Christmas in New York: My 3 Day Writing Trip
One of my favorite movies is Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. It has always been a bucket list item for me to visit New York during Christmas time. The first time I went to New York I was a junior in high school. We went for a big orchestra trip and did all the touristy things. It was overwhelming.
This year, I decided to spend a long weekend in New York and experience Christmas in Manhattan. I went to a few shows and walked around for research on a trilogy I’ve been working on. I turned it into a writing getaway and ventured out one day and stayed in and worked on my novel the other full day. It was the first of many writing trips. Here’s what I saw and what I did.
Day One: Travel + Pizza
I got to the city late on Saturday, be prepared to spend at least $60 on transportation (taxi or Uber) from JFK to Manhattan. I chose to ride in an Uber and chose the UberPool option and got the ride all to myself. With tip, I spent about $67 on the ride and it took about an hour and a half to get there.
I stayed in Times Square and walked around to grab a slice of NY pizza after I checked into my hotel. All I wanted to do was eat so I Netflix’d and Chilled with my pizza in bed. It was amazing. I highly recommend doing this the first night. Especially if you’re traveling alone, it’s easy and liberating. You can do whatever you want. Go ahead and eat that pizza on the bed. You deserve it.
Day 2: Explore Manhattan
A big part of the reason I wanted to go to New York this year was to get some insight and research for a YA contemporary trilogy I’ve been working on. From Times Square I took the subway to Greenwich Village and walked around NYU. There’s a flower shop that’s central to the plot so I visited some in the area and stumbled upon one that served breakfast. It was perfect.
One of my favorite things about New York is that no matter where you are, there’s always someone reading. Sure New York is full of dreamers but it’s also full of curious like-minded individuals who are surrounded by culture. The intellectual aspiration of the city is truly inspiring and makes me want to keep coming back.
The Nutcracker in New York
After exploring some flower shops and the area, I headed to my first show of the day–The Nutcracker. I have always wanted to see this in New York. Just hearing my favorite Tchaikovsky piece played was more than enough, but the production was great and the lighting at the Lincoln Center was too.
Imagine all the people.
After The Nutcracker, I had lunch near Central Park and made my way to Strawberry Fields. I happened to be in New York (not planned) on the anniversary of John Lennon’s death. There was a large group of people surrounding the iconic Imagine circle and a Beatles cover band playing tunes. Everyone broke out in song and sang Hey Jude together. It was hands down the most magical thing that happened to me in New York.
New York at Night
To end the day, I walked around Times Square and Rockafeller Center to look at all the lines and Christmas lights. It was bonkers. There are massive crowds all day, more so at night. This was the closest I could get to the Rockafeller tree.
Walking around Times Square can be extremely overwhelming. There are a million things going on in every direction. While the lights are beautiful and mesmerizing, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. If you’re traveling alone (like I was), always stick with the crowd and cross with them. Stand next to a couple or a group and blend in. You don’t have to acknowledge anyone. In fact, it’s safe to say you don’t even have to look them in the eye. Just keep walking.
I got tickets to see a new play by one of my favorite writers and master of dialogue: Mr. Aaron Sorkin. To Kill A Mockingbird was awesome! The Shubert Theatre is small, a lot of theaters in New York are. While there isn’t really a dress code for these shows, you will have to climb a lot of stairs if your seats are in the balcony section so be prepared for that workout. The seats are also close together, so keep that in mind and try and get an aisle seat if you need more room.
Day 3: Writing in New York
It was cold and rainy and just miserable outside. Which means a perfect writing day! I stayed in and got SO MUCH done. I finished writing the last few chapters of one of my perspectives for book one, plotted my next character perspective and ate a lot of food.
I would take meal breaks and force myself to get out and eat something. Thankfully, prior to my trip I had pinned a few surrounding restaurants and was able to eat everything I wanted to try in New York. Even my first true love again–the pizza.
I will definitely be going back for more. New York that is, and well, the pizza too. I’m thinking of staying in Brooklyn next time and exploring that part of town. A trip back with my mom to do all the morning shows she loves, one with my brother to hit up all the museums, and one with my sister for late-night hosts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child of course. Until then, I’m just going to go watch one of my favorite holiday movies set in New York.