Travel Junkie Diary Of
Joyce Amil is the owner and PR Manager at Ricci Capricci Beauty Salon at Conrad Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Ricci Capricci (which is Italian for Straight & Curly) is a beauty salon I opened alongside my mother over a year ago after having worked in PR for a few years.
My friend and I decided we would go just the two of us since neither of us had ever been! We looked at the map and narrowed it down to a list of cities we wished to see, of course we had to choose a few due to budget restraints and time limitations
Here is her diary…
A Diary In New York City
Destination New York City!
I am a huge fan of traveling and exploring different cultures and cities. I fell in love with lots places I visited in the past – but one city in particular had a big impact on me and inspired me in many ways… New York.
We were able to take two weeks off work so we chose to visit 3 cities in 15 days. We decided New York would be our East side stop and then we would fly to the West side to visit Las Vegas and Los Angeles. New York was a definite option for us as we were both just bursting to see it.
Stayed at Ace Hotel just off Broadway on 20 West 29th street. The location was prime and perfect for us as it was walking distance from pretty much everything we wanted to see in Manhattan.
First impressions of the Hotel The lobby area was absolutely fantastic looking; it had a pub, a café in the lobby with tables, couches and work stations, and a small stage where musicians would play several nights a week. It was so urban, so quirky, and so cool! It had mosaic floors, a big hanging vintage American flag and free wifi too. We sat in the lobby amongst random people working on their laptops, enjoying a coffee with friends or even reading a book. The vibe was just perfect.
While previously browsing the website, we realized the rooms resembled a boy’s dorm room which made us giggle because we actually liked how “homey” it looked. We booked a Medium room which included a king sized bed, a mini bar, a big fridge, a vintage Martin guitar and a view of 29th street. The room was very vintage looking and had its own character.
We were happy to learn that the hotel had several activities going on during the week – bands playing, parties etc.
We ordered room service a few times (cheese platters and wine etc) and were very happy with the cuisine. On our last day in New York, we had burgers at the hotel pub (The Breslin Bar) and absolutely loved them!
What to pack My suitcase was filled with shorts, t shirts, sneakers, a couple of dresses for evening dinners or bars, a couple of pairs of jeans and one pair of heels. Sneakers are an absolute winner in the Big Apple because as a tourist, you want to walk everywhere
Diary Our diary consisted of many things we wanted to do and see in just 5-6 days. This meant that we were on a tight schedule and super excited! Things to see included Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Time Square, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, Minskoff Theatre to watch a show or play (we watched The Lion King), Grand Central Station, Madison Square Garden, Museum of Modern Art, Statue of Liberty, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Metropolitan Opera House, Shopping and dining in Soho, dining in Little Italy, China Town, Brooklyn, Broadway Dance Centre for dance classes, McKittrick Hotel to watch one of the best plays and experience the greatest thing in the world called Sleep No More! Don’t even think of missing this one.
Where to eat One of my favorite restaurants was Café Gitane in Soho, go there for potentially the best avocado toasty ever! Breakfast there is a must as they also have a great egg sandwich.
Wolfnights is also a super cool spot. It is the perfect place to visit after bar hoping in Soho. It serves wraps, amazing french fries and beer! Order the Feta Fries and the Sweet Potato Fries with a beer and enjoy!
Little Italy also has many restaurants that serve great Italian cuisine dishes. Any restaurant you visit there is guaranteed to serve you good pasta and wine.
There is a very touristic but cool restaurant on Broadway that I really recommend called Bubba Gump Shrimp. True to their name, they serve many shrimp platters and lots of other sharing plates. Order a few to share and have you a few cocktails.
Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel between 6th and 7th avenue has some of the best burgers you will ever taste! It’s known as New York’s “Secret”! It’s normally packed with people and the waiting list is long but it’s all worth it.
Where to shop For me, shopping in Soho was great. We walked up and down the streets to find some amazing little boutiques and stores that housed multi-brands and lots of cool one off pieces. The East Village also had some great stores including ones we recognized like Zara etc. Other must see areas for shopping include Chelsea/Meatpacking District and Greenwich Village.
Tips My tips for New York would include: wear comfortable shoes, stay there enough days to be inspired and to see everything (7-10 days), make sure you see all the touristic spots and watch plays. Also don’t forget to stop on the street for a hotdog and a pretzel! Expect New York to truly inspire you when it comes to art, architecture, city life, opportunity, nature, history and much more. What not to do would include: don’t rely on the subway or taxis during the day because walking is part of the experience, don’t take the subway so late at night and avoid walking. Taxis are your best bet. The city has its own culture and people there didn’t appear to be super religious. It’s a city that houses many different nationalities and religions so the locals are fairly open and accepting.
How to get there We flew Emirates Airlines directly from Dubai to NYC. We booked Economy seats and although the flight was 13.5 hours, we didn’t feel it! We slept most of the journey and when we were awake, we ate good food, watched movies and walked around to keep our blood flowing.
Best part of the trip Walking in Central Park, watching the play Sleep No More, shopping and dining in Soho, attending dance classes at Broadway Dance Center were among my favorite things to do in New York.