I was really excited about putting this post together, but sadly there was an issue with most of the film I shot while in New York, which means I don’t have many photos to share. When I got it developed I was told two of the three rolls came out blank, and I couldn’t figure out why since I’m not new to shooting film and I know I didn’t do anything differently. I shot a test roll in Toronto before our trip to make sure the camera worked and it turned out fine, and so did the final roll I shot in NYC, but the two in the middle didn’t.
I was speaking to a friend about it and she said the X-ray machines at the airport probably wiped the film since it was in my checked luggage. I always assumed that wouldn’t really make a difference, but I guess this idiot has learned her lesson! It’s super disappointing to not have the photos since I was really excited to see how they turned out, but here we are. So I’ve had to make do with adding in some phone photos as well, which I don’t normally like doing.
Despite the film issue, we had an awesome time in NYC. My boyfriend and I went to meet up with friends from back home who were travelling around the States for a few weeks. It was great to see them and catch up, and because most of us had been to New York before we didn’t feel like we had to see or do a whole bunch of touristy things so we had a really chilled time.
One thing to note if you’re going anytime soon is that a lot of places are now cashless. That’s perfectly fine if you live the US and have a US bank card, but because we were only there for 4 days we thought it would be easier to bring cash so we didn’t have to worry about bank fees/conversion charges. So that’s definitely something to watch out for because it probably came up about 5 times and it was super annoying.
As I said, we didn’t do too much sightseeing this time around as my boyfriend wasn’t fussed, and the rest of us had done it all before. One thing I wanted to do that I hadn't done was walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It doesn’t take long to do and you get a pretty great view so that was a nice experience, even if I’ve only got photos from my phone to remember it by.
We walked through Times Square one night since we were nearby and figured we might as well (and it wasn’t even that crowded). Other than that, as you can probably tell, we had a lovely wander through Central Park on our last day together while the sun was out, which is always a nice thing to do considering how big and overwhelming the city can be at times.
If you’re in Williamsburg, which we were most of the time, the rooftop bar of the Wythe Hotel is always worth a visit. It’s fairly expensive, but worth stopping by for a drink to check out the view (weather permitting). I’ve been before and can confirm it’s a nicer experience in summer, but then again I think everything is better in summer. If you’re a Marvel fan, not too far from there is a bar called the Turkey’s Nest, which is where all the internal scenes at Josie’s bar were shot for the Netflix Daredevil series. My boyfriend and I both love the show, so since were around the corner the four of us stopped in for a drink and a game of pool. It’s a total dive bar, and not worth going out of the way for if you’re not into Daredevil, but we had a good time. We also had a great night at Full Circle which is a skeeball bar, so if that sounds like your kind of thing I would definitely check it out. And if you’re super into metal, like one of our friends, her favourite place in town is Duff’s – kinda similar to Frankie’s in Sydney in case that means anything to any of you.
For food we mostly spent our time in Brooklyn because that’s where we were all staying, and where we chose to hang out a lot of the time. We didn’t really plan it, but we ended up getting pizza for dinner every night which was perfectly fine with me. It’s cheap and delicious and you can’t go to New York without getting at least one slice. We went to 3 different places on Bedford Ave – Joe’s, Vinnie’s & Champion. My favourite was Joe’s (despite the surly af guys that work there), but my bf thought Vinnie’s was the best. If it sways you, Vinnie’s also have vegan options and top notch memes on the walls, but the sauce at Joe’s is better.
When it comes to brunch, my boyfriend and I, who are both vegetarian, couldn’t go to NY without going to Champs Diner. I spent a month in NYC on my own in 2014 and loved the place. They’ve since relocated to the neighbourhood I was staying in back then, so it was nice to walk around the area again and see how it’s changed. Champs is a must-do for vegetarians/vegans, although be prepared for a wait. We were told 45mins, which in reality only ended up being about 10mins, but I wouldn’t expect to be that lucky every time.
If you have a sweet tooth, right around the corner from Champs is Dun-Well Doughnuts. Dough are a big thing in NY and have quite a few locations now, but I have to say Dun-Well are better. My boyfriend is very hard to please when it comes to doughnuts, and he said the peanut butter & jelly one from Dun-Well is the best he’s ever eaten! They’re also vegan, but you’d never know it because they’re better than basically all the non-vegan doughnuts out there. The only ones I think measure up are from Voodoo, who have a handful of locations across the States (I’ve been to the Portland & Austin ones). Another good brunch spot if you’re in Manhattan is The Butcher’s Daughter, which is all vegetarian and has mad Pinterest vibes. I’ve heard good things about by CHLOE. as well, but we didn’t get a chance to try it this time around. Another place that’s always good for a visit is Shake Shack. I think they have these all over the States, but if you fancy a quick burger and fries, or a frozen custard shake, this place lives up to the hype.
I had no plans to break the bank on this trip (and I didn’t) but there are a few things we don’t have access to in Canada and I knew I wanted to pick them up. The area I zeroed in on is Soho in Lower Manhattan – there are all the usual suspects there, most of which you can get all around the world, but there are a few key places that I was very excited to visit. Naturally I had to go to the Glossier showroom, although I didn’t buy anything because they ship to Canada so I didn’t see the point. My friend bought her first Balm Dotcom and we found out that Glossier are cashless (be warned!) but the lovely girl at the counter said she would make an exception and let her pay cash. She gave us both samples of Glossier You to try, and I also got to smell the Body Hero duo in person, which I was glad to do because I’ve been very tempted to pick it up but I didn’t know if I’d like the scent. To me it smells exactly like orange blossom, which is actually something I really dislike, so it was good I got to try it out before buying it. Hopefully they have plans to bring out a different scent but until then, unfortunately it’s not for me.
In the area there’s also a standalone Diptyque store, which I just went into for the novelty because I wasn’t planning on buying anything. There’s also a standalone Byredo store, but unfortunately I didn’t make it there this time around. I did make a point of visiting Daphne Skincare Studio so I could finally pick up a bottle of the elusive Biologique Recherche's Lotion P50 though. I went for the standard version since it’s my first time trying the brand and I wanted to give the original a chance. If you’re wondering, I paid about $70 US (roughly $100 AU/CA) for 150ml, and they also have 50ml bottles available, which were priced about $30US, as well as 250ml bottles (I didn’t ask about the price). I thought I’d include that info since the brand are mysterious about their pricing and don’t retail online, so if you were hoping to pick up a bottle yourself that’s what you’d be looking at.
In terms of clothes, the place I was most excited about was & Other Stories since we don’t have it in Canada (or Australia, for that matter), and it didn’t disappoint. I picked up some beautiful things there, and I’m thinking they will probably feature in my next style post. If you’re into second hand/vintage shopping, my favourite stores in New York are L-Train Vintage stores, so they are definitely worth a visit. They’re a level above a charity shop because they have a fairly curated selection, but they’re not your $150+ per item vintage either. They hit the sweet spot and although I think we only made it to 2 of them, I did pick up a Johnny Cash t-shirt because he is wonderful and I love him.