travel

Travel Tuesday: New York City – Part 2

I had two days of rain when I was in New York, so I will admit: I spent a lot of time wandering Central Park, just me and my umbrella. There’s nothing quite like a nice quiet stroll just taking in nature. Luckily for me, it was never torrential downpour. It was just enough rain to annoy most of the time, but not enough to completely deter me from being out and about.

On Tuesday morning, I was thankful for a bit of a break in the rain, as I got up bright and early to make my way up to a taping of Live with Kelly and Ryan. As it wasn’t rainy, I opted to walk – as I hadn’t seen much of the Upper West Side (between this visit or my last visit a few years ago). The streets were nice and quiet as it was before 7am.

Here’s a shot of the Ed Sullivan Theatre at 6:30am – still extra bright!

It was a nice walk – getting to see Columbus Circle, and be out and about when the streets weren’t too chalked full of people. I saw more construction guys than anything, getting ready to start their day.

Live with Kelly and Ryan kellyandryan.com

When applying for tickets to Kelly and Ryan, I also applied to Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. Tickets are extremely difficult to get for the latter two, however I was lucky to get a ticket to Kelly and Ryan. I’ll give you a look in at what the experience was like.

You had to be there bright and early. By bright and early, I mean the check in deadline was 7:15am. I arrived just before 7am to two line ups outside of the studio. A line for general, and a line for priority. Luckily for me, I had been upgraded to priority a few days before. It pretty much meant I was guaranteed to get in, without them being able to say you’re guaranteed (because you never know what can happen). After waiting in my line up for about 20 minutes or so, they moved us around the other side of the building to form another line up. This was to separate priority from general.

We stood in that line for a little bit, before they would take us in through security. You know, the usual bag check, and walk through the detectors. Nothing crazy. Once inside, you guessed it, we formed another line. This would be where we would stand until about 8:30am – so we still had probably an hour to go at this point. You weren’t allowed to sit on the floor, but if you were lucky, you’d get a spot for your butt on the radiator. This was your time to shop the little pop up store for their merchandise, or visit the little girl’s room.

Eventually, we got guided into the actual studio and seated. One of our guests for the show was pre-taped, so we saw someone from Real Housewives (I’m unfamiliar with her) and then country singer Kane Brown. I had heard a few of his songs, but fell even more in love with him listening to him that morning!

Kelly and Ryan are so tiny in person, but they feed well off of each other. It was a fun experience, and I’m glad I got the chance to go! We got let out just after 10am, as we got to watch a second performance from Kane.

Levain Bakery levainbakery.com

My sister had asked if I could stop by this bakery while I was up on the Upper East Side to pick up some cookies for her and her co-workers. It started almost heavy downpour on my way there, but I walked my way to this little bakery. I mean little. The location I went to was down a few steps, through a little door, and then you’re basically in this little alcove where you order and pick up your treats. There are maybe three or four high top chairs along a little ledge where you can sit, but they were full upon my arrival.

Now, let me tell you about these cookies – they are HUGE! They are like the size of scones. Unbelievable.

After stopping at the bakery, my cold and wet self hurried to the nearest subway station and headed back to the hotel. I dropped off the cookies to my sister, and not going to lie – I took a nap. Being up so bright and early on vacation tired me out – and I think the rain did too. But this is one of the things I love about vacation. Actually treating it like a break and taking that time to relax. It was raining, and I was tired. So I took a break, and I encourage all of you to do the same when you’re travelling. You don’t want to burn yourself out while on vacation.

Following my nap came another trip to Central Park (which I will include in it’s very own post – next week!) and then I headed up to the Upper East Side.

The MET metmuseum.org 

I’ll be honest – my main reason for heading up to the Upper East Side was because there was a beauty store (I guess it’s like an American version of Sephora) that I wanted to go to, and there was only one in Manhattan that I could find – on the UES. I was going there specifically for a lipstick that I couldn’t find elsewhere. However, the MET was somewhat on my way, and the inner Gossip Girl in me wanted to sit on the steps of the MET.

It was wet at the MET due to the rain, so I didn’t sit – but I did snap a selfie.

I went in to the gift shop and had a look around (what a huge shop!) but opted out of going into the museum. My foot was really aching from my giant blister, and I wanted to eliminate hours of walking around a museum. From what I saw in the gift shop, I’m sure that this is a place I’ll visit the next time I’m in town. It wasn’t number one on my list this time around, but I’m glad I stopped by at all.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner ellensstardustdiner.com

On a recommendation from one of my best friends (Hey Kass!) I headed to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for dinner that night. Ellen’s is home to singing wait staff. Literally. While you eat, they’re singing. They take turns singing their favourite tunes. Whether they’re in the upstairs area or the main area downstairs, they’re walking around with a microphone in hand, singing a tune. There was a line around the corner waiting to get in. Because I was a solo eater, I got in before a lot of other people as I was willing to sit at the bar. I didn’t need a table to myself (even though you’re more or less sitting with people you don’t know – they squeeze you in one long booth!)

It was a different experience. They definitely have great voices, but I wouldn’t say that the food was to die for or anything. The food was food, but the atmosphere was great. If you’re looking for something different when you’re in NYC, I would definitely recommend it!

I finished off the night in NYC by taking a late night trip to Times Square (I do love that you can go there and stores are open after 9pm!) and going for a wander while I waited for my sister to finish her work dinner. I never felt unsafe walking around on my own in NYC – and I never have. Whether it’s early morning, or late at night, between this visit and the last – I’ve never felt like I need to be worried. Obviously, I never really went off the beaten path, but regardless, it’s one of the things I love about Manhattan.

What about you? What’s your favourite thing about New York City?

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