NEW YORK

When I booked Jordan and Frank's wedding at the Stone Tower Winery in the USA, Michael and I decided to spend a couple of days in New York on route. We met in the States 10 years ago (!) and both have been to New York before, but never together. It was incredible to come back to the city which I had fond memories of after 10 years. New York stayed the same, but I certainly changed. I remember stepping out of the plane from Russia in June 2005. Everything was new and exciting, and even the air smelled different. The journey probably started with that nostalgic feeling and memories of youth, but it was so interesting to feel and see the city through another 10 years of life experience. We planned our time around foodie places we wanted to go to in different neighbourhoods off the beaten path. After one too many delicious cocktails, too much food, and a couple of kilos of extra weight we were tired, but felt like we got to really experience the city. We saw people randomly dancing on Washington Square, enjoying life and the warm spring evening, witnessed a movie being shot not far from our AirBnB flat in East Village, listened to blues in a candle lit bar and jazz in Central Park, tried to trace family history, climbed onto a rooftop, and talked about our dreams. Four days in this crazy city was a lot, yet not enough... Scroll to the end for the list of places we visited and our recommendations.

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We found our place in East Village in Manhattan on AirBnB and our flat was great. See it HERE.  Best cocktails in NYC and the bar that won Best cocktail list in world award in 2013 - Dead Rabbit, Grocery and Grog. Quirky non-touristy neighbourhood with Widow Jane whiskey distillery and Cacao Prieto artisan chocolate factory, small independent restaurants and fresh seafood bars - Red Hook in Brooklyn. Great street food markets - Smorgasburg in Brooklyn and Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District. Visit the Tenement Museum on Lower East Side to learn about immigration and see how working class people lived at the turn of the century (VERY GOOD!). Eat at Chelsea Market, get some gelato for dessert and walk on the High Line - misused railway track converted into a park. Some of the cafes and restaurants we liked - The Chefs Club (best dishes from 4 different chefs. Incredible absolutely delicious food!), Otto on 5th Avenue, Cafe Mogador in East Village. There were many more places on our list which we didn't get to see. Here is to the next time :)