Drop A Pin: 60 Hours in New York City
The energy of New York City is unmatched with any other city I’ve been in. NYC’s spirit is constantly moving and at times feels a little frenetic, but during my first non-work related trip to the Big Apple, I found some charm within the hustle and bustle.
My red eye flight from LAX to JFK landed around 8am on a Saturday, and although I only slept for about two hours on the plane and felt a little delirious, I hit the ground running. First, I connected with my fiancé Vadym who met me outside of my terminal (he arrived a few days before me) and we hopped on the subway to Manhattan. 14 miles worth of steps later, day one of our trip didn’t end until around 10pm. Although my feet were screaming from the walking and I was exhausted, I had so much fun and kept excitedly saying, “Look at that! That’s so cool!”
For our second day, we explored a little bit of Brooklyn and met up with some friends who now live in the area. Then we trekked back to Manhattan by walking the Brooklyn Bridge and passed out on our hotel bed, tired from all the walking and general excitement of the day. Our plans for the morning of our third day were more business than pleasure (we had to take care of some personal things in the city), but we managed to squeeze in some fun before hopping on a train to Connecticut in the late afternoon. We were heading to New England to visit some of Vadym’s family for the remaining two days of our east coast trip.
I highly recommend visiting New York City for at least four days to experience more of what it has to offer and to also avoid having to cram too many things in so little of time. But if you only have time for a quick trip, it’s definitely possible to soak in quite a bit of the energy, culture, and sights. Continue on below for how we spent our 60 hours in NYC and bookmark this page for future reference!
We stayed at a Four Points by Sheraton in downtown New York, aka lower Manhattan. It was a super convenient location with a helpful and friendly staff. They were very accommodating and arranged an early check in and late check out for us, which really supported our schedule. As expected in NYC, the room was small, but still comfortable. I slept so well on their beds, I wish I could order one for our apartment. I don’t have any photos of the property since we didn’t spend much time at the hotel. With such a short trip, we wanted to see as much of the city as possible.
Places To Eat
Yelp was our best friend while we explored the streets of New York and got hungry along the way. See below for where we indulged in yums.
Pearl Street Diner: This small diner in lower Manhattan was about a block away from our hotel and perfect for a quick breakfast before our sightseeing. There you can get a classic American diner breakfast (eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, the works). The food isn’t anything special, but it was convenient and satisfying.
White Noise Coffee Co: White Noise is a hip cafe in Brooklyn great for coffee dates and working quietly on a laptop. It reminded me a bit of Los Angeles, but fair warning - the acai bowl Vadym ordered wasn’t nearly as good as the ones you’ll find on the west coast. Luckily, I was able to enjoy a matcha and avocado toast.
Hole In The Wall: This was one of the cutest holes in the wall I’ve ever been to. The breakfast was delicious and the staff was especially cool and friendly. Besides the food, they also had an amazing playlist of music setting a great vibe for the morning.
Made Nice: Described as “elevated counter service,” Made Nice has delicious seasonal salads, sandwiches, and plates plus several options of canned wine and beer. It felt like eating at a Sweetgreen, but even cooler.
Patsy’s Pizzeria: We originally were supposed to grab a couple slices at South Brooklyn Pizza, but they were taking forever to open up shop and turned us away. This didn’t bother us much because it was New York and it felt like there was literally a pizza shop every other block. We shared two pizzas between three people and it was a wonderful meal with thin crust.
Baohaus: Owned by Eddie and Evan Huang, Baohaus is a grungy hole in the wall with so much life and character in its tiny space. We ordered a couple of their tasty Chairman Baos and Birdhouse Baos. Just writing that last sentence makes me wish I was eating them now. It’s a quick and easy bite with a ton of fun art, stickers, and flyers on the walls to look at.
Ipanema Restaurant: This was probably our favorite place to eat during our entire trip. After a long day of walking around the city, Ipanema was a Brazilian and Portuguese blessing near Times Square. It was a random find on Yelp and from the outside didn’t look like anything special. But the food was unreal. We ordered a bunch of plates to share including cheese bread, croquettes, sautéed shrimp in the most delicious garlic and white wine sauce I’ve ever had, and fried bananas. The table next to us practically ate the same exact meal after eyeing our table and asking what we ordered.
Ketch Brewhouse: After a long walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on our second day, we had planned to head across town for dinner, but unintentionally fell asleep at the hotel for two hours and decided to have dinner somewhere close instead. This led us to the restaurant at the hotel. It was decent with some awesome chocolate dessert choices, but I only recommend it if you’re staying at this hotel or nearby.
Drinks and Dessert:
Juice Generation: This is a NYC chain and quenched our thirst when we were out in the heat of the streets. The green juice we had was so refreshing and perfect to stay hydrated while on the go.
Yanni’s Coffee: Yanni’s is a cute neighborhood coffee shop and was a random place we came across while walking around the city. We literally turned a corner, peeked in, and decided to step in to rest our feet and drink something cold.
Dot & Line: We came across this tiny coffee shop in Brooklyn when we were passing the time in between meeting up with different friends. They had a fun gift section with items like cute vintage coffee cups.
Big Gay Ice Cream: If you have a sweet tooth or love ice cream, Big Gay is a must-go spot. There are multiple locations, but we went to the Seaport shop near our hotel. The ice cream portions are huge and they keep it interesting with fun toppings and names. This location is also surrounded by cool bars, restaurants, and shops right by the water.
Places To Explore
We walked almost everywhere and took the subway a few times to ease our feet or save some time. Up next are some snapshots of our touristy views. Pro tip: always look up. You can find something cool if you take a moment to observe more than what’s right in front of you.
Walk everywhere and wear comfortable shoes. This is the nature of the city. I wore Dr. Martens knowing that maybe they aren’t the best option for a lot of walking, but they were the best option I had out of the shoes I already owned. At the end of the day, they kept me standing and got me to where I wanted to be. If you have a super comfortable pair of sneakers, opt for those!
Keep your eyes up. Walking in New York can be intense. There are people walking every which way, crossing the street when oncoming traffic is passing, and rushing by you to make it to their destination. The last thing you want is to be looking down at your phone and run into either a person or a car. Feel free to snap photos or send a few texts along the way, but be mindful of your surroundings.
Stay somewhere central. Although the subway system makes it super easy to get around, the city is still pretty spread out. Try to stay at a hotel or Air BnB with a location that will make your life easier.
If traveling with someone, set expectations in advance. You don’t have to plan every second for every day, but try to have a rough idea and roadmap of what you’ll do each day to manage everyone’s expectations (and energy) for the trip. It’s important to be on the same page so that each person can experience the type of trip they were day dreaming of.
With that said, still go with the flow. There is so much to see and do in New York. Don’t be afraid to stray away from your plans to check out something cool you come across during your adventure. It might end up being your favorite part of the trip.