New York City – Long Weekend Getaway

December 28

Finally, decided to check out all the hype of New York city for the first time this year. Here are some things to do for a long weekend getaway, and a few of my first impressions of the city:

  • Can’t miss the main Time Square.

…and get that picture on 42nd and 5th street, right in the middle of the square.

Time Square
  • Shop on 5th avenue and check out all those flagship stores.
  • Go on top of the Empire State building.

    When you buy tickets to go up, they give an option to go to 102nd floor of the building. I would suggest to skip that and just get tickets for the 86th floor. 102nd floor is a closed off area with a very confined space and views are no different, every thing just looks much smaller. 86th floor has an open area and gives amazing views of the city. (Tip: Go an hour or so before sunset. This way you can get daytime views, watch sunset and wait a bit to get night time views, all in one shot. The night view is mesmerizing and if you are a photographer, you will have snaps for days and can capture an awesome time-lapse.)

Day Time View Empire State Building
Sunset at Empire State Building
Night View Empire State Building


  • Bike around Central Park.

    For about $20-$30 US dollars, you can rent a bike for 2 hours. This will give you plenty of time to ride around the park, stop for lunch break, stop for a few views and be back to the front of the park to drop off the bike. Subway station closest to the park is 59 St-Columbus Circle station. 

Bike Riding around Central Park
Food Pitstop at Central Park
Food Pitstop at Central Park
  • Go up top Rockefeller Centre. 

    There is a lot of history with Rockefeller and again great views of the city. If you are tight on time and had to pick between Empire State Building (ESB) and Rockefeller, I would recommend ESB. The only thing with Rockefeller is you get to see the ESB from a afar.

Up top Rockefeller Centre
  • Make a pitstop at Bryant Park

(between 5th and 6th Ave.)

  • Eat Lady M green tea cheesecake

Delicious creamy goodness 🙂

Lady M green tea cheesecake


  • Try pizza  at one of the Time Square locations

…they are unbelievably big.

Picture of Pizza slice
  • Check out Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn Bridge
  • Try Luke’s Lobster

We were a bit tight on time so didn’t get to see a few things, that are also worth mentioning:

  • Take the free ferry to the Statue of Liberty
  • Visit Battery Park and enjoy the views of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Go see the charging Bull,  in the Wall St. area.

Few first impressions of the city and a few tips:
  • Better to subway in the city core then to drive. Roads are really narrow, surrounded by a concrete jungle.
  • The security is very tight due to the current political events, and armed officers can be seen around high touristy areas of Manhattan, especially Time Square. It doesn’t impact your experience, but certainly very noticeable.
  • Subway systems are very accessible to get around Manhattan, with local and express trains running every minute.
  • My first impression of the subway stations themselves, well, it was pretty run down with funky smells, but in their defence, they are pretty old systems. The high touristy stations (I.e. Time Square 42nd St) are a little more well maintained, then others. Comparatively, Toronto’s subway system are a lot more well maintained, considering  they are also much newer.
  • One thing I loved about Manhattan is that there is a lot of public seating spaces and small parks to hang around in, so people have more options to get out there and be in nature. Something I wish we had more of in Toronto’s downtown core.

Okay enough about my observations, Hope you enjoyed this post, do share other stuff that is worth doing in New York City, not included in this post! 🙂


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