NYC, The Big Apple, home of TV series Friends or Marvel’s Luke Cage (on Netflix) – however you know New York everybody knows something about this city. The city that never sleeps and awash with the famous yellow taxis. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Countless Hollywood films have used these streets and blocks as scenes in blockbuster movies, so once the trip was confirmed I started to binge watch film after film featuring New York! 5 days walking block to block, travelling between boroughs on the subway and not forgetting tasting some amazing food….NEW YORK style!

I’m a big fan of enjoying a city break as a few months ago I took a week long trip to Paris. So when the day was finally here to board to the flight to JFK it was safe to say I was rather excited. Learning from my “mistakes” of my last city escape I made sure I had the correct lens (or did I have the right lens) as well as an actual tripod this time!

The Joys of Flying

It’s been a while since I’ve been on a long haul flight, the last time was back when I visited Dubai. You always have that exciting feeling arriving at the airport waiting to board the plane, to begin your adventure (or is that just myself?!) Walking around the departure lounge sampling the duty free’s, killing time till your flight number is called and you can finally start your holiday.

The best thing about long haul flights –

  • Free drinks (free champagne if you know the right people - thanks Dani)
  • Catch up on some documentaries or a few of the latest films
  • In flight food (it's not as bad as people think)

The worst thing about long haul flights –

  • Lack of "personal" space
  • People you slam their chairs into your knees
  • Awkward sleeping positions
  • Those amazingly poor headphones (how can the sound be that bad!!)
  • The wait to get off the plane once you've landed

Unless you’re flying first class I doubt there’s anyway to get over those small “issues”. Then again it wouldn’t be a holiday if you didn’t have something to moan about…..right?! Plus I couldn’t moan, I’d just arrived in New York and on the way to the hotel. My time in The Big Apple had just begun and nothing is more New Yorker than catching the subway to Broadway.

Bright Lights and Broadway Shows

If you’ve ever been to New York you might know what I mean when I say, arriving in the city you feel in awe. Wherever you look there’s just something special about the city. Although most of the time you’ll end up looking up at the massive building or the bright lights. Speaking of bright lights there’s nothing brighter than the glitz and glam of being on Broadway. The home The Lion King, Wicked and CATS to just a name a few. With our hotel being directly on Broadway it was the perfect location to be in the city. From the hotel window you could see Times Square which was only about 4/5 blocks away!

Times Square is one of the strangest but most impressive places I’ve visited in a city. It’s not actually a real tourist spot, just a small square in the heart of the bright lights and home to the ball drop during New Year. So in a way becoming an “unofficial” tourist location and a place where every New Yorker seems to hate going. It’s a bit like Covert Garden with the different performer but on a bigger and brighter scale. Although Times Square was only a few blocks away, once you’ve been there in the daytime and nighttime you’ve sort of seen it all. Extremely busy and a little too mad!

Exploring The Big Apple

Having a city that’s soo huge and only a limited amount of time to explore, was a bit of a challenge. The city is just awash with so many famous locations, parks, streets, bridges and walkways 5 days is nowhere near enough time to see everything! Luckily on the first day and a half, we had booked onto a hop on hop off bus tour, that also included a water tour. Perfect for ticking off quite a few famous landmarks in less than two days! Plus I don’t know if you’ve seen New York traffic…..it sometimes doesn’t move very fast, ideal for shooting photos on the open top bus.

The bus tour was perfect for taking in some of the many sights of The Big Apple. Starting from Broadway, visiting midtown Manhattan all the way through Harlem and back through to downtown Manhattan. Not forgetting the trip along the Hudson catching a brief glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline from the water.

Although you can’t go to New York and capture some of the city at night, the time when everything comes alive! The fast-paced traffic, a city awash with lights reflecting across the river as well as the hundreds of people catching the late night subway home. There’s also only one way to see the incredible city skyline at night and that’s from the Top of the Rock. A skyline that just goes on for for miles and where that iconic photo “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” was originally shot.

The City That Never Sleeps

As I mentioned within my Paris trip, I wanted to try and capture some more timelaspe video on this trip. I enjoyed shooting it so much Paris, I knew capturing some of the sights around the city of New York would be incredible. I was not wrong!!

The hotel we were staying in was also the perfect location to capture some long exposure night trail timelaspe action. I did have to go a little DIY in creating the perfect shooting platform as the Manfrotto travel tripod wasn’t quite long enough to reach the floor. Luckily I managed to find an ironing board, yep that’s right an ironing board, which allowed the two other legs of the tripod to rest on. A lot of the clips were just shot handheld with the Nikon D850 and 27-70mm f/2.8 VR lens. The short video just gives you a brief snapshot of the many scenes I saw around the city.

This will definitely not be the last time I visit this great city, it’s clear to see why so many A list celebrities, Hollywood films and TV shows come to New York. It’s a city like no other. The UK has the Big Smoke, France the City of Lights, America has the City that Never Sleeps!