. Just being there and being a part of it, that’s a very special experience. It was almost like being a kid at Christmas, almost giddy as it set in that we were actually standing in NYC. After almost 2 years of planning, 20 some years of dreaming, and a long ass 13 hour bus ride we final made it!
Both of us have always wanted to come here, I myself have always dreamed of living here. Sure, it’s packed with millions of people, and for someone with anxiety it’s basically my worst nightmare. But, somehow it’s different, somehow being here, being swept up in the excitement of it all, anxiety just isn’t an issue. In fact, there’s something about traveling in general that allowed me to put anxiety aside and finally live in the moment But, that’s a subject for another post.
This was the first stop on our adventure, our flight for Copenhagen was scheduled to depart at 10 and we had to get back to JFK by 7. We had about 8 hours to explore one of the largest cities in the world. After dropping our luggage off at the airport, we grabbed the subway to Manhattan and hopped off at 5th Ave and 53rd St. Since we had so little time we decided to check out Central Park, Times Square, The Theatre District and everything we could squeeze in along the way. If we had wanted to spend more money we could have definitely visited more of the city, but… New York is expensive, and we were not trying to spend a lot right off the rip.
We made our way up one of the most iconic streets in New York, 5th Avenue. With the exception of a couple others like, Broadway and 7th Ave, there is no more recognizable street in NYC, it has become the face of the city to the world. Everywhere we looked there was something we recognized. It was hard not to be amazed as we gazed up at the sky, trying to take in everything. We could have walked up and down 5th all day, going in and out of countless places, but time was limited and we could only do so much.
Here’s a few things we did manage to squeeze in, and a few we’ll be going back for.
Empire State Building
The most recognizable building in the NYC skyline. Standing 102 stories high, you can get one of the best views of the city here. You have two observations decks to choose from, either the 86th floor or, if you’re feeling gutsy, the 102nd floor. Unfortunately it’s not free, you can check out the price break down here, http://www.esbnyc.com/buy-tickets.
So, I’m not going to get into all the controversies surrounding this building, right now. That being said, it is a pretty interesting place to check out, once you get inside and to the top of the lobby, looking down below is a great view. Best of all, it’s actually free to go in and check the lobby and restaurants out, The restaurants are pricey to say the least, for the budget traveler this is not the best place to eat. Just be careful finding the restrooms, if you go the wrong way guards will escort you back to the escalators…
Saks Fifth Ave
Probably the most well known spot on 5th Ave for shopping, and possibly all of NYC. You may even spot a celebrity or two shopping here.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Located across from Rockefeller Center, this Roman Catholic cathedral is absolutely beautiful. It’s open to the public during the day and is worth peeking your head in. Just remember to always be respectful if you’re visiting, some people are there for prayer, not sight seeing.
Make sure you have plenty of time to explore this historic location. The Center is actual a giant 22 acre, combination of 20 other commercial buildings and spans 2 city blocks from 48th to 51st. The original buildings in the center were done in the ArtDeco style, which I freaking love. We definitely want to go back when we have kids to check out the annual tree lighting.
Across from The Grand Army Plaza is the Apple Store and is absolutely nerd heaven. If you’re into everything Apple, or just into tech stuff, this is a must see. I mean, just look at it! During the 2017 year, the store has been under going major renovations, with the glass cube being completely replaced. Looks like by the time we get back, it will be a whole new store and whole new experience all over again. Yay! And, if you’re not an Apple fan, you can go down the street to the Microsoft store to get your fix.
Go in here and get lost in multicolored plastic madness. Shop for long lost pieces from one of their numerous bins. Or build your very own master in the construction area. We didn’t go in the New York Lego store, but little did we know this would be the first of many more that we would find all over the world!
We could have spent our whole day and our whole budget on 5th Ave. With all there is to see around 5th Avenue, you could potentially plan a whole trip for the one street! Next time we get to go to New York, hopefully it will be for a longer stay and we will be able to explore more. Until then, we’re just glad we got to have the experience, it was amazing. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite Fifth Avenue sights below!
Next up: A Romantic Walk Through Central Park