New York City at Christmas time is truly a magical place. I have wanted to go for as long as I can remember and at Christmas I finally went! My expectations were high and I’m glad to say it did not disappoint. Although I love a good pair of heels, sensible shoes are a must! Like any city the choice of things to do in New York is endless so pick a few experiences you would love to explore and start pounding the streets to take in the vibrant atmosphere and discover that hidden gem.
A good friend of mine who lives in Brooklyn recommended Bryant Park for ice skating, it is more of a local’s place, so that is where I headed! I would love to say that I have a talent for ice skating however I did feel a little out done by those New Yorkers. The ice rink is situated in the centre of the park, surrounded by tables and chairs, many small seasonal pop up stalls and of course a café for that hot chocolate you crave after. Bryant Park is near the Lower Manhattan end of 5th Avenue. 5th Avenue is longer than you think however it is worth the walk and as you get closer to Central Park, the Christmas windows are spectacular, especially Sacks and Bergdorf Goodman. Make sure you stop at the Rockefeller Center in the heart of Midtown Manhattan to admire the famous Christmas tree and enjoy the individual shops surrounding the ice rink. If you have time you could even pop up to the observation deck to enjoy the views.
One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to Madison Square Gardens to see the New York Rangers vs Anaheim Ducks. Ice hockey is now officially one of my favourite sports to watch, the singing, food and fiercely patriotic New Yorkers all adds up to an electrifying atmosphere!
I recommend taking the time to go to Soho, this is the older part of New York and there is a definite change in the style of architecture with the buildings much lower, filled with small charming independent shops and boutiques creating much more character. If you want a bite to eat there is lots of choice but I would personally recommend Jane Restaurant in Houston Street, this is an American bistro and a favourite with those who know. The food is excellent and the service also top notch.
Needless to say, I did also see an exhibition on my travels but more on that to come! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!