New York New York

On Monday I returned to the office after 2 full weeks off. It was the most time off I have had off in a while and it was nice to come back to work with a fresh pair of eyes feeling very refreshed. I was visiting family in New Jersey. While I was there, I was keen to see some of the sights in Manhattan. For a foodie like me a trip to New York wouldn’t be anything without visiting Carlos’ Bakery in New York and the original one in Hobboken also. The cabinets are full of cannoli’s, cookies, biscuits, huge cakes of all colours and flavours and the staff were very friendly. It was quite an experience.

On the second day I visited the Empire State Building and we went up to the 102nd floor. The sights from here were astounding but the height is not for the faint hearted. It was interesting seeing the whole of New York from the very top, it was just dusk, and the sun had set by the time we got to the top. The best time to go I would say.

During the time going in and out of the city I found most people to be very nice and friendly which seems to be contrary to popular belief. There is a very severe homeless situation in the city and its very sad to see so many people who must sleep rough every night especially in the bitter cold.

I have a new love for bagels since returning home, while I enjoyed the sweet ones I preferred the savoury ones. Quick breakfast or lunch on the go and very filling. If you are visiting the city be prepared to walk as there is so much to see and do. I ticked nearly everything off my list including the Empire State Building, seeing a basketball game, Statue of Liberty, 9/11 memorial. The 9/11 memorial for me was beautiful but very sad. The names of everyone who lost their lives on that day are written all around the water.

We also went to Carlos’ bakery, saw a Broadway show, ate a traditional New York pizza, shopped at Macy’s, visited the Rockefeller centre and the iconic Christmas tree, drank in Oscar Wilde’s bar, drove past Grand Central Station and ate a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.

Food recommendations are:

Cheesecake factory for amazing Raspberry and lemon cheesecake, Mexicue which is just a couple of blocks from the Empire State Building and they make a great Margarita! Blue Smoke (great traditional BBQ style meats), John’s Pizza place. There are about 5 pizza ovens all over the restaurant and the atmosphere is great. Oscar Wilde’s is a great bar for cocktails and is beautifully decorated for Christmas too. Shake shack for burgers and Chick-Fil-A for the best chicken sandwiches. We ate a lot in and around New Jersey including The Huntley Taverne (unfortunately not actually owned by my family!)

All in all, a great trip and I would highly recommend the city for anyone who is looking for an action-packed holiday, not one for too much relaxing!

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