Almost a decade on from my first trip to New York at the tender age of 17 (yes, that makes me feel old) I returned to the city that never sleeps. I’d done all of the touristy things on my first trip, so this time around, I got to explore the many hot-spots of Manhattan and Brooklyn with my friends.
Since two of my ex-colleagues moved across the atlantic to North America a little under a year ago, me and another of my Parisian-Brit friends had been planning to visit. So when I found out that my company would be closed for a week in mid-August, we booked the cheapest last-minute tickets we could find to join them.
Being based in Brooklyn was a totally different experience than my previous trip when we’d stayed in a hotel near Madison Square Garden; instead of a tourist, I began to feel like a local. We spent a lot of time in Williamsburg and Bushwick, a fairly hipster district with many cool places to eat (Roberta’s for the most-amazing pizza) and vintage clothes shopping (I snagged a leather Saks of Fifth Avenue handbag for $18!). My favourite spot had to be the Wythe Hotel on the Williamsburg waterfront, where you can enjoy cocktails on the rooftop terrace while looking across the Manhattan Skyline – an absolutely incredible view, especially with the backdrop of a summer sunset.
It goes without saying that our days in Manhattan were filled with shopping – from visiting the largest Sephora I have ever seen to the cult showroom of Glossier, I was truly spoilt for choice. Aside from shopping, a few other highlights included visiting Chelsea Market and strolling down the High Line. While in Greenwich Village, we also stumbled across Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment by chance on our way to glance at the Friends building. However, my favourite spot in New York is (and remains so since my first visit nearly 10 years ago) Central Park. It’s such a surreal spot, with all its greenery contrasting against the surrounding skyscrapers – no matter if this is your first, third or fiftieth visit to New York, it will never get old.
As I was flying solo on my final day, after dining at the Italian Market Eataly, I took a trip down memory lane with a circuit of some of the spots I had visited nearly 10 years before. My afternoon stroll led me to the public library, Bryant Park and Times Square where I was hit by nostalgia. When I had first visited this city, being a naive 17 year-old, I was convinced that this was the place I would one day live. This time around, I loved getting to really know the city and being reunited with the dream team. However, I know that while I will always love the Big Apple, I couldn’t imagine living away from Paris and that for me it will always be my true home.