Sunday, April 21, 2013

BEA Part of It/New York, NY || So You Want to Be a Tourist


Welcome back! This is the last post of the series that my friends Estelle, Rachel, Jamie, Tara and I were a part of all last week. In case you’re wondering just what this series is all about, it’s where each of us offers suggestions, tips and tricks about New York City and BEA. This is not, of course, just for folks coming up for BEA; it’s for everyone who is planning a visit to New York!

For a full recap of all the posts last week, you can scroll down to the end of this post.

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I moved back to the USA in 2010. While I did try it out for a month or so in my old hometown area (Virginia/Washington DC), I ended up settling on living in New Jersey. That meant I was basically a hop, skip and throw away from New York City! Since I’d never really ventured that far up the East Coast, even as a child, you can bet that I’ve spent the last few years getting to know this city.

Obviously, one of the first things I did was tackle what I like to call the “tourist checklist”. I’ve visited a lot of the tourist spots that New York is known for, though the list still remains unfinished. I’ll be sharing ten of my favorite tourist spots today, and hopefully, it will give you some idea of what you’d like to visit when you come in to the city!

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Central Park – I’m not going to lie: the park is HUGE. I haven’t even covered the entire thing, and I’ve been visiting for years now! But it’s a beautiful spot to have a picnic at, or to stroll through. There are lots of people around for the most part, but it never feels too crowded. 

There are a few spots in particular that I think you ought to visit: the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace and Fountain (which you’ll recognize from Gossip Girl or the movie Enchanted), , the Hans Christian Andersen sculpture, the lake (which is gorgeous with all the foliage), the Romeo & Juliet sculpture, Shakespeare Garden, Sheep Meadow, Strawberry Fields (for the Beatles fans out there!) and the William Shakespeare sculpture.

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St. Patrick’s Cathedral – One of the first things I wanted to do when I came to NYC was see this cathedral. It’s so majestic, and larger than any other church I’ve been in. Even if you’re not Catholic, it’s still wonderful to visit, walk through the cathedral and soak in the peace and solemnity of the atmosphere.

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Rockefeller Center/Top of the Rock - This is a particularly popular spot around Christmas and summer (during the concert series). I like walking in the area, because there’s a lot to see and a few places to sit. I’ve never personally gone up to the Top of the Rock yet, but I have heard that it’s pretty darn epic.

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Radio City Music Hall – Concerts and shows are held here on a regular basis, but I think it is fun to just drop by and see it from the outside. You’ll recognize the iconic façade from films and advertisements and you can totally pretend you went in too and saw the gorgeous show area (and I promise I won’t tell!)

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Grand Central Terminal – This is yet another stop where you just pop in for a quick look and can leave right after. This terminal is known for the numerous times it’s been featured on television shows (Gossip Girl!) and movies (No Strings Attached, for example). Apart from that, it’s also got a stunning ceiling, and a variety of shops and food places.

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New York Public Library – I love this library’s outer façade. It’s strong, classic and memorable. For booklovers, you may want to get your photo taken on the steps or with the two lions that stand guard. Plus, the inside of the library is quiet and grand and sometimes they have really wonderful exhibits or events going on!

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Times Square – This is one of the busiest spots in New York City! There are always people around this area, a combination of tourists and shoppers. There are stores and restaurants surrounding the square, as well as a few theaters. Obviously, this is one of the spots most representative of New York!

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Empire State Building – I haven’t been up to the top of the Empire State Building since I was a kid, but it's always worth a visit just to saw you have. Personally, I think it’s best to view this one from a distance, just so you can see its profile. One of the best spots to do this? Madison Square Park, where Shake Shack is.

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Highline Park – This is such a lovely little park! It's basically a long walkway that you can meander up and down, and a few trucks and food spots. It offers a wonderful view of the Hudson River from a former freight rail line.

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Statue of Liberty – This is yet another I have not gone to see in person. I have seen it from afar though, so I do suppose that counts! It's one of the landmarks. My friend has been to it and says it's worth a visit at least once, so you guys are going to have to take her word for it. Just bear in mind that it's one of the sights that might take you a little more time to visit as compared to the others.


Brooklyn BridgeI just crossed this one off my list! Though I have been in the area before, I’ve never walked the bridge. It’s such a fun experience. It’s a pretty long walk, but if you do it with friends, it goes by quick. Plus, you can reward yourself with Grimaldi’s at the end of your walk!

There you have it folks, my suggestions for a few touristy things to do while you're in New York City. These are places that you shouldn't have any trouble finding, since most people (such as cab drivers, or people on the street) will be able to tell you where they are. Have lots of fun on your trip, and be sure to tell me which of my suggestions you decided to take, if any at all!

Don't forget to check out the rest of this series!
4/14: Under the Broadway Lights (Estelle of Rather be Reading)
4/15: Foodie Heaven (Rachel of Hello, Chelly)
4/19: Spirits + Caffeine (Estelle)
4/20: Shopping Spree (Rachel)

19 comments:

  1. I've never been to New York, but I can see myself enjoying a lot of these tourist hotspots. Times Square might scare me off a bit (I hate crowds, which is a weird thing to say as a Londoner!), but I really like the look of the New York Public Library and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. If you don't like crowds, definitely DO NOT go to Times Square. That's pretty much the biggest tourist spot in the city and it is always crowded (except at about 5am in the morning, and don't ask how I know that!). But it's worth a visit at least once if you've never been!

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  2. The Brooklyn Bridge is SO on my list. :) I don't know if I'll take a jumping picture like that. I don't want to scare people with me falling down :( hahahaha

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    1. You should definitely do it! It's a wonderful experience, and it's actually not a half bad walk on a nice day. Honestly though, either go early or late to avoid the crowds!

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  3. I've only been to New York once, and I want to go back again! Love the pictures, and I like how the city's so alive at night.

    Leigh
    Little Book Star

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    1. I hope you get to come back someday! I love living so close to Manhattan; it's made for some great experiences.

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  4. Being a lifetime New Jersey resident as well, I've been to all of these except Highline Park and Brooklyn Bridge, both of which I would love to go to. I also want to go to the 9/11 Memorial. It looks hauntingly beautiful in a still, pensive way from pictures, and I feel like I need to be there, at least once.

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    1. We can go to Highline Park if you come to the city in May! It's such a nice place, especially during the times when it's not too crowded. And yes, the 9/11 Memorial is actually another sight that I should have put on this list!

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  5. Thanks for sharing! I'm not a part of it this year, but hopefully 2014/2015 :) Love the photos and look forward to reading everyone's accounts of the BEA experience.

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    1. I hope you get to come to the city next year! It's such an amazing place, and totally buzzing and full of energy and diversity.

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  6. I MUST visit the public library--how have I not made that happen yet??

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    1. You definitely should, even if it's just to go to the steps or see the lions! Perhaps we can sneak in a visit during BEA time.

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  7. I can honestly say I have been to New York City...Now mind it was just to the airport. But I did see the statue of liberty from my window on the plane. Someday I'm going to have to actually do some sightseeing=)

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    1. You'll definitely have to drop in, and see all the sights. There's nothing quite like being a tourist in one of the most famous cities in the world!

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  8. AAAH you are making me SO excite for BEA and NYC! I've been before 2 years ago though so I feel less nervous now that I know what to expect. NYC is just so magical and wonderful I loved it so much! And it's not as intimidating as I thought at first. Times Square is DEFINITELY my favorite part!

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    1. I AM SUPER EXCITED YOU ARE COMING. Have I mentioned that yet? I sincerely hope I get the opportunity to meet you this year because, you know, you're pretty much awesome. Can't wait!

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  9. I've been to NYC I think 5 times now and it never gets old. I love walking in Central Park and ALWAYS get lost. Always. I love doing new things every time I go. One trip was focused strictly on seeig everything. Going to the museum of natural history, MoMA, the Met etc. and others were for family events so I had dinner at the boathouse and drinks in grand central. So many good times.

    One thing that was awesome and free was my friends and I took the Staten Island ferry at night as it goes past the Statue of Liberty.

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    1. I think getting lost in Central Park is totally a fun thing to do. There's always something new to see or do over there! I actually haven't been to a lot of museums, which I should definitely get started on.

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  10. Ohhhh I LOVE Central Park, even though Tony and I totally got lost in it because we were trying to find the Natural Museum of History because we are huge nerds and that was before iPhones. Anyways, I will definitely try to do a few of these this year at BEA.

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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