North America,  Travel

A Love Letter to New York

Finally, after 3 months, we have come to the end of my New York travel series. Looking back on my previous posts make me very nostalgic, and I can’t wait to visit New York again!

My last few days in New York were very lowkey and mostly spent with family. Mutay flew back home on Sunday, and after my cousin and I dropped her off at the airport we drove back home and I chilled for a bit. It felt a bit weird to not have Mutay around anymore, but I guess it would because we were in such close proximity for a while. Haha.

I got a message from my cousin later on in the day asking if I’d like to go to Coney Island, and I immediately said yes! Coney Island was actually on my bucket list of things I wanted to do in New York, and I’m really glad I got to cross it off. Plus, it’s quite close to where my auntie lives, so how could I not visit?

We went to pick up his girlfriend first and then popped into Dallas BBQ for lunch. They have some seriously good eats! And the cocktails are really strong, that I was basically a hot mess for the rest of the day.

After our boozy lunch, we headed over to Coney Island. The weather was beautiful! My cousin mocked me and his girlfriend for wanting to go on the beach because he said that’s where diseases thrive. YOLO. (I didn’t catch anything, don’t worry)

My cousin bought tickets to go on this ride, and although I was feeling a bit skeptical because of my big lunch/alcohol induced brain, I still went on it. SO MUCH FUN. I love the thrill of rides/rollercoasters. Despite my heart nearly dropping out my butt, it was really fun. When the initial rush was over, you get a really good view of Coney Island. If I had been brave enough I would have snapped a picture or taken a video, but knowing me I would have probably dropped my phone and then cried to the high heavens for all eternity.

After the ride, we headed over to a shooting game where I lost spectacularly, but my cousin’s girlfriend won her round! She won a cute little monkey 🙂

We were going to head over to Nathan’s Famous because it’s the one place you apparently HAVE to visit when you go to Coney Island, but we had to rush back home because my family had driven over to come and see me.

It had been 12 years since I had seen some of my family. The last time was at my uncle’s wedding when I was 9 in Jamaica. So, it was a bit surreal to meet them when I’d only ever kept in touch with them through email/phone/Facebook.

It was lovely meeting all my second cousins that I’d never met, and equally amusing because they were practically the same height as me. I fell in love with the little baby, Daniel, with his chubby cheeks and cute smile. I could have seriously whisked him away back to London.

I really hope I get to see them again, soon!

Harlem & South Street Seaport

The next day, my cousin and his girlfriend took me on a mini tour of Harlem and South Street Seaport. We stopped by a restaurant called Harlem Tavern, which was really yummy. The weather was nice, so we got to sit outside as well!

We also stopped by Levain Bakery where they make the most amazing cookies. I scoffed mine before I managed to take a picture of it, but I would definitely recommend the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie. Yummmm 😛

After indulging in way too much food, we wandered around Harlem. We visited the famous Apollo Theater where the likes of Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Diana Ross & The Supremes and many others performed.

We also passed the Harriet Tubman statue created by Alison Saar, which was truly amazing. It is the first statue of an African American woman in New York City and it was an amazing sight to witness first hand. To think of all the things she did and all the lives she saved gives you goosebumps.

I love Harlem. From what I had heard about it before I went to New York, it is considered the ghetto of New York – but for me, Harlem is steeped in culture from the Harlem Renaissance to being the home of the largest African American Day Parade. Harlem has played a big part in American history, from what I understand, and just walking around had me in wonder.

I didn’t get to explore as much of Harlem as I would have liked, but it is definitely on my list of places to revisit.

This mural, located on 125th Street; facing the Adam Clayton Powell statue, was painted in honor of the women of Harlem who have been affected by breast cancer and strong community surrounding them. BECH is a community program of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. This mural was done by artistic director/muralist Bryan Collier and Project Director Alexandra Mitnick.

We then headed over to South Street Seaport, and despite eating previously the food stands over there had me seriously craving. I resisted (with difficulty). I don’t want to be a little piggy ? We popped into IT’SUGAR where there were SO MANY SWEETS. They even had a special section for ‘Across the Pond’, in which my cousin’s girlfriend got really excited because she’s half Welsh. I ended up just buying some sweets for my friends 🙂

It was nice wandering around the dock, as it reminded me of when I went to Portsmouth. I quite like places like this, and just looking out onto the sea. It’s seriously relaxing and the view of the Manhattan skyline is amazing.

After a tiring day (we did a helluva lot of walking!) we headed on home.

Statue of Liberty

If I told you how I excited I was to visit the Statue of Liberty, you probably wouldn’t believe me because I looked so calm. After being disappointed previously, and not being able to see it with Mutay, I decided to myself that there was no way I was not seeing Lady L even if I had to go by myself. So, early the next day I got up, I got out and I took myself to go see my bae (lol, jk).

Luckily, the queues were minimal to buy the ticket and get onto the ferry that takes you to Liberty Island! Because it was a weekday and fairly early, the waiting time wasn’t too bad.

For $18 you get a ticket to Liberty Island, with the choice of stopping at Ellis Island too, there and back as well as a guided audio tour. Honestly, the audio tour was SO good. It takes you all around the island, allowing you to see all angles of the statue and has clips from people all around the world telling you how they felt when they first saw the statue. It also gives you the history of the statue and the problems they encountered, etc. It was really fascinating.

How did I feel when I first saw the Statue of Liberty? Over-fricking-whelmed.

I had an idea of what it would be like in my head, but my first thought when I stepped off the ferry and onto the island, making me a lot closer to the statue, was, “Bloody hell… that is BIG.” No word of a lie, Lady Libby is a big lady. I felt in awe, and I don’t really think there are any other words to describe how I felt.

I don’t think any of my pictures capture how amazing the SoL is, but here’s one anyway. Here’s a bonus picture of me looking hella cute in front of the New York skyline.

I’m so glad the weather was good – Lady Libby be looking good in that sunlight, yo. (I’m calling her Lady Libby like her and I have been friends for years. What’s that about?)

After getting off the boat, I headed back through Battery Park and popped into The National Museum of the American Indian. It’s one of the few museums in New York that is free (it baffles me that you have to pay for museums, because over here they’re all free and amazing!) and it is a really interesting look into the diversity of the Native people of the Americas.

Afterwards, I headed over to Forbidden Planet because helllooooooooo.

I also stumbled into this amazing bookstore called Strand where they sell rare and out-of-print books. I didn’t buy anything, as I was running low on money at that point, but I will definitely be coming back because the whole store was another level. For real.

I headed through Times Square to get home, and I remember my uncle telling me they have naked street performers sometimes prancing around. I never thought I would see any whilst over there, but alas…

Honestly, to have that much confidence to go around half naked in public is amazing. These girls look bomb AF! ❤ ‘Merica, f*ck yeah!

Winding Down

My aunties took me for a goodbye meal at Dallas BBQ, which I’m going to write about for the Food Diaries. Amazing food and cocktails! My last day was spent getting last minute presents and packing. I ended up having to check in two bags (I came with one), as I didn’t realise how much stuff I had to bring back – it was mostly presents for family and friends, etc.

I had such an amazing time in New York. Like I mentioned in the beginning, this post has made me so nostalgic and I found myself wildly grinning as I wrote about all of the things I did. I still can’t believe that I was there, actually. I will definitely be visiting again because there are so many places that I haven’t seen.

New York, you treated me well. Keep it tight and I’ll be back ✌


  • Tara

    Wow! Your final NY post is amazing. It makes me really want to go there! I loved seeing your Coney Island, Harlem, and Statue of Liberty adventure. That strawberry daiquiri looks super delicious and amazing. That ride looks super crazy but fun. It’s something I’d definitely go on!

    And whoah at the naked street performers! I’d never even heard of such things, but I give them major props for having the balls and confidence of doing that in public! I know it’s something I could never do!

    Thanks for sharing your adventures, Chynna. I had a blast reading your entries about your trip to the US! 😀

    • Chynna

      Thank you, girl! You should definitely try, if you get a chance. You’d love Coney Island and everywhere else, basically 😀

      I know, I’m slightly jealous of those girls because they were so ballsy! Loved it.

      I’m glad you enjoyed them! xx

  • Pauline

    Ahhh – this makes me want to book a flight to New York right now! I’m super jealous, I’ve always wanted to go – and whenever I see photos of NY I feel SO MUCH, like I can’t explain, it looks super overwhelming and if/when I do go I definitely think I’d be so gob-smacked that I won’t talk for the whole time – well probably make overly-excited noises when I see things like THE STATUE OF LIBERTY ;_; It looks huge but I bet in real life, it’s HUGE-er.

    I find selfie sticks a pain in the ass, I prefer just using my wide-selfie mode on my phone (does the same thing as a selfie stick) its easier as you’re not waving about a huge stick around – but it is only on Samsung phones for now I think!

    I LOVE that shirt – I think thats the first thing I’d buy when I go to New York and just walk around really happy about it.

    • Chynna

      Book it, book it! *becomes devil on your shoulder* Haa. You would LOVE New York – I really hope you get a chance to visit, one day. It’s honestly an amazing experience!

      I really want a Samsung S6. I got to try it out at an event I went to and fell in love, and as an iPhone girl it surprised me how much I loved the phone!

      I literally went HUNTING for that shirt. I was determined to buy one, no matter how cheesy it is 😛

  • Michelle

    Now, you set the hopes and dreams of going to NY even higher. Seriously. I want to go, badly to experience everything you did. The pictures are great and really capture the majestic wonder of NY. ;_; NY better be awesome when I go or else, I’m going to hug you~! Nah, it probably will. It looks majestic and wonderful. Glad that you had an amazing time there. Perfect post to end your journey with.

  • Nancy

    That couple in the first picture XD.

    It’s cool that you have family in New York! BBQ and beach sounds awesome, but I don’t blame you! I would want to to too~ The bungee looks so cool!!!!!!! I want to try that one day ;).

    Hurray for seeing your family members! Babies are so cute and adorableeee until they grow up XD. It’s either a hit or miss, and you’re definitely a hit as far as retaining cuteness goes ;).

    You should’ve done the Harlem Shake at Harlem!! $18 to go see the Statue is pretty good! I still think it’s cool how the statue used to be copper and turned this color. Such a nice color ;). I’m happy that you had a really amazing time at New York! :D. Stop by my area some day!

    • Chynna

      El oh el! I caught them in action.

      It was very cool. It wasn’t like a normal bungee, but more like you’re encased in a hamster ball. So fun!

      Ayyy, you make me blush 😛

      Omg, I did the harlem shake in Prague but not Harlem – what is wrong with me?! I NEED to go back now.

      Don’t worry girl, soon come <3

  • Georgie

    I have never been to America but I have plans to go… not too soon, but in the next few years for sure. New York is a place I will love, I think. My boyfriend has been there and he has raved about it (and San Francisco haha). Going through your photos I felt like I was just reliving those memories with you, as I do with other people when they mention all these landmarks and places I have heard of but never been to. :’)

    To be honest I am not a huge fan of rollercoasters. 🙁 I don’t think I’m scared, I just don’t really like the feeling and don’t get that adrenaline rush most people do. I wonder if it’s because I never used to enjoy them as a kid, or if it’s because of my low blood pressure? (Something as little as getting up too quickly after sitting for a while can give me dizzy spells, and I get sun headaches too.)

    Twelve years is a long time since having seen some of your family! All of my family live overseas so I only see them every four to five years, and I thought that was long! :O

    • Chynna

      I feel like you have plan or when you go to America. I mean, you can go on a whim, but as it’s such a vast place it’s best to plan, so you get the best out of your trip. Spontaneity is good too, though 🙂 I would love to go San Fran, one day!

      Maybe it’s a little of both. I totally understand though, because sometimes that gut feeling isn’t nice. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to pee myself.

      I knoooow! I have family all over the world, and it’s just the money to go and visit them that’s the problem and everyone being so busy. But as I’m older, I plan to visit them more often 🙂

  • Claudine

    Wow, sounds like a fun trip! 🙂 I’ve been to New York but I’ve never been to Harlem and Coney Island. I love your photos and I’d love to experience those places too!

    I love the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island! It’s truly a major highlight of every NY visit, you just have to see it for yourself! <3

    I saw lots of naked street performers when I went to NY, and it was a cold spring night too! I was wearing a jacket (with long sleeves underneath, lol!) and they were just there, confidently showing off their bods!

    • Chynna

      If you get to go back, you should definitely visit those places. Thank you!

      I definitely agree – I just had to visit when I was there. I would have ben really disappointed if I didn’t get to go.

      I really wanted to see the Naked Cowboy that everyone was going on about, but he never made an appearance!

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