New York City.
The Big Apple, The City that Never Sleeps, The Empire City.
But what is so special about the “concrete jungle that dreams are made of?” Simply put, everything. On February 25th, 2016, my parents and I boarded a plane at Austin Bergstrom International Airport headed to New York City. We met my Uncle and Aunt at the Hotel and began what I would consider one of the best weeks of my life. I could go on and on, but for your sake, reading this post, I will keep it short. Although there are countless “favorite parts” of the trip, I am going to share my experience with the food, the theater, and a few tourist “must-sees.”
The food in New York is just as memorable as the sights, the diverse culture throughout the city creates a unique environment with both high-end restaurants and places with the classic New York slice. Our preferred pizza stop is “Famous Original Ray’s Pizza.” This counter-serve pizza joint is the quintessential spot for a quick slice. As you all know by know, I was born in Russia, therefore it would be wrong if we skipped “The Russian Tea Room.” Located next to Carnegie Hall, this is the place for you if you’re looking for authentic Russian cuisine, fit for a Czar. It’s opulent and luxurious decor sets the environment for a great dinner out. Their menu includes a vast variety of caviars, beef stroganoff, and kulebiaka, along with many other unique options. I don’t think any trip of mine would be complete if I didn’t talk about the coffee shops. If you have ever watched the Today Show, you have probably seen the Bouchon Bakery. It is located across from Studio 1A in Rockefeller Plaza, and let me tell you, they have amazing coffee and non-coffee drinks and massive macarons. I definitely recommend. There are so many other places to eat, but for now, that is where I’ll stop about food.
Broadway. I don’t think it is a complete trip to The Empire City if you haven’t seen a show. The world renowned shows that are shown on broadway are something that not many other places in the world can say they have. We saw Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, and both of them were amazing. Whether you sat at the top of the back or on the first row of the first mezzanine, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. The performers’ voices were unforgettable and the feeling you get while in any of the old and ornate theaters is something extremely unique.
Lastly, I have to include some of the basic “tourist spots” that we stopped at. One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was skating in Rockefeller center. Although my parents may disagree, the $40 to get on the ice was well worth it. While gliding around the rink my Aunt and I realized our calling as Olympic figure skaters, so look out for us at the 2018 Winter Olympics! We also went to the Top of the Rock, which I believe is the best view of the city. Look one way and you see all the way up through Central Park and the Upper East and West Sides, and if you turn around you have a breathtaking view of the entire city including the Empire State Building and many other monumental skyscrapers. Finally, if you get a chance, walk through Central Park and lead yourself up to the MET. The park is so simultaneously serene and full of life, you almost forget you are in one of the biggest cities in the world, at least until you hear a taxi honking. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is magnificent. There is not much else I can say to describe it, as the building itself is as beautiful and iconic as some of the masterpieces inside. Take a minute, grab a street hotdog, and sit on the steps for half an hour to people watch.
If you know me personally, I’m sure I’ve exhausted you with my desperate pleas to get back to this great city, and I think my parents should thank you for not letting me book a red-eye for the weekend. I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you some insight on a few things that make this city so special. Whether you are seeing all the sights or if you simply grabbing a coffee one afternoon, being in New York City will give you an electric feeling that is truly indescribable. It is a feeling of dreams becoming reality.
Until next time,
New York City, I love you.