Birthday celebration: New York City edition

On Tuesday March 15, my friend Zach and I took the train from Newark to Manhattan to kick off my 21st birthday festivities. We navigated our way through Penn Station and hopped on the subway heading downtown for a birthday brunch.

We began the day by toasting mimosas and enjoying our overly fancy food at a restaurant in Chelsea called Cookshop. It was at that moment that I remembered just how expensive New York is. (Tip #1: Keep track of each expense/transaction by writing it in the Notes app on your phone – it really helped me realized how much I was spending throughout the day)


After finishing our mimosas, Zach and I took a stroll down the winding pathway of Chelsea Market. Chelsea Market is full of unique shops and organic eateries. If you need to kill time in between plans in the big apple, I recommend making your way to Chelsea Market. You might even leave with a few goodies.

We decided to hop back on the subway and head further downtown. Our destination? The One World Trade Center. Zach and I were interested in what the view from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere looked like, so we splurged on the $32 fee and rode the elevator up to the top. And might I add, it was definitely worth the money.


The rest of the day consisted of bookstores, coffee shops, cafes, and the subway which means A LOT of walking was involved. (Tip #2: Wear comfortable shoes. Your black booties may look stylish but comfort is key when it comes to big city traveling)

After a quick stop at our Airbnb in Bushwick, we headed to Williamsburg to end the night with drinks at The Ides Bar at the Wythe Hotel. I discovered this bar on Yelp (which was my best friend during this trip) and knew we had to end the night here because of the stunning view of the Manhattan skyline. And it was truly stunning.


After enjoying my glass of Chardonnay and realizing that the ‘small plates’ the bar served were only olives and nuts, real food became the number one priority for us after paying a $3o bill for two drinks. (Tip #3: Drinking in any big city is expensive. Plan ahead and if your budget does not allow for drinks every night, drinking before going out is always an option too)

For authentic New York-style pizza, I decided on Juliana’s in Dumbo, otherwise known as the top pizza place in the U.S. The restaurant was three miles from where we were so instead of catching the subway, we opted for taking an Uber. (Tip #4: Use my promo code ‘katiee620’ to get your first ride for free up to $15)

Once we got to Dumbo and Juliana’s, I could see the incredible Manhattan night skyline much clearer. Even though we were both starving for food, Zach and I knew that we had to venture out onto the pier to enjoy the view before ending our night stuffing our faces with pizza. And it was definitely worth it to be able to see that view up close.


My 21st birthday ended with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and the best pizza I have ever had. It was a great day to say the least.

Here’s to hoping I ring in my 22nd year with a similar view…



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