Yes. It's true. Last week I spent 5 days in New York city. Fast becoming one of my favourite places ever. I spent 3 days in Nolita and 2 days in Midtown, and I have to say I think I preferred the Nolita/Soho area best. Don't get me wrong, the whole city just has that special something about it but there's a different feel to Soho. Narrower streets, lower buildings and generally a slower pace of life, I felt. I loved it.
From the moment I got off the subway at Bowery and emerged into a balmy new york evening I knew it was going to be good.
I got off the plane after a relatively uneventful flight and waited at immigration for just over an hour. It's great. You can people watch and catch snippets of conversations depending on where you are in the queue. I had Miss Opinion and Mister Laid-Back behind me and i couldn't fathom out how they could be travelling together! I mean I don't think they were partners, there were no PDA's. She had an opinion about everyone and everything. The young, tall, naturally beautiful slim girl must have been 'anorexic' according to Miss O. I mean didn't she think that this flawless girl could be in town the week before FASHION WEEK to do castings for fashion shows because she was a MODEL, and might not be anorexic, but in fact just really tall and naturally slim. Those girls do exist. Jeezus.
Anyway, through immigration I was then to decide how I'd get from JFK to the hotel. Do I request an Uber? Nah, I jumped on the AirTrain into Jamaica station and got the train to Bowery. It was a sunny afternoon and I thoroughly enjoyed to train ride through Queens and Brooklyn, over the Williamsburg bridge and into Manhattan.
Like I say I emerged into bright sunlight from Bowery station where I hauled that giant yellow case up the stairs and took a few minutes to get my bearings. Once I'd got Google maps out, I knew which direction to go and walked to the hotel.
The Nolitan hotel was the one I'd chosen after much deliberation. It was an easy and quick check-in process where I was told I was on the 9th floor!! Woohoo - VIEW! Pay the extra for a higher floor.
|View from my cityscape balcony room at The Nolitan|
When I got into the room I dumped the case and headed to the window. What a view indeed. A pure class magnificent view of the Empire State building and all that Midtown had to offer. As well as Soho to the left and the Lower East Side and Williamsburg Bridge to the right. Just amazing. I couldn't stop looking at it. Even better was that my room had a balcony - pay extra for a cityscape balcony room on a higher floor. It wasn't a huge balcony but it had a little bench and it was just brilliant for people watching and stopping to catch my breath after days pounding the streets.
The bed was a very comfy queen, but large enough for two. There was a desk and chair, as well as a side chair, and the ceiling was bare concrete which I really liked. It added to the modern industrial feel of the place. I couldn't have chosen better.
Once I'd been in my room for half an hour I freshened up and headed out into the streets to see what I could find. The are was busy but not Times Square busy. Busy enough with people heading to cafes and bars for food and drinks.
There was a restaurant at hotel but I didn't eat there. Instead on my wanderings I happened upon cafe upon cafe upon restaurant or take out, and even a shop called Rice to Riches on Spring Street which only sells rice pudding. Yes, that's rice pudding (and some drinks of course). There was every flavour of rice pudding you can imagine - well, about 20 different flavours. I opted for the caramel flavour and got a 'solo' sized bowl which lasted me two nights. It was so tasty though. Such a great idea for a shop. I'd recommend you try it if you're in that area.
|Rice To Riches|
Thankfully, in Google maps, I had saved all of the places I wanted to eat at, visit, see, try out and take photos off, and many of them were right here on the streets of Nolita / Little Italy / Soho. You see I was right bang in the middle of all three places. Just brilliant.
I ate a cupcake and had a cup of tea at the Little Cupcake Bakeshop and then went to the MacBar of some classic macaroni cheese to take back to the hotel. But not before a quick trip down Mulberry street to see the Little Italy sign. By now it was about 9pm and I was hanging with tiredness as I'd been up on my feet for twenty hours. So after scoffing down the mac n cheese I went to sleep on my first night in the city that never sleeps and I didn't draw the curtains. Well, you wouldn't either with a view like this to look at...