Wow apologies for the impromptu hiatus these last few days, I assure you it wasn’t planned but things have just been a little hectic and the blog got bumped to the bottom of the list unfortunately. I had a super busy weekend as it was my Dad’s 60th birthday last Thursday so I headed up to Glasgow for a big family shindig before travelling to Edinburgh for my friends hen do. It was a fun filled few days, both wonderful and exhausting but it appears I partied a little too hard and returned to London with a nasty stomach bug which pretty much floored me for the days that followed.
Not to be all ‘dry your eyes out’ about it but being ill when you work for yourself really is hard work. You can’t just call in sick like you normally would and spend a day on the sofa recovering in front on Jeremy Kyle. Unfortunately those project deadlines don’t change and excuses won’t go down well with clients so as it were I had to struggle through and try and get on with everything as best I could. Thankfully I’m on the mend now but still feel like I’m playing catch up on the work front, hence the lack of blog posts the last few days.
Anyway in a bid to make myself feel a bit better I thought I’d return to New York and happy memories with the second of my photo diaries. (I know you must be getting bored of New York talk by now but I promise I’ll try and keep it interesting)
Breakfast of Champions…
Our second day in the city was by far the best weather wise and saw us both wake up with a hunger – a hunger to get up and out early and take the city by the horns and a hunger of the more literal sense for a BIG NYC brekkie. We’d already mapped out our day and set off in the direction of Chelsea and the Meat Packing district so that we could walk the High Line. Originally we planned to walk up an appetite and get breakfast at the other side but when I spotted this cute diner and realised how hungry I was as the door swung open and drew out an intoxicating aroma of breakfast dreams, we headed in without a second thought.
I won’t go into the review too much as I’m planning a final city guide around eating and drinking so I’ll save my overall thoughts for that, but the place was lovely. A little more up-market than the diner we had been to on day one, it all felt more real. Red booths and bar seats brightened up the surroundings and my eggs and bacon feast was even better than I could have imagined. A common breakfast addition in New York seemed to be these soft potato wedges which I found difficult to fathom eating first thing in the morning but teamed with the runny yolk of my eggs and the tasty bacon it kind of worked. The perfect morning fuel for what ended up being an adventure packed day…
The beautiful Chelsea Market…
After our feast we headed back out into the crisp morning sunshine and as a happy accident, realised we were straight across the road from Chelsea Market. I’d urge anyone visiting the city to add this market to their list as this was hands down one of my favourite places. As soon as I walked into the warm stylish bunker, I was immediately at home and couldn’t get my camera out fast enough to take it all in. The market is mostly food and gift based with lots of quirky food stalls selling cheeses, meats and kitchen essentials, shops full of cook books, cooking utensils and other bits and bobs and an array of cafe’s and deli’s you can sit outside of while people watching.
For the fashion lover in me there was also an adorable Anthropologie store which had such beautiful decor I almost wanted to live in the shop. The crescendo of books was a particular highlight. After perusing the vintage flea market for a little while and getting my gorgeous love ring from one of the jewellery stalls we picked up some gifts for those at home and headed back out into the cold.
Walking the High Line…
The start of the High Line is just around the corner from the market, in what appears quite an industrial area but as soon as you climb the steps and start walking along the old train line, you see why it’s such a tourist point. We were extremely lucky as it was such a clear day with piecing blue skies so the views of the city were made even more spectacular. There is a great viewing point about half way along the track with cinema style seating carved into the exterior and a large glass wall for your viewing pleasure. It looks out onto the busy road and you can see for miles. We spent quite a bit of time ambling along the tracks and walked at a leisurely pace to take it all in. There was of course the obligatory touch the empire state photo which took a little longer than planned to get right, much to the dismay of the group behind us waiting to do the same thing.
Ferry to New Jersey…
Once we had basked in the sun for as long as we could and taken all the outfit shots I needed, we made our way back down at the other side, finding ourselves in an industrial part of town near the edge of the city. The winds from the sea meant that suddenly the sun seemed like a distant memory and it was getting colder by the second but having already planned to go from here to the ferry dock and head over to Hoboken we braved it out with a quick warm coffee pit stop along the way.
If you do something similar, the ferry port is quite difficult to find (or maybe it was just us) and at one point I was concerned that we’d made our way into unknown territory without a clue how to get back (the area around here is quite desolate and there is very little around to familiarise yourself with), but just stick to the map, head towards the water and eventually you will find the place (if not with a little help from the traffic police). Luckily we managed to jump on a ferry just as we got there without too much wait and thankfully it was all indoor and pretty cosy. The ferry itself from Manhattan to Hoboken only takes around 8 mins so is a super easy way to visit New Jersey, although you can also get a train too.
As the sun set…
Once we were in the warmth of the ferry, we could appreciate the beautiful scenery as we edged further away from Manhattan. The sun reflecting off the water and creating shadows along the buldings made for a great scenic picture which only got better the further we went. Our main reason for visiting Hoboken was that we’d heard that it was the best place to get a true view of the Manhattan skyline and that certainly wasn’t a lie. We arrived at the Hoboken dock about 4 o’clock just as the sun was starting to set and it was wonderful. I’m sure it would have been a completely different experience in the bright sunlight of that morning too so I’m almost tempted to go back another time to appreciate it in a different setting.
The temperature in Hoboken was also severely lower and thick snow covered the streets, adding to the magic. We braved the cold for as long as we could to get as many photos of the views as possible before heading onto the main street in search of a cosy pub to warm up in.
Hoboken is the main town in New Jersey but it’s not at all big so you definitely wouldn’t need to plan a whole day here. As we arrived a bit later, most of the shops were closing but there seemed to be quite a few cute boutiques along the main street which would have been worth a visit. We happened upon a cute German beer house and the lure of the pretty Christmas lights and promise of beer and frankfurters, drew us in. We were were the only people in there (it felt like we’d traveled a million miles from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan) and we got chatting to our lovely waitress who became like a personal tour guide of New Jersey, having lived there all her life. She told us the whole history of the town (did you know Frank Sinatra was born there?) while we sipped on tasty beer and became even more reluctant to leave.
After a few drinks we headed further up the street towards the train station, which as it happens is where all the hustle and bustle begins again. Apparently Hoboken is becoming quite a popular party spot for students as the bars are cheap and it’s only 8 mins from Manhattan. We stopped off at possibly my favourite eatery of the whole trip – The Mac Daddy of Hoboken – a fast food takeaway joint dedicated to Mac and cheese of every variety. It’s somewhat of an institution on Hoboken and I can see why, the food was delicious and the prices were ridiculously cheap. Definitely somewhere I’d be keen to return.
After a long day of walking and talking, we made our way back to Manhattan on the train and spent the rest of the evening sitting in a cosy bar near our flat feeling like proper New Yorkers.
If you want to read more about my New York adventures you can take a look at my first photo diary, including a trip to the Rockefeller and Madison Square Gardens. Also be sure to check out my city guides if you are planning a trip to the big apple yourself – there is a guide on where to stay and a full run down of the shopping options.
I’ll be back soon with my final photo diary and a guide to eating and drinking in the city.