Hello and welcome to the start of another week! This is the first week of 2018 I am not traveling and I’ll be in New York City for a good stretch of time and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share my epic tourist day in NYC. A few weeks ago I had a friend in town who had never been to New York City and I’d like to say I planned a pretty terrific itinerary As I have lived here for six years and spent the first 18 years of my life only 45 minutes away from NYC the idea of someone who has never been is still somewhat of an odd concept to me but I also felt personally responsible to put together the most epic lineup possible.
True, this was an awful lot to squeeze into one day but here we go. Start off with some authentic New York City food – and for me that is always fresh made bagels with some sort of topping – whether that is specialty cream cheese, lox, or a BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese), you can not go wrong if a fresh NYC bagel is the foundation. After we were well fed we headed from my Upper East Side apartment one mile to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A pro, local tip? The $25 admission is a suggested amount and you can pay whatever you want – $5 per person is completely acceptable! Now you can definitely spend the whole day at the Met but we did the Top 5 highlights; the Egyptian Wing, the Tiffany Glass, Arms and Armor, the Chinese Garden, and the Ancient Greek statues. I felt like quite a good tour guide when my friend wanted to spend longer because he found the museum interesting but it was an off to the next thing!
As the Met backs up to Central Park we walked from the 81st entrance South stopping at the Alice in Wonderland statue and then to the Conservatory where the sailboats usually are, and then past the Boathouse to the Bethesda Fountain. From there we headed down the Mall, taking in a snowy Sheeps Meadow to Poet’s Walk and then the ice skating at the South end of the park before exiting at the South East entrance on 59th and 5th.
After the beautiful but chilly walk in the park we popped in the hidden and seriously underrated Plaza Food Court where we did a taste off of hot chocolates from two different vendors and both were delicious! After that it was time for a long walk down Fifth Avenue, from 59th to the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and then looping back up to Saks and St. Patrick’s before it was time for our sunset plans.
One of my favorite aspects when someone comes to visit is to still try and do something I have never done and this time it was visiting the Top of the Rock. Based on recommendations from friends we planned to go at sunset and it did not disappoint. I am so glad it was a night where New York City decided to show off because, as you know, pink sunsets are my favorite! It was quite an expensive trip up more than 800 feet but the view was absolutely worth it even if it was frozen.
After 20 minutes at the top it was off to one of my favorite restaurants, Becco, for their unlimited pasta deal which nearly everyone I bring there loves and we definitely ate at a New York City pace as we got same day tickets to see Aladdin on Broadway. While I had not see the Disney movie in nearly 20 years the story immediately came back to me and the actor who played the Genie did a phenomenal job. It was a great show and fantastic orchestra seats always help!
And you would think our busy NYC tourist day would be over but we capped it off with a place as a New Yorker I try and actively avoid – Times Square. I steer clear because it is always full of tourists who I wish would just move but it really is a great place to see if you have not witnessed it before with all of the lights and the view from the top of the red TKTS stairs should be included on any first timers trip to the city!
But before we get into the rest of my top picks for my hometown I have partnered with my friends at Home To Go and they have created a gorgeous custom map of with the places mentioned and featured above! Take a look at this incredible talent and I love the photo they choose of me from a few fashion weeks ago and while you are at it – take a look at all of their great Manhattan properties here:
On Sunday, the next day, we had a touristy half day passing by the Flatiron Building, getting drinks in Flatiron, enjoying delicious pizza and pasta at Eataly and then going down to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum which was moving but something I hope everyone gets to see when the visit NYC as it is not only really well done but a big part of this city’s history.
Depending on what you are interested in; stare at the ceiling in Grand Central Terminal, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, visit the Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island, explore Chinatown, Little Italy and, Canal Street, eat at Katz’s deli, stop by some of my other favorite museums including the MOMA, the Whitney, or the Guggenheim, and if it is a nice day walk around Wall Street passing by the famous Bull, the fearless girl, and the Stock Exchange. As a life long New Yorker I love showing people my city so if you have any questions please let me know!
Have you been to New York City?