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23 Sep 2019

Newlyweds In New York

Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York

At the beginning of June, less than two days after our wedding day, we took a taxi up to Heathrow to spend the night in a premier inn where we got 15% off our meal cos honeymooners. I’ll admit that this did create false hope because we got NO SUCH TREATMENT for the rest of the trip. Honestly, it’s like people didn’t want to give us free stuff. 

Apart from having to pay excess baggage for being just 0.6 of a kilo over, the flight was surprisingly chill and we touched down in New York around midday local time. 

It was our second trip to New York together, and my third overall, but I will never get over seeing that skyline appear on the horizon during the taxi ride from JFK to Manhattan. Our trip two years ago was a truly jam-packed week of New York joy and when it came to planning the honeymoon, we were both in agreement that we were going back. New York just does something to me and I’m glad that my new husband seems to be in agreement that it’s a special place. This time around, having done all the tourist sites, we planned to live like locals – or the fantasy version of living like locals anyway. I am under no illusions that my vision of local life in Manhattan is heavily romanticised.

Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York

We stayed in a lovely apartment in the East Village. It had two floors, a little private balcony just off the bedroom and a leafy shared terrace; a little oasis of greenery amongst the backdrop of closely packed buildings and numerous air conditioning units. Although, admittedly, we think a rat appeared out of one of the plants as we sat on the terrace with a drink one evening…

On our first night, we slowly wandered around the local area which I was pleased to find felt more like the ‘real’ New York than the area we stayed last time (which was very close to Times Square). We ate an absurd ice cream to remind ourselves we’d arrived in foodie heaven and then went and settled ourselves at The Meatball Shop, a favourite from last time, to eat hearty bowls of spaghetti whilst sat on the pavement in the setting sun; just watching the world go by. There was a park a block away from our apartment just brimming with locals – lads playing basketball, effortlessly chic folk sat on benches with their laptops balancing on their laps and dog play areas (seriously, what a joy). There was one area where something musical always seemed to be happening – Hare Krishna chants, a full-on gig with speakers and a backing band or a single man playing jazz on the saxophone. 

(The sound of the jazz! It was everywhere, always tinkling through the hot streets.)

Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York


It was hot – admittedly sometimes a little too hot – but I enjoyed seeing the city in the full glory of summer. We slept with the window open and every day I would wake up to the sounds of the city starting the day and fall asleep to the sounds of the city continuing into the night; it was never quiet because it’s the city that never sleeps after all. It was in these moments, on the cusp of night and day, that I’d wonder how our lives would pan out if we lived in this wonderous city. How these sounds would be the background to our lives and how often we’d be woken up at 2am by a spectacular heat-induced-thunderstorm during the summer months. 

Our mornings mostly started by quickly dressing and walking to Black Seed Bagels, a couple of blocks away, for – you guessed it – fresh bagels. Heading out onto the sunny New York streets before the heat of the day had truly set in and coming back clutching a bagel full to the brim with fruit and honey and ricotta was, without a doubt, my favourite way to start the day. Of course, once or twice, we did swap this delightful routine for going further afield so we could stuff our faces with pancakes or rich egg sandwiches from highly recommended brunch spots.

Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York

Despite the fact that we weren’t planning on doing tourist things, we did head up the Rockefeller again in the hope of looking across the city at sunset. I will never tire of those views but sadly, the weather didn’t play ball that night and we didn’t get the sunset we were hoping for. But then a few days later, when we were in Brooklyn, the sky gave us the most spectacular array of reds and golds as we sat looking across to Manhattan which more than made up for it.

Honeymoon in New York

We also went to check out the newly-built ‘Vessel’ in Hudson’s Yard; an elaborate, copper-coloured, honeycomb-like structure made up of 154 flights of connecting staircases; it’s a bit like being in your very own optical illusion. 

Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New YorkHoneymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York

We explored Chelsea Market, imagining we were locals who could just wander in to pick up our dinner for the evening. There were piles of fresh produce, cheesemongers, butchers, wine bars and a whole array of food stalls ready to feed us with warm, sugary doughnuts and freshly made noodles where the dough was spun right in front of our eyes.  

We meandered the full length of The High Line twice, ate pizza slices in tiny little parks and whiled away a whole afternoon in one of the best pubs I have ever been to. We were mesmerized by the cool haze of the water around the memorial pools and felt like we were living our best lives as we drank aperol spritz and ate Mexican waffle fries in Rockefeller plaza.

Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York

Oh and I developed a mild obsession with Manhattan’s street art, something that seemed to pass me by last time. Sketched on walls, sprayed on corrugated shop fronts, exploding on the entirety of a building.  Bold, unbelievably colourful and big – so big – you needn’t go to a gallery when there are huge masterpieces on the street corners. 

We picnicked in Central Park, scooping fresh salad from a local store into our mouths and stretching out under the trees to read our books. We discovered more of Brooklyn, drinking on rooftop bars and eating in Smorgasburg with that iconic skyline stretched out before us. We meandered along the streets of Greenwich, appreciating all the Pride flags around Stonewall in honour of the 50th anniversary, re-visiting the Friends building and watching a couple practising dance lifts in Washington Square Park. On our final day, the rain came down in a truly dramatic fashion. The city became steamy and sticky, creating shadowy, misty figures after dark. It was hugely atmospheric. 

I love New York; it’s unique and bold, joyous and special. Even more so now that it’s the place we spent our first week as a married couple.

Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York
Honeymoon in New York


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