Quick Trip Tips: NYC

NYC was a trip that was LONG overdue. My friend Haley had moved there in January with her boyfriend Chris and I had been itching to visit. I kept waiting for cooler weather and less tourists to finally make it up there. 

Travel deets:

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Oct. 4-7
Flight: American $361.35

I searched high and low for cheaper flights, and have been for months, but I finally just bit the bullet and shelled up nearly $400 for a weekend trip. I used Hopper to find the cheapest route with the best times, and it did save me a little bit of money. I’m not a huge fan of American, but it was direct and both my flights got in a little early so I was pleased with this trip.

Housing Deets: Free

I stayed with my friends at their apartment in Brooklyn. They have the coolest one-bed, one-bath apartment on the 6th floor right in the Park Slope neighborhood. I got in late on Thursday so we just went back to their apartment to hang out! Luckily they have a car and picked me up and dropped me off at the airport!

I woke up Friday with horrible allergies, and my friends had to work, so I made my way to a minute-clinic. I took an Uber, and immediately regretted it. It took 20 minutes to go 2 miles and costs $14. On the way back my friend suggested the subway and although I was a nervous, small-town girl, I gave it a shot. Pro tip: Siri knows subway lines. I dropped my friend’s address into google and followed the train directions. It told me where to get on, which train to take and the stop the get off on. It even reminded me at the stop right before mine that it was coming up! Since I figured we’d be using the train throughout the weekend, I put $10 on a metro card and I somehow successfully made it to my stop which was only a block and a half from my friend’s apartment.

Highlights:

The Color Factory:

I saw the Color Factory on Instagram and the social media manager in me knew I had to go. The pop-up cost $35 and it was completely worth it. We spent about 2 hours at the museum/attraction/experience and left with hundreds of pictures.

Pro tip: charge your phone. At the beginning of the experience, they give you the option to get a card and connect your email to it. DO THIS. Throughout the factory there are photo booths that allow you to take pictures with your friends. All you have to do is scan your card, and those photos end up in your email before you even leave! They have little treats along the way, like macaroons, candy and ice cream— and everyone is #doingitforthegram. My personal favorite room, without a doubt, was the giant ball pit. Adults welcome. It was so bizarre and fun to jump into a sea of plastic blue balls and swim around. There was a camera mounted to the ceiling to catch all the madness. Pro tip: wear a solid color shirt so you can take pictures with any color!

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Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown:

On Friday, Haley and I met up with Chris at Washington Square Park and walked to Chinatown. It was a haul, but totally worth it. We walked though the cool NYU neighborhood and saw so many cute dogs. Washington Square Park is a must-see if you ask me. It’s still touristy, but definitely more artistic. Pro tip: visit during golden hour.

Waiting for Joe’s!

Waiting for Joe’s!

We finally made it to Chinatown and waited for Joe’s. I was glad I was with locals. It’s family-style and they don’t take reservations. You put in your name and they call out your table number. You have just a few minutes to claim your spot when your called, or it’s on to the next. 

The pork dumplings are what they’re known for, but as a pescatarian, I stuck with the sweet and sour shrimp. It did not disappoint. I was so full and so happy.

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Prospect Park:

My friends live a few blocks from Prospect Park so on Sunday morning, we walked their dog there, stopping for coffee on the way. It was fall and chilly and oh-so beautiful. Everything was still green, but hints of orange and red were starting to peek through. The park is massive and walking through the streets of Brooklyn to get there was such a cool experience that made me feel like I really got to see what living there is like. 

More eats and drinks:

Aside from the marvel that was Joe’s, I ate SO many incredible New York foods. Naturally it was bagels for breakfast and Bagel Pub was the spot to be. Their cherry walnut cream cheese changed my life.

Haley loves beer too.

Haley loves beer too.

I got my fix of good NY pizza after a slight buzz from some bar hopping. We went to Other Half Brewing and their sour IPA was one of the best I’ve ever had. Threes Brewing was my favorite though. Pro tip: sit outside. Their back patio was the plant and string light aesthetic of my dreams. It was cool enough for long-sleeves and a jacket so we didn’t mind standing around a barrel-turned-table. I got their Temporary Identity IPA, Unreliable Narrator IPA, and the No Panacea Double IPA with Guava. I can’t pick my favorite partially because they were all so good and partially because I don’t remember which order I drank them in… Pizza was a must after. We got some insane Greek food in Astoria for lunch before my flight and I was full all day.

Honorable mentions:

Per usual, we went to the South Carolina Gamecock bar in Midtown, the Mason Jar. It was slightly underwhelming because it was a noon game and we’re having a bad season. But it was cool to say I’d been. Comic-Con was the same weekend so we had plenty of interesting pedestrians (and traffic) to observe on our way. 

Every cup of coffee I had there was incredible, in particular the Maple Latte from Postmark Cafe, a coffee shop across from my friend’s house. 

This was my 6th or 7th trip to NYC so I didn’t do all of the touristy things like Time Square or Statue of Liberty and it was refreshing. It was also a lot less expensive. I still felt like I went to NYC and honestly, enjoyed it a lot more without all the tourist and without $14 cocktails. Pro tip: If you make the trip, Brooklyn is a hip neighborhood you have to stop by.