Travel Guide to NYC

Hello hello! To start off, I’m currently in Korea (you probably knew that already), but I’ve prepared a travel guide for the perfect trip in NYC. I’ve been working on this post for a while now, so if it seems odd that I’m writing about NYC while in Korea, there is my explanation.

I’ve been around the city all my life, and over time, I started to memorize and keep track of some places that aren’t talked about, but should be visited a lot more! Sure, there’s Times Square and the Statue of Liberty that tourists like, but I believe the true adventure lies solely in the places I have for you today.

The first thing I want to point out is use the subways. Tourists seem to believe that taxis and Ubers are the best options, but that is totally false. I assure you 7/10 taxi drivers experience some serious road rage with the traffic. Oh, I forgot to mention first: the traffic. Traffic is terrible in the city unless you’re in a particular place at a particular time, but let’s not risk that. The subways save so much time and so much money.

Another warning in the city is that if a taxi driver can tell you’re not a local, they’ll take longer routes to boost the fare. Cruel, yes I know. Just get familiar with the subways, either using Google Maps or this app I use to help sometimes, NYC Subway. If the dirty rails and seats bother you, just bring some hand sanitizer and you should be fine.

Downtown

Downtown Manhattan is my absolute favorite part of NYC. I spend majority of my time here, and usually (on good days) it’s less crowded and not filled with tourists. It’s usually quieter, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t excitement here.

Soho

Subway: A C E train to Spring St // N Q R train to Prince St.

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The iconic Soho. The fashion district. South of Houston St. If I could pick anywhere in NYC to stay, it’d be here. There’s fashion everywhere, and everything is aesthetically beautiful. From food to fashion, this district is filled with everything you could possibly wish for.

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Broadway and Mercer St are probably the most well known parts of Soho. There lies the infamous Bloomingdales and my personal favorite, Madewell. From high end luxury stores to affordable clothing, this place has it all. I would go here over Times Square any day. It’s nearly impossible to shop there without bumping into the hundreds of people, and to be quite honest, the store options aren’t that great, anyways.

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Photo Ops:

Bleeding Hearts Mural

192 Mott Street


Audrey Hepburn Mural

395 Broome St


Little Cupcake Bakeshop

30 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, United States

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Kelly Montague’s #whatliftsyou

Kenmare & Mott St. (northeast corner)


 

Eats:

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Il Corallo Trattoria

176 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, United States

My dad and I go here very often. The wide ranges of pasta are certainly delicious and the service is great. It’s a cute little restaurant, and the prices aren’t bad, either. I love the seafood pasta and there’s so much to choose from. It’s definitely worth the visit!
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Cafe Habana
17 Prince Street at Elizabeth Street New York, NY 10012
This was probably the best corn I’ve ever had. And by no means am I exaggerating. It’s perfectly seasoned with chili and parmesan cheese, ugh my mouth is watering just by writing this. It’s a cute Cuban restaurant with so many delicious options and a lot of celebrities have come here and is growing to be very popular.
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@ohthatsting on Instagram

Soho Park

62 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, United States
The burgers are delicious and the hand cut Belgian fries as well! I recommend the Black Olive Mayo and the Basil Mayo. So good! The scenery is great, and you get to sit outside as well with a nice shade area. The service is top notch and I love this place so much! I heard great feedback about the milkshakes, fried pickles, and the burgers!  (of course)
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Mercer Kitchen
99 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, United States
This restaurant is more pricey than the others I’ve talked about. Although, the burgers are pretty good (they have guacamole in them !!!) and literally a pot full of fries. They serve it in an actual flower pot. Do you realize how big that is? They were delicious, though. The burger is actually quite small, especially when you’re paying $25 for it, but the service and surroundings are exceptional.
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Chobani Soho

152 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, United States

This is actually the only Chobani store in the WORLD. So visit when you get the chance! Chobani actually started this as a pop-up store, but it was growing to be so successful, they kept it! Basically you go in, find a seat/table, and customize your yogurt. A “waiter/waitress” comes to you and processes your order onto an iPad. Easy and quick. My order? Plain yogurt with peaches, dark chocolate chips, granola, and a drizzle of honey. Not only do they serve yogurt, but they have soup, bagels, pastries, and coffee! Try it out!

P.S. Nobody really knows this but if you ask to bring the Chobani glass bowls home, they’ll pack it up nicely for you!

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DUMBO, Brooklyn

Subway: F train to York St // A C train to High St

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Brooklyn is growing to be very popular and very chic. The area takes away from the city-feel, so it’s good sometimes for a little break. The art, restaurants, and the scenery of the whole area really makes it unique from Manhattan. Plus, if you’re a Gossip Girl fan, then you’d know that this was filmed as Dan Humphrey’s neighborhood! 

Sights:

York Street’s Murals
All over Dumbo, you’ll find murals. Almost everywhere is photogenic so it’s the perfect place to snap a couple of pictures with some friends, or yourself. The artists of Brooklyn really put so much effort into the city, and the artistic feel of Dumbo really gives it that pure and real feel that isn’t found in most of Manhattan.
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@doroshland_ph on Instagram
Washington Street
Ever seen these gorgeous pictures? If you stand by Washington Street, you have the perfect view of the Brooklyn Bridge peeking in between these two buildings. It’s a perfect photo opportunity and definitely worth the sight.
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Eats:

onegirlcookies.com
One Girl Cookies

33 Main St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States

One Girl Cookies is perfect for a little coffee date! With a best friend, boyfriend, parent, it’s so versatile! Everything about this cafe is so photogenic, so you can take perfect pictures here and it’s basically an Instagrammer’s dream. Try their specialty whoopie pies!

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Juliana’s Pizza

19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States

This is actually the original Grimaldi’s Pizza. The waiting lines are usually very long, but it’s definitely worth the time! The pizza’s delicious and there are so many different options to choose from! Perfect place to pig out and eat all day long.

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Chelsea

Subway: A C E train to 14th St // 1 2 3 train to 14th St

Chelsea Market

75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011, United States

Chelsea Market is one of my favorite places to go mainly because there’s so much to do. There are shops, food, restaurants, boutiques, everything. I like to visit Anthropologie there mainly because it’s the first thing you see when you walk in and there are multiple levels. It’s really cool. There are restaurants of all different cultures; American, Italian, Asian, Hispanic, they have it all. My favorite part is the gelato “shop” at the way end of the market, by the exit. I get raspberry & strawberry on a cone, and eat it as I walk along the High Line…

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The High Line

Directions: Right after you exit Chelsea Market, you want to turn right and walk straight. You’ll see a Soul Cycle at the end of that block and you want to make a right there. You’ll see a staircase and an elevator, and that brings you up to the High Line. Chelsea Market and the High Line are very close.

The High Line is pretty new, it was built in 2014. Basically it used to be a historic rail that was elevated over the streets, but they renovated the rail to a scenic walkway with lots of flowers and plants. There are fountains here, and little shops on the side so you can purchase some ice cream, snacks, or souvenirs.


 

Greenwich Village (Very close to Chelsea)

Subway: 1 2 3 train to Christopher St // A C E train to 14th St

Greenwich village is home to many music lovers, and various film spots. If you watch Sex and the City or Friends, you may recognize some of the spots here. Greenwich Village is also referred to as just “The Village” by locals, and holds many beautiful locations such as a park, NYU housing, and many photogenic spots, but the whole city is photogenic so no surprise here. ๐Ÿ™‚

*Fun fact: Waverly Place of Wizards of Waverly Place was filmed to be in this area. Although there is no actual substation here nor did they physically film in New York, it’s nice to stroll on Waverly Place to think back to your childhood memories.


 

Sights:

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is filled with some beautiful views. There’s a stunning fountain in the middle and you see so many different types of people here. If you watch Impractical Jokers, you’d know this is a prime filming location, and you can also see other small clips being filmed here. There are many tourists during the day time, and during the night time you have your (possibly drunk) NYU students. There are many lovely musicians here that play, and it’s nice to sit, relax, and take it all in.

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Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment

66 Perry and Bleecker St. Manhattan, New York

Like I mentioned before, if you’re a Sex and the City fan, then you may recognize this building! AKA Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment! If you enjoy the show, then it’d be nice to stop by and take some pictures here for a nice photo-op.


 

The Friend’s Apartment

90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014, United States
If you’re into Friend’s, you can also visit this building, and take some pictures there with your friends. You get to have the real experience since they actually shot here. You can walk in the footsteps of Jennifer Aniston! ๐Ÿ™‚
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Eats:

By Chloe
185 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012, United States
By Chloe has been on the rise this past year, and the all-vegan menu really draws people in. Their burgers, surprisingly vegan, are delicious, and they have mac and cheese that is probably what you need to try. They have absolutely delicious sweet potato fries as well, and honestly, I can go on and on and on about how great this joint is, but the true judge is you! Go check it out!
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Midtown

Columbus Circle

Subway: A C E train to 59 St Columbus Circle // 1 2 3 train to 59 St Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle is home to The Shops at Columbus Circle, and it’s an iconic urban shopping mall, home to hundreds of stores. There’s a really nice view of the circle on the third floor of the mall, and it’s very picturesque. Just steps away is the southwestern region of Central Park, and a nice stroll could compliment your day.
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Empire State Building

Subway: B, D, F, N, Q, R, D train to 34th St Herald Sq.

The Empire State Building. *cue Empire State of Mind* I will warn you. There are so, so, so many tourists here. It’s pretty dreadful. I honestly dislike going here because of the long lines, crowded areas, yada yada yada. But I visited here for the first time in, maybe 5 years? And I realized it wasn’t all that bad. The view really pays off for the torture you experience while waiting. Take some pictures here if you visit, and make some memories.

Some pictures I took up there ๐Ÿ™‚

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So that’s it for my post! As you can probably already tell, I spend 99% of my time in NYC in downtown, because that’s where all the excitement lies. Or so I think. Of course, feel free to explore tourist-esque places if you’re up for it. Personally I hate them, so I stray away from them as far as possible. But that’s just me.
If you ever visit some of these places, or have visited them before, let me know how your experience was! Just leave a comment! I still have so much time and opportunity to explore a lot more, so my library of must-see places will surely expand.
As always,
Sophia ๐Ÿ™‚
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40 thoughts on “Travel Guide to NYC

  1. Ahhh that corn looks amazing! I’m Mexican and there’s tons of corn stands in Mexico. I’m curently back in Texas for work, but Texas also has some incredible elotes preparados as we call it. Thanks for such a thorough post! I just moved back to Texas from the east coast, but I’ll def reference this post once I’m back. Esp for all the food! โค

    Liked by 1 person

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