I flew with virgin Atlantic and it was a pleasant enough experience, the staff were great and my neighbour was a girl from the Bronx who gave me a nice bit of insight to the place and was generally a drinking buddy for me on board. The only issue (and they were minor) was my TV kept powering down so I would have to turn it back on and find my place in the film and there was no WIFI on the outbound flight. No biggie, unfortunately not enough to constitute a free upgrade anyway, if I thought it was I would of gone for it ha!
I landed at JFK around 14:30 (last week) and got out into the open around 15:30. I made the mistake of getting a Lyft via the Line service (thrifty!) which was a bit of a boo boo. It was now rush hour and there were three other people in the car one in the front who like me, said nothing the whole time which I imagine was for the same reasons as myself. The couple next to me. After packing my case in the boot, I had tried to address everyone with a lovely English ‘Alright!’ but it pretty much fell on dead/rude ears. The couple in the back I was sitting with were clearly hoping the Lyft would of ended up as a single ride for the price of a share ride and they were total dicks. Once I had been taken all the way up to Brooklyn heights to loose the couple, we had to go all the way back down to Canal street (check the map, what a joke). At 17:15 my New York break actually started.
Side note: Just get a Lyft for one when heading to and from airports!
Once I got out of the cab, I spared a thought for the girl in the front who I imagine was going to be in the cab for at least another hour with the bumper to bumper nature of New York in rush hour traffic but once that thought passed, I was ready to check in!
New York on a Budget!
My hotel for the first part of the trip was Soho Garden Hotel in lower Manhattan / Downtown NY area. This place is affordable and in honesty a great location to everything. It’s on Canal Street and right next to the subway where you can go to all the usual hot spots easy AF.
Is it luxury? No not really, but it’s clean and functional. Worth mentioning the reservation manager Mike simply can not do enough for the guests and dare I say it, puts the rest of the front desk workers to shame. Check him out when you stay and I guarantee he will give you price estimates on cabs, refills on room items as you need, places to go and will also turn off the ICE cold automated AC in your room. Woah, even in 30+ degree heat the AC there is madly cold. The only other gripe is the walls, they are like paper thin! But I wouldn’t worry too much, if you are paying to be in NY then staying in your room all day is a waste so it shouldn’t bother you too much as you are going to be outside exploring!
As I was pretty hungry and delirious with tiredness, I thought the best thing to do was try to stay awake till at least 10pm (I failed at that by the way, passed out around 20:30, I was knackered) so I asked where I could get some food near by. I must of sounded well British because one thing you wont need to ask, is where to get food. Food is EVERYWHERE. Bars, restaurants, street food and street vendors stretch as far as the eye can see and the only real problem you will have is selecting something in case you miss something better.
I headed Left out of the hotel and walked up Canal Street and found a Bar and Grill place called Ovie Bar and Grill about 3 blocks down. I thought a plate of sliders would do the trick, as I was more tired than hungry. I get overwhelmed by big portions and wasn’t ready to be overwhelmed just yet. The plates of the couples next to me looked big enough for lunch and dinner so I though I would play it safe with a modest plate and a cold lager. I had to ask for them without Bacon though as I really am not a fan of bacon in a burger! The Sliders were real nice and the larger went down a treat.
The place was relaxed and service really friendly but the thing that caught my eye the most was a building in front of me it made me think of the more intelligent Titans from ‘Attack on Titan’ playing Jenga. Wow. Sometimes I even surprise myself with my geeky thoughts.
I was now seriously tired and I thought let me just go back to the hotel and chill for five minutes, unpack and stuff. Next thing I remember it was 01:00am. I was a bit annoyed at myself but thought at least I can take NY by the balls later on and turned over and tried to get back to sleep.