Two weekends ago I spent Thursday morning to Monday afternoon in the city of concrete and lights. I’ve been to New York once before, but it was when I was 9, so I feel as though this time it was me going as an adult somewhat on my own. The reason for the trip was a scholarship given for fourteen UNT students to go to the National Retail Federation “Retailer’s Big Show,” the simplest way to explain it is it’s like a huge fashion conference from the biggest retailers in the world there to meet potential employers and learn about where retail is headed. I was there on behalf of writing two thought out 1,000 word essays, creating a detailed timeline for a website I designed and having two excellent recommendation letters. When I heard the news that I had received the travel scholarship, I started planning my outfits and playing New York themed songs on Spotify (click for your very own playlist). What I didn’t know was once I got there how many times me and my partner-in-crime on the trip, Lindsey would get lost. We tried to act as real New Yorkers, but ended up being obvious, shout-it-out-loud tourists. The GOOD news is every time we got lost, we ended up finding something great. I guess that is the big apple for ya.
Here is a list/travel journal of 14 places we found from being lost.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This we did plan to go to, but we got lost inside trying to find The Art of Style, which was a fashion exhibit of the French countess, Jacqueline de Ribes.
Here are a few photos of the beautiful gowns she wore.
Two of My favorite Contemporary Arts
2. Times Square
Our main goal was to explore the city at night. We were staying at the Hilton Midtown, which was right in the heart of Manhattan. We walked for about 10 minutes and became blinded by the lights, so I figured it had to be the lovely Times Square we stumbled upon. I know Times Square is like the route of all evil to the real New Yorker, but if you haven’t experienced so many tourist in one place you really should give it a try. And we had to take a few cliche pictures while we were there of course!
Pictures with these fun characters. We were naive enough to think they just wanted pictures with us…we ended up tipping them.
Day 2- Friday
3. Outside our Hotel…was Famous People!
I have very little luck with seeing famous people, probably because I live in a little city outside Dallas, but while in New York I GOT some luck! Right outside our hotel, they were having an event for the new show called Vinyl. Olivia Wilde and Mick Jagger are in it, so we were able to snag a pic!
4. Rockefeller Center Ice Rink
After contemplating what we wanted to do that night, we heard about Kohl’s buying out the Rockefeller Ice Rink just for the NRF scholars and decided we would attend the party. I, on one hand knew I would be awful at ice skating since I hadn’t gone probably ten years ago. After hanging onto the railing for nearly 30 minutes I was right– I am horrible at ice skating. Lindsey did, however, get me to skate to the middle to take this picture.
5. Magnolia Bakery
Walking back from the Rockefeller Center we were hungry and I NEEDED a treat for the embarrassment I put myself through lol 😉 Magnolia Bakery looked like a winner from the crowd of people inside, so we stopped by and got a cupkae with the best flavor of all time–red velvet!
6. The Shops at 5th Avenue
We walked down 5th Avenue taking pictures of every beautiful window display we saw, hoping to reach the kingdom of window displays, Bergdorf Goodman. Here are a few of the best stores we came across.
The cool thing about me running into this store was I was just looking up their company before I left for NY. They are based in Spain, which is a place I have always wanted to visit, if not live and their clothes are filled with bright patterns and colors. I think they would be such a great company to work for. If only I could speak Spanish…
8. & Other Stories store
Upon our search for Bergdorf Goodman and encountering some rain, we saw a cool shop called & Other Stories. It is now our favorite new store. They had such cool inspirational photos around the store of styling ideas and their shoes were phenomenal. Visit their store, if not in person, go online to their website.
9. BERGDORF GOODMAN!
If you’re not a fashion “nerd” you may not get this one, but just so you know Bergdorf’s is the king store of all window displays and luxury/designer goods. Their displays are the best during Christmas time because they have every Christmas wonderland/fairytale you could think of delicately placed in about five store windows. If you’re curious I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to their displays.
10. Paris Theater
Around the corner from B.G. was a cute little movie theater that only had the showing for the new movie, Carol. After debating if we wanted to be spontaneous or not and spend $15 on a movie we just heard was good, but new barely anything, about we decided to pay and watch it. It ended up being pretty good. The cinematography was beautiful!
Day 4- Saturday
11. Broadway-Les Miserables
This one wasn’t so much getting lost, but rather trying to find a good spot to meet up with my aunt to buy the Broadway tickets. It took a while for us to decide on Les Mis, but I think it was a great decision. It’s now one of my favorite musicals. “I dreamed a dream” makes top 5 of the best Broadway songs, but there are too many good ones from Wicked and The Lion King to be the 1st! After the show, Th Color Purple theater was across the street from where we got let out. There were people from both Les Mis and The Color Purple waiting out for Jennifer Hudson. Sadly, we never saw her, BUT we ended up seeing Tasty from the show Orange is The New Black (My phone died before I could take a picture)!!
12. Broadway Dance Center
This is where my aunt teaches dance. This is also where I get my sass from 😉 On a serious note, she is one of my biggest role models. I got to see her teach a class and it was so amazing how she lit up the room with her enthusiasm, support, and honest feedback to each individual in the class. I nearly ran through the falling snow to see her teach and it was definitely worth it!
13. Seeing my Cousin
I didn’t get to take a picture with him, but it was fun getting to see my cousin who lives there and plays in a singing group called ThirdStory. I got to hang out with him and his roommate and they treated me to dinner. It was cool because we really only get to see each other on the holidays. I also took the Subway back by myself and felt pretty independent lol.
Day 6- Monday
14. Central Park
It was funny, I thought Central park was way far away from our hotel, but when we went that morning it ended up being only five blocks from our hotel. It was the perfect day to go because of the patches of snow on the grass. I wish we could have stayed there longer, but we had to catch our flight!
Overall, I found that it was better to just go with the flow and find really cool places in the city that I probably wouldn’t have known to look for when I was planning this trip. I know this sounds corny, but it really was the journey of roaming the streets than the actual, planned destination that was the most memorable. I loved feeling as though I was in the place I knew I would want to live someday and planning how I would do it. Next time I go, I advise myself to walk the streets and don’t worry about getting lost!
It’s not goodbye, it’s until next time you Big Apple!
*All pictures taken of me were done by @LindseyLotze