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Thursday, March 28, 2019

52 Hours in New York City Travel Diary

I'm back from my whirlwind weekend in New York City! While my body is still recovering from all of the miles, food, and cocktails, I really could not have asked for a better weekend away. This trip came at the perfect time for me as March was a very hectic month. It was an amazing way to finish out my birthday month and, in typical New York fashion, has me back home feeling better and ready to tackle the coming weeks.

My best friend, Chaneya, and I booked this trip on a total whim after our friend, Rachel, called us in the first couple of days in March and invited us to come to New York to help ring in her 30th birthday. We were so excited about the opportunity to go to New York and, after discussing the financial and work aspects of the trip, we decided to go for it! This was another moment where that saving challenge I've talked about here and here really came in handy because I've been saving money every week for the past several months. Without further due, here is how we spent 52 hours in New York City!


Chaneya and I were really lucky to both find really affordable flights out of Atlanta and Greensboro Friday morning that arrived at LaGuardia Airport in New York within 15 minutes of each other. We book our flights straight from the American Airlines app, which we wouldn't normally do, but the prices were too good to pass up.


Chaneya and I knew we wanted to stay in an Airbnb. We've used this website to book on a couple of other trips and really like being able to experience the neighborhood we're staying in, which doesn't always happen in a hotel. Plus, a room for the two of us on Airbnb is much more cost-effective than booking a hotel because we really only planned to be in our room to sleep and get ready. We found a room in an apartment in Brooklyn for about $50 per night. We did both say that next time we go we will stay in Manhattan because the commute across the bridge won't be as long, but for our first time it was a good way to learn how to use the subway and know how to get around more easily that we might have otherwise.


After arriving Friday morning we spent most of the day getting from the airport to the apartment where we were staying. We took the Q70 bus from the airport to the subway, then the F and A trains to Brooklyn to the apartment. It was about an hour or so ride from start to finish, but it gave us some time to finalize our plans for Saturday before we went to Rachel's birthday dinner. When we got to Brooklyn we relaxed for, what ended up being, a very short amount of time before getting ready for dinner. Rachel had her birthday dinner party at Red Rooster in Harlem, which was delicious. We had so many o'dourves and each platter was better than the previous one. We were really happy to have been a part of Rachel's 30th Birthday celebration. Rachel, Chaneya, Krislyn, and I became close friends by chance after blindly rooming together our senior year of college. We had the greatest dynamic in our "household" and everyday was like a family reunion. There was never a short of people walking through our always unlocked door, always good food to be eaten (thanks Rach!), and always, always tons of laughs and foolery taking place! And you'd never know time has passed since we've seen each other; it was literally like we just been together last week when we reunited and picked up where we left off!

Saturday morning we hit the ground running! We were in Manhattan by 9:15 for breakfast at NoMo Kitchen in Soho. The breakfast was sooo good and the aesthetic of the restaurant was so pretty I can even put it into words so here are a couple of photos instead:
After breakfast we did a little bit of shopping at H&M and Zara in Soho before walking to Lower Manhattan to visit the 911 Memorial. This was highly recommended to us by a friend and since Chaneya and I are both old enough to remember that day we really wanted to see the memorial. It was a gorgeous memorial, but also a very surreal experience to think about all of the tragedy that had taken place on the very ground we were standing on.

Next, we hoped on the subway and headed uptown to go to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. The observatory deck has some of the best view of the entire city and you might remember from my trip to Skyspace LA last year how much I love being up so high and being able to see everything. The Top of the Rock did not disappoint either. The views were breathtaking and one of the coolest parts is that the Top of the Rock has 3 levels to its observatory deck so if you go to the highest one you are literally standing on top of Rockefeller Center! I highly recommend going to the observatory deck when you're in New York.

After a little more shopping and a trip to the Nike House of Innovation, we headed back to Soho to go to the Color Factory, which is a 16 room, interactive art installation. I'll have a whole post about that experience because it was so much fun and Chaneya and I took so many photos that this post would go on forever! Look out for that one next week. We capped off Saturday night with, what turned out to be, a surprise birthday dinner for Rachel in Brooklyn. Her family rented a space and hired a chef who made New Orleans style shrimp and grits and gumbo along with king's cake and creme brulee. The foodie inside me was living her best life this weekend!

On our last day in New York Chaneya and I got up early, once again, and took the subway from our apartment to the Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and took lots of pictures. This was such an amazing weekend getaway and finishing the trip with the Brooklyn Bridge was a great was to cap it off! I can't tell you enough how much fun Chaneya and I had and how memories we came home with! This trip was also exactly what I needed to close out the month of March. We've been bitten by the New York bug for sure, and are already planning our next adventure for the summer!



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