Being a world traveler now, I can confirm I now everything about everything so here's a handy little guide just for you.
1. The Staten Island Ferry
Ahhh. The super savvy way of checking out the lovely Lady Liberty. Just to recap, us cheapo's looking to save a couple of bucks opt for the free Staten Island Ferry that takes you past the Statue of Liberty, rather than actually to it. So you join a giant swarm of people eager to board but weirdly enough there are plenty of places to sit. Only too late do you realise that no one wants a seat and you'll be clawing at the edge of the boat for a glimpse! The right hand side will give you prime(ish) views of the the statue before arriving at Staten Island. We recommend walking around and having lunch before getting back on, the ferries are fairly regular. Once you've hurriedly snapped away you come to understand that you're stuck on the ferry for 20 minutes, kill this time by thinking of movies with ferry scenes. (Insert ferry scenes here)
2. MAKE FRIENDS
This one is more just good life advice really. You should make friends everywhere you go. The friend we made in New York not only showed us around the hustle and bustle that is the city, but also bought us amayyyzing Korean BBQ and then even more amayyyzing dessert. If you haven't been to Restaurant Ninja New York on Hudson Street what are you even doing with your life?
See a show. See all the shows. There's just nothing like the theater to inspire you to question your boring non-stagey life. The talent, the music, the drama is so worth the ludicrous amount you paid for your ticket and overpriced glass of wine. There is plenty of ways to get discount day-of tickets as well. We saw Wicked and you guessed it, it was.
4. Times Square
It's bright and crowded and something e v e r y o n e says you have to do when you're in New York. My tip is to get your photos and get out. No offence Times Square, you're lovely and all, you just reek of tourist trap and weed.
5. Your Entire Knowledge of NY Has Been Based off Sitcoms
Friends, Will and Grace, Sex and the City, How I met your Mother. All set in Manhattan. And while I reluctantly accept that these shows are fictitious, I still pretended I was sharing coffee with Phoebe and the gang. Not that I tried to find it or anything but there is no Central Perk.
6. The Subway
Is so convenient, super easy and pretty cheap if you get the right kind of ticket... Which we did not... Prepare to be serenaded by singers expecting a tip. But also professional beggars also expecting a tip. Perfect setting for moody life contemplation.
7. Central Park
Contrary to my belief, you can't just "knock it out in an hour." Give yourself plenty of time to get totally lost in this mini nature city. Go to the bathroom before entering because I genuinely can not guarantee you'll find one in time. After visiting a second time I can confirm it is beautiful in all seasons.
8. Forget Everything You Knew About Fashion
Everyday is basically New York Fashion Week. There's an overall feeling that it matters what you wear and this is matched by all the clothing stores. They are everywhere and they are intimidating but at least there's always food. #alwayshungrylife
9. Literally Everyone You Know Has Been To New York
"Oh when I was there I went to this incredibly-life-changing, obscure place that I actually read about on TripAdvisor but it's super secret, locals don't even know about it." - Said everyone ever. If they haven't been they're just *dying* to get there.
10. There Are No Stars
If you look up and see something shiny its a satellite. My tip is to look at the city lights instead. That's why you're there right?
11. Get the Street Food
This is just good sense. Everywhere you go try something new and greasy and questionable. Hot dogs, ice-cream and sandwiches - oh my.
12. The Steam Grates Really are Everywhere
Like I wouldn't recommend Marilyn Monroe-ing it but they're pretty cool.
13. Get Your Bearings
Find a map and figure out how to get places. And then keep the map hidden in your bag so you don't look ridiculous. Or leave it out and be continuously asked if you need help. Also! Learn what North looks like because not knowing your East from West will really hinder you here. Our trusty friends at How Stuff Works helped us immensely here: Avenues run north-south and streets are east-west. Fifth Avenue separates the East and West sides, with street numbers increasing as you head away from Fifth.
14. No, You Can't Walk That
The common trap "oh it's a few blocks that way." Nope. You're wrong. It's so much further than that especially when you realise you've been walking the wrong way.
15. Celebrities Have Definitely Walked Where You Have, But Even If You See One -They Don't Care
Zero celebrity sightings for me unless you count watching them film some sort of Real Housewives near Tiffany's. But you can tell that those hoity-toity types with their brand-names and sky-high stilettos have traipsed all over the town you're now claiming as your favourite.