Oh New York – you will always have a piece of my heart. With a population of over 8.5 million people alone, the 5 boroughs of New York City is the most populous city in the United States. Fun fact – Brisbane has 2.3 million people and we account for 19% of our entire countries population. So, that’s a fun little comparison for you!
We made our way to New York after our San Fran stay – getting there 30 December 2014, enough time to settle-in for our New Years Eve. Our journey from the West Coast to the East Coast ate up most of the day, the time difference is a killer, especially in winter since the hours of daylight are decreased.
We landed in the evening and had booked a shuttle service to our hotel (great on price but really, if yours is the last hotel on the trip can take you an hour and a half to get to your destination). Once we got to our hotel and checked in, we went for a very quick walk outside just to see where we were staying and its location to Times Square and it was -5 (23 Fahrenheit) degrees. We are from Queensland. We had come from 35+ (95 Fahrenheit) degrees back home!
My boyfriend (now Husband) realised our holiday had taken a different turn when I refused to every take off my thermals and gloves, at one point my feet were so cold and sore from my fashionable (but not comfortable) boots, so on one of our days he leant me his sneakers for the day just so we could get around.
Our hotel booked for the week was Row NYC which is on 8th avenue, I think we stayed in a superior room – we could oversee West 45th street and the Lion King sign from our room. The bed was comfy, the bathroom a good size and you couldn’t beat the location. Considering the time of year we were there, I think we had a really good price for 7 nights – it was around $2,000 if I remember correctly – we did book out well in advance though. Our first day in NYC, we did an express whip-around the city, trying to see as much as we could given it was the day before New Years Eve. We made it up the Empire State Building, absolutely nearly lost my face it was so cold! Such a fantastic view though, you really cannot go past it.
On our second day it was New Years Eve, we headed off bright and early and made our way to the Rockefeller Centre (my favourite building in NYC), to see the gorgeous Christmas tree and the view from the top. If you only had time to visit either Empire State or Rockefeller, I think I would choose Rockefeller every time. I think the view is better and you can see the Empire State building – if you can do both though, definitely do!
We also did a quick visit to Central Park and walked the avenue (so pretty), saw Strawberry Fields and also sat in a little cute shack along West Drive, across from Bow Bridge in the park – the lake had frozen over in parts and it was so pretty. I had been to NYC twice before, once in Spring and once in Autumn, seeing it in winter was completely different and offered its own kind of beauty.
We had booked our New Years Eve with the Beer Authority in Times Square – we had a pretty good 5 hour package with food and drink and close enough to the action that we would not feel as though we had missed out. The five hour admission was open-bar and the food was excellent. The music was brilliant as were the decorations and the midnight toast and watching a live feed of the ball-drop was half the excitement! The only difficulty we had was actually getting to that side of Times Square, we had been in the city and started heading back to our hotel room around lunchtime and the crowds in Times Square already were INSANE! When we were ready to head to our party venue, my Husband had to grab onto both my hands and drag me through the crowds.
At the end of the night and after countless champagne’s, navigating back through the crowds of a million people and the left-overs of the 1 tonne of confetti which was thrown out at midnight – it was hilarious. There were so many people, neither of us have ever seen that many people in one location. It must have taken us over an hour to get from the reception area of our hotel back up to our room. It was worth every $, every sub-0 temperature and every trodden-on toe. What a fantastic night, crossed off the bucket-list. New Years Eve in New York City.
The next day we had planned on exploring the upper-east side of New York but thanks to our champagne hangovers, we slept in well past lunchtime and then we only had a couple of hours of sunlight to get around. So we chose wisely and went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (just for the stairs from Gossip Girl – so I could get a photo for my best friend 🙂 ). We then ducked back through Central Park, visited Alice in the Park and then made our way back to the hotel.