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They say New York is the city where dreams are made. If your dreams are made of a visual explosion of design, art and fashion combined with an over indulgence of bacon and cream cheese bagels, then yes, New York is the city where dreams are made.

I recently spent 2 weeks trawling the city from head to toe in search of things that would make me happy, and when I boarded my flight home 10 kilos over my baggage allowance, ‘happy’ was definitely the culprit inside. Here are a few things I would recommend.

Shopping soho noho

I love shopping, I love everything about shopping, I love everything you probably hate about shopping and more.

I’m not much of a ‘bargain hunter’ so it’s safe to say I had a coronary when I hit Soho and Noho (South Houston St and North Houston St). These are hands down the best places to shop in New York. Bloomingdales took 5 hours of my life I’ll never care to see again, along with a lot of my money. As did Mercer Street which contains Helmut Lang, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rag & Bone and more. Spring St and Bleecker St are also killers.

And the best part about it? It was ridiculously cheaper in New York than in Australia.Find out how the USA stacks up here.

culture Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Ahh Williamsburg, how I love thee - full of angry taxi drivers, a plethora of music, food, culture and fashionable dogs. And after 3 solid days suffering from coffee withdrawals because of my refusal to drink Starbucks (symptoms including unnecessary aggression towards slow walkers, slow talkers, slow movers, slow decision makers, slower button pushes...etc) I finally found solace in a coffee shop called.....Toby’s Estate. Well, at least I could get my coffee and Vegemite fix in the same place.

Oh and the fashionable dogs? They were everywhere.

Art Whitney Museum 945 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10021

New York is definitely the place for you if you love art and design. There are so many amazing galleries/holes in the wall to explore. Whitney was one of my favorites, along with MoMa. I was lucky enough to see the retrospective exhibition of Yayoi Kusama which was amazing, but the American Art museum always seems to have something spectacular on display. If you are anything like me and have done 17th - 18th century European art to death, head here for a different experience.

Experience The Big Gay Ice-cream Truck East Village 125 East 7th Street (between 1st Avenue & Avenue A) New York, NY 10009

I had heard of The Big Gay Ice-cream Truck and their delicious concoctions of the sweet and sour long before I planned my trip to NY - so it was definitely on my list of to-do’s.

It was a beautifully sunny day so I threw on a printed silk skirt, crisp white singlet and massive, chunky, p-diddy-lil-wayne-chris-brown style gold chain and tied my hair back into a little ballet bun.

I strolled into the east village with a spring in my step after getting complimented by a well dressed stylist (who would clearly be my gay best friend had I lived in New York). I found The Big Gay Ice-cream Truck store and got my ‘Salty Pimp’, which was delicious. Could this day get any better?!?

I decided to eat my salty caramel sundae goodness down at the busy park I spotted across the road. So off I go - with the warm wind in my hair and my face firmly engulfed in my sundae - I failed to notice I was walking straight into a red cross soup kitchen filled with the homeless and frail who probably hadn't had a good feed in a week.

With chocolate smeared quite aggressively across my face and my obnoxious gold chain glimmering in the sunshine, I froze and thought to myself...I have never felt more like an asshole in my entire life. And that was it. My over indulgence in consumerisation was over.

Time to go home back to Australia where the creative industry is under appreciated and bagels with bacon and cream cheese are very much underrated.

Your travel companion,

louise x