by Millie Elwell, University of Maryland College Park, USA
Lucky enough to have family friends in New York, I have visited quite a few times over my year abroad. So here is my perfect itinerary from College Park, Maryland (not inc. accommodation).
Thursday Evening: Who has class on Fridays? Not you if you plan enough, so hop on a Megabus from Union Station, DC, for $30-ish and head to the Big Apple. The bus always takes longer than the 4 hours it says, but with snacks and a friend, you’ll be fine!
Friday: You’ve woken up in New York, what a wonderful thing! Get ready and head for brunch at 12 Chairs in Soho. It’s NYC so ALWAYS have a reservation for everywhere you go, if they offer it… Now you’re in Soho, so the retail therapy begins, from mainstream to designer to small boutiques. I usually never buy anything, but it’s the mooching around that makes a city trip in my opinion. You’ve had brunch late, so won’t need to worry too much about lunch. From Soho it’s a quick 25 minute walk to the High Line and my favourite art gallery – the Whitney! Chelsea and Greenwich Village are great to walk through on your way, and the High Line really hits the spot. From the Whitney you’ll get some great views of the Empire State also! Now it’s been a few hours of walking, so maybe head back to your accommodation to relax for a while and get ready… you’ve got a long night ahead. Grab dinner at Lil’ Frankie’s for the perfect Italian (again, RESERVE) and then begin your night out in Soho. (Always remember to pre-drink if you are hitting the bars, it’s NYC and the prices are steep). Head to Ray’s for some drinks and pool, then bar hop. Good places are Swifts, KGB, Hair of the Dog, Kind Regards, Mr Purple… take your pick! End your night with one of two things – a Katz Deli sandwich or a $1.50 slightly undercooked pizza slice. Both options will make you happy.
Saturday: Probably somewhat of a late start today, if you did Friday correctly. Grab a bagel from anywhere, it’s New York so they’re all good. Cream cheese and smoked salmon, and perhaps an iced chai, and you’ll be set for the day ahead. Head to Central Park for a walk around and end up at either the Met or the Guggenheim (whichever is more your thing). Wherever you stay in the city, there will probably be a happy hour round the corner… find it! My preference though? Get ready for your night early. Grab the ferry from either Wall Street or Dumbo (preferably Dumbo, as it’s a great place to have a look around and grab views of the Brooklyn Bridge), and go to Williamsburg. Grab dinner from anywhere, my choice would be a pizza? Or time it with your happy hour and head up to Berry Park for drinks, food, and the perfect rooftop view! Bar hopping in Williamsburg is easy, it’s now the ‘place to be’ in the city. Go to Black Flamingo to dance, preferably just before 12am (literally 11:50pm) so you miss the cover charge, and enjoy your night.
Sunday: It’s your last day… Don’t be sad! Brunch (again, why not, NYC does it well) at Jack’s Wife Freda for a last hoorah in Manhattan. Then, back to Williamsburg and Greenpoint, for the ultimate thrifting experience. Beacon’s Closet is the best, but there are SO many to choose from, plus on a Sunday there will be pop-ups all over. Enjoy! Grab a Shake Shack, or whatever your favourite snacks are, before heading back onto the Megabus to Union Station. Your week in College Park is about to restart…