Things are quiet at Swell Made Co. as we enjoy a summah break. We're packing up and heading west to Edmonton, Calgary, Banff and everywhere in between to be with family. You can watch our adventures on Instagram and we'll post about them soon, but in the meantime we have another adventure in store for you. Take a little trip to NYC with our guest blogger, the lovely Christine Mihailidis. She's a vetted lover of the Big Apple. She'll take things from here!
When I moved to Toronto to join my fiancé (now husband) 6 ½ years ago, I was excited to finally be with my true love, but maybe, just maybe, I might have been just as excited that I was now only a 1-hour plane ride away from my lover... New York City.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit my lover at least a dozen times, but I still can’t get enough. The best thing about New York is that you can just go back for more and more and never get bored. Each trip always takes a different turn—from conquering all of the tourist musts (seriously, at least 30 sights in 5 days) to partying with locals on NYE in Harlem (& living up to the city’s moniker of never sleeping) to meandering through my favourite ‘hoods (with zero on the agenda) to braving the city with a preschooler in tow (as well as the lovely Lesley from Swell Made Co. and her preschooler).
Regardless of the type of trip or time of year I’m visiting, one thing is a constant: I LOVE the subway system. It makes experiencing NYC a breeze. If you’re heading to the Big Apple, head underground, and get to know my lover better.
In honour of Swell Made Co.'s Subway Glam collection, I thought I would give you a pretty perfect day following the red line (123) and the blue line (ACE). Best part: almost everything is free (or close to it!).
Take the 1 train to the southern tip of Manhattan to the South Ferry station. Hop on the Staten Island ferry to get the best free view of the Statue of Liberty. Didn’t get great photos on the way there? When you get off the ferry, turn around and head right back on, and you’ll get another chance on the way back!
Get back on the 1 train and head to Chambers Street. This stop will take you to the World Trade Center site where it’s a must to visit the 9/11 Memorial. It’s a somber visit, but also very poignant.
Switch over to the blue line and catch the E train at the World Trade Center station to Spring St. station. You should be arriving just in time to get a caffeine hit at the SOHO staple since 1977 (but made famous in the 90s by Felicity), Dean & Deluca, and then start exercising your shopping muscle. One of my favourite neighbourhoods, SOHO (south of Houston Street, in case you were curious), is a great area to browse the stores you already love (Madewell, Apple, Ben Sherman) and discover new ones you soon will (Babel Fair, MOMA Design Store, Opening Ceremony and Brooklyn Industries). Just remember, the browse part is free; the shopping...that one is on you.
Now that you’ve built up an appetite from just browsing (sure...sure), circle back to Spring St. station and get on the A, C, or E and head to 14 St. Station. Head west for a few blocks to Chelsea Market. This indoor market likely has the highest concentration of delectable foods within one city block. With choices like Friedman’s Lunch, Bar Suzette, Dickson’s Farmstand Meats and Amy’s Bread, you’re sure to leave satisfied and stuffed. There’s no better way to work off lunch than one of my absolute favourite spots in NYC, the High Line. When you leave Chelsea Market out the west entrance, look up and you’ll see your new favourite landmark.
Walk along the High Line to 23rd St. to the 23rd St. station and hop back on the A or C to head to the Upper West Side. Get off at the 72nd St. station and head to Central Park. At this station, in particular, you will enter the park right at the Strawberry Fields memorial, where Beatles fans from afar flock to pay respects to John Lennon who lived across the street at the Dakota when he was killed in 1980.
Keep walking south in the park (along West Drive) and you’ll pass the iconic Tavern on the Green. Since you’ll be passing by mid-afternoon and likely have earned yourself a break by this point (trust me, you have), treat yourself to a beverage and something from the snack bar that, when compared to their dinner offerings, won’t break your whole NYC budget.
Continue living like those in the Upper West Side and head over to the Lincoln Center (walk along 66 St. to Broadway) to explore the beautiful architecture and be inspired by being in the presence of some of the country’s greatest musicians. Perhaps you can even catch one of the free weekly concerts at the David Rubenstein Atrium.
As the sun sets on the city that never sleeps, it’s time to get your second wind! Catch the 1, 2 or 3 at the 66th St./Lincoln Centre station to make a brief pit stop at the tourist mecca, Times Square. This is a must-see if you haven’t seen it before (but, if you have, definitely feel free to skip this one!). It’s a sight to behold, or, at the very least, a spectacle to observe. (Advice: Keep far, far away from the “Disney/Marvel” characters who hang out ready to take photos for a fee—imagine what’s caught in those fur covered costumes. Shudder!).
After blinding yourself by the lights of Times Square, catch the A or the C at the Times Square station and head across the East River to Brooklyn. Get off at the first stop in Brooklyn (High Street station). Follow Caldman Plaza West to Old Fulton Street (towards the bridge) and you’ll see the line-up for Grimaldi’s, the most famous pizza place under the Brooklyn Bridge. If the line-up isn’t too long, it’s definitely worth the visit, but there are also a few other restaurants around the corner that will fill your bellies. The real treat is what’s in store after dinner.
Once you gobble some ‘za, make your way to the pedestrian entrance of the Brooklyn bridge and walk back to Manhattan. This is one of the best views of Manhattan you will get and there’s something special about ending your day by walking back into the city of lights. I’m betting after the perfect date, you’ll be ready to take a lover yourself.