Monday, January 9, 2017

New York is always a good idea.

I had the pleasure of spending my Christmas & New Year in New York! Although I didn’t see a white Christmas, seeing this city during the holidays at least once in your life is a must! New York is absolute MADNESS during Christmas & New Year. I've never seen a busier city, ever! The first time I visited New York, I really fell in love with the fast paced city. At first, it can be a bit startling, but you get used to it quickly. It’s such an intense place, where every day always has something new, waiting to be explored. Sadly, we left New York one day before snow fell (would you believe my luck!), but of course, it was still another unforgettable adventure. So, here is a massive post of my recommendations in New York City!

I flew from Sydney to New York on Qantas via LA. I was upgraded to first class on the first leg, and was in heaven! My inflight experiences with Qantas have always been phenomenal. The staff always go above and beyond to take care of you. I don't have any photos to share right now, but keep an eye out for my vlog, where I documented the first class experience!

The Rockefeller Centre / Top of The Rock
No trip to New York is complete without a visit to Top of the Rock! If you haven’t been, you need to go for the iconic view of New York City! Make sure you visit on a clear day with sunny skies to make it worthwhile! During peak time, I recommend going early in the morning, as you need to go to the Rockefeller Centre to buy tickets and secure a time slot. Spots fill up quickly during the busiest times of year. Top tip: You can also book online to skip the queue!
(Top of the Rock is part of the New York CityPASS*) 
*The New York CityPASS includes the very best hand-picked attractions of New York City, wrapped up in an easy-to-use ticket booklet. The pass is $116, which is a 41% saving on 6 iconic attractions. Definitely worth it for first timers, or those wanting the full city experience!

We waited thirty minutes to enter, and spent approximately one hour here.

Rockefeller Center Ice Rink on Christmas Eve

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
If you like history, culture, art, or even if you’re just a Gossip Girl fan, make a trip to the MET. The building itself has it’s own charm! There’s so much to see, in a huge range of topics. Highly recommended on a rainy day in the city! 
(The Metropolitan Museum of Art is part of the New York CityPASS
We waited twenty minutes to enter, and spent approximately two hours here.

American Museum of Natural History
For the Night of The Museum fans, the American Museum of Natural History is a great family friendly adventure. Also great on a rainy day! I studied American History during high school, so I really loved this place, and took my time here. It's huge. You could honestly spend a full day here if you wanted to see everything. 

The museum also play shows throughout the day. We chose to see the Intergalactic show about stars and space ... it was trippy AF. It's shown in a gigantic dome-like cinema. I can't wait to go back to see the show on Dinosaurs or Arctic animals - if they are still showing!
(The American Museum of Natural History is part of the New York CityPASS
We waited twenty minutes to enter, and spent approximately three hours here.

New Museum: Pixel Exhibit
This was an interesting one! Located in Soho, the New Museum changes it’s exhibits every few months, and has no permanent collection. They currently dedicate their entire space to the multi-media video artist, Pipiloti Rist. The string lights are my favourite part, because I’m basically a child and shiny things always get my attention. The entire exhibit is unique and quite strange. You can take your time here, as there are several levels to be explored. Lay back on pillows and watch the videos that mirror the LEDs in the synapses display across the room, or walk through the pixel forest of dangling LED lights.
Ends soon - on the 15th of January!
We waited twenty minutes to enter, and spent approximately two hours here.

Flatiron District
Head over to the Flatiron District to simply see the famous Flatiron building. I always go here for a photo (hehe), and you can eat at Eataly afterwards! When it was completed in 1902, it was one of the tallest buildings in the city at 20 storeys high. Oh how times have changed! 

Central Park / Ice Skating in Central Park
Ice Skating in Central Park is a must in Winter! However, go early because lines can be hours long during peak time. As much as we wanted to go Ice Skating under the Rockefeller Tree, the rink is much larger in Central Park, therefore ... more fun? Haha! Also, the Rockefeller rink is basically impossible to get into during Christmas time! 

Brooklyn Bridge
A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge - necessary. We went during sunrise to avoid the crowds. Sadly, it was a cloudy one so we had no sunrise, but I'm determined to go back when it is a sunny day in New York. I've also been during sunset at the same time of year, which is very beautiful. However, there are always stacks of people during that time of day.

230 Fifth
Igloos? On a roof top? In New York City? And drinks? Yaaass! 
I'm not sure how long the igloos will be up there for, but 230 Fifth is one of the best bars to visit for a great view of the city & Empire State Building. You can't reserve the igloos, but if you get there really early (4-5pm), you might be able to secure a spot in an igloo with a group of friends. 

Dominique Ansel Bakery (Breakfast or Lunch)
A personal favourite in New York, located in Soho. Dominique Ansel is the creator of cronuts, so of course they are the best here! I always get the hearty warm soup of the day, an avocado toast & one of the cute pastries on the side! Also a must try - the toasted marshmallows!!!

Black Tap (Lunch)
Burgers and salad are the main food here, it’s very much overhyped, but great if you’re into the crazy OTT shakes. They are about $15USD per drink. There are three locations of Black Tap in Manhattan. Make sure you arrive early as the wait is always over an hour long during lunch time!

Sant Ambroeus (Lunch)
Charming little restaurant, serving simple Italian food. It has a lovely atmosphere, we spent over five hours in here with friends, talking and eating and talking some more as it was cold & rainy outside. A great place to go if you’re around Soho! There are three locations of Sant Ambroeus in New York.


Jack’s Wife Freda (Lunch)
Another favourite, Jack’s Wife Freda. Just look at the photos! It's always packed in here, and the food is tasty (and healthy). There are two locations, we visited the one in Soho.

Momoya (Dinner)
Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of Somoya, but it was my favourite dinner meal in New York. We ordered three random dishes between two, and all of them were absolutely divine. I highly recommend this spot for dinner in Manhattan.

Rolf’s (Dinner & Drinks)
During Christmas time, Rolf’s is the most festive restaurant in the city. You need to go just to see the decor! The restaurant spends roughly $60,000USD per year to do it up, and I love them for it. You have to book to get a table, we just had drinks by the bar, but also had to wait half an hour to even get inside. I had an eggnog, which was so American Christmas of me, and it was damn good too.

ViVi’s Bubble Tea (Drink)
For those looking for a bubble tea float, (bubble tea topped with fairy floss) ViVi’s does them at their Allen Street Location! 

Integral Cafe (Coffee & Snack)
A great place to get yourself a matcha latte & doughnut on the go in Soho! They do a small range of baked goods (including doughnuts & croissants) 

Sweets By Chloe (Coffee & Snack)
We stopped at Sweets By Chloe before walking over to the New Museum to pick up a coffee & giant cookie. A great place for a snack, and also next to By Chloe, which apparently serves some of the best burgers in New York. I have not tried them so I can’t say (yet!).

Doughnut Plant (Snack)
Doughnuts, doughnuts, doughnuts! You guys know how much I love them! Make sure you get the carrot cake (personal favourite - from someone who LOVES carrot cake), also the peanut butter & jelly. Y. U. M.! 

Momofuku (Dessert)
My favourite Ice Cream spot in New York! Sadly, they were out of their regular flavours, Cereal & Crack Pie, so we all went for Sweet Potato, and now you all have to try it because it’s delicious! Also, the cereal topping is my favourite topping if you care to know! 

Eggloo (Dessert)
We had egg waffles for dessert on the go in Chinatown after stuffing our faces at the Golden Unicorn (Yum Cha). You can customise your own egg waffle, from waffle flavour to toppings. This is probably my favourite dessert snack in the city, but the waffles are huge, so make sure you're sharing! 

Quin Hotel
The Quin Hotel is located right next to Central Park, on 57th between 6th & 7th. It’s the perfect location for Central Park, Times Square, and Fifth Avenue Shopping (these are all walking distance). The subway is located across the street. It's so easy to get around, and a great base for exploring the city.

The Chatwal
Right next to Times Square, on 44th, the Chatwal is the perfect hotel for anyone who loves the hustle & bustle of New York City. Also great for first timers looking to see all the touristy things! Everything in Midtown is walkable from here. It’s a ten minute walk from the Rockefeller, which we walked to many many times during Christmas & New Year. 


I hope you enjoyed this one! What are your favourite things to do in New York? I'd love to know!

This post was create in collaboration with QantasNYC & Company.

Photos taken by me using Canon 5D MK IV.


  1. What camera do you use to take the photos ? It's beautiful.

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  2. I've only been to New York once, hopefully next time I can go back and try all of these cool activities and delicious food. :)

  3. This is amazing!! Thank you so much for putting it together! I've been to NYC before, but not like this. I need to go again and do all of these things!


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  4. goals goals!! New York is such a nice city! Your photos are so stunning!


  5. Beautiful photos Tara! Love all the food recos :)

  6. Looks like it was an amazing trip! I haven't been back to NYC in many years, maybe it's time for a revisit with your recommendations! :)

  7. Tara, please can I interview you?

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  9. Thank you for this detailed post about N.Y.! I'm currently planning my trip to this lovely city in September and I am so thanful for any reccomendations :)

  10. Your pictures are always so amazing ! NY definitely sounds like a good idea after seeing this.

  11. Great trip. Wonderful photos.
    I think too that NY is good idea

  12. I can see why NYC is always a good idea! Looks like an eye watering dream. So many people, even in winter, but that's what would make it awesome! Biased of me as I've never been to NY, or any of the states for that matter, but I've wanderlusted over NY for years! Can't wait to go eventually...

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