NYC with NO plan!
NYC with NO plan!
8 of our favorite spots in the city and how we created a magical NYC experience for 8 days with no plan...
just a few pizza places we HAD to try!
We arrived in NYC at 5am...
Our schedules were so crazy leading up to our vacation that we didn't plan how we were going to get from the airport to our AirBNB or really much of what we were going to do.
I'm here to tell you that you can fly by the seat of your pants and have an amazing week in the city that never sleeps.
Here are my 8 favorite things we did in the city while we our seats were flying *wink*
P.S. They are in no particular order! I loved them ALL!
Fave #1 Wandering in Greenwich
One our second day in the city I was fortunate enough to be able to meet (in person for the very FIRST time!) my friend Kristen from Tea For Three NYC.
We met her in the adorable Bosie Tea Parlor and each had a tea pot of the most delicious tea.
Kristen and I met about 2 years ago on Instagram. We've chatted weekly and have talked over Facetime but this was our first in person meeting. She is just the loveliest human being! Plus, she makes killer tea (seriously, check her out!)
After our tea, Kristen took us to the Sullivan Street Tea & Spice company. They sell tons of loose leaf tea. Tea is the best kind of souvenir because you get to drink it and remember your travels! I definitely picked up some amazing tea and will likely be ordering more online!
Once we were done tea shopping Kristen had to go but Kevin and I spent the rest of the day wandering around Greenwich. We perused a record shop, ate pizza & gelato, and ee had a couple of drinks at a cheesy but fun "haunted" bar called the Jekyll and Hyde Club. It was campy and so much fun!
I highly recommend wandering in any new city you travel to (as long as you know where you're wandering is fairly safe). Some of my happiest moments in life have been on a wander!
Fave #2 Catching a Broadway Show
Let's be honest, Broadway shows are ALL the dollars. However, we got around that by buying tickets the day before. We were using an app called Today's Tix, but in the end we bought the tickets from the box office directly. We were just around the corner and thought we might be able to avoid the service fees ($12.50 per ticket) and we were right!
We ended up seeing The Band's Visit and it was stunning. The story is very different than your typical musical and the music was also different as it took place in Israel with the band coming from Egypt. However, they did a great job of bringing in those influences while still having the feel of a musical. The last song gave me chills all over my body & tears in my eyes.
P.S. We also participated in the Hamilton lottery (you can enter the lottery on their app) but unfortunately, we didn't win.
Fave #3 PIZZA PIZZA PIZZA
We had pizza no less than 4 times while we were in NYC. However, only one of those times was actually in the city.
We hit up Razza in Jersey City TWICE - it was THAT GOOD. Seriously. Kevin heard about it on the Netflix show Somebody Feed Phil.
The other pizza place Kev had heard about on the show was Di Fara's. An elder man and his family have been running this place since it opened in 1965. It was an hour wait but it was worth the WAIT!
Fave #4 Comedy
I read Amy Poehler's book "Yes Please!" and fell in love. And I knew I'd want to see comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade while we were in NYC.
We ended up there on our last night. What's great about UCB is the tickets are $7 and it's fabulous comedy!
We were there for Maude night which were the best sketches written that month by the students.
We loved it and wished we'd made time to see another show.
They have two locations in NYC and two in LA. Can't recommend it more!
Fave #5 Brooklyn
Maybe you're a Sex and The City gal like me and you remember when Miranda moves to Brooklyn and it's such a big deal because Brooklyn isn't Manhattan. These days Miranda would be living it up because her real estate value would be through the roof.
What's great about Brooklyn (we spent the day in Brooklyn Heights as it's near the Brooklyn Bridge) is it's also a great area for a wander. We walked past adorable brownstones and apartment buildings. We stumbled into a gorgeous bar and had an aperol spritz (if you haven't tried this drink - it's the perfect summer cocktail!). And then we took all the tourist shots of the Brooklyn bridge.
Brooklyn was much quieter than Manhattan and a wonderful break from the hustle & bustle of the city. I think we even WALKED slower while we were there.
P.S. If you're ever in Brooklyn I would highly recommend walking over the Brooklyn bridge to Manhattan in the evening. The view from the bridge is breathtaking - seriously!
Fave #6 Grand Central Terminal
This one is a BEAUT! Seriously, we met our friends here to take a few pictures and the architecture is stunning.
What I love love LOVE about Grand Central Terminal is that it is a freakin' work of art, but also a purposeful space. It opened to the public in 1913 and today it has over 750,000 visitors every. damn. day!
There's something special about seeing it in action and thinking about the diversity of all of the people who have walked through this place. I think that kind of history is worth considering.
Fave #7 Central Park
I feel like this is a big DUH, but Central Park is *insert heart eyes here!*
This is where we spent most of our first day and it was a dream.
First off, it was 92 degrees with 50% humidity so the park had welcome shade and a more cooling breeze than the hot sweaty streets with lots of traffic.
We had a nice cold beer in the Loeb Boathouse and enjoyed watching people take out row boats on the water.
What's great about Central Park is that there is so much to see and enjoy.
Another reason to love Central Park - our friends were married there on August 11th. This is the main reason we traveled to NYC and it was a joy to witness their marriage.
Fave #8 Gramercy Park
Our last full day in the city included a walk down memory lane:
The first and only other time I was in New York was 10 years ago with my best friend Lisa. She died last year quite unexpectedly.
On our last day we wandered around Gramercy Park where I staying all those years ago. And we ate at Gramercy Kitchen which is now an upscale lovely diner, but once was just an ordinary diner where I had a memorable meal with Lisa.
We took pictures of Hotel 17 where I stayed with Lisa. We walked the same streets I walked with her. I remembered the time we went to a corner bar and had a few too many cranberry vodkas.
It was nice being close to our memories that day. Bumping up against them and drinking in the spaces that hold pieces of the past.
(Photo taken in the Gramercy Kitchen. I brought a little bit of Lisa with me in the form of the Anchor Mug.)
New York holds so much:
the past, the present, the future.
You only have to be open to the possibilities to experience it all.
And you don't need a plan to make it work! We found that each day represented an opportunity to try something new, eat lots of GREAT food, and experience the energy that flows through the streets of New York.