72 Hour Getaway in New York City
In May, I saw a drop dead airfare deal with Alaska Air from Oakland to New York and knew I had to book tickets right then and there. It had been 12 years since we lived in New York City, 9 years since we had gone back together and 3 years since I had last visited. We hadn’t really thought about what we wanted to do there until about a week before the trip. Bryan and I decided that what we wanted most out of this trip was to just wander around the city and visit our old favorites. Heres how we New York!
We stayed at The four points by Sheraton manhattan soho village. I booked here mainly because of the proximity to Soho and the Color Factory (around the corner) and it’s affordability. I wasn’t expecting a luxury experience and really thought we wouldn’t be spending much time at the hotel during our short trip. I was wrong!!! We were so surprised and impressed with the hotel and their staff right from the get go. We flew in on a redeye and arrived to NYC early in the morning. We planned to drop off our luggage with the front desk and then hit the town for a day of exploring (I had arranged this through email a couple days before when I tried to request an early check in). When we arrived, they actually did have a room ready for us and allowed us to check in super early. Not only that, but they had also upgraded our room to a suite. The suite was super spacious with a bedroom, bathroom, sitting area and the best part, floor to ceiling windows with the most spectacular view of the city. We didn’t want to leave our room! The hotel was located on the edge of soho and a short walk to all our favorite downtown places and close to the subway when we wanted to venture to Brooklyn or Uptown.
After checking in and freshening up, we decided to head to the 9/11 memorial and the new world trade center. We walked about 25 mins south toward the financial district (you walk a lot in NYC, it’s just the way it is). The last time Bryan had been in the city, the rubble from 9/11 was still sitting in the ground. Those are now the beautiful memorial fountains. It was moving to see the memorial together for the first time. We also stopped into the new Oculus building across the street. I read somewhere that they designed it to look like a dove that was about to take flight. It was absolutely gorgeous.
We had already made lunch plans for the day and hopped on a train toward the lower east side to Caracus Arepas. This was a place we used to frequent years ago and it hasn’t changed a bit since then. We took our time and chatted with the staff, we told them that every time we come back to the city this is always our first stop for a meal. We ordered the fried plantain and taro chips with guacamole, the paballon arepa and also tried a new spicy veggie arepa they had on the menu. We left stuffed, so we decided to walk it off and take the long way back to the hotel through Washington Square Park. At one point we found a bench and sat down to rest and talk, we people watched and also checked out some of the fun happenings in the park. That day there were musicians and magicians and even a cart selling interesting political pins and of course, some serious chess games going. We made it back to the hotel in time for a quick nap before getting ready for Color Factory (read previous post for my favorite things about The Color Factory).
Before we arrived in New York, I reached out to an old friend who sent us some fabulous recommendations on some newer ( or new to us) places to check out. That night around 8pm we decided to do a nice dinner in soho and get cocktails in the Bowery. We chose an Italian place, Peasant, one of my friends personal favorites. We ordered a bottle of red wine, a Margherita pizza and the best veal ragu pasta. We shared both dishes and spent a couple hours talking about the future, our hopes and dreams and how proud we were of each other and how far we had come from our early 20’s when we lived in the city. After our long and leisurely dinner, we walked over to The Back Room in the Bowery, a recommendation from another friend. An old speakeasy bar that was actually in existence during the prohibition era. It was hidden behind a graffiti covered ally and an unmarked door. They serve the cocktails in tea cups just like they used to back in the prohibition days. I ordered a gin and sazerac cocktail and Bryan ordered a whisky based drink, both good! We moved on from here to another bar nearby called Attaboy. This place was also not easy to find. We had to look for the door marked with an AB, ring the bell and wait for someone to answer the door. The bar itself was tiny. Maybe 10 stools at the bar and a few small booths. We were lucky to get in and snag a couple stools at the bar. What continued next was possibly one of the best cocktail experiences we have ever had. The bartender came over to us and we briefly chatted about our likes and dislikes, from there she was able to whip up some delicious cocktails for us. I had a strawberry gin sour that was hand shaken to perfection. Bryan had another whisky cocktail. We left feeling tipsy and so happy to be back in the city together.
The next morning, we slept in. When we finally got up and ready, we walked to Jacks wife Frieda for brunch. I ordered a lox and latke Benedict and Bryan had the crouque madame made with duck bacon. This place just hit the comfort food spot on with a twist of French, Mediterranean and Jewish cuisine. After brunch, we took the train uptown to Central Park. We were going to stop at the Met and see what exhibits were new, but as we started strolling around Central Park we sort of abandoned that plan and just hung out in the park. We made it to the edge of the park near Fifth Ave, when I remembered that I wanted to stop into Tiffany and Co. to ask about a repair on my wedding ring. I kept thinking, why didn’t I bring my own coffee and croissant to recreate the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffanys?
A few blocks up the street we stopped at an antique book store and I bought an old beginners French book from the 1930’s for $3. For dinner, we went super casual and grabbed some slices from Prince St. pizza that we ate on a bench nearby before heading back to the hotel. Later that night, we dressed up and went out for some late night dessert at Baltazhar. One thing I love about New York is how easy it is to just get up and go. There is always something open and waiting for you to be a part of.
On our last day, we walked through Soho and had a bagel breakfast at Black Seed and an oatmeal draft coffee at La Columbe. We took a short train ride to Dumbo, to check out the views from the Brooklyn side. There was a little park with a walking path right on the water and the views of the city and bridges did not disappoint. We hopped back on the train back to the hotel, packed up and checked out. Before heading to the airport we ubered to one last stop, Katz Deli, for their legendary pastrami sandwich. I ran into the deli while Bryan stayed with our bags and I was out in less than 15 mins. Best damn sandwich we ever had!
More Favorites that we didn’t get to on this trip:
Bryant park and the NYC Library.
See a broadway show and grab a slice of Juniors cheesecake.
Get a mani/pedi. New York nail salons just do it right!
Chinatown. Dim sum, souvenir shopping and the chinatown ice cream company.
Ride the tram to/from Roosevelt Island at night.