20 Jun 2016

New York in less than 24 hours

By In Travel

Ok, so we started the blog and we’re amped, debating what the first “real” post should be about was a whole different story. Considering traveling will be a large component of it and considering it took us ages to start the blog we’re going to play a bit of catch up. We’ll work in a few throwbacks and some old trips while the latest unfolds. First up New York City, oh how you owe us big time!  


New York , New York

The following is based on real life events and have not been altered even though it’s a pretty serious throwback. As a disclaimer you should note fitness levels may vary and using this as an itinerary might have you passing out at some point.

In 2011, at the end of an extended road trip from the West coast of USA, we had a 20 hour stopover in New York City. Now this isn’t ideal but saying we made the most of it would be an understatement. 


Our first photo in NY


We arrived in the Big Apple and with suitcases out of hand, we set foot to Time’s Square. The city centre was pumping with people and activity, a quick selfie (that big screen is too tempting) and we made our way to the Empire State building for one of the last lifts up.


Time Square around 23:30


The lift up was obviously packed and the 102 floor ride up literally makes your ears pop, but the view… The city gave us a good half an hour before the heavens opened up and it started pouring. Hitting the pavement like wet cats on the way down we quickly noticed the city that never sleeps seemed to be catching up on some shut-eye after all.


The view from the top


But first…


With Ted Mosby’s infamous quote ringing in our ears “nothing good happens after 2:00am” we realised having no accommodation in a wet New York city was not as smart as we thought. The plan was to walk to Brooklyn Bridge for sunrise, only we did not plan for the rain. Not to fear, a quick stop at the 24h pharmacy; 1 yellow poncho, 1 black umbrella and a packet of Big Red gum and we we’re ready for a night of homelessness. At this point it’s worth mentioning that the poncho was to wrap our camera bag in and that going forward the quality of images seriously digress. 

2:01 to 6:30

So this part is very fussy, considering this is a throwback of note, but essentially we stumbled into and out off quite a few bars while gradually getting more tired and wet. At some point we saw the Wall Street Bull and eventually the Bridge but alas, no sunrise.


Look at the crowds


After a quick change of clothes, inside a grocery store bathroom, we boarded the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, more selfies. The ferry ride back to Manhattan provided a few minutes for some beauty sleep. The short rest gave us the energy to visit the Lomography shop , remember back then this was considered cool and also the dollar was like R7 so we could afford some film.


Took this from under the umbrella & just look at the 3 levels of analog fun in the Lomo shop


Back on track we hopped on a train to Grand Central Station, not only to see the terminal but also to test out the Whispering wall, it works btw! Apparently the clock in the terminal is the most photographed clock in the world.

Read this article before you go.


Grand Central station


Whistling wall, myth confirmed  


Just in time for some culture at The Guggenheim. Followed by a rainy walk through Central Park and as we couldn’t let the opportunity pass for a taxi ride, we headed to the MOMA in a proper New York cab. The short time spent at these iconic museums do not justify them but such is life.

It is however around 12:03 that our world would forever change. This was such a momentous occasion that even the camera couldn’t focus on it. We devoured our very first NY sidewalk hotdogs… We had the real deal and as best described by Harvey from the TV-series Suits; the excitement and danger is in not exactly knowing what it’s made of.


No other hotdog will ever measure up


Wandering around on the wet but busy sidewalks in somewhat of a daze we passed the Rockefeller Centre and ended right back at Times Square. We have come full circle, quite literally. It was also cut off time to start getting back to the airport. (This was a 17,3km walking circle.) We bought some memrobelia for the family and friends and headed to Penn Station. nyc-20



After a slight hiccup of almost losing one another in Penn station we caught the train to the airport for our flight back home. Insert sad and tired faces!

Needless to say, it was a very eventful and wet day in the Big Apple, we did our best and obviously slept through all the flights back to Johannesburg.

Tempted in a New York Minute?

So if you’re keen on trading your boring stopover for this “amazing race” of a day the following is essential:

New York pass – We saved on entrance and time by not queuing

A printable map or download the Manhattan map to your phone – no time for being lost

A priority list – What must be seen

Comfortable shoes, umbrella, ponchos, or who knows what

A cutoff time – This will make sure you don’t miss your flight, one gets distracted easily in this city.


Let us know about your craziest stopover. We’re working on a little something that could help you survive those long boring stop-overs too.

Written by The Louwkuls

a guy, a girl & an old land rover
  1. Jaco 20 Jun 2016


  2. Liezll Bolton 20 Jun 2016

    I enjoyed the read! We will be watching this space

  3. Inandi Wyatt 21 Jun 2016

    Oh, the energy!! Well done!!

  4. Timmee 21 Jun 2016


Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: