Updated: Jul 18, 2022
Seize the day!
It's my new motto.
Take the opportunity when it comes - don't wait.
Life is short.
We have no idea what the future holds so let's make the most of it while we can.
I feel this now more than ever.
Say yes more, say no less.
I've been extremely lucky to be able to travel as of late.
After a two year lock down it's felt incredible to be out in the world again!
We finally went on our New York trip that was originally planned for 2 years ago.
It was fantastic! I looooove New York!
New York continues to be a gritty fast paced energy filled city.
Everyone has been asking what do you prefer London or New York?
It's hard to say, there are similarities but they're also very different.
Fast pace, go go go, the song New York New York truly captures the spirit of NYC.
I always find the social classes more apparent in the US, it seems all service workers are immigrants with a heavy accent and they work very hard.
Enormous mammoth buildings that boggle the mind.
So many people everywhere!
People seem pretty easy going, live and let live.
New York doesn't have alleys so it's a bit dirty. There's always a bit of litter on the streets. On garbage days, which seems to be every day in some part of the city, garbage is pilled high on the sidewalks, rats darting about. But then a torrential rain comes along and gives the city a shower and it sparkles.
People are very friendly.
More avant garde fashion! I think there's a real Sex in the City fashion influence.
Women dress up more to eat out.
Surrounded by rivers.
Beautiful city views.
More Broadway shows.
In general, I would say food was better in New York than London.
I have to say I just love the energy in NYC, it's an electric life force.
New York felt a bit more expensive than London, both are $$$$$! I would say restaurants cost double than in Vancouver, although it depends on the restaurant of course.
Full of beautiful buildings, even apartment buildings, every where you look beauty abounds.
Feels more contained and orderly than NYC.
Subway system seems cleaner and more updated.
A river runs through it.
Love that all museums are free!
So much history going back a thousand years.
People not as dressy as expected.
People are easy going, live and let live.
The whole Royal thing has a lot to offer and permeates everything.
Service staff are very friendly and everyone seems very helpful.
We often saw men in tuxedos and women in gowns heading out on the town.
So it's a toss up, I love them both!
Both cities are enormous, so much to do.
I try to research and plan my trips as much as possible so we can hit the ground running and make the most of our time. We can catch up on sleep when we're home!
Inevitably not all can be planned out which can lead to happy accidents or frustrations. I do find trips go much better with a plan. We did get to most of the things on my list, but not all, and you always discover more. There never seems to be enough time! Next time.
The best way to not waste time is to see everything you can in one area before moving to the next. Traveling across these huge cities takes time! So I'll organize my blog by area.
If you haven't been, I hope you'll have the opportunity to go to this amazing city one day!
TIMES SQUARE AREA
Probably the most photographed and well-known spot in NYC. Times Square is the convergence of several streets that come together to create a V-shaped square. It runs for five blocks and is covered in enormous billboards, packed with people, honking cars and street performers. It's the worlds most popular attraction with 50 million visitors a year, anywhere from 330,000 to 450,000 people a day!
It's nutty and a sight to see! It has to be seen at least once in your life, there's no other place like it. Take a look around, take it in and then get out because it doesn't take long to get a sensory overload!
For me, Broadway shows are one of the highlights of NYC.
Broadway theatres are interspersed all around Times Square.
Along with the West End in London, Broadway is the pinnacle of theatre in the world and therefore crafts people that work on these shows are the best, from set design, acting, costumes, singers, dancers, it doesn't get any better than this!
If you're lucky there comes a moment during a show when magic happens. The performers are giving it their all, the audience is completely entranced and there's a moment when this connection between everyone in the theatre fills the air with electricity. I get tingles just thinking about it. It's pure magic! You may find that your eyes tear up at these moments, as mine do. There are very few moments like this in life, I hope you'll experience it someday!
Some of the Broadway theatres are small and intimate historical theatres with beautiful flourishes and are beautiful ambience to be in. Other theatres are larger and more modern, usually the big Disney type shows like The Lion King play in the larger theatres.
The best thing about Broadway is the TKTS half-price ticket booth. The main booth is right in the centre of Times Square. It usually opens at 11am daily and people start lining up about an hour before. You can buy tickets for that days shows and the matinee for the next day. For less popular shows you can get good seats right up to show time, I got 5th row centre half an hour before a show!
Secret: If you want to go to a few shows go to the ticket booth on your first day, you can then use your ticket stub to skip the line for the next 7 days.
A few things to make note of, but double-check to be sure:
Much better seat selection on weekdays.
Usually no shows on Mondays.
Usually no matinees on Fridays so ticket booth opens at 3pm.
Shows sometimes do not send tickets to the booth on weekends but tickets can be purchased, at full price, at the theatre.
I recommend getting seats in the front orchestra up to row 10 so you can see the performers facial expressions. You get so much more out of the show when you can see their faces. Personally I don't think it's worth going unless you get great seats.
You can check on website or APP to see what shows are available that day before you go to booth.
PS. There's also a ticket booth at Lincoln Centre that used to open an hour before Times Square, but it's closed at the moment, check if it may have reopened. There also used to be a ticket booth in Brooklyn. Due to Covid not everything has reopened yet.
Just a couple of blocks from Times Square is the cutest little pizza place that was recommended by Jerry Seinfeld. He says it's his favourite in NYC and I see why. It's in the oddest ugliest place on a very busy street and so small we almost couldn't find it. But when you step inside it's quiet and quaint and the pizza was indeed delicious, right out of a wood burning oven! I called on our way there and they kindly held a table for us.
Just a block from Times Square is beautiful Bryant Park. Strangely it's a privately owned public park. It has all sorts of things to offer like a reading corner with magazines and newspapers, games area with board games, outdoor movie nights, free yoga classes, lots of food vendors, restaurants and lots of ongoing events. Definitely worth a visit and a nice reprieve from the craziness of Times Square. Make sure to check their website for event listings.
New York Public Library
Right at Bryant Park is the very famous Main NYC Public Library. You will recognize it from many movies and TV shows. It's where Carrie got left at the altar in the Sex in the City movie and the famous library scene in Indiana Jones (make sure you go see this room, it's stunning!). Also, you can view the real stuffed animals from Winnie the Pooh! Worth a look around.
Grand Central Terminal
West 42nd Street and Park Avenue
Just a couple of blocks from Bryant Park is Grand Central Terminal. Another famous location you'll instantly recognize. Make sure to check-out their website and read all about the history of the points of interest before you go. Looks like there's a beautiful historic bar that may be worth a visit The Campbell Bar, I'm putting it on my list for next time!
@ West 50th Street between 5th & 6th Avenue
Just a ten minute walk from Grand Central Terminal or Bryant Park is Rockefeller Centre, yet another famous spot. A beautiful plaza with ice skating in the winter and roller skating in the summer surrounded by lots of shops. You can pay big bucks to go view the city from the 70th floor at "The Top of the Rock" but I say it's better to spend that money to see the same view with some food and a drink at The Rainbow Room on the 65th floor. Best to reserve a table out on the veranda or you can just go to the bar and there's a section of the veranda where you can go look at the view. Unfortunately it was still closed due to Covid when we were there but check if it's reopened.
There are a number of shows that shoot in Rockefeller Centre as it's the NBC headquarters. You can try to get tickets in advance (I had not luck) or you can go line up the day of to get stand-by tickets (we tried to get Jimmy Fallon tickets, but not luck). There are also Studio Tours but were still on pause for the moment.
@ 59th Street
Central Park is an enormous park in the centre of Manhattan. To give you a sense of the size it would take on hour to walk from the South end to the North end in a straight line.
A walk through the park is lovely. You could also rent bikes and cycle through, although you'll have to stay mostly on the main (car-less) road. I would do both, a bike ride to get a feel for the whole thing and then a walk to take in some of the specific sites. The South end has the popular sites. I think I would reserve a whole day to spend in the park and go for a nice lunch too.
Make sure to check out the Central Park website for listings of events going on in the park during your stay, especially in the Summer.
While at the fountain it seems out of no where a woman appeared with a little typewriter and a sign "Poetry for Strangers", a small line formed and I joined it. She said pay what you want and tell me about someone and I will write a poem for them. I told her about my son and my husband and she wrote the most beautiful poignant poems for them. Shortly after I looked around and she was gone.
What a special moment and lovely memento of our trip!
Just a few minutes walk from there you can rent row boats for a romantic row on the lake or go for a bite at the famous Loeb Boathouse.
@ East 72nd Street
A picturesque open air restaurant overlooking a lake with row boats. Feels a bit like you're in an impressionist painting.
As soon as you have your travel dates make a reservation, as far ahead as you can, it fills up far in advance! If you can, go for a weekend brunch, as they have live music (grand piano).
The restaurant opens at noon. I recommend making a reservation for that time and getting there 15 - 20 minutes early so you're first in line and have first dibs on a table. There are four tables on the first tier by the bar overlooking the restaurant and lake that look like the best view to me. We arrived at 11:55am and there was already a huge line-up.
Walk-ins are also possible, but it's a very busy restaurant so I imagine there would be a long wait. In addition, there's a small open patio off to the side with about five tables overlooking the lake that are first come first serve, no table service, but you can walk up to the outdoor bar and get a drink.
Tavern on the Green
This is the other famous Central Park restaurant. It looks lovely but no view so I think The Boathouse is better.
In memory of John Lennon who loved to walk in this area of the park and lived across the street at The Dakota, where Yoko Ono still lives. It's a tile mosaic design in the sidewalk and garden, very busy when we walked by.
A cute little miniature castle with lovely views.
EAST OF CENTRAL PARK
Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel
@ East 76th Street
This is my favourite place in New York!
It’s a small little jazz bar in The Carlyle Hotel. It’s one of those places of yesteryear where the waiters wear pristine white jackets and each table has it's own little lamp. It feels intimate and special. I just love it!
It's named after Ludwig Bemelman, the author & illustrator of the famous Madeline books. In 1946, the French-born manager of the hotel asked his friend Bemelman to paint murals on the walls of the new bar in exchange for lodging at the hotel. Bemelman and his family lived there for 18 months. Whimsical and charming he depicted Central Park across four seasons and included Madeline.
The drinks are ridiculously expensive (same every where in NYC) but you pretty much get two drinks as they bring a little carafe on ice filled with more of your drink (for martinis anyway). They also supply endless chips, nuts and cheese crisps. Small bar food menu.
They have a solo pianist earlier in the evening and a trio later. There's a cover charge for the musicians ($10 solo/$25 trio). Check their website for details.
Here's a great article about the bar: HERE
@East 72nd & Madison
I love to be immersed in a completely different world than my own.
On the corner of Madison Avenue at 72nd, you'll find two Ralph Lauren stores that will take you into another world.
On one side of the street is a beautifully restored mansion full of wood, leather, plush carpets and paintings. When you step inside you're fully immersed in an alternate reality. I love to just walk around and take it in (forget shopping, it's preposterous!). The Staff are quite the characters, I feel like I'm in a movie.
On the other side of the street a more modern version of the store with a stylish coffee shop - Ralph's Coffee. I great place to sit and people watch, so many characters! Food looked good but didn't taste so great, so I'd just stick to a coffee or lemonade.
Roosevelt Tram *highlight
@ East 60th Street & 2nd Avenue
This was a little gem of a find!
I happened upon it in my research and I'm so glad I found it.
It's simply tram that goes across from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island, it takes about 10 minutes each way. You get a really great view of the city and it goes right beside the Roosevelt Bridge. It's all about the views.
It doesn't look like there's much worth seeing on Roosevelt Island itself, so we just headed right back. I thought it was worth doing!
I didn't make it to any museums this time but here are some in this area that may be worth visiting:
@ East 82nd Street (East side of Park)
I just found out that they're doing "Date Night at the Met" this Spring and Summer with live music through out the museum with drinks and treats. Also there's the Rooftop Garden Bar with amazing views. Next time for sure!
@ East 88th Street East side of park
@ East 71st Street East side of park
Currently closed for renovations so check first.
SOUTH CENTRAL PARK
The Shops at Columbus Circle
Shopping mall at Columbus Circle where you will find:
Sadly we discovered this casual bistro on our last day because it was amazing and I would have eaten there several times and checked out all their locations!
The food was so delicious, healthy and fresh and a fantastic view of Columbus Circle. Reasonably priced too.
Looks like they have 4 locations in Manhattan. Next time!
Directly above on the next floor there was a bar with the same spectacular view if you were to go in the evening.
Mo Lounge at The Mandarin Oriental *highlight
@ Columbus Circle just around the corner from the mall
I love a room with a view and had been looking and looking and looking for a restaurant with a view of Central Park to no avail.
Finally in our last hour before we were leaving for the airport I found one! (Asking doorman is always a good strategy!) I went to take a quick look and the view was spectacular. Next time! Looks very pricey, so probably just a drink ;)
Look at that view! I took the photo myself.
WEST OF CENTRAL PARK
I've been to NYC several times and never knew there's a seawall all along the West-side of Manhattan.
By coincidence we happened to start our bike ride exactly where the bike lane starts at 72nd Street on the water. It's a a great ride with many varied and interesting views. I highly recommend it!
Scroll down for more info about bike rentals.
We rode down the seawall from 72nd to 13th Street to the Meatpacking District, it was a lovely ride!
American Museum of Natural History
@ West 77th Street (West-side of the park)
MEAT PACKING DISTRICT
Although this area has been gentrified with cool restaurants, shops and coffee bars there are still meatpacking trucks around.
@ West 13th Street on the water
On the water at 13th Street is Little Island, a man made island on the Hudson. It's gorgeous and super space agey. Beautiful gardens and design. There's an area with tables and chairs and an amphitheatre. Check their website for events going on. Note that Thursday to Sunday free reservations are required after 12pm. Best to go early and on a weekday to avoid the crowds on a Summer's day. Super cool and worth a visit!
The Roof Top at The Standard
@ West 13th Street
One block in on 13th Street is The Standard Hotel, a very hip and happening hotel. If you appreciate a good view go to the side door and head up to The Roof Top for casual eats with a view of the Hudson and lower Manhattan. Opening times are very limited so check the website for hours. Notice when you're on the Highline that it goes right under this hotel.
We happened upon this lovely little restaurant on the what seemed like the main corner of the neighbourhood. It was a great place to watch the world go by, we felt like we were in the centre of it all.
This place was on my list but we didn't get a chance to eat there, I did pop my head into take a peak and it had great ambience, a lively French brasserie. Great place to eat on a rainy day indoor day.
The RH Rooftop Restaurant
This place was recommend to me by several people and looks exquisite! Sadly because of a change in our plans we were not able to make our reservation and it was completely booked for the whole week and there are no walk-ins. So if you'd like to go make sure you make a reservation as soon as you have your travel dates. Next time for sure!
The Whitney Museum of American Art is in this area should you be so inclined, looks like they have a nice outdoor cafe with views of the area (although not as high as The Rooftop at The Standard). Also this is where The Highline begins.
The Highline *highlight
The High Line is yet another very cool public park built on a historic freight rail line that is elevated above the streets. Neighborhood residents saved it from demolition to create this park. You get to walk in amongst the buildings between gardens and trees, it's definitely worth a visit. There are some very cool buildings along the way. Best views if you start at the South end at The Whitney and walk North ending at The Hudson Yards.
At the end of The Highline you'll find The Hudson Yards. There's a giant art piece the size of a building that you can usually walk in (it was closed due to you know what when we were there), an outdoor plaza area with restaurants and a mall.
All along the seawall on the West-side of Manhattan you'll notice different numbered piers. At Pier 25, South of The Little Island you'll find a super cool restaurant on a sailboat with great views.
Grand Banks Sailboat
@ Pier 25
A great place to be on a hot day. It was lovely. I'd recommend going on a weekend for brunch when it's lively and fun. We went on a weekday and it was a bit too quiet. Probably busy in the peak of Summer. Make sure to make a reservation on the weekend.
Is South of the Meat Packing District. It's quiet, beautiful and quaint, the streets are lined with huge trees and lots of singing birds. If I were to live in NYC, this is where I would want to live! It's full of cute little shops and restaurants. Make sure to park yourself at an outdoor table and take in the atmosphere! Last time we were there we just rushed through and I regretted not stopping to "smell the roses". Not this time!
Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment
@ 66 Perry St, New York
If you're a fan of Sex in the City then you'll get a kick out of seeing Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment (the steps and front door that is). It's also a great place to start to explore the neighbourhood. It's so easy to go to an area and go down all the wrong streets and wonder what the appeal is.
You may even bump into Sarah Jessica Parker herself as apparently she lives only a block away and I've seen her post about several of the restaurants we walked by.
In future, I think I would reserve an entire day to meander through this neighbourhood, it's really so beautiful.
PS. You can just look up "Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment" in maps. Also the the Friends apartment building is nearby, if it interests you.
Sant Ambroeus Restaurant
This is the cutest little (posh) restaurant right on the corner half a block from Carrie's apartment. We sat outside and had a coffee and cookies and took in the wonderful atmosphere. It was pure heaven.
While there it started to rain, in torrents! Luckily we were under an awning. We weren't quite sure what to do when it was time to go as it was raining so hard. Incredibly, the restaurant gifted us a big umbrella otherwise we would have been completely soaked. It was so kind!
It was so lovely and relaxing, a memory I'll always cherish.
Dante West Village
This was a super busy happening restaurant bar that was on my list. I didn't realize it was just a couple of blocks from Carrie's apartment, so we headed over there after our coffees to get out of the torrential rain.
I used my Jedi powers to get us a table right away even though they said it would be a one and half hour wait ;) So next time make a reservation!
We were intrigued by the "charcoal oven baked bread with smoked butter and sea salt" so we ordered it. OMG! I'm still dreaming about it, the best bread I've ever had!!! It was the shape of a super thick pancake, a bit charcoaly toasted on the outside and came with an obscene amount of butter. "We'll never eat that much butter", we said. We ate it all! The bread was piping hot, right out of the oven, it was light and spongy and incredibly delicious. I've never had anything like it! I hope I'll be able to have it again some day.
SAILING ON THE HUDSON
Last time we were in NYC I saw this beautiful sailboat on the water and thought I'd love to do that. Unfortunately the boat was not up and running yet when we were there but I definitely think it would a wonderful thing to do. Next time!
I BUMPED INTO PAUL MCCARTNEY!
My husband and I were riding bikes along the seawall, we were at the South end of Manhattan and came across a beautiful building. I asked my husband to watch the bikes so I could go in and find out what it was, I thought maybe it was a nice restaurant we could go to later. I noticed a couple getting out of a big black SUV, she was wearing a beautiful flowy flowery dress, he was wearing a mask. I went inside.
Inside was like a hotel lobby, they said it was a private club for members only. I turned away from the reception to leave and just then the couple I had seen getting out of the SUV outside came in. Her in the flowy dress, he in an expensive dark blue suit no tie, very slim and coifed hair. I stood there as they walked towards me and as they passed right by me, I thought, "Wait a minute! That's Paul McCartney!". I was too dumbstruck to say anything. She was saying, "Thank you for having us". And then I noticed all the staff behind me whispering. They continued to the elevator and disappeared, my jaw on the floor. I was truly star struck!
Just that morning we were having a lovely brunch with live music and most of the songs were Beatles songs and when you think about it their songs are everywhere.The thought of everything Paul McCartney has done and seen in his lifetime is mind boggling. To think that the same man that walked by me was the man in the Beatles documentary I had just seen incredible.
We continued on to the ferry terminal, we were on our way to Williamsburg to a rooftop restaurant I had researched. But as the ferry approached it's first stop in Dumbo in Brooklyn we noticed a rooftop bar that looked amazing and decided to go there instead.
As we headed up the elevator a woman got on, I was still giddy from seeing Paul McCartney and blurted out, "I just saw Paul McCartney!" and to our surprise she responded, "I know, he's staying here". We were in a completely different part of town and of the thousands of hotels in NYC had chosen the one where he was staying! Incredible!
At the south tip of Manhattan is Brooklyn Bridge that leads across to the borough of Brooklyn which is very much worth visiting.
I highly recommend walking or biking over Brooklyn Bridge, it’s beautiful.
You can also take a ferry to Brooklyn which is very fast and offers great views. In fact I recommend taking the ferry all around Manhattan. It's very inexpensive and offers the same views as the tourist boats. Check out the routes on their website, you can go around most of Manhattan.
On the other side of the bridge you'll find the neighbourhood of Dumbo and magnificent views of Manhattan. There's a lovely seawall, parks, restaurants, cafes and a carousel.
From the ferry you can walk to the left or right along the seawall.
If you go the left you'll find the famous River Cafe, looks lovely but in my opinion not the best view watching the ferry go back and forth.
Time Out Market
If you continue on you'll hit a large brick building on the right, the Time Out Market, filled with all sorts of food vendors. The food was very good and it was cool that most vendors had examples of their food on display in glass cases.
The interior of the building is quite dark and cavernous so if it's nice weather I'd recommend heading to a table outside or better yet onto the roof deck that has a beautiful view of Brooklyn Bridge.
A little further along you'll find a glass enclosed carousel and more amazing views of Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan. I'm sure there's more to see but that's as far as we got.
To the right of the ferry you'll find:
The 1 Hotel Bar - Harriet's Rooftop
This is where Paul McCartney was staying!
This rooftop bar is definitely worth visiting!
The most spectacular views of Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge. Go at sunset if you can.
There is a casual bar to the side where you just walk up to the bar to get a drink (no food) and it's first come first serve seating. The area along the front is for hotel guests only until a certain time and has a minimum spend. Then one floor down there's an indoor restaurant with the same view and also a minimum spend.
Note that there is only one elevator that goes up to the roof, it's the last one on the left.
I'm sure there's a lot more to explore in Dumbo! Next time!
The Apollo Theater
Save your Wednesday night!
The famous Amateur Night at The Apollo Theater is a highlight (we weren't able to go on this trip but we went last time). It's on Wednesday nights. There are some incredibly talented people that perform and some not so much, they literally get booed off the stage!
Harlem is another world, as soon as you get off the subway you'll feel it. Incredibly beautiful hair styles and street fashion. It was quite something! I've never been anywhere like it.
Using the subway in NYC city is easy, convenient and fun. Each ride costs $2.75, a 7-day pass is $33, so if you think you'll ride the subway at least 12 times, get the pass. Riding the subway at night after a show at Times Square felt safe because it's very busy. I don't think I'd ride it late at night if it's in an out of the way quiet area.
There are bike rentals from CitiBike all over the city. It's a great way to get around if the weather is good. Traffic can be quite hairy but there are good bikes lanes and you can ride on quieter streets. There's also a fantastic seawall on the West side of Manhattan starting at 72nd Street all the way down to Wall Street and past. The seawall on the east side of Manhattan was partly under construction so I'd avoid it.
You can just scan the bike and go for a flat $4 plus 23 cents a minute, this can add up quickly so if you're planning to use the bike for a long time or multiple times in one day you can do the day rate for $15. This allows you unlimited 30 minute rides and then $4 for every additional 15 minutes. The bike docks are every where so we learned to just dock the bike before the 30 minutes were up and then take it back immediately to avoid extra charges.
Renting the bike for the day on the APP was a little challenging to figure out. You can also do it at the booth at the docking station but it's more convenient to do it on the APP as you can then just scan the bike to take it out as opposed to having to enter a code. Once you figure it out it's okay, but allow time to figure it out the first time.
Numbered "streets" run horizontally across the Island and start at number one in South Manhattan and go up as they go North.
Numbered "avenues" start on the East side with #1 and go up to #11 moving West.
East & West
5th Avenue is the border for East and West.
GETTING THE MOST OF OUT OF YOUR TRIP
Your trip starts the moment you decide to go and start planning.
It's another thing I love about traveling, it's not just the trip itself, it's also the anticipation and excitement before you go and then the memories when you come back.
You can create more excitement and anticipation by watching some movies and listening to music set in the city you are traveling to before you go.
I've created a playlist to get you in a New York state of mind on Spotify HERE
I always bring my portable bluetooth speaker on trips to listen to music in our room. It's so nice to have music for ambience and if you have a playlist for your trip whenever you listen to it again it'll bring back the memories.
Another fun thing to do is if you wear perfume or cologne, get a new fragrance before you go and then wear it on your trip. Whenever you wear it again it'll bring all the great memories back.
Feel good movies set in New York to watch before your go:
When Harry Met Sally
Sex in the City
The Devil Wears Prada
Night at the Museum
You've Got Mail
Maid in Manhattan
Something's Gotta Give
Newark is a tiny airport and seemed very unorganized. The food available was all unhealthy and grossly overpriced. Sometimes you can only get flights into Newark but, if you can, I would avoid it and try to fly into La Guardia or JFK.
If you have a bad travel experience at the airport or on the plane put it behind you, don't dwell on it, don't tell people about it. The more you focus on it the worse it feels. Be grateful that you're able to travel and see the world! Move on and focus on the things you enjoyed on your trip, don't come home with your horror stories, it just makes the experience that much worse.
Taking a taxi into Manhattan from Newark can run up to $150 so best to take the Express bus. You could also take the train but it’s cumbersome with suitcases and the train could be delayed (as it was for us - took twice as long as the bus).
The Express bus has three stops in Manhattan, from there you can either take a cab or the subway.
Hope you too will get a chance to go to New York City someday, it's an incredible place and this is just the tip of the iceberg!