May 14th, marked my first day as 32 years old. What could be more exciting than turning a year older? Experiencing the shift in my favourite city during my first solo vacation.
Yes, that’s right! I have not spent time in a city alone for a week-long vacation before and it was something that I just needed to do for my own self-exploration. At first, I was nervous. My stomach was in knots for days leading up to the trip and on my first day there, it took all my strength to leave the apartment! It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be there, it was that I had to be okay with my own company. Because I knew this would happen, I made sure to book some appointments and experiences ahead of time and the process was made seamless with my Mastercard.
Because this trip was going to be all about self-care and spoiling my soul, I booked fitness classes, museum visits, tickets to a vintage shopping market and even a creative business seminar. I made sure to set up my Uber account so I could get around easily and the first purchase I made when I stepped out was a MetroCard for the week (side note: did you know that New York subway riders will be able to use tap-to-pay credit and debit cards or mobile payments at stations along the 4-5-6 line between Grand Central and Barclays Center beginning on May 31? A Mastercard bonus when traveling to New York!)
New York always has so much to do so instead of highlighting a few moments, I’ve broken down my days below and have set up a shareable NYC Google Map for you to use so you can experience the same places! I also recommend you check out Mastercard’s Priceless Experiences – something that I learned about while I was in New York that is available exclusively to Mastercard cardholders.
Join me on my 8 days in NYC!
Landed in time for dinner at French Louie for mussels and oysters before dozing off to bed. This restaurant was in Downtown Brooklyn and perfect for a quiet, cozy but trendy night out.
When in NYC, do as the locals do! I headed to a new nearby cafe in Downtown Brooklyn called White Noise Cafe for breakfast before heading to Brrrrn: Cool Temp Fitness in Chelsea. This was a HIIT fitness facility that takes place in a below 50 degree Fahrenheit studio! This was an excellent way to start off the day.
Scheduled In: Ahead of time via the ClassPass app, booked using my Mastercard.
I decided to spend the first day roaming around the city and taking turns wherever felt right. I ended up at Bryant Park for an afternoon people watching session with a smoothie in hand. It’s very easy to find smoothies around NYC for quick grab & go’s.
I met up with some friends and we started the evening in NOHO for cocktails at an upstairs bar above a Japanese restaurant called Angel’s Share. The style of the bar was almost like a speakeasy without the secrecy or password.
After drinks, we walked over to the Flatiron District for dinner at my all-time-favourite restaurant’s sister restaurant, ABCV. ABC is my favourite to dine at and they’ve opened a vegetarian space – it was delicious! Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, I highly recommend that you pop in.
We woke up bright and early to catch the train to my most anticipated event of the trip. A Current Affair vintage market was taking place at Industry City the same weekend as my trip so I purchased tickets as soon as I found out! They pop-up in NYC a few times a year so this was excellent timing.
Scheduled In: Ahead of time via Eventbrite, booked using my Mastercard.
Lunch: Japan Village at Industry City.
Getting lost in New York is just the universe’s sign of letting me know where to go. I ended up taking the wrong train home, and I got off in SOHO for some exploration in the sun and people watching for a solid hour.
Dinner that evening was meant to be at one place but when you’re in a city with every cuisine possible, why have one?? We began at Superiority Burger for their famous vegetarian burgers before hitting up Sake Bar Deibel, Mamouns for falafels and then Joe’s Pizza for a NYC slice! Oh, and we had mochi..
Between all of the feasting, we made time for a late-night improv show at Subculture. I think I burned off all the calories from laughing so hard!
I felt safe using my credit card at little bodegas and quick food spots around the city because Mastercard purchases are covered by Zero Liability protection, which means the financial institution that issued your Mastercard won’t hold you responsible for unauthorized transactions.
Started the day with a Met Con group fitness class at Equinox in Downtown Brooklyn before heading to Chinatown for lunch at Buddha Bodai for vegan dim sum.
Headed to the Hudson Yards neighbourhood via Uber Pool to check out their new shopping centre and visit one of my closest and longest friends, Nina!
I hopped on the train to head into Tribeca for yet another group fitness class. This time, I was about to embark on a solo adventure that I knew I would never forget because it was going to be out of my comfort zone. I attended The Class by Taryn Toomey and let me tell you that this was a total mind-body experience! I highly recommend The Class to anyone wanting to experience an introspective & high-intensity fitness class.
Scheduled In: Ahead of time via their website using my Mastercard.
Sights to see in the area: World Trade Center and The Oculus.
Lunch: Shake Shack for their veggie burger and fries.
No trip to New York is complete without a visit to The Metropolitan Museum and I lucked out by snagging the last spot for the day to visit the CAMP exhibit. This was a sensory overload! As a lover of fashion and design and someone who encourages others to step outside of the box, this exhibit was unprecedented. A must-see if you can!
Scheduled In: Ahead of time via The Metropolitan Museum website for fast-track access and no lines. Booked with my Mastercard.
Happy Birthday to me! This was the BEST day of the entire trip.
I started my day with a morning visit to Higher Dose in Midtown Manhattan for a 30-minute massage coupled with a 30-minute sauna session. This is unlike any other sauna. It uses chromotherapy lights in 6 different hues to combat different issues for skin, energy, creativity and healing. The infrared sauna heats your body from the inside out and releases toxins and metals from your body. I wish they were in Vancouver so I could go every month!
Scheduled In: Ahead of time via their website to get a good timeslot. Booked using my Mastercard.
Lunch: Naya Middle Eastern (picture Chipotle but Middle Eastern)
As a design lover, I needed to stop by the Museum of Modern Art for a quick dose of inspiration!
Scheduled In: Ahead of time via their website with my Mastercard for fast-track access and no lines.
The day ended with a trip to my favourite pizza restaurant, Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick.
I spent my morning getting in some work and headed to Central Park for a quiet picnic for one! This day was my first day as 32 years old, and I spent it basking in the sun, listening to my thoughts and the sounds around me and took a wander around the park.
Because this was one of warmer days, I decided to hop on the train to The Meat Packing District and walk the High Line. This is an elevated linear park in the west side of Manhattan with spectacular views and local vendors.
As I mentioned, I wanted to spend a part of my trip on personal development and New York was the perfect city to attend a seminar and be around other like-minded individuals in business and entrepreneurship. A week before the trip I booked in a seminar with The We Age called Unleashing Your Creativity. I felt such a privilege to be able to hear female leaders like Debbie Milman and Elena Rosen discuss how they unleash their own creativity.
Scheduled In: Ahead of time via Eventbrite with my Mastercard to register my spot.
The evening ended with dinner for two at for some veggie ramen!
This was my final day in NYC and I spent it strolling through Downtown Brooklyn to locate the best bagel schmear I could find. I wasn’t going to leave this city without one! I popped into Shelsky’s for a smoked salmon spread (double pickles, please!) and wrapped up the trip.
All-in-all, I had a pretty fantastic trip! I’m already thinking of where to go next and what new spots I can discover in New York. Have you been to New York? I’d love for you to share your go-to spots with me! Maybe another trip is in order for the big 33.