Greeting from the Big Apple!
Each time I head back home to spend time with my family, I try to schedule a momcation of sorts. This brief getaway includes a solo 2-night stay at a hotel and no concrete plans to speak of. I generally end up spending much of the days on my own and meet up with friends, family, old colleagues, etc. for exercise, meals, drinks, coffee and general social meandering all over the city.
I won’t lie — it’s THE BEST.
So much of our life is scheduled and forced — especially once we bring children into the mix. It’s so nice to have some time to just be spontaneous and unattached. You know, do all of the things we didn’t realize we would miss so much once we left our carefree 20’s?!
I understand that I might feel more comfortable in the city than many who did not grow up in the area and/or live there, so I wanted to share how I spend my 48 hours in NYC with all of the recommendations and tips you need to fall in love with the city as I have!
Where To Stay:
NYC is bursting at the seams with fantastic (and often pricey) hotel rooms. For me, the key to a great hotel is a killer location and in-house amenities. All of the hotels below (which I’ve stayed in) have the best of both worlds. You won’t want to leave…
• The James — The SoHo location is perfection. As are the drinks on the rooftop bar!
• The Marlton — Make sure to take in all of the amazing design features in this recently converted hotel!
• The Andaz — For amenities and service, this hotel can’t be beat. Stay in the Bryant Park location for midtown accessibility, or select the Wall Street location like me if you like to spend your time below 14th street.
• The Viceroy — Could the view from this hotel be more beautiful?
What To Eat:
Ok, NYC is home to some of the best restaurants in the world and my list could go on-and-on! Here is an edited version of some of my more recent favorites. Some are more special occasion, some are casual pit-stops, but all are worth a visit!
• Jack’s Wife Freda — Family friendly, comfort food with a Mediterranean twist.
• By CHLOE. — I’m not vegan, yet I crave the burgers which are almost too good to be true.
• Cafe Cluny — A breakfast/lunch French bistro inspired go-to in one of the cutest neighborhoods in all of NYC.
• Lafayette — Everything is delicious but make sure to try the bakery pastries. Go. Now.
• Vandal — Definitely a hot spot on the Bowery scene, with food that lives up to the hype.
• Bond Street — An oldie but reliable goodie for fresh and delicious sushi with a side of people watching.
• Dirty French — Get a taste of the Lower East Side with the global-inspired, French menu. The unique cocktail list is a can’t miss for those more adventurous drinkers!
• Malatesta Trattoria — Perhaps one of my most nostalgic picks! A true neighborhood gem for fresh Italian that could have been made by grandma herself.
• Gemma — A downtown take on the traditional Italian trattoria!
• The Little Owl — This tiny, West Village New American is a unique date spot for a memorable dinner if you can score one of it’s few tables.
• Billy’s Bakery — A little slice of Americana… and pie.
• Doughnut Plant — When asked what I wanted to eat after 17 hours of labor and the birth of my daughter, my answer was a Doughnut Plant donut. That should tell you enough.
• Levain Bakery — The chocolate chip cookies here are perhaps the best I’ve ever tasted… and I’ve tasted MANY.
• Momofuku Milk Bar — If a classically trained pastry chef and a mad scientist had a bakery baby, it would be Momofuku Milk Bar.
• Big Gay Ice Cream — How can you resist an ice cream cone with the name “Salty Pimp!?”
What To Drink:
• Happy Ending — What used to be a shady basement bar in Chinatown has undergone a major makeover and emerged as a great cocktail destination.
• Employees Only — No sign, unless you count that flashing “Psychic” neon but the delicious speakeasy era cocktails will be worth the extra bit of effort to find the place!
• Marlton Bar — Rosé and Negronis on tap!? Ummmm, yes please!
• Maison Premiere (Williamsburg) — While the cocktails are worth the trip alone, don’t leave without indulging in the oysters.
• Bemelmans Bar — A NYC institution located inside the Carlyle Hotel.
• The Nomad — Go for dinner, stay for drinks. You won’t be sorry.
Where To Shop:
No doubt, we’re in my NYC wheelhouse now! While the department stores in NYC are beyond spectacular for scoring your favorite styles and taking advantage of fantastic sales, I’m partial to the smaller boutiques where I’m less likely to get overwhelmed and more likely to find a one of a kind design that I know no one else will have back home.
• Intermix — You can shop this store online, but nothing compares to the in-person experience and the expert assistance you’ll get from all of the impeccably dressed sales people and stylists.
• And Other Stories — H&M’s slightly more mature and sophisticated, minimalist cousin.
• Otte — Venture down Greenwich Ave. into this little boutique for a contemporary designer selection that will blow you away.
• Jeffrey — A Meatpacking District staple; The designer shoes and accessories cannot be missed.
• Reformation — This US based women’s retailer is focusing on sustainable, contemporary fashion without the high end price tags.
• Barneys — Although technically a department store, this NY classic shops like a boutique — especially the new Chelsea outpost!
• Le Labo — A Nolita based parfumerie for the discerning nose. Santal 26 is my absolute favorite.
Where To Pamper Yourself:
People are always surprised to find out that beauty services in NY are way more affordable than you might think.
• DreamDry — For about $50 and less than an hour of your time, you’ll leave with one of the best blowouts of your life.
• Paintbox Nails — Try this SoHo nail studio if you want to take your nail art to the next level.
• Great Jones Spa — My favorite destination for a bit of relaxation. Bring a swim suit to take advantage of their thermal pools!
• Exhale Core Fusion — A HIIT class not meant for the weak.
• Soul Cycle — Basically, a cardio dance party on a bike!
What To See:
• 9/11 Memorial + Museum — A moving and striking tribute to those who perished and the memories they left behind.
• The High Line — Converted elevated rail tracks are now home to a walkable garden complete with unique vendors, great views and access to the Meatpacking District + Chelsea.
• Union Square Greenmarket — Head to Union Square M, W, Fri + Sat for a taste of the season’s bounty.
• Eataly — Everywhere you turn in this converted church, you’ll be assaulted by all of Italy’s best products, menus and flavors. It truly is a religious experience.
• The Guggenheim — The Frank Lloyd Wright designed building is a work of art in itself.
• Central Park — If NYC is a living, breathing creature, then Central Park is its heart.
I’ll be slowly making my way through some of these options today and tomorrow and might even throw in a short cat nap here and there. Just because I can…
If you have any questions about NYC or need help planning your 48 hours in NYC– just leave a comment below or shoot me an E-MAIL. I’m at your service!