One of our favorite city getaways is the iconic New York City. If you are in an Empire State of mind, the pace is fast, the energy seducing and the blend of cultures always inspiring. We just returned from our latest NYC adventure. We discovered that April is a lovely time to visit as the weather is mild, and the flowers and trees are decadently blooming like a welcome bouquet to the city. Here are some of our current city favorites.
Trattoria dell’Arte where we had the second best pasta dish of our lives (second only to Uncle Al’s pasta). This restaurant is described as, “A taste of Tuscany in an artist’s studio.”
We had the Tagliolini Al Forno-spinach pasta, béchamel with parmesan sauce, which had a touch of crispy from the broiler. Michael Esposito was our waiter (also an actor). If his acting is as fine as his ability to create a lovely evening, he is already a star!
Pipa Tapas right next door to ABC Carpet and Home filled with vintage chandeliers and mirrors. Try the dates/blue cheese and the mushroom/manchego/chicken salad with lemon dressing. Perfection!
We had a lovely evening with my cousin Karen Bauer and Tom Schecker (Check out his book ‘Mr. Ed: Dead‘ hysterical!) in Greenwich for dinner at a true “neighborhood gem” Perilla. Tom made the choice and it was absolute perfection. Say ‘yes’ to the chocolate soufflé in advance, the decadence is worthy of your time and calories. The candlelit ambiance and excellent service make it a favorite. It’s a true gem, let’s just keep it our little secret.
The next day we happened across Boqueria in SoHo perfect spot for lunch. The croquettes cremosa were a delight with the crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Mangia-a neighborhood deli with a fresh twist is located just a block from the West 57th Club. The pastel macaroons and the paninis are equally delicious.
On a previous visit we also enjoyed the gorgeous Butter Restaurant created by Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli,
of Food Network fame, in Nolita.
Casellula Cheese and Wine Cafe- is another little gem in Hell’s Kitchen on West 52nd. The international cheese selection is outstanding as is the service and the fun crowd!
We enjoyed meeting these fab ladies on girls’ night out!
One of our favorite spots~ Bryant Park
On lovely spring afternoons, a walk through Bryant Park is a treat. Stop at the Southwest Porch in Bryant Park for an open air watering hole for Manhattanites and visitors alike.
For classic, historical NYC fare hit the iconic Sardi’s. The cartoons of the stars are a trip down memory lane.
5th Avenue-always a luxury shopper’s dream come true. Tiffany, Bergdorf, Henri Bendel and Sax Fifth Avenue are all luxuriating here just waiting to tempt. It seems that if you cannot find it here, it probably doesn’t exist. The Avenue is especially beautiful during the Christmas holidays with the festive decorations and lights.
Head to the bustling Union Square and visit ABC Carpet and Home for unique, international home goods as well as treasures large and small; this is a must see (take a peek at the website). A visit here is always a feast for the senses. Hot tip: there is also an ABC Carpet and Home outlet in the Bronx that is a great resource for discounts. I’ll be putting that on my list for another time.
The markets and vendors at Union Square are quintessential New York at it best.
Soho, Noho and Nolita are some of our other favorites for boutique shopping and cafe crawling. On this visit we enjoyed Bond No. 9 -total eye-candy with unique and fresh scents named after NYC neighborhoods.
Lafco Candles…. a lovely boutique with gorgeous scented candles, each designed for a specific room in the house. I picked up the ‘marine’ scent. Super beachy feel……must be for the beach house that I hope to have someday. Lafco is the exclusive US based distributor for the Santa Maria Novella fragrances originating in Florence. We visited the original location in Florence in 2003……. this was a sensory journey back in time.
DVF (perhaps the queen of the meatpacking district) is always a favorite stop. For discount designer shopping try Century 21. There are 2 locations and we visited the one in Mid-town this trip which we found to be a much easier shopping experience than the downtown spot. Deep discounts on designer merchandise make this a savvy shopper’s destination.
On a previous visit we found the hip Hudson Hotel to be a fantastic location, just off Columbus Circle and Central Park.
Hudson Hotel Rooftop Lounge 2010
The rooftop terrace has a spectacular view and a chic loungy vibe. It’s mainly for hotel guests but it’s possible to get in as a guest.
This visit we were invited to stay at the sleek West 57th Hilton Club through our HGV vacation club. The Club is inviting, and spacious with lovely amenities. We were especially impressed with the warmth of the staff and location just off 5th Avenue and Central Park. The lobby was filled with fresh hyacinths and chill music~scents and tunes definitely set the mood.
For a family trip the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central Station is pretty perfect, with excellent access to anywhere in the city. Some other favorites hotels in Soho, Noho and Nolita include the Crosby Street Hotel, The Mercer, 60 Thompson and the Standard.
The High Line starting in the Meat Packing District and running into Chelsea continues to evolve. It will be exciting to see the new additions to this fresh, green walk above the city streets. Formerly an abandoned elevated train track is now a spot to walk or lounge among grasses and flowers. It’s called a linear park and eventually there will be a subterranean park below, called the Low Line, of course.
Central Park-take a stroll or carriage ride through this always delightful jewel in the middle of the city.
Take in a view from the Empire State Building or better yet, the Top of the Rock. The Brooklyn Promenade was on our list and we hear the views of the city are spectacular from there. It’s a must for our next visit, hopefully for a sunset view over the water. As always, you cannot go wrong with any of the fabulous museums in NYC. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MOMA, Guggenheim, and the Museum of Natural History are always visit worthy.
Fun with Instagram
Our final trip as a family in 2007. We had no idea this would be our final trip as a family, with my dear dad, to NYC for the holidays in 2007. We had a ball! He passed away the during the next holiday season. We love and miss you dad (Scott took the photo).
Thanks for stopping by Stylemindchic
and happy travel planning!
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