Back in New York, I was aware that my days on this trip were numbered. I had so many things to do and time was not on my side. I’ll tl;dr – there were too many things on my itinerary than hours remaining, so Washington Heights and the Cloisters museum, Museo del Barrio and revisiting Central Park will have to wait until next time.
Upon arrival, the first point on my agenda was to refind the deli I ate at last time. It took a long time thanks to Maps.Me deciding to place the pin in a place the deli wasn’t, but I guessed it was Sunac Deli, and I was right. Sadly, after more time searching than I would have liked, they didn’t have the mashed red potato or cajun shrimp, so I took sesame chicken instead but it was too sugary.
After my deli meal, I went to Bryant Park, a sweet little park near my hotel, on 42nd Street. Like all New York hotels, a lot was happening in such a small space, and there were accordion shows and people chatting in chairs, with buildings towering above in every direction.
I stayed there for a long while, watching the world go by and making use of the free wifi.
It wasn’t far to Grand Central Station, and I didn’t mind seeing it again, so I walked there too, then walked back via an adorable Japanese bookshop, a Ricky’s Beauty Supply and into my bed to sleep.
The following day, the itinerary checklist began in earnest.
First, Cipriani La Specialità for The Art of Watches. This was a (free) grand exhibition of Patek Philippe watches. I am of the opinion that a watch does nothing that a good smartphone doesn’t, but having travelled two months with Alessio and his love of simply saying “Patek Philippe”, I figured I had to go. And it was free. I still think they are functionally obsolete, but these watches were unmatched in beauty and elegance.
Cipriani La Specialità was also very beautiful and ostentatious, making me feel a little self-conscious by just how out of place I was. Especially when a wealthy but boring man was droning on about his watch, then his glossy wife asked “but where did you buy me this one?”
From midtown I made my way to Coney Island. Coney Island was one of my happier nostalgic places in this world.
My anxiety was quite high as I travelled here, so I spent a long time easing that talking to friends with the free wifi by Nathan’s. I was also feeling sad because I had last been here with my Mum and that nostalgia stung a bit. It’s one beautiful memory I have of her, taking selfies on that beach. Unfortunately, at this point this was where my first truly bad experience travelling happened and it’s jaded my opinions of Coney Island a little. I mention this because I now can’t be unbiased about what I write, and I will always write honestly about my travels without sharing too much of myself. I will say that I really enjoyed the Coney Island Art Walls.
I left Coney Island and with a lot of time left in my day but not a lot of phone battery, decided to get off the subway at 14th Street-Union Square. 14th Street fast became my hub in downtown like Times Square was my hub in midtown. Wherever I was, if I navigated to there somehow I could probably get to where I needed to be.
From 14th Street, I walked to Chelsea Market for dinner. Chelsea Market is big and diverse and full of places to eat. I chose Giovanni Rana for pasta. Make your own pasta dish bars are quite popular, and I selected to have tonnarelli amatriciana, with fresh tonnarelli. It was a massive bowl of pasta, and I’m absolutely grateful that it measured up to my high expectations. A light heat, fresh ingredients and well cooked. Finally, an Italian dish I can recommend!
Chelsea Market is close to the High Line. I had already walked it heading South with my Mum, but it was a nice way to get back to midtown so I headed that way. There are beautiful sceneries, architectures, flowers and bars along the way.
And a very sweet guy really begged me to call him so we could go on a date later and I said I’d call him but my priorities changed, because I’m a terrible person. Also I didn’t want to go on a date with him, even though his chat was alright.
My priorities changed, because once I got off the High Line at around 35th, there was an amazing view of the New Yorker building, and it began to rain. Then I realised my idol Patti Lupone was performing in War Paint RIGHT next to my hotel. I wanted to try and meet her, but sadly it wasn’t to be.
I think that hindsight is 20/20, and instead of going to Coney Island I would have gone to Washington Heights instead, but had I done that, I would not have had a nice time in Chelsea. Walking along the Chelsea High Line as the sun set was truly a trip highlight, and definitely a top experience in New York.
Favourite sights: Bryant Park, Chelsea Market, Chelsea High Line.
Hotel: Hotel Shocard
Positives: Very modern, clean, great decor, friendly staff
Negatives: Small rooms, quite dark at all hours with dodgy lighting, no breakfast