After five nights in Brooklyn and two on the Bowery (the recap is here) I moved to the Chelsea International Youth Hostel. My single room with a shared bathroom (though you have a sink and a mirror in your room) cost me about $90 a might, which is a sweet deal for Manhattan. A breakfast of a bagel, butter, jam, a fruit, coffee and orange juice is included. Chelsea is not my favorite neighborhood but the location (20th street between 7th and 8th avenues) is unbeatable.
Since I lived only two blocks from the High Line I went for walks there quite a few times. Isn’t it crazy how much the High Line, or better the views along and from it have changed within the last years?! Especially towards the Hudson Yards megaproject which still isn’t finished. I also got a glimpse of the new artwork/ lookout point “Vessel”, which will be finished and open to the public in 2018 according to Curbed NY.
During that four days in Chelsea I visited Chelsea Market, strolled through Chelsea, the West Village and Flat Iron but also left for Brooklyn a few times. While I get tired of Manhattan after a while, I still can’t get enough of Brooklyn!
I visited Bushwick to see some street art, Eastern Parkway on Labor Day to see the West Indian Parade and later on went back to Coney Island to finally see all the lights at night. I’ve been to Coney Island numerous times but always during the day. Seeing the sunset and then all the rides illuminated was so amazing and different to the daytime visits. I also explored a bit of Red Hook: another new to me neighborhood which has been on my NYC bucket list for a long time. It was love at first sight! Such a cool and chill neighborhood and Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie makes it worth the trek anyways! 😉
I also revisited Rockaway beach for more fun in the sun and went to Long Island City in Queens to my beloved Gantry Plaza State Park to watch the sun set behind the Manhattan skyline.
During my 12 days in NYC I made good use of the new NYC ferries: from the Rockaways to Sunset Park, from Wall Street to Roosevelt Island, from LIC to Wall Street and to Red Hook. Tickets are just $2.75 and it’s less crowded than subways, air-conditioned and you’ll get the best skyline views. I highly recommend taking these ferries! You can see all of the routes and schedules here.
On my last full day in NYC I finally got to visit Govenors Island, a small island and former military base in the Manhattan bay, and it did not disappoint! There are lawns, picnic spots, outlook points, playgrounds (including NYCs longest slide), museums, art exhibits and food trucks. My favourite part was the hammock grove!
I took 2 books with me to NY: “Never Can Say Goodbye – Writers on Their Unshakeble Love of New York City” and “Goodbye to All That – Writers on Loving and Leaving New York“, both edited by Sari Botton and the latter one based on Joan Didions iconic essay “Goodbye to All That”(here’s a pdf). I loved both of them, of course “Never Can Say Goodbye” was my favorite, because I can never say good-bye to NYC. 😉
During my stay I bought two more books which I’m currently reading: “How the Other Half Lives” by Jacob Riis (from the best bookstore in NY: Housing Works on Crosby Street in SoHo) and “The Lonely City – Adventures in the Art of Being Alone” by Olivia Laing at Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
I had made plans beforehand to visit the Bronx (Wave Hill, Arthur Avenue and the Botanic Garden for the Chihuly nights), Staten Island, New Jersey (for Mana Contemporary) and a few places uptown (The Cloisters, Hamilton Grange and St. John and the Devine) but didn’t get to do it because I spent too much time basking in the sun in the parks and the beaches. So there’s still a whole lot on my bucket list that will be reason enough for the next trip!