I took a short weekend trip to New York City in July, 2016 with a few girlfriends. New York City really is the city that never sleeps! We visited museums, walked through Central Park, stood in Grand Central Station and Times Square, attended a comedy show, enjoyed the night life and shopped. I’ll start off by saying all the restaurants we ate at were fantastic and I recommend them all! Hatsuhana Sushi was the best sushi I’ve ever eaten and you definitely need to make a reservation to go.
Day (night) 1: Oyster Bar Restaurant, Grand Central Station and Times Square
Day 2: Natural History Museum, Central Park, MET, Comedy Cellar
Day 3: High Line, Chelsea Market, Bleeker Street, Viceroy
Day 4: Brooklyn Bridge, Soho, Laduree, Battery Park and 9/11 Memorial, Monarch
Day 5: Rockefeller Centre, 5th Avenue Shopping, Hatsuhana Sushi, Broadway
Day 1: We arrived in New York City around 5pm and checked into to the hotel, the Roger Smith Hotel. For dinner we had reservations at Oyster Bar (the oysters were fantastic) in Grand Central Station and then we checked out Times Square at night. We got caught in a rain storm so we ran into Laline and browsed their Bath and Body merchandise. A very fitting first night in NYC.
Day 2: We went to Isabella’s for brunch (I got the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict) since it was right beside our first stop of the day – the Natural History Museum. Admission is “pay what you can” with a recommended amount and you could pay on fee for a group. After a few hours at the museum, we walked through Central Park to get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) where admission is also “pay what you can”. You could spend all day at either museum, there is so much to cover!
For dinner we went to AOC in the West Village and finished earlier than expected before our reservations at the Comedy Cellar so we went to Smalls Jazz Club in Greenwich Village. Check out the schedule beforehand. We showed up in the last ten minutes (and they luckily let us in) but they clear the bar before the next group of musicians take the stage and you pay a new cover fee to get in. We didn’t find a seat in the last 10 minutes so we stood at the bottom of the stairs to listen to the fantastic live music. To give you an idea of how busy it is, many people had left early to get in line for the next band and when we left the line was already down the block.
After Smalls, we went to the Comedy Cellar at the Village Underground location and it was a highlight of the trip (for me). While waiting in line, there are pictures of comedians lining the walls who performed at the Comedy Cellar before they were famous (Ray Romano, Dane Cook, Jerry Seinfeld). The comedians the night we went were hilarious! There is a two item minimum per person (drinks and/or food), reservations are a must, no cameras during the show and the house was packed! We finished the night at Fat Black Pussycat next door to the Comedy Cellar then went back to the hotel.
Day 3: We started out our day walking the High Line – a park built on the disused southern portion of the West Side Line. It was so refreshing. We got off the High Line at the Chelsea Market and browsed the market before heading to lunch at Black Tap. The milkshakes were worth the hour wait in line. We spent the afternoon shopping on Bleeker Street then went back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. We went to the rooftop bar on top of the Viceroy hotel for a stunning view of the city. A great end to the day!
Day 4: Sleeping in, we took the subway to Brooklyn and spent the morning at the Brooklyn Bridge (taking pictures) followed by shopping in Soho. Brooklyn Bridge is much more impressive in person than in pictures or in the movies. It was busy so if you’re hoping to get some shots without people go early! Soho was full of shops and cute stores to browse. I particularly loved the Ted Baker store. We stopped at Ladurée for lunch (we had it on the list to visit but we actually stumble upon it before we had to look it up). It was the cutest tea shop and restaurant; the food and tea were amazing. In the afternoon we went to Battery Park and the 9/11 Memorial. They did an excellent job with the memorial and we took a minute to reflect on the tragedy of 2001.
We spent the evening at Monarch, a rooftop bar with an amazing view of the Empire State Building.
Day 5: Brunch was at a delightful restaurant called Penelope (the mimosa was a great start to the day) followed by views of the city from the Top of the Rock. A friend recommended the Top of the Rock rather than going up the Empire State Building because we got a great view of the Empire State Building AND the same view of the city. We booked reservations and thought we were going to be late and ran to the elevator. We easily could have bought tickets when we got to the Rockefeller Center rather than making a reservation online. We spent the rest of the day on 5th Avenue exploring the shops and picking up a few souvenirs. We took a break from all the walking in Central Park before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our last night.
Dinner was at Hatsuhana Sushi and if you go to any restaurant in NYC you have to go to this one (if you like sushi). Everything was so fresh and the sushi rolls were melt-in-your-mouth amazing. If that was sushi, I don’t know what I’ve been eating at home! Be sure to make a reservation if you plan on eating after 7 pm. Luckily we had plans on Broadway that evening so we arrived at 5 pm and we got a table but they were booked for the rest of the evening.
Our last night in NYC we went to Chicago on Broadway. The show and performance was amazing. We wandered Times Square and then went back to our hotel for an early morning home the next day!
New York City is on my list of places to revisit – it’s a quick weekend getaway for me from home. There was so much to do and we didn’t even make a dent in all the city has to offer. It’s a city you can visit multiple times and never do the same thing twice. If you have any suggestions for my next trip, comment below. I’d love to hear about someone else’s experience!