The last days of Fall with New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
Ah New York, so many romanticized notions come to mind when you think of this city. A place where your dreams come true, where artist thrive, and enduring legacies are rooted. Its hard to describe the Big Apple in a way that isn't some time worn cliché, but that's only because no matter what you've heard about the city, it tends to be true to some degree.
This was our third trip to New York this year and the first one where we we determined to not run ourselves ragged with a million photoshoots. One reason is because were pregnant (yay!) and another is because we had the opportunity to collaborate with a hotel that makes you want to relax and really enjoy yourself, New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.
Normally when we travel we like to keep ourselves busy. We're not above roughing it at a grimy motel if it helps us achieve our overall goal of exploring on a budget. Location and proximity to attractions has always been the number one priority when we travel. Most of the time we're only in our rooms to sleep and gone for the other 12+ hours of the day, so we don't usually make the quality of the room we're in a top priority. That's why we were so blown away by the perfect balance of quality and location of this place. Just as the name would imply, the hotel is right across from the Brooklyn AND Manhattan Bridge in downtown Brooklyn. Literally RIGHT ACROSS. We didn't even have to leave the comfort of our room to get some of my favorite shots of the entire trip.
These are getting framed someday.
We could've been perfectly content with spending three incredibly comfortable days being lazy around the warmth of the hotel. But, being the intrepid explorers that we are, we wouldn't have been content watching the city pass us by through our window.
The first day we has that familiar feeling of fatigue and exhaustion that one gets when your traveling. Its was cold, even for New York's standards and we both wanted to be able to just relax and be lazy. But, of course we couldn't just stay there. I think because we enjoy the feeling of adventure and both of our respective hobbies rely so heavily on creating experiences, that we've grown be more comfortable being busy than not. If photography and social media weren't such a large part of our lives, we would have very different vacation experiences. But, then they wouldn't be as special.
So on that note; tired and cold, we went out to find spaces to shoot and as always, we weren't disappointed. We went to the Brooklyn Bridge park right in time to catch a beautiful autumn sunset.
Noting great usually comes from comfort zones anyway...
As beautiful as that first night was, there was no denying how cold it was. Any other time in our lives we would've braved it out and found more ways to enjoy the night. But, with a little one on the way, and exhaustion becoming more and more of an adversary to our little excursions, we decided to head back and call it a night nice and early.
Luckily for us, the Marriott is literally minutes away from the bridge. We hopped in a cab and were back at our front door in a few minutes.
Whenever we travel, especially to New York, getting a feel for the real city is important. Its so easy to buffer your emersion to new surroundings by going to the same familiar places. The same corner stores, same coffee houses, same fast food restaurants. Their may be an excuse to e more cautious with unfamiliar experiences when you're traveling overseas, but when you're in the states, theres no excuse not to enculturate yourself into the community. So, when we travel stateside, we shop local, eat local, and try to see as many non-tourist attractions as possible.
That's why it was so great to see that Marriott really took pains to engrain themselves into the community of Brooklyn. Not just through the urban decor (which was very cool btw) but by offering discounts and recommendations to local attractions and restaurants. Not just corporate restaurants, but real local places run by real New Yorkers. It's those types of attention to detail and corporate awareness that make us want to come back, soon as we can.
I mentioned the decor but it really deserves a full acknowledgement, Its that well done. The hotel was recently renovated. The designers were able to blend the charm of old world New York with the unmistakeable cool of Brooklyn. It gives you that feeling of experiencing the quintessential, romanticized New York. You could tell that who ever envisioned how they would make over the space had a genuine love for New York. Again, its these attentions to detail that make it special.
*Another cool thing is that, while we are there, a college basketball tournament was going on with team from all over the country. I hadn't realized that we were literally less than ten minutes away from the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets (and Jay-Z if you can catch him, lol). It was surreal seeing these 6 and 7 foot tall guys walking up and down the halls. Only in New York..
This trip really was meant to be one of rest and relaxation. We slept in the best we could, but we're so hard wired from our active lifestyle that we can never manage to stay in bed past 8:00AM. Even though those beds we like sleeping on a cloud, its hard to turn off that internal alarm. Plus, every time we looked out the window we saw an insane skyline that begged us to come explore. So, after a great breakfast in the M Club lounge (100% worth the money) we packed up our gear and went exploring
We tried to stay as close to home base as possible In our last two trips we tried to go all across the city. See everything there was to see because we weren't sure when we would be back. But, since this was our third trip to NY this year, we decided to keep it local and explore Brooklyn.
So we hopped in an Uber and took a quick trip back to the waterfront for some quick pictures.
Of course, it didnt disappoint. We tried to make our way to the waterfront a few more times during the duration of our stay. Since we've made trips to New York a recurring get away, we've made a few friends that we like to visit and hang out/create with. This time we were able to meet with the incredibly kind and talented Melini Jeusdason a.k.a. Meliniseri. It was COOOOLLLLDD when we met up, but we were still able to get some really beautiful pictures together.
We only lasted a little over an hour but that all we needed to make these incredible images. Later that night we met up for Ramen and cake because, Brooklyn 🙃
The first couple of days flew by in a breeze. The combination of cold weather, shortened days, and a conscious effort to take it easy in general made for a very quick few days of vacation. Luckily, while we didn't exactly paint the town red during our stay, we were able to enjoy a rejuvenating stay with some really breathtaking views.
And in the morning we would enjoy some awesome gourmet breakfasts at the M Lounge..
Why dont I have one of these?..
After breakfast on our last day we decided to have one more romp around town. The flight form NY to DC is less than an hour and the hotel allowed us to check out much later than normal, so we had a few hours to kill. We weren't looking to go too far away from hime base and eat up all of our time in the commute so we decided to find somewhere relatively close.
After a quick discussion and elimination of options we settled on a place Spencer had been dying to visit since our first trip to New York, China Town, Manhattan.
We walked around for a little while looking for this specific shot . Spencer had seen it floating around Instagram for a couple of years and wouldn't leave without it. Of course, I had to seize the opportunity to grab a couple for myself.
Luckily it wasn't a very busy day and we were able to get a few quick pictures relatively undisturbed, save for the typical randos with cellphones 🙄
After having our fun there we decided to walk around a bit and explore the surrounding areas. That area of Soho, Little Italy and China Town is really a photographers freak. Its brimming with so much life and culture.
The hustle and bustle of the area was just the ending we needed to feel like we got the authentic New York experience and a perfect way to end our little vacation.
Evenhough it was much shorter than usual, it turned out to be one of the most relaxing and rewarding get aways we've had in a long time. Thanks to our commitment to really relax and enjoy our stay and the perfectly relaxing experience provided by the Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge, we we're able to slow down a bit and enjoy the best of what this city has to offer.
We were lucky enough to collaborate with The Marriott to create an awesome welcome video highlighting our stay there. Check it out here!:
Until next time New York....