So, it may be surprising for me to start off by saying: I already know that I’ll love New York City.
I’ve never been to the city, or even to the United States for that matter, but, having read/seen numerous novels, travel blogs and movies focused on this place, I feel like we’re already well acquainted.
|New York City looking beautiful in its autumn colours. Image from here.|
It doesn’t take much of a mental stretch to imagine myself there: taking in the sights, exploring New York City’s green lung of Central Park, sampling treats at the many food markets or going on that long-awaited day trip to somewhere quirky.
And, with a little bit of luck – and your help – I may be able to finally experience it all first hand.
Aer Lingus has picked me as one of the potential bloggers who will go to New York City, see as much as possible and then write about it all when they return. It’s an amazing opportunity for a relatively new travel blogger like me!
The best part? By voting for a travel blogger, you’ll also get the opportunity to win two flights, as well as a whopping £1,000 in spending money; not bad at all!
The #ThruTheQ competition is being held to celebrate the benefits of flying to NYC via Dublin. Apart from the numerous awards Aer Lingus has accrued over the years, the biggest benefit of flying this route has to be the US Customs Border Protection pre-clearance for travellers from the UK. This means less queuing and less airport time.
You can find out more by watching the video below:
Now we get to the mechanics of #ThruTheQ; I’ve been placed in a virtual queue along with the other travel bloggers. When voting, in step one, you’ll be asked which airport would get your blogger to NYC the quickest. The answer is Dublin Airport (thanks to that handy pre-clearance). From there, you fill out your own details for a chance to win your own flights and it all ends with a tweet. You can vote once a day for the next two weeks.
I couldn’t fully express how much I’d appreciate a vote for Lines of Escape. Instead of begging and pleading (I’m already doing that on all of my social media channels!), I’d like to show you why you should choose me as Aer Lingus’ NYC travel blogger.
As mentioned before, this would be my first-ever trip to the States. While I tend to steer directly towards a destination’s alternative/quirky spots, I definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on quintessentially New York experiences.
A selfie at Times Square, a stroll through Central Park, taking in the views from the Empire State Building, going photo-crazy at the Statue of Liberty and ogling the displays at the city’s world-renowned museums; you name the touristy activity and I guarantee that I’ll be there, accompanied by my camera and a goofy grin.
|The Empire State Building by night. Image from here.|
While other tourist attractions, including catching a show on Broadway and a visit to Chinatown, are also essential stops on my New York itinerary, seeing the New York Public Library would be a massive highlight for a bookworm like me. The Stephen A Schwarzman branch of the library holds over 15 million items on its own – I’ll likely have to be dragged away from this spot.
One of my favourite things about living in London has to be seemingly endless capacity to find something quirky to do. To me, with its multitude of influences and cultures, New York City seems to have even more offerings to satisfy those looking for something off the beaten path.
From one of the largest legal aerosol art exhibits in the world to grand unused subway stations to a ghost-themed cafe, it sounds like there won’t be any shortage of off-centre spots for me to find.
|City Hall subway station. Image from here.|
Another stop would have to be Coney Island. I first read about this place in a post by one of my favourite travel bloggers, and I’ve been obsessed with the idea of going there myself ever since!
You thought I was going to say something about the Big Apple there, didn’t you?
While I love a good pun, I’m rather serious when it comes to exploring the extremely varied NYC food scene. Food markets, unusual bars, street food and sampling some of the city’s most prestigious restaurants? You name it – I want to be there.
Hopefully the aforementioned sightseeing will burn off at least a tiny fraction of all those calories!
This one’s personal, as I’ve wanted to visit this particular site ever since I first heard of it.
I’ve always been very passionate about music, and one of the eras I’m most interested in has to be the 90s alternative/folk scene. New York City happened to be an epicentre for this scene, and one of my favourite musicians had some of his first gigs here.
Sin-e was a small coffee shop located at 122 St Mark’s Square. A completely unassuming place, budding musicians would plug in their guitars and start singing in the cramped space (there was no stage). The likes of Sinead O’Connor, Ben Folds and David Gray played here, as well as the musician I admire most – Jeff Buckley.
What I love most are the descriptions of that time, where crowds of people would be standing inside while others pressed against the windows outside in order to get an earful of whoever was playing. These were the days before Spotify, where passionate music folk would hit the streets in order to find the scene’s next big thing.
Even though Sin-e – and many other old-school NYC music venues have closed down – I’d still love to visit these spots to take the tiniest of steps back into a past where people could sip a coffee while listening to a performance like this:
Tourist traps, quirky locations, food and long-gone music venues – these are just a few of the many reasons why I’d love to visit New York City. If I’ve managed to convince you to do so, please remember to vote for me using the link above!
One thing’s for sure – I’m in for a nerve-wracking two weeks!