Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

No trip to New York City would be complete without a visit to Times Square.  While I don’t normally recommend it to people, unless you like being pushed and jostled, it’s the place to be if you love theater or want to experience it NY style.  If you’re looking for a big Broadway production, then you have to go watch Phantom of the Opera, a classic, or Wicked, which is just a really great show.  I’ve also really enjoyed Chicago, Mamma Mia and Lion King.  And if you’re looking for the newest buzzed about show, then you’ve got to watch The Book of Mormon.  There’s basically 3 ways to get tickets:  1) Buy them online, highly recommended if there’s a particular show that you’re dying to see, 2) buy them the day of at a TKTS booth, recommended if you’re flexible on what show you want to watch and if you want to get tickets at a discount (wait in line 1 hour before opening to guarantee shows won’t sell out before you reach the front) , and 3) buy rush or standing only tickets, recommended if you’re on a tight budget and have tons of free time and you just want to try your luck.  Most of the shows sell a limited number of tickets a few hours before showtime through a lottery system.  If you’re lucky enough, you can end up with front row seats to a sold out show for a mere $30!

Grabbing dinner nearby before your show starts can be a bit of a challenge since Times Square is full of chain restaurants and expensive mediocre food.  If you’re in a big group, hit up Carmine’s or Tony’s DiNapoli for family style Italian food or John’s Pizzeria for New York style brick oven pizza in a cool space.  If you’re on a budget or looking for something quick, head to the famous Shake Shack for burgers and fries or Go Go Curry for Japanese curry.  And don’t forget post theater desserts at Junior’s Cheesecake.

While you’re in the area, walk over to Bryant Park where you can ice-skate in the winter or tan and people watch in the summer.   You can admire the beautiful Chrysler building in the distance, or walk over to 42nd St. and Lexington Ave to check out the beautiful art deco lobby.  Make sure to also visit the beautiful NY Public Library and finally finish up with Grand Central Terminal.

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So as you all know, I recently went back to NYC/NJ to visit family and friends for the holidays.  While my main purpose was to catch up with everyone, I did manage to visit a few new places and restaurants, yay!  I’ll spend the next few posts talking about places I went to, in addition to some of my favorite city activities, by general area, to give you guys a flavor of the Big Apple.

The hubs and I spent our 4 year anniversary wandering around NYC and one of our stops was to the High Line park.  I visited the park last winter when it was only partially finished so I was excited to see it was nearly completed this time around.  Even in the winter, this park is awesome.  Located in the Meatpacking district, the park has a great urban feel to it.  It’s set amidst old warehouses and new architecturally stunning apartment buildings.  There’s loungers and benches scattered throughout the park and in the warmer months, there’s even movies projected onto the side of a building, making for a great respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you find yourself visiting the High Line, start off at the cool looking Gansvoort Hotel.  There’s tons of restaurants, high end designer stores, and art galleries housed in old warehouses in the area.  For lunch, head to Pastis, the sister restaurant of Balthazar (one of my favorite restaurants), or Del Posto, a michelin starred restaurant with a $29 lunch prix fix!  Or if you just want to snack, go to Chelsea Market.  There’s tons of unique food shops (try the brownies at Fat Witch Bakery, baked goods at Amy’s Bread, or amazing hot chocolate at Jacques Torres) and boutiques, making for a fun afternoon!

If you walk the High Line to the end at 30th Street and 10th Avenue, make your way over to 8th Avenue, head south and you’ll find yourself  in the Chelsea neighborhood, which is a great residential neighborhood full of great restaurants, nightlife, and unique stores.  Make sure to cap off your day with a stop at Billy’s Bakery for dessert.

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There’s just something so wonderful about holiday lights that always puts me in a festive mood and gives me warm fuzzies all over! This year I get to spend the holidays with my close family and friends which I’m so happy and thankful for.  Things I’m especially looking forward to in no particular order:

1. Dunkin Donuts

2. Shopping at the best mall and best outlet in the country (in my opinion anyway) with zero sales tax! 

3. Spending time with the little ones in the family

4. NY Pizza

5. Counting down the New Year with friends I’ve known since middle school!

6. My dad’s cooking

7. Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcakes!

8. Freezing my toesies off but being okay with it because it’s the holidays!

9. Wandering the streets of NYC

10. Finally trying out the awesome Barres and Belles class that turned my friend’s butt into buns of steel and hoping that I will have them too…after 1 class.

I hope you guys are all enjoying the holidays in your own special way and I’ll be back next year with a bunch of inspiration posts!


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I’m back from my weekend in Tahoe and I have the sore arms and butt to prove it!  Unfortunately I don’t have many pictures to show you guys since my camera broke 😦 but I’ll do a write up soon on what we did and where we ate.

So it’s officially less than a week until Christmas (eek!) and I’m really looking forward to heading back to NYC/NJ to visit friends and family.  While fall is definitely the best time weather-wise to visit NYC, I personally think that Christmas is the best time to be in the city, for those who can brave the weather.  All the store windows and restaurants do such a great job of holiday decorating that it’s impossible not to feel the holiday spirit while walking around the city.  Here’s a list of some of my favorite things to do in the city around the holidays and hopefully I’ll get to some of it while I’m there.

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No trip to NYC during the holidays would be complete without visiting the iconic Rockefeller Christmas Tree.  Go to the newly opened Bouchon Bakery for a cup of coffee and pastry and people watch around the ice-skating rink.  If it gets too cold, head underground to the Concourse and window shop.

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Starting from the Rockefeller Center, walk up Fifth Avenue and admire all the beautifully decorated windows.  I swear they get more and more elaborate each year and it’s definitely fun to just see all the luxury stores try to outdo each other.

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Even though it’s always crazy crowded, I always try to make a stop in FAO Schwartz.  It’s the oldest toy store in the country and features every toy imaginable.  I don’t know if there’s any better time than Christmas to let out your inner child!

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Grab a cup of what is considered by many to be the best hot chocolate at the Jacques Torres shop in Chelsea Market and head to nearby Highline Park (below pic).  Although it’ll be cold, you’ll be guaranteed to have the elevated park mostly to yourself, plus you have the hot chocolate to keep you warm!

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Catch the annual showing of the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center where you’ll instantly be transported into a winter fantasyland!

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And finally my favorite winter activity in NYC, visiting the Wollman Ice-skating Rink in Central Park.  There’s multiple rinks in the city, but none more romantic than Wollman where you’re ice-skating amidst snow covered trees under the beautiful NYC skyline.  Or if you’re like me and prefer not to ice-skate, make your way over to the rock formations nearby overlooking the rink where you can sit and people watch.

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What are some of your favorite holiday activities? Are there any in New York City that I missed?

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