My New York, for better or for worse

There are many things about New York that people love (and hate) and they will vary from person to person. It may be a particular part of the city or Central Park in all its glory or hot, steamy nights enjoying the festivities of Summer before the bitter Winter descends on the city.

I’m quite certain, if you read my first blog, you will know that I too love New York, but the question is why? Of course, I could answer with standard responses like ‘it’s the city that never sleeps’ or ‘the shopping on 5th Avenue’ but I wanted my answer to be a little more “me”. Therefore, to help answer the question Why do I heart New York? here are “Kristal’s Top 10 Favourite Things about New York City”.

Kristal’s Top 10 Favourite Things about New York City

10. The Subway


Okay, you’re probably thinking ‘what the?’ and wondering who could ever like the New York Subway, but seriously, the ease of getting from one end of the city to the other in no time at all is all thanks to the Subway. Sure, it’s dark, stinky and during the Summer incredibly hot, plus people told me not to sit on the seats in the stations or stand too close to the platform edge… But there’s just something so New York about the Subway, maybe it’s that old city charm. Seriously, mastering the Subway is like mastering a part of the city.

9. Rooftop bars


New York’s rooftop bars rival any in the world! New Yorkers seem to be able to do it bigger, better and more spectacular. With a varying range of options, from small bars that offer simple cocktails and sweet themes, to sky high hotel bars that offer floor to ceiling windows and wide balconies that let you see all areas of the New York sky line lit up below you, there is a rooftop bar for everyone.

8. The fact that every second person I walked past was talking about their latest audition


Being an actor, I love being around other people who feel my passion, and in New York there seems to be no shortage. Known for it’s theatre culture as well as being the backdrop for famous shows such as Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, it is clear to see why so many people in this city are creatively-driven. Every day I would walk past people talking excitedly to their friends about a new audition they were preparing for, and it made me feel inspired.

7. A wide selection of art and culture to experience and my personal favourite: MoMA


Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, Whitney Museum of American Art… and that’s just naming a few of the top museums in New York. I didn’t get to half as many museums and galleries as I would have liked, but I did get to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) where I spent a blissful day enjoying the likes of Picasso, Matisse, Pollock and Warhol. A beautiful gallery and a wonderful experience!

6. Broadway shows… Matthew Morrison in Finding Neverland was amazing!


One thing that New York is famous for is their theatre and Broadway. I was lucky enough to get a cheap(ish) ticket to Finding Neverland with my favourite Glee cast member Matthew Morrison and it was amazing! The sets were incredible, the acting, singing and dancing intense, and the energy was electric. I laughed, I cried and at the end I was left with the show’s beautiful message ‘don’t listen to others, if you want something, just believe’.

5. Little Italy/ Chinatown/ all the different areas that means that within a few steps you feel like you are in another country


Little Italy is just one example of the diversity that New York offers. As you step from area to area your senses are overwhelmed by variety. Little Italy, Chinatown, Soho, Chelsea, Korea Town, Hell’s Kitchen – and that’s just the lower half of the island. Each area offers new delicacies, different experiences and inspiring things to see and do. The city that never sleeps sure has some serious style red.

4. That you can order an alcoholic drink at any time of the day and no one judges you

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No matter the time of day or night, you can find people ordering alcoholic drinks wherever you go – cocktails, wine, beer – drinking at any time is not forbidden and certainly not frowned upon. Furthermore, it was common for me to see people drinking mimosas at a Sunday morning brunch. Cheers to my type of city!

3. So many people would say hello or wish me a nice day


When I was preparing for my trip I received a lot of advice from people who had visited New York before and one thing that many people said was that New Yorkers are aggressive and rude and that they don’t have time to stop and help people. In fact, I found the opposite to be true. People were kind, would smile at me, offer to help if it looked like I needed help, wish me a good day and apologise if they bumped into me on the Subway. For a bunch of busy people, New Yorkers still seem to know good manners.

2. Central Park (and the park squirrels)

Central Park, enough said. Many that come to this city are mesmerised by the sheer size of the park. I spent half a day walking through the park and was amazed. By the time I got to the middle I felt lost in a forest, surrounded by trees, lakes, baseball parks and little gardens of scented, colourful flowers. It was magical! Yet, a 10 minute walk and I would be right back in the city centre. Oh, and squirrels, so cute! I could watch them for hours.

1. Cream cheese bagels and American coffee for breakfast


There is nothing better than a cream cheese bagel, newly toasted, dripping copious amounts of cream cheese down the sides, combined with a typical American style filter coffee. Americans and Australians alike would often question my passion for good old American coffee, pointing out that Australian coffee was so much better. I’m not going to debate this, but there was something about American coffee. Maybe because it represented America, maybe because my pre-warned standards were already set low, but I actually enjoyed it, and it went down a treat with a hot, tasty bagel.

(PS there are many more things I love about New York, but that will have to wait for another day) 


16 thoughts on “My New York, for better or for worse

  1. Michelle Nguyen says:

    What a great blog, Kristal! Seems like there are lots of things to do and places to visit in NYC. This city is definitely in my list “Places I would like to go”. How long do you think I should stay to discover main things if I visit New York?
    Really enjoyed your blog. Can’t wait to read the next post! 🙂


    • Kristal says:

      Thanks Michelle! There is definitely a lot to see and do in NYC! As for amount of time to stay, I couldn’t say. I stayed for just over a week and didn’t get anywhere near seeing all that I wanted to. And I also met people who have lived there for ages and still have not seen everything. I would say plan out what you really want to see on the first trip and start with that, that’s what I did… And then you can always go back! Like I said I was there for just over a week and I could have stayed a month!


    • Kristal says:

      The more time you can have in New York the better! I spoke to someone today who said their friend went for 3 weeks and it still wasn’t enough! You could stay there for years and still be exploring new sights. I guess that’s the exciting part of NYC… There’s always something to see and do!


  2. Andrea says:

    Great post Kristal! These are great tips of places to go and things to do when I go there! I hope to go to NYC soon. Keep posting, I love reading about your adventures in the big apple!


  3. Rob D says:

    I was in New York about 8 years ago…..must go back! I loved every minute of it. I was there with a friend. I remember on one occasion we took a taxi to get from one side of the city to the other. As we passed each street, we realised we were missing out on seeing amazing shops, buildings, landmarks etc. that we deduced to get out of our taxi and just walk everywhere. Just an awesome place! That city takes a big bite out of life!


    • Kristal says:

      I agree! On the first day my friend made me walk from downtown all the way up through Little Italy and Chinatown, to midtown. My feet were killing me by the end and jet lag was hitting hard but it was worth every minute just to see the life on the streets. If I could, I would often opt out of taking the Subway just so I could see more of the city! I’m glad you loved it too!


  4. pets4apartment says:

    Rooftops are great to get off the streets and look at the amazing skyline of New York.

    I loved the squirrels in Central Park too. So cute. They used to have horse and carriage rides through the park but have stopped that now.

    And of course you can’t visit NY without eating a bagel. Yum!


  5. Milena says:

    It’s a good trip down memory lane to read your posts on New York. There are so many things that are very much a signature of that city and I think you’ve captured a lot of them. I lived there for 7 years and studied acting for some of those. My first 18 month study tour was one of the most exciting years of my life. Living through September 11 changed me forever. It’s a great city, so exciting and it lives up to all your expectations. Great blog!


    • Kristal says:

      Thanks so much for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed reading my blog! I really enjoyed writing it!! It is an amazing city and it was so exciting you lived there for so long. Do you miss it? I would love to live there one day soon.


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