New York, the American dream!!


travel suitcase  family trip  medium budgetFlag united states
Travel made in February 2018
Duration: 5 days

Welcome to big apple!!

Hello bubblers! Today, you will discover this new Myoxybubble adventure by humming “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia keys! Come and join me in New York to live my American dream! The most populous and most visited city in the United States, everything is excessive! When we think of New York, we think of Manhattan, the Harlem neighborhood, Staten Island and many others. Live with me this craze for the “Big Apple“!

Our itinerary

You can click on all the photos in this article in order to view them in large format

New York, the American dream!

Day 1: New York, here we are!

After 8:25 of flight, we finally land at JFK airport. To get to the center of Manhattan, I advise you to take the NYC airporter shuttle. Simplify your life by making your reservation directly online from home before departure. And do not forget to provide a tip (so cash) for the driver, otherwise it is really frowned upon.
{Update 2022: This provider doesn’t seem to be exercising anymore}

It took us 45 minutes to get to Port Authority Bus Terminal, a station not far from our hotel, the Distrikt Hotel New York City  (upscale category). This one was clean and ideally located: 2 steps from some sights (Times Square, Central Park, 5th Avenue). The neighborhood, with its restaurants and many bars, was very lively, to our delight!

Day 2: South of Manhattan & Brooklyn

In your opinion, what is the best way to discover Manhattan to start your American dream? the American dream obviously begins with a helicopter tour !!! By helicopter, you dominate New York! It’s a magical moment during the flight, and unforgettable afterwards! The view of the buildings and the Statue of Liberty is stunning. It’s just amazing to fly over Manhattan by helicopter. If your budget allows it, do not hesitate 1 second, live this unique experience!
For me and my daughter it was also our helicopter baptism, the sensations and the pleasure were increased tenfold! We had stars in our eyes, plus the pilot wasn’t bad at all!!
We went through the company Liberty Helicopter but had booked our flight via the site ($ 200 / pers + $ 35 heliport tax to be paid on site, for 15min of flight).
No problems to report, we recommend this provider.
We booked the day before for the next day from the France. A great introduction to our Stay in New York!

Manhattan flyover helicotent baptism New York pilot bapteme helicopter Manhattan view Ellis Island Manathan view Manathan view Manathan view Manathan view

Once back on earth, no time to lose, the dream must continue! Then direction Whitehall Ferry Terminal, which is 2 steps from the heliport. We board a free ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island. The service is provided 24/24h every day of the year, the journey takes about 30min and there are departures every 20min. The particularity of this ferry line is that it passes close to Liberty Island, the island where the famous Statue of Liberty is located. On board, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Skyline (line of skyscrapers) of Manhattan and therefore the Statue of Liberty.

This ferry is interesting if you just want to see (and photograph) the Statue of Liberty without disembarking on Liberty Island or Ellis Island (the island where the Immigration Museum is located).
On the other hand, if you want to go to the foot of it, or even go up there and visit the museum, then a paid excursion will be necessary. Departures are made at Battery Park and a reservation in advance is strongly recommended.

Staten Island Ferry Staten Island Ferry Statue of Liberty Skyline of Manhattan

Once your round trip by boat is over, you can stroll along Battery Park. This southern part of Manhattan is very green. You walk along the sea and see in the distance the Statue of Liberty.

view of Battery park view of Battery park

Then you can walk the streets past the Wall Street bull called Charging Bull. Many tourists take pictures of themselves in front of him !!! So, impossible to show you because it was stormed. Pass through New York’s financial district called “Wall Street” which gave the stock exchange its nickname.Finally, land at the foot of the 9/11 memorial located on the site of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center. You also have the opportunity to visit its museum. Many of us were affected by the attacks of 11/09/2001. Today, the twin towers have given way to 2 huge square fountains engraved with the names of the victims. This square is peaceful, with the sound of water dripping, and serves as a collection. It does not leave indifferent and allows a beautiful tribute.

Memorial World Trade Center View World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center

Right in front of the memorial, you’ll find the Oculus, New York’s futuristic train station that takes you to New Jersey. This station replaces the former authority trans-Hudson port station, a World Trade Center station, destroyed during the attacks. I strongly advise you to enter the central atrium of the Oculus. Its exterior architecture represents that of a bird, while seen from the inside, it resembles the skeleton of a whale. Here you will find many shops and food outlets.

Oculus New York Oculus New York Atrium Oculus New York

It’s time for us to regain strength with a good, high-calorie American meal at Shake Shack! It is one of the must-see addresses of American fast food, along with Five Guys. The latter is better known to us because the brand began to establish itself well in France.

Shake Shack Shake Shack Burger

Then we stroll to New York City Hall, the City Hall, which is a beautiful building dating back to 1811.

New York City Hall Park New York City Hall

Finally we land at the famous Brooklyn Bridge ! It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. We travel about 2 km to cross it. It connects 2 emblematic neighborhoods of the Big Apple: Manhattan and Brooklyn. Crossing the bridge is a must-do free activity! From the top of its 48 meters, you witness a magnificent view of the Skyline of New York. The bridge is very popular with pedestrians and cyclists, but also with cars that circulate under your feet!

Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge View Manhattan Bridge Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge Skyline Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge

I advise you to make your crossing in the late afternoon.
You can take daytime photos and then stroll through the historic District of Dumbo before returning to watch the sunset in Brooklyn Bridge Park. You have a wonderful view of Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.

Manhattan Bridge Manhattan Bridge Subset Manhattan Bridge View sunset Manhattan Bridge View sunset Manhattan Bridge Brooklyn Bridge

Finally, you make a night return and enjoy the illuminations of the Brooklyn Bridge and the city. A show not to be missed!

Brooklyn Bridge night Brooklyn Bridge night

After this long day, it is time for us to eat and reach our hotel, to finally collapse from fatigue.

Day 3: Central Park, 5th Avenue, Times Square

Early wake up to make the most of your stay. You can have breakfast at Levain Bakery. Small shop that does not look good but very famous for enjoying their delicious cookies and muffins! You come out full and satisfied!

At Levain Bakery

The Levain Bakery is right next to Central Park which we had decided to browse early in the morning. I suggest you take the opportunity to gather on the Strawberry Fields memorial dedicated to the memory of John Lennon and located in the west of the park. 

Strawberry memorial

Central Park is the largest park in Manhattan. It is very wooded for the delight of the many squirrels, and ours! It is full of places to see like the belvedere castle, strawberry field, the statue of Alice in Wonderland, bow bridge, the rock and many others.

central squirrel park Central Park Squirrels View Central Park Central Park Squirrels Chateau de Belvedere Alice in Wonderland Central Park The Roc

After a long and pleasant walk in Central Park, you can head to Columbus Circle. Then head to  5th Avenue for a mega shopping, while going down to Washington Square Park ! This avenue is world famous in the same way as the Champs Elysées in Paris. It runs through much of Manhattan and is bordered by many luxury shops, monuments, buildings and Central Park in part.

Fifth avenue New York Victoria's Secret New York Victoria's Secret New YorkAbercrombie New York

During your shopping, you will come across or see on the road the Flatiron building, the Empire state building, the Rockefeller Center, Chrysler building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Bryant park and its library, the Apple store and many others.  

Flatiron Building Empire State Building Chrysler Building Rockefeller St. Patrick's Cathedral washington square Chrysler Building Bryant Park Library Union Square

The shops are open 7/7., it’s a shopping paradise to the delight of my daughter! During your crossing of Fifth Avenue, you can go to Rockefeller Center to book your entrance ticket to the Top of the Rock and choose your tour schedule (quite high price but it is a must). This saves you a long queue. We chose for our part the late afternoon to witness the  sunset. The observation deck offers a splendid view of Manhattan, with the Empire State Building on one side and a view of Central Park on the other.Very nice spot for photo lovers! Up there, you feel good, you take your time and you admire the view. 

View Top Of The Rock View Top Of The Rock Sunset Top Of The Rock View Top Of The Rock View Top Of The Rock View Top Of The Rock

The visit over, we go back down to earth! I propose you to continue this wonder New York by taking the direction of Times Square. It is an emblematic square animated and illuminated by many LED screens. There are many shops and characters disguised on the street as Walt Disney superheroes with whom you can be photographed. Times Square is a mythical place in New York.You have to climb the famous red TKTS stairs from where you contemplate the square. Magic!

Times Square By Night Times Square red stairs  TKTS Times Square

The Times Square area includes many restaurants like the Hard Rock Café or Bubba Gump (in reference to the movie Forest Gump). We chose to taste the famous shrimp from Bubba Gump. The setting is  like the movie, the staff smiling and the food and cocktails are good. We had a great time there between mother and daughter! Then, head for the delicacy at Hershey’s chocolate ! In Times Square, it’s great! Everything is excessive, it’s great, we have fun! 

Bubba Gump Restaurant Bubba Gump Restaurant Hard Rock Café

Day 4: Highline, Roosevelt Island, Grand Central Terminal

It is February 21, 2018, the thermometer displays more than 24 degrees, a record for a month of February !! Wake up in the morning (again! And yes we want to enjoy it to the fullest!) and head to the Highline!
The highline can be related to the green casting of paris. It is a walk that is done in height, on an old railway rehabilitated into a green promenade. it is about 2 km long and you enjoy the view of the Chelsea and meatpacking district. You can admire many  murals and also make a stop at Chelsea Market. It takes you about 1h20 to go through it entirely while taking a few photo breaks. The walk is very pleasant, I recommend it. 

View Highline New York Highline New York View Highline New York

And if you like unusual walks, I also recommend the Roosevelt Island cable car !! On board, the view of New York is splendid! The crossing takes you to Roosevelt Island. The latter is 3 km long. On site, there is not much to do except sit on a bench, stroll by the water and admire the view of Manhattan. Another quiet and peaceful place in this city that never sleeps. The crossing costs only $2.5, but is free if you have a Metrocard (see Section Advice/transport). The departures of the cable car are every 10 minutes and the crossing takes only 3 minutes.

I wish you to have a big blue sky to benefit like us from the extraordinary view from the 76m high. This attraction is little known to the public but is worth a visit! This is a good plan to discover a beautiful view of Manhattan without breaking the bank. Roosevelt Island Cable Car Roosevelt Island Cable Car View Skyline New York

Then, return to Manhattan and direction the Grand Central Terminal. It is the largest train station in the world and is absolutely worth a visit. The station has 44 platforms and 67 tracks.
The main hall is of great beauty with its magnificent ceiling adorned with constellations, its counters and its 4-sided clock (located in the middle of the station, at the information point). There are also shops and the Grand Central Market.

I recommend a fun experience in the basement of the station: the Whispering Gallery. I tried the experiment with my daughter: you can whisper in a corner and the person in the opposite corner will hear you! It’s funny and impressive! 

Large Central Terminal Large Central Terminal Large Central Terminal Large central Ceiling Terminal Whispering Gallery

To end our day, head to the Tudor City Bridge. My goal is to land there with my camera at nightfall. Indeed from this bridge, we have a remarkable view of the famous Chrysler building and its 42nd street !! Very nice spot for photo lovers. It is located in Midtown near the big central. To do! 

Chrysler Building by night Chrysler Building by night Chrysler Building by night

Day 5: Broadway, Greenwich Village, Chinatown

Last day New York quite rainy. We lost 15 degrees in one night! To start the day off right, I suggest you head to the Broadway neighborhood for a hearty breakfast at Ellen’s stardust dinner. I advise you to go there for breakfast because the queue is shorter. The waiters, future Broadway stars, sing and perform while serving your meal.There is a very good atmosphere. the dishes served are original, typically American, caloric and correct. The price is a bit high but it’s worth it. Not to be missed!


After strolling through the streets of Broadway, I invite you to discover the Greenwich Village district. For this, departure from Washington Square Park. There is Washington Square Arch, a marble arch, which resembles the triumphal arch of Paris. This square is a wooded park where many animations are produced. The place is nice.

Washington Square Place

At a corner of the square, you can see an imposing red building that happens to be the main library of New York University called Elmer Holmes Bobst Library.
Feel free to get in, it’s worth a look!
The interior architecture is splendid.

elmer holmes bobst library elmer holmes bobst library

Going down 5th Avenue, at 10th Street, come and discover the Indian oriental façade of the Lockwood De Forest House. The sculptures are magnificent.

Lockwood De Forest House

Then, make a stop at the LGBT Community Center in Greenwich Village located at 208 West 13th Street. Small unusual visit because it is a gay center. The interest is on the 1st floor of the center because there are the old men’s toilets, customized by the famous designer “Keith Haring”.

LGBT community Custom toilets by Keith Haring"

On the way out, you might as well continue this cultural break to the NYC AIDS Memorial  (go to 12th Street). In a small park is the New York City AIDS Memorial.
On the ground are the names of 100,000 men, women and children who died of the disease. Then go to Sheridan Square, see the Gay Liberation Monument represented by 4 white “Segal” sculptures representing a couple of men and a couple of women. In this square, the first homosexuals fought for their rights.

NYC AIDS Memorial NYC AIDS Memorial Gay Liberation Monument

The Greenwich neighborhood is very rewarding, every street corner has its history. For example, we came across the Jefferson Market Courthouse, a large red brick building with its dungeon. This building was a women’s prison.
Today it has been transformed into a library. Possibility to enter the premises for free to visit.
Finally, as a pharmacy preparer, I have to go to C.O. Bigelow, the oldest apothecary pharmacy in New York. The windows and interior furniture are period. A real step backwards!!!!

 Jefferson Market Courthouse C.O. Bigelow

Finally, for a guaranteed change of scenery, you can also walk in the neighborhoods of Chinatown, little Italy, Soho, or even on the Manhattan Bridge (be careful, it’s noisy with the trains that pass!).   Every neighborhood in New York City has its charm.

 Chinatown ChinatownView to the left of Manhattan Bridge Manhattan Bridge

Our American dream is coming to an end. It is time for us to collect our suitcases and go to the airport for a return to Paris and its daily reality.
We didn’t have enough time to do everything, but on my next visit, I’ll try to catch a Gospel song, a Broadway musical and why not a basketball game at Madison Square Garden? Not to mention some museums, New York street art and climb into the Statue of Liberty! 

If you want to discover even more activities and places to visit in New York and its surroundings, we invite you to click on the banner below:

One last short video for the road:

I hope you enjoyed this trip with me. I look forward to seeing you soon for new adventures with a new Myoxybubble destination!

Feel free to leave your comments on this article and share your own experiences in New York (the form can be found a little further down).
Need advice to organize your trip? Contact me!

My advice


We advise you to travel by public transport (bus, metro, cable car) given the distances.
In addition, it is very difficult to park in New York.
For this, the metrocard is very useful. You can take it from most metro stations. There are several formulas. We opted for the 7-day unlimited ride which is valid for 7 consecutive days unlimitedly, as its name suggests (price $ 31).
You can also use the New York subway application “New-York Subway MTA map” on your smartphone, very practical and very well done!


The currency is the US dollar. €1 is worth about $1.14.
CB is accepted just about everywhere.
Tip: In France we tip because we appreciate the service, but in New York, tipping is one of the elements of the salary.
We give tips in a restaurant, in a bar or club, in the taxi, For example, a New Yorker gives about 20% tip to the restaurant and between 10 and 15% to a taxi.

Before you go

Don’t forget to check that your passport is still valid.
It is necessary to be in possession of an electronic visa to enter the territory. Go to the ESTA website to complete the formalities online.
The cost is $14 and the visa is valid for 2 years for a period of 90 days.
There is no need for special vaccines.
For electrical outlets, they are different from those in France, it is necessary to have an adapter.

Logo Myoxybubble

Leave a Reply