36 Hours in New York City

I went to college in New York City so it’s my second home. I love doing weekend trips there once a year or so. Here’s how to get the most out of a quick trip to New York.

Getting around
Unlike most major cities, NYC does not offer a 24 hour pass to ride the subway. They know a lot of tourists come and want to get the most money out of you. I easily spent $40 on riding the subway in one weekend as one ride is $2.75.  But you can buy a 7-day pass for $32. The subway stations do not have air conditioning, that’s right, the trains do, but not the station platforms. So the stations are about 120 degrees of sweltering heat, you'll feel like you’re in a sauna. A few stations have fans but the fans are covered in one inch thick of black dust. So you have to decide if you want to get asbestos or sweat out your blowout? When the train finally comes, don’t ever expect an empty one unless it’s the first station of the train.  All the trains are packed shoulder to shoulder. At some point I decided I’d rather walk many blocks outside with a cool breeze than deal with a hot subway station. I logged 36,039 steps in one day!


Visit a museum of your choice. Starting this year the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) is charging out-of-staters $25, unlike in the past where the fee was a suggested donation.  Tickets are the same price to visit The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum. But since I’ve already been to all the major museums I wanted to go instead to an “Instagram Museum” – The Dream Machine. They are pop-up museums that are just meant for fun pictures, similar to the Kusama Infinity Mirror Rooms exhibit.  In Miami I went to the Museum of Ice Cream, which now has a smaller installation in NYC. There’s also The Egg House, the Rose Mansion that is a pop-up for the summer, The Color Factory Museum is opening next month, and  The Museum of Pizza opening this fall. Expect to pay $30-40 for tickets.


Times Square
You can’t go to NYC and not see Times Square! Its fun to walk around and see all the bright lights. At night you can expect shoulder to shoulder crowds, but also lots of heavily armed police there to protect you against terrorism. It feels very safe any time at night due to the crowds. A couple months ago they demolished the police holding cell that was in the center of Time Square. You just have to watch out for pickpocketers, scammers and people dressed up as cartoon characters. And don’t cross the street texting because you need to pay attention to the cars and speeding bikers. Stop by the TKTS booth to get discounted Broadway tickets for an 8pm show tonight. From the selection they have now, I'd recommend these shows: Kinky Boots, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Chicago, and my favorite Avenue Q.

Walk the High Line
The High Line is a 1.5 mile long elevated park that used to be a rail track that runs along Tenth Avenue. The walkway is surrounded by lots of greenery, wildflowers and art installations. It’s just a nice place to take a walk while escaping the city and getting a different a view of the city. It takes about 30 minutes to walk through one end to the other. I absolutely enjoyed the view! There were a couple vendors selling food, musicians, a film production set filming and lots of art to see. It's a great place to just sit and relax.

See the Flatiron building
This is one of my favorite corners in NYC. The building has such unique architecture that it’s a sight to see. The surrounding area has been made into a pedestrian area with cafes and chairs to sit and relax and next to that is Madison Park. I recommend sitting on a bench and enjoying the view of this iconic building, definitely worth a visit and a short walk from the High Line.

Visit Washington Square
Inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Arch was built to celebrate the centennial of President George Washington’s inauguration in 1890. It has two statues of George Washington on it.  It’s made of marble from up state New York. It’s painted with anti-graffiti paint to prevent vandalism. There’s often art exhibits in the park, musicians performing and food vendors on the weekend. It’s on the campus of New York University and just a great place to people watch and soak up the atmosphere. There’s even a public restroom. If you saw the movie When Harry Met Sally, it's the location where Sally drops off Harry after their road trip.

Top of the Rock
On the 67th floor of Rockefeller Center is an observatory deck that gives you an amazing view of the city! Tickets are $38 and I recommend buying them in advance.  If you miss your time slot they allow you to exchange your tickets. You get a  view of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Sunset views are the best! It gives a fantastic view of Manhattan skyline.

Central Park
The park is always full of people bike riding, runners, picnics, sunbathers and people just hanging out. There’s playground, horse and carriage rides, concerts in the park, film festivals, boating and a zoo. You could fit 635 football fields in Central park as it’s 58 miles long.

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset
This is such a scenic walk at golden hour. It’s absolutely breathtaking. It’s super crowded and has a bike lane which you need to watch out for. You’ll get fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline. It can take up to an hour to walk across. But first explore the DUMBO area.

NYC has some of the most instagrammable food spots. For a unique experience you have to try this fish scale soft serve.  I got th matcha/ black sesame soft serve swirl flavor. The word Taiyaki is a Japanese fish shaped cake stuffed with red bean paste. Located in Chinatown/Little Italy at 119 Baxter St, a second location in Brooklyn and a new one this year in Miami.

End the day with drinks on a rooftop and dinner at your favorite restaurant.


After brunch, here's a tip on how to see the Statue of Liberty for free. Take the FREE Staten Island ferry for the five-mile, 25-minute ride to see an amazing view of New York. It departs every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day and smoking is not allowed. The outside upper decks on the New Jersey side are always the most packed. 

White dress photos by Kate Milford Photography

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Weekend in San Francisco
Weekend in Miami

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