NYC Planning (Part 2)

Hello kawan kawan! Best tak dapat enjoy during the long weekend baru baru ni???

It was a very good holiday break for Saliheen and I because in between hosting friends, cooking sessions and going out to the mall, we used the extra time to sort out some of our NYC holiday-related stuff :D I first wrote about going to NYC here.

Accommodation

We took the plunge and booked a room at one of our shortlisted hotels last week!!!

We were fine with a Mini room initially but booked a Queen room in the end because price difference is less than S$20. The Queen room ada queen sized bed and a little more space, tapi tetap tak change the fact that the rooms in this hotel are crazy small but unfortunately standard for mid-range accommodation in NYC :/


But issokey, because our hotel is right smack in Times Square and very accessible to a lot of places (did I mention that we will be 5 minutes walk away from Sephora Times Square R.I.P MY BANK ACCOUNT) so kita happy gila dapat a room in this hotel. Will only blog more about it when we come back, hopefully it's as good as their reviews on TripAdvisor and Agoda.

Itinerary

Bet you're not surprised that I already have a draft itinerary up and running on an Excel worksheet!!!!! Hehehe. Right now I'm trying to work our itinerary around the places of attraction that we can access with the New York Pass since we're planning to purchase one for each of us before we head to NYC!

Fact: The New York Pass was one of the things that convinced me it wouldn't be too tough to move around NYC on our own :D

We also wanted to visit Niagara Falls and the famous theme park in Coney Island (Luna Park) but it'll take us approximately 10 hours to take a train out to Niagara Falls and it'll be a 1 hour train ride to the theme park so we're scrapping those plans for now. 1 hour train ride to the theme park is still doable lah but only if kita rajin bila dah kat NYC.

One other thing that we might consider doing in NYC kalau kita rajin is to attend a basketball game! And itu pun kalau ada tickets for a game in NYC by the time we want to book. I looked it up and tickets are not out yet for May, tapi I sempat 'chui' harga for front row seats for a typical basketball game in NYC macam yang Jay Z and Beyonce selalu duduk at tu. You all guess lah berapa the harga????????????????????????

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USD3000 per freaking seat eh

Thanks eh. Baru nak berangan duduk sebelah Beyonce eh. Taik hidung Beyonce pun aku tak dapat eh kalau dah masuk USD3000 per person.

Weather

Of course it doesn't matter what our itinerary is, if the weather does not cooperate!!! We'll be there during late spring/summer and I'm hoping it'll still be chilly so we can play around with scarfs and double layers and thicker material when dressing up. Hehe. Penting k part nak dress up ni because how can we not attempt to take #ootds when we're in one of the coolest cities in this freaking universe kan?!

I checked for a rough guide online and apparently it should be between 19°C to 21°C during our travel period? I'm still quite worried because the weather in NYC has gone a little wonkerz; NYC is currently frozen all over even though it's almost the end of February already. Is that supposed to be normal, guys?!

Naturally Saliheen the polar bear bertopengkan manusia will be more than happy to have cold weather and thinks the colder the better, but I wouldn't want us to be stuck in the bad kind of cold weather where it's almost suicide to be out and places of attraction are closed because of weather concerns! Especially places like the Empire State Building Observation Deck and the Top of the Rock :/

Food


Saliheen and I are not ~super~ strict with food when we are overseas but we do try as much as possible to get halal food and when we can't, we settle for bread, seafood and veg anywhere else.

Right now I've compiled a list of over 70 halal eateries and food carts which are within walking distance to our hotel in Times Square and the places of attractions that we will be at! This is all thanks to Zabihah.com - who knew halal food can be so easily found in NYC?!?! And cheap!

We can even choose different styles ranging from American to Chinese to Thai to Pakistani to the more familiar Singaporean/Malaysian and Indonesian (why would I want to east SG/MY/INDO food in NYC though lol) and of course there's Turkish, Indian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food choices. Am especially looking forward to the beef and rice platter from the crazy popular Halal Guys because I want to know what is up! with! all! that! hype!

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

We didn't even know we had to apply for ESTA if we travel to USA at first tau!!!!! Alhamdullilah, luck was on our side because we went to IKEA over the weekend and terserempak dengan another couple friend who will be going to NYC for their upcoming honeymoon. It was dorang yang told us about it so thank you SO much Nad and Shahdan!!! 

You see, we naturally assumed we didn't have to apply for any kind of visa since we hold Singaporean passports (complacent lah tu) and well, technically, memang we don't have to lah... it's just that we still need to apply for ESTA which is some sort of a waiver from having to apply for visa but is still a form of authorization to gain admission into the USA.

Aaanyway, we submitted our ESTA applications last Saturday and when I checked this morning, our applications are already approved!


This does not guarantee our admission into the USA because it still depends on the customs officer in JFK airport but I really, really, really hope we won't get into any difficulty or issues at the airport. Bismillah, bismillah, bismillah!

22 comments

  1. Bestnya NYC!!! It was snowing when I went in late March last year.

    We bought the NYC pass too. Save the hassle, the Q to buy tickets at most of the attraction was madness. Forever 21 at time square closes at 3am, they have one big section of F21+ and most of the items were on sale. Berhantu betol. Apple store is open 24/7, so kalau malam tak boleh tido boleh lah singgah kedai apple ;p The subway is also 24/7.If you have the time drop by Century 21, situ pun berhantu.

    Insyallah all will be ok. Have fun planning!

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    1. Thank you!!! Wah March still snowing in NYC??? My husband kalau dengar tu, mesti dia meronyok nak tukar date haha

      Good deal kan itu New York pass?! I looked at picture of people queuing for attraction tickets in NYC, boleh pengsan. Ooh I was looking at F21 too!!! Debated with myself whether nak masuk ke tak nak. Step je. Nanti dah sampai sana mesti hantu kat dalam memanggil T.T

      Thanks for the tips babe, hopefully our plans will materialize well!

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  2. nk kirim magnet urh ... heheheh ;)

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    1. hahaha! magnet pulak yang nak dikirim

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    2. because i collect them at my hommies fridge tk dpt pergi dpt collect pon jadi lah ! aniwae njoi ur holidae at NYC !

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    3. thank you babe! insya Allah mana tau your rezeki pergi NYC datang pulak nanti, dapat jugak magnet tu nanti :D

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  3. The officers ask my friend and her husband where are their parents when they already told them they were there for their honeymoon. Hahahahaahahaha. Bodoh nak mampos. I wanna go US, pon takut kene tahan. Pfft!!

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    1. Hahahahahah! Then again no matter how ridiculous it sounds, I guess they have to follow protocol..... :/

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  4. I typed a comment in ur previous entry but dont know if it went through or not!

    Aniway two more for u to add on to ur list-

    Momofuku Milk Bar (many of fluffbakery bakes are inspired by their bakes)!

    And of course, Jersey Garden factory outlet. Personally think jersey garden > woodbury! But best if u cld make time for both!

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    1. Oh no I don't think it did, I didn't see your previous comment :(

      But thank you for the recommendations!!! I have one friend who recommended Jersey Garden but I didn't check it out because I figured we should go Woodbury since it's the more popular one... Is it really much better??? My friend said the same thing too! I'll go Google it after this.

      Oooh I saw Momofuku Milk Bar on several top 10 lists too but thought I'd skip it because we won't be passing by the area... but now that you mentioned it, maybe I should drop by! My plans are still in early stages anyway, I'm sure I can fit some time to be in that area hehe

      Thank you so much babe <3

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    2. Okay I am an IDIOT. Just looked at all of Momofuku Milk Bar's locations and realized that I will be around 2 of them! Looks like I'll be able to drop by after all YAY!!!

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  5. Best kannnn! And glad that you are doing it free & easy! If you can do a NYC free & easy, i'm sure you'll be tempted to do the other trips you'll be having in the near future free & easy too!

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    1. Yes yes lagi bestttttttttttttttttttt! I think I don't mind doing free & easy if it's senang to navigate like NYC, but for complicated travel like Eastern Europe (too many transfers and too many highlights!) I will stick to guided tours!

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    2. Hi dear! May i know which hotel is that? Nyc hotel is veryyy expensive... 😂

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  6. weee best NYC! Enjoy shopping. You can try to go to Jersey Garden Outlet. A bus ride away. Think 2 storey high Takashimaya-sized of factory outlets! I took the bus from Port of Authority near Times Square. Me and the husband went all crazy shopping there. :D

    After excitedly typing this, I realized ur friend also recommend this. But tak per lah... extra push for you to consider hehehehe.

    I would advise for you to book your tix to Rockafella and Top of the rock, Empire State, etc via Viator. Less hassle of going there getting the tix. :)

    So exciting!

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    1. Ya man! This is making me really consider going to Jersey Garden outlet tau!

      We've sort of finalized out itinerary, and only have 1 free day left so we'll see if the husband can be convinced to go Jersey Gardens. I'm all up for it but he's still 50/50.

      I'm already getting the New York Pass which includes express entry to Rockefeller Centre, Top of the Rock and Empire State Building so hopefully that'll be good too! Thanks for the tips babeh :D

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  7. No worries... literally shop till you drop ok! Ouh for your husb/ yourself, if you are into Vans, look out for Vans shops coz normally they sell limited editions. Else another thing that I do is if you can't find what you want at the shops, do it online since delivery within US is free and deliver to the hotel you are staying at. :)

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    1. Hahaha more like my sister! Belum apa apa dah tanya tanya pasal Nike and Vans. Kaki sepasang je tapi kasut belambak kat rumah, lagi nak limited editions segala. PENGSAN!

      Oooooh I actually thought of that too tau!!! Order online then hantar to hotel, but I'm scared there will be a mix up and/or delay somewhere or something that will screw it up :/ Tengoklah nanti kalau berani! Hehe

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  8. which hotel did you stay ya in Times Square?

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    1. I stayed at Night Hotel Times Square. You can read more here: http://www.hellokhronicles.com/2015/08/birthday-trip-new-york-city-may-2015_12.html

      Please take note that there is another hotel down another street called Night Hotel (which is a totally different hotel with different concept)

      For your reference, I booked my room on Agoda here: http://www.agoda.com/en-sg/night-hotel-times-square/hotel/new-york-ny-us.html?cid=1413877

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  9. thank you for the reply...much appreciated....

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