New York City for theatrical people!

Let’s get one thing straight NYC is perfect for theatre people. If there’s one thing for sure it’s that the streets are crawling with dancers, singers, comedians, actors, performers and other such like professions. The theatrical side of life runs perfectly against the shimmering lights of Time Square. I remember one of my first shows I ever performed was FAME (I mean, wasn’t everyone’s) I was about 11 years old and in love with the idea of becoming a dancer. Blissfully unaware of the future.

I loved that show though, I loved the story (for the most part, and what I understood at that age) I loved the songs, everything! I remember thinking…I’ll go to New York one day! My whole outlook on New York was what I had watched and performed as a child.
When I turned 24 I actually went to New York. Bam. There I am smack bang in the middle of this world that I had dreamt about so many times as a child. I visited all the places I’d ever wanted to Radio City, The Rockerfella, Broadway dance centre, the American ballet theatre. I saw them all!

Only thing is, when you’re 24 and you’re in NY admiring all these places it’s hard not to feel hard on yourself because inside these theatres are people your age DOING IT!
You do see the streets lined with dancers singers and actors but the harsh truth is that most of them are unemployed or working at what was the most tragic part of our trip, Ellen’s stardust diner. We arrived pretty late and struggling artists half heartedly yet beautifully belted out show tunes to drunk people indulging in late night fried cheese. I couldn’t help but say how much more i wanted for these amazing artists.Clearly these people were over qualified for serving me blue coloured cocktails with several bendy straws at 1am.

One thing that fascinated me in NY was the comedy scene! It’s huge. Now it could be just as big in LDN but I often avoided or because i got plain sick of the people filtering their events in my face in Leicester Square. That being said in NY when some joker tempted the idea of seeing Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in my direction I snapped up that ticket.

To neither yours nor my surprise.
I did not see Tina or Amy that night.

I did however see, Judah Friedlander at Stand Up NY and he was as funny as I imagined. The intimate crowd were buzzing as I took the last seat available. Right at the edge of the stage, the spot that literally said ‘pick on me’ for the comedians, before I’d even sat down the MC was calling me out about my ‘sexy outfit’ and asked me ‘ohhh girl- you out there looking for a man, damn girl you got dressed up’ With my awkward laugh i looked back over at Naomi who was sat further to the back and said ‘im not no!’ ‘good, send them my way then’ she laughed and on with the show. I was already ready for it. I was placed in the perfect position. Perhaps my highlight of being called on was when on the comedians came on, sat down, browsed the crowd and looked at me. I knew it was time, he had a joke ready. ‘ How old are you?’ he asked. I laughed. ‘Should she be drinking? Did anyone check her id?’ he shouted as i drank me beer. I’m 22 i laughed. He dryly bit back ‘ you look 12’
I agreed. and e continue with the act. I loved this, the whole interaction with the crowd. It made me so happy.
So imagine my delight when we were queing up for AssssCat 300 at UCB. Home of such talent like; Amy Poehler (SNL, Parks and recreation, Sisters) Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) Kate Mckinnon (Snl, Ghostbusters) Bobbi Moynihan (SNL) Matt Walsh (Veep) and many more! It’s such an incredible experience.

The whole show was based on audience interaction. You shout out a word and a monologist will create the foundation for a story to be completely improvised by the comedians. AND THEY CREATE AMAZING WORK. It’s so bloody funny. I was overwhelmed by the talent i saw. Heads up – que for the 9:30pm tickets and the show is FREE!

Aside from the comedy scene, as you can imagine NYC is bursting at the scenes with the chance to see a show. Broadway is forever pumping new shows out and with 5-7 shows a week you are guaranteed to find something that will create a lifetime of memories. If that be dance, drama or the favourite musical you’ve been wanting to see. It’s often that NYC has that show waiting for you. One thing i will say about this is, it isn’t going to be cheap. Tickets can cost from $59 to $199 on average. Check out the off broadway shows if you are looking for something to be possibly more money friendly. They are just as good quality shows most of the time!

If that is still out of your budget i recommend taking tours of the theatres. We looked around Radio City Music Hall, New York City Ballet, Rockefella Centre and Carnegie hall. Just go look around, go admire the stages, the seats, the feel of the building, the costumes, the rehearsal spaces. The foundations of the theatre are all there waiting for you to walk around.

One of the shows i have always dreamt about seeing is the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City. I was lucky enough to go on a tour of the theatre when i visited last time and it made me want to go back at christmas more than ever and watch the spectacular…one day.

Have you ever been to NYC and seen a show? Let me know in the comments before what you saw and how your trip was !

Danielle Jade.

 

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New York Diaries; The Last Day 

Today it was our last full day in NYC and we were determined to make he most of it! We were advised to take trip down to the Dumbo area of Brookyln. So we did!

We walked around went into a few shops but let me get to the main focus of this paragraph because ladies and gentlemen we did it, we found the best sandwich shop in the world. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that every other sandwich up until then was just preparation for this heavenly ‘wich.


It was from a remote little place called Bread and Spread and honestly if it wasnt for the delicious smell as you walked past you wouldn’t have even noticed it there! There was no shop window no advertisement, no nothing. After purchasing our lunch we head up towards the start of the walk across the Brooklyn bridge! I was excited to croaa this and it didn’t take half as long as I expected. The views are breath taking. Looking over Manhattan is just beautiful.


We had already decided that morning that today we were going to go to Lincoln Centre. Somewhere we were both eager to visit, being an aspiring actress and a general performing arts enthusiast. We obviously wanted to take the tour. (Yes you guessed it this was included in the NY pass also)


Now let me just set this down for you guys, we were told it would take 40 minutes but the lady who showed us around managed to make it nearly double that! Now I am a fan of a tour in a geek in learning about the history and getting to see all the stages was incredible but it only took her so long because of how insanely slow she talked. I began to predict the ends of her sentences in my head that’s how much time I had. Right, anyway back to the positives. Whilst we were there it was NYU graduation and it immediately made us both feel a little nostalgic to when we graduated a few years back. All dressed in their robes they looked so excited for the future!


After seeing all the beautiful sights Lincoln centre had to offer us we head back to Brooklyn to catch up with some friends in one of the top whisky bars you could find. Spoiler alert; I was more excited about the grilled cheese and rightly so, it lived up to its name!


Having a drink and it gradually getting later we thought, well why stop now! It’s our last full night lets make the most of it. We head back into Manhattan calling at a few bars before going into one of my favourites called CubbyHole predominantly a LGBT bar it was coloured in rainbow objects and trinkets which all hung from the roof! Just look how cool…


After a drink…or two, we head back to Brooklyn to grab some food from a place that caught our attention, it looked like a camper van on the outside but when you cot inside they served up the most delicious Mexican food and of course we jumped at the opportunity for coconut churros, I forget how much the Americans like their cinnamon though. Gah.


One last drink at the bar below our apartment and we were ready for bed. This place was called sweet science and it was playing Arctic Monkeys inside. You could tell it was a cool chill place and so we enjoyed our last alcoholic beverage before heading to bed for the last time in NYC. It was another wonderful day and knowing tomorrow we only had the day we had already created our last minute shopping plans, our last visit to Times Square to see our friend before leaving and grabbing some breakfast from Applebee’s we were completely in love with the city and I will be going back someday for sure!


I hope you all enjoyed reading my NY diaries!

If you have any questions please do ask! I love reading all your comments and want to know about your experiences too

•Danielle Jade

New York Diaries; Day Two

New York Diaries

Day Two.

It was now Saturday in New York City and we woke up extremely tired from the day before. This was to be expected with the amount we fit into one day! We thought it would be best to keep this morning nice and simple, to head to the bottom of Manhattan and see what Wall St. had to offer us.

As usual we caught the subway into Manhattan and down to Wall st.

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 Now, as far as what Wall st. had to offer i would say it was very minimal. The buildings are beautiful, they are very grand and the architecture itself is amazing but i wouldn’t say its somewhere i would recommend when visiting NYC. Had you still been able to get into the galleries and see exchanges i can imagine it has a whole different feel but as for my experience it wasn’t that great. We carried on around the area and gradually made our way to the 9/11 memorial site.

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Perhaps the most emotional i was all trip was being here. It really does tug on your heart strings. Such a beautiful memorial for such a devastating attack, i was overcome with so many emotions when looking at all the names engraved onto the marbled square. I think this is because i remember how i felt when i heard the news of the attack, it’s the first time naive little ten year old Danielle realised their truly is evil in the world and not everything is in our control. We stayed her for a little while before deciding it was time to make our way back into central Manhattan and catch a glimpse of our friend in the Dance Parade.

This turned out to be quite the polar opposite experience of what we had just had.
The Dance Parade was so uplifting, the parade was filled with different styles of dance from people of all ages! It was really good fun to witness and just look at these incredible costumes!

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After we managed to see our friend Emily go by in the Dance Parade we thought it would be best to head for some lunch before we ran out of time to eat! We walked a little further down the street we were on and arrived at 230 this is New Yorks largest outdoor rooftop garden and they do an all you can eat buffet brunch which of course we were going to have to try. Sipping gin and tonic on a rooftop with a huge plate of waffles and syrup i was content with my ‘lunch’ even if we were now starting to notice the severe lack of vegetables this place had to offer. I would recommend this to any of you wanting a rooftop bar but the brunch wasn’t really good for myself as the lack of vegetables and the overwhelming supply of bacon made it a little hard for me to eat anything.

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(Our view just to get into perspective how high you are)

Now, it was the perfect time for us to go and change for what we had been excited about all day. THE STAND UP COMEDY NIGHT. Remember the tickets i told you about in my post here? Well we were going to that show to see if we had been scammed or not after all.

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In our first NYC Uber, dressed and ready to watch the show we head into a super rainy and traffic heavy Manhattan. Arriving ten minutes AFTER the show started we decided it would be best to book into the later show after all, however the guy on the door reassured us we had missed nothing and said if we didn’t mind sitting apart we could go in NOW! Excellent, we’re both the kind of people who don’t mind being split up in shows as we’re not there to talk anyway so head on in. As you could predict the last two seats weren’t the ones casually in the corner – OH NO, they were the ones that required a particular amount of ‘sorry- excuse me- sorry’ just to get your but on that seat. In my case however i literally got the last seat in the audience. SMACK BANG FRONT AND CENTRE OF THE WHOLE SHOW. I was petrified, have you ever been to a stand up comedy show?

You’re basically saying pick on me please, sitting at the front. As expected as soon as i arrived i was acknowledged by the comedian who told me ‘Giiiiiirl, thats a sexy little outfit, damn. You looking for a man tonight?’ ‘Oooh no’ i replied before she made a joke of ‘how i could send them all her way then!’ These three steps to my chair suddenly started to feel like a catwalk, taking forever! She even had time to ask me ‘Do you know there people you’re sat with now?’ ‘Absolutely not’ i laughed. ‘That’s my kind of girl!’ She laughed and carried on with the show.

As the show continued i was in love. The atmosphere, the jokes the people , particularly getting to watch Judah Friedlander was an amazing experience. Gradually the show was coming to an end and after enduring one more final attack on myself as a audience member from another comedian which went like this:
HIM: looks around audience ‘How old are you?’
ME: oh me? Im 23!
HIM: ’23? Well you look 12′
I nodded, i genuinely do. Everyone laughed and he ended the show.

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Im so glad we trusted our instincts and bought these tickets even if the promised Amy Poehler of course didn’t turn up. We laughed and we had fun. It was a brilliant show and for $20 i will most definitely go back if i am lucky enough to go to NYC again.

As with it being night now it felt only right that we used our trusty phones to find a cocktail bar and go for a drink, we eventually found a little place called Dakota Bar. 

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(This was called the SAUVIGNON SIPPER which consisted of Sauvignon Blanc, Stoli Oranj vodka, St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur, grapefruit and lemon juice ) It was delicious. Now very merry and having Emily come meet us we decided it would only be right to head to the Stardust Diner and witness the spectacle there,

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Now, i feel i should mention the diner itself is exactly what you expect when you hear the word Diner, but they have singing waiters and waitresses and not like standard people who can hold a tune. These people are AMAZING, they have wonderful voices and had it not been after midnight i bet they would have been more than happy to have been jumping around and performing their hearts out like i have head may people say they saw them do. So just a little heads up, don’t go here at night, make sure you go in the day and witness them at their full potential!

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(Here we are in a suddenly very rainy NYC loving life)

Danielle Jade

New York Diaries; Day One-Part Two

New York Diaries

Day one; Part Two

Following on from my previous post here.

We left Radio City and head just down the street to Rockefeller Centre! For those of you who are wondering what this is, The Rockefeller Centre is home to a complex of 19 different commercial buildings from iconic ice skating rinks to the studios of SNL and The Today Show, Fashion, Food and Art exhibitions. It really has earned its place as one of NYC most famous landmarks.

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(The Rockefeller centre, just look at the size of it…Well look at the size of how much i could fit on my iphone screen ha!)

Instantly we were in love, the building is physically beautiful. Both inside and out. We decided now would be the perfect time to grab a bit to eat and so got a ‘slice’ and sat just outside the Rockefeller Centre and looked over the square.

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(
The centre of the square looked so relaxing and the detail in the architecture here was fascinating)

We had a look around some of the shops in that area including the NBC Studios shop, which had some fabulous merchandise of different shows filmed there. Myself and Naomi are both huge fans of comedy so were loving looking at the different SNL quotes on the shirts.

Heading on the L train we set off back home to get changed for our Dinner that night in Times Sq. Naomi had booked us a meal at the infamous The View restaurant. This restaurant was up on the 48th floor and in line with the top of some of the amazing skyscrapers that NYC has to offer you. Whats so special about this restaurant is how it rotates as you eat! You will go the whole 360degree turn throughout the course of an hour whilst you are there. So no need to worry about feeling sick from the motion, its not a rollercoaster! In fact if it wasn’t for the constant changing view id have forgotten we were moving. We went here at the perfect time, the sun was just setting and we got to see the city switch from day to night. PERFECT.

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Naomi and I at the top of The View rotating and eating- y’know the usual)

Now let me just mention here, this is not a place for travellers on a budget. This meal was most definitely a one off experience, and to be honest the food isn’t anything too special, which was kind of a let down, only to be made up by the amazing view of course. Now i would however recommend for the view maybe go to the mimosa Sunday brunch, as the buffet menu looked incredible for that and it is a lot cheaper at $59.00pp. On a positive side though, i had one of my favourite cocktails whilst in New York here!

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Deciding what to eat-Classic me, spending too long examining the menu)

Finally to finish what was becoming one of the best days of my life we left the restaurant and head to back to the Rockefeller centre to experience the top of the rock. Before going to New York we had the constant battle between going to the Empire State or Top of The Rock, but when asking the majority of people we knew had already visited the city, majority said go to the top of the rock as you will prefer the view with the Empire State building in it. So thats, just what we did, we arrived at about 10:30 and joined the queue up to the top we were placed just in front of a wedding party. The bride looked so beautiful and the whole group ecstatic to be getting that final perfect picture at the Top of the Rock. I’m sure that will be an experience the whole group will never forget.

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(Our view from The Top Of The Rock)

I don’t know if ill be able to explain just how incredible this view is as i truly think its something you need to witness to appreciate the beauty of the city. Its not often i am left speechless but i was overwhelmed by this view. Seeing all of the lights  i was in love with the greatness of New York. The buildings all different in height from the smallest to the tallest all offering such spectacles it really makes you feel capable of anything. Im not entirely sure how long we spent here, but i know i didn’t care to check the time. I was at peace, i was happy and i wasn’t concerned about anything but being in that moment.

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Here i am, content with being a little one in the giant city)

As it got later we were so tired from our fulfilled day we decided it would be best to head back to our accommodation in Brooklyn and call it a night at just gone Midnight.

It was the perfect first day in New York City.
Even if it did feel all a little surreal!

Danielle Jade.

New York Diaries; Day One-Part One 

New York Diaries

Day One: Part One.

Hello lovely humans who i adore in not a freaky way but in a – you can be my buddy kind of way.

Welcome to Day One: Part one of my NYC adventure.

Here i’m going to let you know all about what i got up to on my first day in the City up until Mid-Day, i have decided to split today into two parts as it was becoming an essay of a blog post.
Enjoy.

As soon as the sun peered from behind the blankety clouds of the manhattan sky that morning i knew it was going to be a good day. Up and ready to leave by 8 we were ready to head from Brooklyn and into Manhattan. If you read my previous post then you may already know that i was staying in Brooklyn however i forgot to mention the amazing bagel place just by the L train that we stopped at to grab a bite for breakfast, i think it should be a universal rule that when in New York you must get a bagel. There’s just something better about them over there. 


Like any other tourist i assumed would do, we went straight to Times Square to make it seem official that we were in NYC. Times square is exactly how you imagine it to be the lights are huge, the atmosphere is chaotic in a good way, you can see people hurrying through with their coffees on the way to work, it really did give off that city that never sleeps vibe however there was also around 20 badly put together people dressed as the most random selection of cartoon characters. Mickey mouse and Hello Kitty were very popular with around 5 of each of them, id say just the right amount to completely kill the children faith in them being real. I didn’t enjoy this. 

After that we head to pick up our New York Passes. For anyone who doesn’t know what this is, i will tell you now. Its a GOD SEND. It cost us $190.00 each which works out at around £120.00 before we went and that covered over 80+ attractions. Knowing we wanted to see a lot of places this was a super investment for us and we opted for the whole 5day package, they can do in blocks of 1,3,5 or 7 i believe. I would recommend this to anyone who is keen to explore more than just the outskirts of landmarks and maybe indulge on a few tours.

 

   

Now, the next place we went to was called City Kitchen. A friend recommended it to us and said we should meet there for Donuts. Currently studying a Broadway Dance Centre she has become pretty familiar with the city and said they were extremely good donuts. Still being full from my Bagel i wasn’t hungry however i wish i was as look at this Chocolate Nibs sensation:

 

Apparently it was just as good as it looks and for just $3 it’s a must try! After a lovely catch up we decided to be on our way and head to Central Park.

On our walk to Central Park, we purchased two Comedy tickets from a guy who was flyering. After handing over the money be began thinking that we were probably just scammed but as the comedy enthusiasts we are, we were still excited at the chance to have a laugh (and the guys hints of Amy Poehler being there was something we were willing to be scammed over if it wasn’t the case.)

Arriving at Central park we used our New York Passes to rent bikes for 3 Hours (This should have been $50pp plus another dollar for the basaket) and without meaning to we cycled the whole way around the park. By the way if you have never been before let me tell you now, ITS HUGE! you could easily spend days in there. What it has to offer is incredible.

 

One of the highlights of my trip was getting to see the Alice in Wonderland statue in there. I have always loved Alice in Wonderland as its my favourite Disney Film and i was more than determined to find this statue, so thats one thing to tick off the bucket list!

 

The park itself is beautiful and cycling around meant we got to see whats on the outskirts too, i would recommend cycling around as it really is lovely. The park all works on a one way system and there are special cycling lanes so don’t worry about being on the road, you are really safe. (Unless the person next to you is trying to take a selfie whilst riding and bumps into you- this happened to Naomi who i was with, FACT)

When the Sun came out cycling became harder and harder so we decided it was time to return our bikes and head for Radio City music hall somewhere i have always wanted to visit since i ever got the first thought of how i wanted to be a dancer. When we arrived we found out their was a tour of the building and we instantly booked on (again we used our passes however without this it would have been $26.96)

 

This tour was one of my favourites throughout the trip.

First off, the lady that showed us around was brilliant, her accent was amazing! We went all around the building, learnt so much about the history which was really interesting,we heard about the different performances that have been on there and even met a Rockette who did a question and answer with us and let us take a photo with her whilst looking at some of her costumes! 

 

I was mesmerised by everything from, being able to stand in the audition room, to the faces of the people who had performed there, to seeing the stage and walk into the room of which some of my idols had attended parties at.

   (See in the image above one of my idols Judy Garland)

It was shaping up to be one of the best days i could imagine and we were already in love with the city.

 

Make sure you come back tomorrow to see just what we got up to that evening!

Danielle Jade

Find out how YOU can stay in NYC without breaking the bank. Plus a discount code!

Hello everyone thanks for joining me again, today im going to be letting you all know how i managed to land some sweet accommodation whilst visiting NYC late last month.

Now originally i looked up hotels, hostels, you know the usual. I searched from the most prestigious places to the shared bunkbed places, everything was coming up extremely expensive due to the week we had decided to hop across to the states.

I reached out on facebook to ask a few people who live  nearer NYC to help point me in the direction of good accomodation, i mean, if it was going to cost a fortune it may as well be reliable. This is when i was recommended AIRBNB.

Now, i had heard briefly of AIRBNB before but had never thought of it as a contender when looking for safe and reliable accomodation. Its premis is simple, you search for homes in a location you are intending to visit and you will be matched by your search criteria to appropriate rooms within someones house or even someones whole house as they are away on vacation.

As i do with way too many questions in my life i turned to Google ‘AIRBNB NYC’  to further explore this option that was now looking like a contender in my accommodation hunt. The search results pointed me in the direction to download the companys app. After happily obliging i found this service was becoming super easy to understand. 


Here is what the home screen looks like after creating your account. You can type in any location around the world and the app will wither down accommodation to fit your needs perfectly.

So for this trip i was looking at the following requirements. 

 


There is also advance filters you can add to fully personalise your trip however I found a pool was not such a necessity for this trip 🙈You can also browse around the city of your trip using a map view  for more precise location accommodation choices.

As with any major city, it appears the further you branch out the accommodation becomes cheaper. Choosing location is key, especially in NYC. What with it being our first trip we went with somewhere our friends told us was safe and where you could explore if you wanted a day out of the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps. We finally decided upon, Brooklyn in Williamsburg just near Bushwick Avenue.

We found a lovely host, in an apartment that was extremely clean, comfortable and perfect location just a few minutes walk away from 2 different subway routes into Manhattan. Both routes were approximately a 20 minute ride into Times Sq. It was also nice to see the view every morning over the Williamsburg bridge.

One thing i will mention when looking for accommodation is, don’t feel like because you are going to the city you need to stay directly in the city. Had i gone with that mentality i never would have found such a great place for £351 (to be exact) Saving on accommodation meant i had more money to spend on exploring the big apple.

So what are you waiting for, if you’re having your doubts about AirBnb i can safely say my experience was nothing but dream and at just £70.02 per night or if i was to divide it by the two of us staying there £35.01pppn how could i have resisted.

So guys, here’s the exciting part. After booking my trip the App generated my AirBnb code that is going to save you £16 on a trip that you may consider booking in the future, so feel free to use my code and get saving on you’re next adventure: http://www.airbnb.co.uk/c/dallen351

Let me know about your AirBnb experiences and any upcoming trips you’re going on!

• Danielle Jade

It’s FINALLY here!! Have YOU started reading yet?

NYD1

Hello beautiful people, It’s finally the day.

The New York Diaries starts NOW!!

First off, i should let you know i have sectioned in out into chapters as it was pretty much a dissertation by the end of it.
What can i say? I wanted to share everything with you all!

Heres what you can expect to read all about throughout our NEW YORK DIARIES journey together…

  • Accommodation in NYC, where i stayed and how i went about finding accommodation for two for under £360 for 5 nights in NYC!
  • Sightseeing, how being a tourist in New York is super easy when you have the right plan and tickets.
  • The food, where to eat and where to avoid in the big city.
  • My personal recommendations, the highlights and lowlights of NYC. From what inspired, and overwhelmed to what let me down within the trip.

First chapter up is how you can stay in NYC for under £360 for 5 NIGHTS!
Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? 

Check out my next post to find out exactly how.

See you over there lovelies

Danielle Jade x