When work sends you to NYC (for a measly one-hour meeting), make the most of those miles and extend it to include a weekend with one of your favorite ladies … at least that’s what I did.
I can’t believe I haven’t hugged this girl since my wedding day! That’s just too long and crazy silly (and makes me feel like an old married lady). Thankfully distance and time are nothing when it comes to a solid friendship like ours. (;
Instead of writing out a super long post on the many things we did, which was a ton x three days, I’ll just share a few of my favorites. There wasn’t a single disappointment on our itinerary, so these are just the absolute must-sees, must-dos, and must-eats (let’s be honest, most will be the latter) lest you find yourself in New York.
// Má Pêche
One of David Chang’s Momofuku clan, this spot is where you’ll want to meet friends for brunch. Their small plates are delicious and ideal for sharing (so you can taste more stuff, duh). Get the breakfast noodles and softshell crab buns. Bonus: The dessert cart is filled with Milk goodies, including the famous compost cookie.
We lucked out and got in for free, but it’s easily worth the ticket price. I didn’t realize that Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Dali’s Persistence of Time were here, so that was a pleasant surprise. My favorites were Warhol’s Soup Cans and the room of Monet’s. Lee and I were fortunate enough to see his water lily collection when we were in Paris last March, so that brought back some much-loved memories.
P.S. The (free!) audio guides are fantastic. They’re iPods, so you can take photos (and save your phone battery!) and track your walk through the museum. When you’re done it emails a summary of everything right to you.
// High Line
We did a lot of walking, so I didn’t think I’d enjoy a place where you go solely to walk some more. But I did. This stretch of park was the city’s way of revitalizing the old railroad lines, and it turned out beautifully! We happened to catch the sunset behind the Hudson—stunning. The people watching here was pretty top-notch, too.
The Brooklyn Flea Food Market was perhaps the best decision we made all weekend. I swear, everything I ate was like the best thing I’d ever eaten, which makes no sense logically. But it was good. Very good. I think we squeezed in five or six stops. We sampled crispy scallion pancake wraps (I wish I had gotten seconds!), duck confit dumplings, boardwalk fries with vinegar ailoli, a lobster roll, and the most refreshing (and massive) coconut ice cream cone I’ve ever laid my lips on. Mmmm. Seriously, go here.
// ACE Hotel
I didn’t stay here, but it was a nice little rest stop in the middle of our busy day. We got a tasty cup of Stumptown coffee, snagged a seat on one of the massive leather couches in the lobby (which seemed to be THE place to hang out), and chatted each other’s ears off while putting our feet up. Don’t leave without hopping in the photo booth! (These always end up being my favorite souvenirs, so I don’t mind going a little out of my way to find one.) A little tip: Sit THEN swipe your card. Flashes are faster than they appear. You’re welcome.
// City Bakery
Everything looked delicious, but I went with three chocolate chip cookies (one for me, one for Lee and one for my sweet hostess/tour guide) because I heard they were the best in the city. I could only eat half in one sitting, but holy bananas it was good.
// Shake Shack
I was a little too excited to eat here. It’s been on my burger bucket list for a while now (I love me a good cheeseburger), and it did not disappoint. Go to Madison Square Park—the original and the only location with crinkle fries, which hold just the right amount of cheese sauce. I recommend the coffee shake for dessert!
// The Strand
Set aside a chunk of your afternoon to explore this bookshop. Trust me, you’ll find books but lose hours. The $2-or-less carts outside always have some gems, and the staff recommendations on the first floor are fun to read.
// Joe’s Pizza
This place has been tossing and turning out pizzas since 1975, and I must say, Joe makes an exceptional slice. I’m not the only one who thinks so—apparently, it’s been rated best slice in the city by NY Magazine and a few big-time bloggers. Fast, easy, scrumptious and quintessentially New York.
Half-market-half-restaurants, Eataly is a guaranteed delicious destination. There were so many things I wanted to taste that I just could find room for (fresh pastas, baguettes, meat and cheese boards), so I’ll just have to go back someday. You CANNOT leave without sampling the tiramisu!