Romantic New York
For some reason, the coming of winter heralds the encouraging of people to get romantic. Perhaps it's common sense to cuddle up to someone when you're cold, but there's something to be said about an enchanting walk around a New York City whilst being hand in hand with a partner.
So if you're in the mood to whisk a loved one away to the East Coast on your gap year and looking for a nod in the right direction, here are a few ideas.
Manhattan at night
Where to spend your day
In fairness, New York can be anything you want it to be: the coolest, most enjoyable, best place to eat - you name it, it's probably been called it. Rightly so, in fairness, as it is a mega city that has myriad things to offer, and romantic is definitely one of them.
Of course, sometimes it's good to get lost in the city when arriving in the Big Apple, but there are a few must-sees and dos that you would be silly to miss out on. Central Park, for instance, is an area that looks charming in the winter, especially with the old fashioned Friedsam Memorial Carousel that can be found at Park Drive North.
Located in the middle of the Park, the Trump Wollman ice rink is available and offers an amazing 360 view of the park, as well as the famous skyline behind. If your passion can only be matched by thriftiness, one can always visit Bryant Park where the Bank of America Winter Village can be found. It is allegedly free, but you may have to pay to rent some skates.
Central Park with the Manhattan skyline in the background
After, one can warm up the many cafes on offer, such as Perk Kafe in Midtown or La Colombe in Soho. Of course, Soho is known as a good district for shopping, so it's always a good idea to go there after and mooch around classic outlets like Bloomingdales, or upmarket labels like Prada or Stella McCartney.
If you have the money, a Broadway show nearby is always a good option for a pleasant evening. Currently, The Lion King, Cabaret and The Book of Mormon are very popular. If you're planning on going, be sure to book in advance as you will get a better and they are also prone to selling out.
Where to eat
Pizza: a must for all visitors to NYC
Finding the perfect restaurant in New York can and has driven people to frenzy, but do not worry. Here is a simple plan:
Cheap: Katz's Delicatessen (Lower East Side) - Jewish deli that opened in 1888. It remains strong and offers a delicious array of simple grub, with many vegetarian options. You're looking at spending around $10 for a meal.
Mid-range: Uvi (Upper East Side) - classy Italian food at reasonable prices. In the Five Boroughs, Italians made their mark. Uva is a place that has a modern exposed brick interior and boasts sumptuous Italian cuisine. Expect to pay $25 a head for a starter, main and drink.
Vegan: The Green Radish (everywhere) - a mobile van that serves exciting non-meat/dairy dishes. You'll have to keep your eyes peal for this food wagon, but it is definitely worth it. The menu includes: spicy bean burgers, the 'Asian BBQ tofu delight' and fan favourite The TLT (grilled tempeh strips garnished with sriracha mayo and place in a ciabatta)
Out of Manhattan (gasp): Roberta's (Moore Street, Brooklyn) - Pizzeria of epic proportions. Don't come to NYC and not eat pizza. Roberta's pizza is wood-fired and call one of their creations Cheezus Christ, and this act of blasphemy is war rented as it is ethereal.
A lovely loft apartment in downtown NYC
Where to stay
Accommodation is something that can set many a visitor back, so be prepared to pay a little more than other cities in the U.S. If you shop around, however, you can find a reasonable deal.
The New York Loft Hostel in Bushwick is very affordable and has won many awards for its popularity and atmosphere. With a nice courtyard, lovely rooms with exposed brickwork, you can get a private double bedroom for as little as £35 a night, which is amazing.