Deciding to become an au pair is a big decision and requires a lot of planning. While there are a lot of elements to consider, I believe that the most important thing is Continue reading
We all have those moments where we dream of dropping everything and moving to another country, but Continue reading
We all know that feeling when you’re taking a selfie next to a big tourist spot; the feeling of sticking out because you’re so obviously a tourist. Staying in Manhattan, New York, carries a similar burden. As much as it’s great to be in the centre of things, sometimes it’s even better to take a step out, and take a look from the outside. This is why you should stay in Williamsburg the next time you go to New York.
Williamsburg is a lively district of Brooklyn and is about a ten minute subway ride out of East Village — you can guarantee that Bedford Avenue station will be your second home. But don’t let the small distance put you off — Williamsburg has so much to offer! You get to feel like you live in New York rather than just staying in a commercial, central hotel. It’s a totally different experience.
One of the best things about Williamsburg is the number of amazing restaurants and cafés it has: I went to a great dumpling place called Vanessa’s Dumpling House on Bedford Avenue — imaginative name, right? Creativity complaints aside, it’s super cheap and they serve great food. You’ll probably have to fight to get a seat, but it’s easy enough to order some to take away. If dumplings aren’t your thing, you can get amazing pizza at Roberta’s Pizza on Moore Street.
For lunch, Smorgasburg market has a huge variety of food, with over 100 local vendors selling the likes of tacos, savoury crepes from Shanghai, fried ramen burgers to mango on a stick, raindrop cake and spiked lemonade. It’s right by East River State Park, on Kent Avenue, and it’s open every Saturday from 11am-6pm.
Because brunch is essential when in New York, I will tell you a bit about my two favourite spots, even though there are plenty more to try out! Café Mogador has great decor, food presentation and choice. I have good memories of sitting at the breakfast bar eating a massive portion of french toast while reading the New York times. That was when I decided I have to live in New York one day. Champs Diner is all vegan, and has an overwhelming amount of choice. Who knew you could get vegetarian/vegan chorizo?! The pancakes are delicious, I’d recommend the cookie dough ones, but the menu has so much to choose from I don’t think you’ll have any trouble finding something you like.
Williamsburg also has some pretty cool bars. There’s a bar called St Mazie on Grand Street which does live music — usually jazz, and Donna on Broadway is meant to be great for cocktails. Sadly I’m not 21 yet, so I couldn’t try any of these out, but they’ve got great reviews!
There are some brilliant vintage and boutique shops to explore in Williamsburg; you could probably spend a whole day rummaging through them! Check out Malin’s on Bedford/North 6th, Spoonbill and Sugartown for second-hand books, and don’t forget to take a look at the street sellers’ items. There’s a flea market every weekend selling artists’ work from 12-8pm off Bedford Avenue and North 6th. Personally, I think gifts brought home from different places over tacky tourist bits are much more appreciated.
One place I’m gutted to have missed is Nitehawk Cinema on Metropolitan Avenue. It’s a small cinema that has decent priced tickets ($9) and showings sometimes until 12am. You can even order a full meal while you’re watching! In summer, McCaren Park – a great place to relax in Williamsburg – hosts evening films in collaboration with Nitehawk cinema. What’s more, there’s an outdoor pool which you can spend hot summer days in!
Williamsburg Bridge is just as impressive as Brooklyn Bridge, and you may be interested to know that some celebrities live in the area. Keep your eyes open!
Finally, and I will say this to anyone travelling to New York: fly with Norwegian Air! It’s far cheaper. But, download lots of films to your phone (Netflix, 4oD and iPlayer) to keep you entertained because their selection isn’t the best (although I am a bit of a film-snob).
You can probably see there are loads of reasons to stay in Williamsburg, Brooklyn instead of Manhattan. I’ll leave the rest for you to discover – that’s if I have persuaded you!
Copenhagen might not be the typical city break destination you’d think of visiting, especially compared to places like Paris and Rome, but when I saw Continue reading
Getting off the plane after leaving Europe for the first time, I was met with a cold blast of air like nothing I’d felt before, as temperatures of below -19°C hit New York in February of last year. It was so cold that I now feel grateful for the ‘cold’ temperature of 1°C I might get here in Bristol.
Funnily enough, New York was drastically colder than my visit to Moscow the preceding February, where quite the opposite occurred — a ‘heat wave’, with (wait for it) temperatures of up to 6°C!
If you think weather forecasts in the UK are dramatic, take a look at American TV. Broadcasts of the people of Boston trapped in snowed-in houses, followed by an escaped convict turning himself in. Reports on the risk of the cold to homeless people and general health warnings permeated every television channel and newspaper headline in the country.
Staying in the heart of Midtown, a road away from the Empire State Building, Continue reading