A 4 day weekend in NYC

A 4 day weekend in NYC

I was 13 years old when I asked my mom if I could use my babysitting money for a subscription to New York Magazine. I put my hard earned cash into those little envelopes the magazine companies would send out with a free magazine hoping to entice you to fifty others. I checked the box for New York Magazine and eagerly awaited its arrival.

The pictures and the city splashed across its glossy pages were unlike anything I had ever seen growing up in rural Minnesota. I was enamored. Urban sprawl and lights and fashion. Everything was happening in New York. I naively began researching boarding schools hoping I could find one with cheap enough tuition for the middle class white girl from Minnesota. When that didn’t work out, I set my sights on Columbia University. Reality set in my senior year when I actually had to apply to colleges and none of my applications were sent Columbia or NYU’s way.

No, it wasn’t until much later at twenty-four years old when I was Skyping my good friend who had gone to college on Long Island and I decided I was just going to make this happen. I was going to see New York City with her as my tour guide since she still worked on the Island. We booked the tickets and the lodging, planned our daily itineraries, and off I went Memorial Day Weekend of 2016.

Stepping off the subway in Manhattan the first time after riding it from where we stayed in Queens will be forever engraved in my memory. It was like the pictures of the magazine jumping off the page and surrounding me. Bryant Park where they once held fashion week, the New York Public Library from the Day After Tomorrow, Fifth avenue’s designer stores where the wealthy shopped. It was all real. As were the busy, head down, scrambling to their next destinations New Yorkers and the awe-struck, staring at the buildings scraping the heavens tourists like myself. The character of the city took my breath away. The infamous buildings and streets used in so many movies and television shows. The expansiveness of it all; from a bird’s eye view the city spread out for miles upon miles. We attempted to conquer as much of it as we could in three and a half days with 90 degrees and some serious humidity.

For lodging – we had a great experience with our Airbnb in Queens. Definitely felt safe and it was cheap. For my night alone, I opted for a hotel I’d absolutely recommend and stay in again – the Archer Hotel just south of Midtown. Fantastic customer service from all the staff. Great roof top bar. Centrally located. Very clean. Especially awesome bartenders who were friendly and chatty with the party of one Washington girl despite how busy it was.

Before sharing my itinerary, I’ll note that I hadn’t seen my friends in YEARS, so a lot of our evenings were spent at our Airbnb catching up instead of out of the town. This weekend plan could definitely take advantage of more of the night life, and it could could even squeeze in more of the tourist staples – Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, etc. But for me personally, strolling the streets and taking the city in was often more than enough.

A Long Weekend in New York City

Day One

  • Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center
  • Brunch
  • Times Square
  • Afternoon Broadway play
  • Midtown exploring
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Back to Woodside for the most epic pizza in Queens (I’ll have a whole post devoted to the food, don’t you worry)

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Day Two

  • Upper East Side
  • Central Park
  • Natural History Museum
  • Midtown for late lunch/dessert
  • Back into Central Park for a nap
  • Happy hour at a rooftop bar

 

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Day Three

  • Walking the highline
  • Greenwich Village exploring
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Subway to Brooklyn
  • Exploring the Brooklyn Bridge park area
  • Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Little Italy
  • Chinatown
  • Archer Hotel for check in / relaxation
  • Drinks and dinner solo at the Skyglass Rooftop Bar

 

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Day Four

  • Bryant Park
  • Upper West Side and Central Park
  • Brunch & a pickleback shot with a college friend + more exploring of the Upper West Side
  • Back to where it began with exploring the New York Public Library
  • Late afternoon flight -> Back to the hotel to grab my bags -> to Grand Central station via train to Jamica/JFK shuttle -> goodbye New York

 

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The perfect little weekend in NYC. A weekend I am too eager to recreate again soon. I did come to terms with the fact that although the city was amazing to visit, I actually don’t regret not living there. Conversations about rent, the job market, and congestion worse than the Seattle area pretty much sealed that deal.

A lovely place to visit, but I’ll keep it that way. Hopefully again and again and again.

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”
― Tom Wolfe

 

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