New York is one of my favourite cities in the world and it’s a place that has put stars in my eyes since I was a little girl. Growing up as a competitive dancer, New York was where dreams were made. From broadway shows, some of the best dance studios in the world, to Julliard. Those were the things that attracted me to the city years ago, but after my first trip there when I was in high school, I realized this city had so much more to offer.
I’ve travelled to New York twice in my life, once in the summer and once in the winter, and both times, despite the heat wave, and then the extreme cold warnings, I still left with a full heart. Here were some of the experiences that stood out to me the most.
Statue of Liberty
This may be on everyones list, but seriously when you get the first glimpse of the beautiful lady of Liberty you can’t help but be a bit starstruck. The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the USA from France in 1886, and when you think of New York or the United States today, this is definitely an icon. A ferry ride by this lovely lady is definitely a must-do at least once in your lifetime.
Marie’s Crisis Cafe
On a pub crawl my mom, sister and I went on while in New York City a few years ago in the West Village, this was one of the stops. When we walked downstairs into a dimly lit and dusty bar, I wasn’t really sure what made this place so great. Then it started. A lady hopped on the piano that was in the centre of the room and started pounding out classic musical hits. The crowd stopped their conversations to crowd around and join in. This may not be for everyone, as I’m pretty sure my sister and mom felt a bit uncomfortable in this scene, but to me, I thought this was what New York is all about.
Strawberry Fields in Central Park
Central Park on its own was a bucket list item for me. I mean, New York is the backdrop of so many movies that it’s hard to not daydream about a place like this. Although it took some time to actually locate where the famed John Lennon mosaic was in the park, when we finally saw it, it left you a bit speechless. John Lennon was a legend and to think when you’re standing there you’re standing just across the street from where he lived and died is one of those feelings that you can’t describe.
Sex and the City Tour
Sounds like a cheesy thing to be on this list, but Sex and the City was a show that every girl can relate to in some way, shape or form. So what better way to celebrate a girls trip than to get ourselves on the tour that brings you to all the hot spots from the six seasons and multiple movies. The tour brings you to the bar owned by Steve and Aidan for a cosmo, to the Pleasure Chest where Charlotte bought her “rabbit”, to the bakery where Miranda and Carrie ate cupcakes, and many more spots throughout the city. No matter how old you get, you’ll still fangirl over stuff like this!
The second time I went to New York was around Christmas time, which meant the city was decorated with fancy window displays, even brighter lights and fantastic ornaments. New York doesn’t do things small, especially for holidays. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention how jaw dropping the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree is which ranges from being 69 to 100 feet tall with around 45,000 lights.
So I went to New York in high school and danced with the Rockettes. I mean, how often do you get to say something like that? If you read my intro paragraph to this post, you can get why this was a big deal to me as a young dancer. The Rockette Experience is offered to intermediate and advanced dancers and includes a four hour dance class taught by a Rockette, a mock audition where you are graded by the Rockettes and a Radio City stage tour (yes, I got to stand on the stage!). From learning a tap routine, to learning how to do the famous kick lines, this was an experience that still lives with me to this day!
Radio City Christmas Spectacular
And of course, I couldn’t finish this post without mentioning the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Years ago I saw the Rockettes perform in Toronto when they were on tour, but nothing compares to a show on their home stage. The costumes, props and overall performance just leaves you on the edge of your seat and will have you buzzing long after you leave. Definitely worth the ticket price and trip to NYC during the holiday season!
Ahh New York, writing this post gave me a severe urge to come see you again soon.