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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

New York City, is more than just a location on a map; it’s a city filled with heart, life and opportunity. From a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity to seeing a Broadway show with a friend, the bustling streets have something to offer every person who steps foot on them. Last year, I had the chance to spend two weeks in the city that never sleeps, and these were a few of my favorite places to eat, visit, shop and sightsee. 

Washington Square Park

While New York City is mainly known for its expanse of concrete buildings and skyscrapers, there are a large number of parks for the local community to enjoy. In the heart of New York University and on the edge of the West Village lies one of the best spots to hang out and people-watch: Washington Square Park. Since this is surrounded by the university, there is a lot of life and youth surrounding the park’s iconic arch. I have spent quite a while sitting on the fountain at the center of the park and watching people go by. In the summer, children’s laughter fills the air as they splash in the fountain and run around the grass, and in the winter, a beautiful Christmas tree under the arch makes for the perfect picture. It has the perfect amount of people present and is neighbored by many cool shops, pop-ups and restaurants. Even if Washington Square Park is not for you, I would explore the West Village while you are in the area. It is Taylor Swift’s part of town for good reason. 

Strand Book Store 

For nearly a century, Strand Book Store has served New York City with a large selection of books, gifts and souvenirs across four different locations. Out of the three I have visited myself, each store has felt unique and offered me a different experience. My favorite location is the Columbus Avenue store due to its ambiance and family-friendly feel. The indie bookstore carries a vast variety of new and vintage books, making it impossible to leave empty-handed. I always appreciate the gift section that is filled with postcards, tote bags and other little tokens to remember your trip to the city. There is nothing better than a morning spent sipping an iced coffee and exploring the endless aisles of Strand. 


I am not a huge fan of shopping, and while Soho is known for its retail variety, the neighborhood truly has something for everyone. There are hundreds of stores, museums, coffee shops and experiences that encompass the area, making it everything that is it. My favorite stores to browse in were Baggu, Glossier and McNally Jackson. If stores are not your thing, the Museum of Ice Cream and the Color Factory are also in this area, which are perfect places to go if you are traveling with children. This part of the city is also a great place to take pictures and walk around. The architecture is unique and makes for the perfect backdrop. The surrounding area is also known for its incredible coffee shop and restaurant selection. Drop into Cafe Lyria on Crosby Street and try their Freddo Cappuccino. 

Rooftop Cinema Club Midtown 

One of my favorite things I did in New York this past summer was going to a rooftop movie screening of the 1996 Romeo + Juliet. Each week of the summer, Rooftop Cinema Club Midtown, shows a different film for guests to enjoy. With a beautiful view of the sun setting over Manhattan, you can sit back, purchase snacks and watch a movie in the open air. It is reasonably priced and an excellent evening activity. You are given a pair of headphones so the noise of the city does not take away from the experience. When I went in July, the weather was perfect and the views were the cherry on top. It is also conveniently located between Times Square and 5th Avenue, so there are many things you can do before or after the movie! If you travel to New York in the summertime, this is definitely something you should add to your itinerary.

Industry Kitchen 

Finally, my favorite dining experience I have had in New York is this water-front American cuisine located in lower Manhattan. It was truly one of the most memorable meals of my life combined with a warm and welcoming ambiance that made it a true ten out of ten. I went in the wintertime, and they had little heated houses lit up in Christmas lights for outdoor seating. This was the only time in my life I opted for outdoor seating in 20-degree weather. The service was wonderful, and the view of the East River and Brooklyn was unbeatable. Apart from the wonderful first impressions, the menu was incredibly unique. I had Lamb that was topped with ghost cheese, fig jam, and pistachios; it was delectable. As soon as I got home, I found a copycat recipe and made it for my entire family. While it is on the pricier side, I would say it is worth it for the food, the sights and the experience. 

Sarah Steen is a freshman at NC State University. She decided to join Her Campus this year in order to express her thoughts and passions monthly with her fellow peers on campus. She is excited to learn about the roles and opportunities that Her Campus has to offer. Before coming to NC State, Sarah was a part of her high school yearbook staff and student body president of her class. She is entering college as a Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations. In the future, she plans to minor in journalism and join the Public Relations Student Society of America. After graduation, she would like to do media management for a non-profit organization in either Washington D.C. or New York City. Sarah is from High Point, North Carolina, where she lived with her two parents and older brother. She is very passionate about friendship, music, pop culture and iced coffee. Her favorite musical artists are Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Maggie Rogers, and she has seen all of them in concert. Her favorite movies are La La Land, Little Women and Someone Great. Sarah's ideal day would be spent at a coffee shop with friends on a beautiful spring day; spring is her favorite time of year!