Month: October 2014

Bright Lights, Big City


I recently came back from New York City for the second time in my life – which obviously is nowhere near enough times to visit it. It’s a place you could easily go to again and again.

If you haven’t been before, then below are my own personal observations on five must-do things if you’re stuck for ideas on where to start (not that you should be short on things to do in a place like that!)

Hope you find them useful…



5th Avenue

Because why wouldn’t you?

Whether you can only afford to window shop, have saved your hard-earned cash for a massive blow out or are lucky enough to be able to afford those kinds of things, a trip to 5th Avenue is a must. Stroll past the likes of Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada…I could go on. Even if you are only window shopping, the window displays are so incredible, you could happily stare at them all day.

If your budget doesn’t stretch that high-end, there’s still a Zara, H&M and Hollister (where things are a lot cheaper in here than they are in the UK!)

When you reach the top of 5th, it’s definitely worth a look in Bergdorf Goodman’s to see how the other half live or at least check out their amazing window displays. Or grab a Danish and stare in the windows of Tiffany’s, a la Holly Golightly. Stepping inside is a completely different experience altogether. On the ground floor, a single display case of jewellery is probably worth more than ten years’ worth of wages for the average person. The lifts are even manned by employees, so you don’t have to tire yourself out by pushing a button. It’s also a great place to people watch, sifting the real customers from the tourists and hazarding a guess at who their purchases might be for.


The Village

It might be controversial, but I’m going to just say it – I don’t like Times Square.

It’s done, it’s out there and I can’t take it back.

Twice I’ve been to New York now and the second time didn’t make me like Times Square any better. It’s definitely worth a look and an opportunity to say you’ve been there but I’m not one to stick around. It’s noisy, busy, commercial and you’re constantly being hassled to go on an open-top bus tour, go to a comedy night or have a picture taken with badly costumed cartoon character for money. But this is one expected view of New York – the busy, tourist-filled, traffic jam view.

If you can’t being doing with too much of this environment for extended periods of time, get yourself over to the West Village. Walking down the tree-lined streets without being barged into makes you feel like you’re in a completely different city. It’s full of bars, restaurants and some amazing shopping in Bleecker Street. Plus with the number of A-listers with homes in the area, it’s a great place to celeb spot.


Like moths being drawn to the glitzy lights, you can’t ignore the pull of Broadway. It’s like the West End on steroids and definitely worth a visit.

Before you go, check out what shows are available and who is staring in them because you can get some pretty big names doing a stint on the stage. With shows that you know are going to be very popular, it’s worth booking your tickets beforehand.

If you have a few hours to kill one evening and don’t mind what you see, it’s worth checking out the box offices to see who has cheap tickets going. On the most recent trip, I managed to get a Les Mis ticket for $57 (about £35) and it was worth every penny.


Some Kind of Tour

Ok, so you’re in the Big Apple and you want to come across as cool and chic, maybe not advertising that you’re a tourist. That’s all well and good, but maybe shove a couple of cheesy tourist things in the mix too. A great to do this is with a tour.

The options are limitless. Where you decide to purchase a ticket for the hop on-hop off bus from one of the many, many guys on street corners or want to go a little more tailored, then it is a good way to get around and see things you maybe wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

Check out On Location Tours ( to see they do a coach tour revolving around your favourite TV show. I can personally vouch for the Sex and the City bus tour – it’s fun and it includes pizza, cupcakes and cocktails!

Going further a field, there’s always the option to do a ferry cruise to check out the sites – Manhattan is an island after all.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner

If you like:-

  1. A) Musicals
  2. B) Glee
  3. C) Food
  4. D) Fun
  5. E) All of the above

then you will definitely love Ellen’s Stardust Diner.

Located on Broadway, it’s a retro-styled diner where all the food has a  fun name and the portion sizes are massive. But the main attraction is the wait-staff. All with their sights set on Broadway stardom, they take it in turns to get up and sing to the diners between serving the food. It’s pure unadulterated fun, if a little on the cheesy side. They’ll do requests and cover quite a range of songs, belting out each tune with everything they’ve got. Basically, if you go in there and don’t crack a smile, you are probably dead inside.

If you don’t go for the music, at least go for the dessert menu. Check out the size of the Wicked cake. It took me two separate sessions to eat the thing!


This was just five ideas, but there are hundreds more including Central Park, dozens of art galleries and museums, Ground Zero, Wall Street, pizza, cocktails, the Brooklyn Bridge…the list goes on and on!

Feel free to post your own personal preferences in the comments sections 🙂

Until next time…