Sunday, November 24, 2013

New York City in the Fall

Can't stop thinking about the city???  Dreaming of walking through the beautiful Central Park???  Want to see a show, take in the arts and enjoy some amazing eats???  Well dream, swoon, long for- no more:)  Jump in the car or hop on the train because New York City, is closer than you think;)

New York City offers up an outstanding weekend experience!!!  Book your travel on Friday, get up there in the early afternoon, stay two to three nights and head back home Sunday or Monday evening.  For Friday, start by dropping your bags at the hotel and heading outdoors!!!  Day 1: Central Park, Guggenheim, 5th Ave. and The Plaza:)  After all that travel you'll need a break, some relaxation and some fresh air, well look no further!!!!

A stroll through this beautiful park is sure to set your mind at ease.  Families and friends gather here to toss frisbees, walk dogs, picnic, cuddle and play:)  Horse drawn carriages in every color of the rainbow carry snuggled passengers through the park streets, off their feet.  Being in the center of this park feels like you're a world away from the electric hum of the city that surrounds you, you're truly at peace.  One of my favorite things about being in Central Park is watching the remote control sailboats at the Conservatory Water pond.  Steve and I will sit and watch them twist and turn along the soft, still water, their players along the shore moving from side to side with their remotes, following the same rhythm as their mini boat.  

Alice and her friends from Alice and Wonderland, also adorn the park just north of the Conservatory Water pond.  Definitely worth a visit and a photograph, now if only I could join them for a Very, very Un-Birthday Tea Party....then I'd be all set:)  John Lennon's Strawberry Fields are here in the park as well....well, there are no actual fields, but the IMAGINE sign in the walk paired with guitar strummers playing all sorts of Lennon tunes is sure to make you feel as though you are walking through Strawberry Fields.

Just off the park and across the street sits one of Frank Lloyd Wrights most famous buildings, The Guggenheim Museum.  Inside you'll find not only great works of modern art, but you'll step inside a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece of art in its own right!  As you follow the spiral further up inside the museum, you'll find small twists and turns in the architecture and design of the building.  You'll come to a barrier in the walkway, or a wall you have to find your way around, you'll notice a small keyhole in the wall, and when you go to investigate, you'll find a small library hidden away from the general public.  If you know Frank's work, you know these interesting elements are in all of his buildings.  Things will not come easily to those that explore, he'll put you to work and have fun doing it;)   

After you've had your fill of art, seek dinner at one of the best kept secrets in town, The Todd English Food Hall located in the basement of The Plaza Hotel, just across from the park.  Before you head downstairs walk around the hotel, explore the bustling lobby, bar, Oak Room, and Tea Salon!  The first time I ever saw the Plaza, my Uncle had taken me and my cousin on an amazing week long vacation!  We stayed here the entire time, took in shows like The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera, we ate at some of the best restaurants in the city, including the Marriott Marquis at the tippy top, that spins slowly as you eat so you can experience the ever changing views of the best city in the universe!!!  I knew then as I know now that I am one that truly loves NY<3 
From walking up the carpeted entrance, to entering the beautiful pink and gold lobby under the light of the huge, crystal chandeliers, you are immediately in awe<3

The Food Hall is the same experience, only with all the tasties you can only imagine!!!  From tea to candy to macaroon shops and counters you'll also find savory stations that sell freshly made breads, quiches, sandwiches and meats.  In the restaurant you'll sit at one of the many bars or high top tables and you can order anything from handmade pizzas to pastas, sushi, burgers, steaks, soups and salads, anything for whatever mood you're in:)  Oh, and the wine list is exquisite!!!!!

Roasted Corn Salad
Prosciutto, fig and Gorgonzola Flatbread and Lobster Pasta

Chocolate Ganache Tart a la mode

Remember to get a good nights rest, you'll be checking out plenty more beauties tomorrow:)  For Saturday, Day 2:  The Cloisters and Tryon Park plus dinner and a show!  The Cloisters, part of the MET, was built in the 1930's with parts from five different Medieval Abbeys throughout Europe.  The park around The Cloisters was manicured with the help of Medieval manuscripts.  We can thank John D. Rockefeller Jr. for his large endowment grant that made the entire project possible and the structure is filled with most of his own Medieval art collection!!!  Among the museums beautiful sculptures, you'll also see seven breathtaking Flemish tapestries, gorgeously illustrated medieval manuscripts, paintings, playing cards, ivory combs, glassware and beautiful silver.  There are also many small courtyards and herb gardens within the building  This place is a must when visiting the windy city:)  Unforgettable!!!             

All that walking can make you tired, find your closest Alice's Tea Cup for an afternoon tea delight, and a bit of a pick me up:)  Don't forget to take some tea home to share with your friends over cookies and cakes as you reminisce over your amazing trip!!!  And once you've had your fill of the day and you begin to notice you're running late for your dinner reservation, head to Monkey Bar, a spot so hot in NY that its been feeding the rich and famous since 1936!!!!  Indulge in a truly memorable meal, from your first to last bite:)  Steven and I feasted on a delicious green salad, Roast Duck and Pork Chop and shared a chocolate mousse!!!  Total YUMMMMM and exquisite atmosphere:)

After dinner, it is just a short walk through Times Square to the Court Theatre where we sat just two rows away from the brilliance that encompasses Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in Waiting for Godot!!!!  It was awesome:)  We checked out Times Square afterwards, but don't generally spend more than 10-15 minutes here, the streets are flooded with crowds of people, its a bit trashy and all the signs and lights are insane!!!  Definitely worth a visit, but you probably won't want to hang out for long!  If you head to NYC around the Holidays, I recommend seeing the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, a truly New York experience, again from my first trip here and one I'll remember for years to come:)

Sunday, Day 3: Our third and final day:(  We spent it in and around Chelsea with friends, grabbing a breakfast of omelets and croissants at Cafe Champignon, raiding the Hell's Kitchen Antique Markets, feasting on ramen at a local Noodle Joint, visiting the Flat Iron Building and High Line Park before we jumped back on the train to head back to DC.  There isn't a better way to end your trip than running all over Chelsea with a mini Victor Victrola under your arm;)  Yes, we finally found one!!!

This neighborhood is one of our favorites because of all the antique, vintage clothing and local market and artisan shops:)  There are also many fabulous places to eat!!!  Eataly, a famous Italian Food Market is crammed with locals everyday, it's a favorite grocery and dining spot!  And while cabs are quick....and sometimes death defying, the Subway is the best way to travel, it'll take you from Uptown to Downtown in a snap!

Chelsea Two-Story Antique Garage
Empire State Building

I have this weird obsession with old water towers on top of apartment buildings;)  So don't mind the above photo, I just think they're really cool!!!  A trip to NYC is a great time to find something that calls out to you:)
View from Hell's Kitchen Antique Market
High Line Park is a high walkway that cuts through the city on old rail tracks, there's grass, trees, benches, and even an overhang in case of inclement weather:)  This walkway is a local favorite, a great way to cut through the crowded streets and get closer to the sun!  You'll also get to see some building art up close:) 

View from High Line Park

This trip was one for the books:)  Be sure to book your next weekend getaway in The Big Apple for a truly amazing experience:)  Try staying in one of the smaller neighborhoods or near Central Park when looking at hotels.  Other local food places of note:  AOC, Spice Market and The Little Owl:)  Also, remember to stop into Tiffany on 5th Ave.....I couldn't help it!  To our friends, we loved coming up to see you, we had a great weekend and hope to come back up again soon!!!!  
Happy Travels to you and yours!!!

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