Posted in Thoughts, Traveling Adventures

Traveling Tuesdays – NYC Edition Part 2

I was bitten by the travel bug a few years ago. The first trip I took? To New York City. Last Tuesday, I posted about my amazing experience at Sleep No More. Today, I’ll highlight the other things I enjoyed while I was there and hopefully, you’ll be able to use some of the information for your future trips to NYC. 🙂

Central Parkcropped-cropped-2014-09-14-09-53-24.jpg

If you don’t go here on your first visit to NYC, shame on you. This park is beautiful and has a lot to see. On my first visit here, my friends and I aimlessly walked through parts of the park. While we were there, we met a native New Yorker who spent his free time chit chatting with tourists. He liked getting to meet people from all different walks of life. I forget his name, but he was wonderful. He offered to show us where certain things were like the Belvedere Castle, the Alice in Wonderland Statue, among many other things. There are also a bunch of different tours that are available if you want a more structured day at the park.

Our “tour guide”

City Pass

For $116, City Pass offers tourists the opportunity to visit 6 of NYC’s iconic landmarks. It’s cheaper than buying each of the tickets individually and I believe there are other passes that are available so do your research and choose wisely. This pass includes access to the Empire State Buildling, the American museum of Natural History, MOMA, and 6 other options. It also allows you to bypass the regular lines and so you’ll get to your destination a bit quicker. The pass is good for 9 days so you’ll have ample time to use up the pass, unless you’re only in NYC for a few days. In that case, go go go. My friends and I had a blast doing all the touristy things.

On our way up to the Empire State Building
Starry Night by Van Gogh at MOMA

Michelin Star Restaurant – Le Bernardin

If you’re going to NYC, you should make an effort to go to a Michelin Star restaurant. If you’re on a budget, I found that lunches are much cheaper than their dinner counterparts. I went to Le Bernardin (3 star) for lunch and it cost me $87 for a prix fixed menu (3 courses). If you go for dinner, it’s $150 for 4 courses. It was definitely a #treatyoself kind of experience.

Tuna Carpaccio

Go see a musical

My friends and I went to see two while we were in NYC – The Lion King and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The latter was fan freaking tastic. If you have a chance to see it anywhere (I believe it’s touring right now), I’d highly recommend it. If you couldn’t guess, the musical is about love and murder.

“GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by—you guessed it—eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way.”

One of the main characters goes on to play several characters and watching him exit stage right and re-enter within a minute was pretty entertaining. If that musical isn’t your cup of tea, go find one that is. There are so many opportunities to see a musical while in NYC. If budget is an issue, go here to read about how to get cheap Broadway tickets. If there’s a will, there’s a way.

Eat everything!

As a foodie, I cannot end this post without recommending a few places to eat in NYC.  If you can’t afford a Michelin star restaurant, that’s perfectly fine. There are so many other restaurants that are worthy for a visit. Below are a few of my suggestions.

Totto Ramen is a must for ramen lovers. The broth is not your traditional pork, but rather chicken so it’s a little lighter in taste, but it still has a really well seasoned taste. I would recommend this place to anyone visiting NYC.

 The Mermaid Oyster Bar  has amazing oysters during their Happy Hour. For $1 per oyster, who can’t get behind that? Make a reservation for their happy hour to avoid being sent away.

Levain Bakery is a must. This one is a bit of a splurge as their cookies are $4 a piece, but if anything, just try one (and ask for one that just came out of the oven – they can often accomodate this request). Their cookies are delicious, not to mention HUGE. It’s worth it. Trust me.

My next suggestion Lady M Cake Boutique is also a bit of a splurge, but if you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on this. Lady M sells crepe cakes. These cakes have layers upon layers of crepes and they give the cake a really unique texture.

The Halal Guys – If you like gyros, this is the place for you. The Halal guys is considered street food. You order from a cart and you eat on the side of the street. It’s kind of freeing in a way.

If you find too many things to eat (there’s no such thing), do what we did. Order one or two things and split it amongst your friends.

So there you have it – some of the things I did in NYC.

If you’ve been to NYC, what did you do? What were some of your favorite things? I want to hear!


My name is Mai and I am a recent PhD graduate. :) When not hard at work, I can be found training for a race, traveling the world, or talking about Disneyland. Come join me on my journey and help me navigate this world. :)

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