Day 1 and we arrived at JFK in the morning. We decided to get a shuttle to our hostel. This cost us $16 each and it dropped us at Port Authority bus station where we jumped on he subway down to Chelsea. Note: Getting the subway is not easy with a big suitcase! In hindsight we probably should have just got a taxi...
Unfortunately the hostel hadn't given us very clear instructions on how to get there so after standing around gawping and looking lost for a bit, a friendly american (rare in NYC) came to our aid. Turns out we were pretty far away. After a pretty long walk in pretty crazy heat, we finally found the tiny, completely missable entrance to our hostel.
We stayed in City Rooms NYC which in the end did turn out to be in a great location for sightseeing. We were a two-minute walk from Penn Station, which was handy for the subway and had a seven eleven right next door.
I will admit, due to previous experiences in hostels, I really was not happy about staying in another. And was sulking beforehand that we weren't going to a hotel. However I would recommend this hostel to any one on a budget, as it was the nicest I have ever been to.
We stayed in the room named Brooklyn. It came with a double bed - pretty comfortable, air con, a fridge, a sink, clothes rack, and a safe. For a hostel, it was a fairly spacious room, and there was a cleaner that came in everyday and changed towels and bins. In the reception area they offered coffee for free in the mornings and there was also a cold water machine which was handy for filling our bottles up.
The place only had two downsides. Firstly the shared bathrooms. Being a hostel, there had to be something that made in hostel like! To be fair, they were incredibly clean. The toilets were tiny. Any taller than me and you would probably find them uncomfortable. The showers were more spacious and were separate to the toilets, but weren't very powerful. The second downside was the layout. This is New York so the building was taller rather than wider, which meant a heck of a lot of stairs. We were on the third floor so it was a challenge to get the suitcases up and down. Luckily when we arrived there was a male member of staff there to carry my case for me.
By the time we had settled in I was completely knackered. I knew the day wasn't going to last much longer for me. We took a stroll to Times Square which was about 15 minutes away. I don't know if its an age thing or because I had seen it before, but the place didn't have the same feel as last time I was there. The crowds were not appealing and I felt in the way everywhere I stood. Don't get me wrong, it was still pretty cool to be stood in Times Square. But it just didn't feel as magical as last year. We had a browse around a few of the shops. Including the massive Forever 21. I remember when I went in last year and initially thought it was incredibly small for their New York store. I then noticed the escalators that went down...way down!
On our trip to Times Square, we also spotted the Naked Cowboy! I was so determined to find him this year as previously I hadn't. And people hadn't believed me when I told them he was a real New York thing/person. He was taking selfies with tourists but the crowd was too big so I took a sneaky shot from behind.
I didn't last much longer and headed back to bed, because at this point I had been awake for about 26 hours, which wasn't working well for me...
Day 2 coming soon.