Few places can compare to New York City. For many years now, I have been considering a trip to the Big Apple but have never quite found a convenient space in the calendar where I would have the time and savings to go, and to go at a time of year that would be particularly special. This year, however, due to my work schedule and having found a couple of deals, I decided that Christmas 2018 was the time to finally experience New York.
As an avid photographer (note ‘avid’ and not necessarily particularly ‘proficient’!), I knew that New York would give me the opportunity to walk my feet raw and snap pictures until my camera’s battery would (literally) run out altogether. I gave myself five full days to really take in the city’s character and to check off the things on my wishlist (both the big, obvious ones and the smaller, more obscure places for some esoteric reasons that I will go into later). Flying into Newark on the 17th December 2018 and leaving on the 23rd, I felt a special sense of anticipation as everything I had heard about New York at Christmas inspired excitement and love. Even my favourite Christmas song is ‘A Fairytale of New York‘!
I intend to write about my trip not in order to provide any groundbreaking insight into New York, rather to produce a series of prolonged ‘diary’ entries alongside my favourite photographs and memories. I aim to maximise each day and to use public transport only when necessary, instead walking between every possible place with my eyes open as wide as they can go. I have approached New York with an open mind and eager feet and I hope you enjoy reading and seeing what I took in over a very special, festive week. All the photos I upload will be my own (including the ones on this introduction page) and I would be delighted to receive any feedback or questions about the trip if you are planning on going yourself.
My six nights were spent in the Jane Hotel, situated conveniently next to the river on the west side of Manhattan, nestled right between Chelsea and Greenwich Village. For a solo traveller it was ideal, providing basic, comfortable ‘cabin’ style rooms at an affordable price. In fact, the hotel has a deeply historic connection with the Titanic, having sheltered survivors of the disaster and holding a memorial service only four days after with the surviving crew.
Having expected only the very bare essentials, I was instead greeted by a grand lobby and a classy interior. The adjoining restaurant served one of the tastiest pizzas I’d had in a long time, and was much appreciated after a long (very long), sleepless journey from Portugal.
I was in no fit state to do any walking or thinking after such a long journey and an immensely long wait in the queues at Newark Airport’s border control, so after the lovely pizza, a very tasty accompanying beer and a long, warm shower, I slipped into a deep sleep and awoke the next day feeling refreshed and relishing the chance to explore New York on Day 1…