There’s many memories from my time in New York but the one that stands out the most is the donut incident.
But before I jump into that what else I did I do. This isn’t a list of what you *should* do. Just what I did and liked.
Getting to New York
I did a rather typical Round The World Ticket on my first Gap Year which took in South East Asia, Australasia and the USA. A lot of these tickets will route through Los Angeles or San Francisco but ask about also including New York as a stop off too if you fancy it. At the time it barely cost me any extra so why not spend 5-7 days there before heading home? If you’re heading to New York straight from the UK, try Thomas Cook for a last minute flight. There’s bargain flights to be found if you look hard enough.
Staying in New York
They aren’t kidding when they say it isn’t cheap. I split my time betweenÂ Hostelling International New York which was in a decent location and getting an apartment in the upper west side of Manhattan which I found on Craigslist. They both ended up working out roughly the same. The hostel is huge and has a few social areas.
Eating in New York
It’s a huge city and listing food places could take a very long time. I was at the very end of my trip and also the very end of my budget so I reverted to my favourite staple; Pizza. Giant pizza slices the size of your head. I say slices, I mean a whole pizza. See exhibit A:
Â Things I did in New York
Times Square – Tourist trap? Maybe, but people watching in this part of New York provides endless entertainment.
Comedy Clubs – Normally around Times Square you’ll normally be approached about Comedy Club tickets. They are normally very cheap but the caveat is that you have to buy a minimum number of drinks which are quite expensive. Nevertheless, the comedy clubs are pure gold regardless of whether the comedians are good or suck so very bad. I’d say it’s a good night out and good value.
Statue of Liberty & Ellis IslandÂ – I didn’t go up the statue (it’s not as high as you might think) but the view of the Manhattan skyline is worth the ferry ride and Ellis Island is an interesting visit.
Rockerfeller Center – I actually picked this over the Empire State Building. In my mind it made sense to get a view that included the Empire State Building rather than being on it. Currently the 86th deck view and the top of the rock are both priced at $27. If you plan on going all out with sightseeing, consider the NYCityPass. It’s currently $109 and includesÂ admission to the Empire State Building plus, The Met, American Museum of Natural History, MoMA, Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Cruise, and Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum. Bit of a bargain.
Broadway – One of my more epic failures. I wanted to see Wicked but didn’t book ahead. Mistake. If you’re interested in discounted Broadway tickets try the TKTS booths.Â Times Square BoothÂ sells day-of-performance discount tickets. TheÂ Downtown Brooklyn BoothÂ sells tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance and matinee tickets the day before as well as tickets to Brooklyn performing arts events.Â TheÂ South Street Seaport BoothÂ sells tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance and matinee tickets the day before. Just note that the Times Square Booth gets very busy. Expect queues!
If that wasn’t enough, check out these free things to do in New York.
The Donut Incident
Oh yes, before I forget. The donut incident…
I was with my friend in New York when I got all excited about Dunkin’ Donuts. In retrospect quite a silly thing to get excited about but nevertheless I was.
I’m in the shop overwhelmed by the choice. So many options! I opt for a box of 12 (yes I know, I am disgusting) when my friend says that she doesn’t want any. I insist but she insists more. I change my order to a box of 6 but maintain that she should pick at least one because I know she’ll want one later.
She picks one. I wish I could remember the exact one but it looked foul. It was the equivalent of someone handing you 50 different envelopes full of money and you pick… well, you pick a rank donut instead. It made no sense.
We get back to the apartment and I put the box on the table. I’m quite excited. I feel like it’s my birthday. I pop to the bathroom for like literally two minutes. One hundred and twenty seconds. That was all.
I am not at all amused by what I find upon my return. I come out to find my friend with icing on her face. There’s the disgusting looking donut with a single bite out of it and my other five are nowhere to be seen.
She looks at me guiltily and says…
“I didn’t like mine…”