For my 26th birthday in December (yes, December... better late than never... right?) two of my best friends and I hopped on a flight to the Big Apple to celebrate and I'm SO glad I chose to take this trip and spontaneously at that. For some reason I wanted to do something bold and different and all I could think about was NYC. This experience was absolutely perfect and I can't wait to go back!
One of the best things about this trip was how cheap our flight was! Y'all know how expensive NYC is especially at the last minute, but thanks to Hopper app we were able to get a non-stop roundtrip flight from ATL to Newark, New Jersey airport for $136 through United Airlines!! That was a deal! I have only flown Southwest and Delta so it was nice flying different and I had a great experience with them. We did choose the basic tickets which came with a few restrictions of required baggage check (no carry on), they picked our seats (flying to Newark we were able to sit together and coming back I had to sit by myself, but I was fine with that), and no cancellations or changes to the flight. These restrictions depends on you ultimately and your flight desires. I wanted to make this trip as inexpensive as possible.
I LOVED our hotel!!! In planning your NYC trip I would suggest choosing an area of interest to help choose a hotel or an AirBnB in your budget. Y'all know NYC hotels cost an arm and leg and can break you but I did feel like this hotel was very inexpensive compared to other hotels. I knew I wanted to stay in Brooklyn. Why? Because Brooklyn is dope.
I began to compare prices of hotels and AirBnb's but I ended up choosing The Brooklyn House Hotel. Initially I wanted us to stay near Newark's airport for much cheaper accommodations, but I thought about traveling back and forth into the city would actually cost us more money so we opted to stay in the city. For the three of us the room was large and spacious enough for us. What I loved most about this hotel was the short distance to the subway (we walked and took the train majority of the trip) which I wanted to experience because we're so used to driving everywhere. Plus the train was about $3 a piece which we loaded on a metro card to use. Aside of the rooms, the staff is super friendly and answered any questions we had.
THE EXPERIENCE | THINGS TO DO
Being that we were only there for a day and a half we wanted to squeeze in as much as possible. Yes, it was a short trip, but hunny we explored!
After the hotel check in Saturday night, we hit the city and made Harlem our first stop. Harlem is the home of the infamous Apollo Theatre and is full of Black culture and history. I wish we could have explored in the day to see more than we did, but we still enjoyed what we did get to see especially Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Without hesitation make sure to visit Harlem you won't be disappointed. We were also able to stop by Black Ink Tattoo Shop.
The highlight of the trip for me was The Brooklyn Bridge. This was another reason I wanted to stay in Brooklyn... to see that beauty! Yall, when we got there and began walking it, I really could not believe I was experiencing it. Please put that on your must see list when you visit!
You can't go to NYC without going to Times Square or snapping a pic on the red steps... and we did just that! We actually went to Times Square twice! It was truly amazing to see all the lights. I promise we were like little kids mesmerized by all the lights. Times Square is the place ALL tourist visit so be prepared for ALOT of people, foot traffic, honking cab horns, double decker buses, characters and so much more.
WHAT/WHERE TO EAT
Thinking back while writing this we really didn't eat as much as others may have but nevertheless here are the places we visited:
I'm a yelper and was able to find this dope black owned hookah lounge called Harlem Hookah located in Harlem. There were great vibes, great drinks, great wings (we were basic and ordered wings and fries to share) and of course hookah. I would suggest making a reservation just to play it safely. With our reservation we were able to be seated quickly once we arrived.
For Sunday Brunch we ate at Woodland in Brooklyn. It is on the pricy side from what we're used to but it was highly recommended on Yelp and from a few other friends who already visited so I knew we had to see what the hype was about and the hype was real. Music was on point, mimosas were tasty (price was $20 per person for bottomless for two hours), and we all ordered chicken and waffles only because this was the only meal to come with meat. It really lasted us most of the day so we didn't eat again until later than night and of course we got some good NYC pizza from a restaurant near our hotel in Brooklyn.
Traveling to NYC in December can be tricky with weather conditions and higher flight prices but we were super grateful to have gotten a great deal and great weather while we were there. THERE WAS NO SNOW! A little chilly at night but bearable. We also got to see the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center, Radio Music City Hall, The 911 Memorial (A MUST SEE), and got a piece of Junior's Cheesecake. I have a vlog of the full adventure on my YouTube channel!
We had SO much fun and it was definitely a trip remember!