Monday, April 4, 2011

Empire State of Mind

Remember when E got to go to New York for his 25th birthday with his best friend? (and I was only a teeny bit jealous?)

Well, we decided to make it even and both go this summer! In June I'll be heading to the Big Apple for the first time* and we only have 4 days to see everything (and we're spending our last day visiting Alex).

There are a few key things we plan to hit up like Ellis Island & Lady Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, Ground Zero. Last time E didn't get a chance to see a show on Broadway, and that is at the top of my short list. We're also excited to visit Redeemer Church on Sunday.

But I know a few of you out there know some things about the city that never sleeps, so I need your advice!
  • What are your top 3 places to eat?
  • Top 3 tourist sites worth seeing?
  • Top 3 gems off the beaten path?

Anything else we should know as we plan our trip? I know there are a ton of other things, but I'd love to hear from some residents and seasoned travelers about what's worth it and what's not.

Also, FOOD! I love to eat for the enjoyment of it and E likes to eat for energy (to do more sight-seeing). So we're looking for restaurants in between: not too fancy or time-consuming, but really yummy.

*i have set my pinky toe into Brooklyn before, but that's it (and it was 10 years ago)


Kelly Loy Gilbert said...

Ooh, fun! For food, I recommend Serena's blog if you don't read it already! (

I always like hanging around in the Union Square area--the market there is really nice, and I always get so tired trying to do everything in New York and I like to just sit and read for a while at the Barnes and Noble there. I like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, esp at sunset--really pretty. I love walking around in Chelsea. And the museums! The Met and Natural History Museum (LOVE the gems) are really really worth seeing. A tip--when they say 'suggested donation,' they mean it--you can pay whatever you want to get in. And I really really like Ellis Island, but I'd skip going up in the Statue of Liberty (especially if you're at all claustrophobic!). So excited for you/jealous!!

Natalie said...

It would be fun to have lunch at "Tom's Restaurant", especially if you're a Seinfeld fan. The buildings exterior is the restaurant that the cast frequents on the show. However, it's a great place to eat even if you aren't a fan of the show. The burger is soooo delicious!

Layla said...

I've never been, but this sounds exciting!! Can't wait to read your posts afterward!

Unknown said...

Sounds like so much fun! The last time I was in NY was in high school, but you absolutely have to eat as much pizza and bagels as possible.

Shopping and Spreadsheets

steph c said...

Hooray for NYC! I love the Union Square area - depending on the time of year, they often have shops and such set up in the park.

There's this GREAT little Thai place on 8th and 20th (I think?) called Spice that is one of my favorites. Another one of my faves, Cafe de Bruxelles in the West Village, just closed apparently.. such a bummer because they had GREAT mussels. But if you walk around the village a bit (Chelsea), you'll find tons of fun spots. Definitely my favorite area of the city.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I've never been but I'm sure it's going to be an amazing trip, lucky you!

♥ cheryl elisabeth said...

Hello from WeddingBee!

I don't actually remember much of my trip to New York (my mom got sick so we left early), but I do know that I loved the Empire State Building. The views are incredible! Sounds like a blast though!

Estelle said...

I'm going to try to post this again! I was the first commenter last time & it didn't post for some reason!

I would definitely try for show tickets. It's much better than standing on time for TKTS... most of the time the tickets are more expensive on the line anyway and this way you have them in advance. :)

As far as drinks, I really like to go to Heartland Brewery (there are quite a few of them around). My husband and I particularly like the one near Radio City because we're in that area quite a bit, but the one at the South Street Seaport has cute seating outside & there is some fun shopping to be done over there. (In addition to the Bodies exhibit, which I have heard amazing things about.) This is NY-brewed beer. You can check out their website for their seasonals. It's always a nice place to go if you want to sit & chat for awhile.

I love that Kelly suggested the Union Square area. You could also head to the Strand, which is a huge bookstore. That's a fun stop! (I went to school over here and just love the area for people watchinkg.)

For touristy things, I'd do Top of the Rock or Empire State Building. Both are worth the wait and just have some remarkable views. I've lived here my whole life and it really was so much fun, and I took a million pictures. (If you are a Gossip Girl fan, you can see the Palace from the Top of the Rock!) I also hear the tour of Radio City is amazing. The theatre itself is just beautiful and there is so much history.

I am a huge fan of cupcakes. I don't know if you are planning to stop at Magnolia but take it from me, Crumbs is so much better. There is a shop near Penn Station and on Madison Avenue. A new one opened up near Penn too (there's also one in Soho) called Cupcakes by Melissa & they are adorable mini cupcakes.

My coworker also suggests Washington Square Park. There is a lot of shopping over there, and tons of little places to eat. It's a really easy walk from Union Square area.

I think that's it! haha. If you have any other questions, I'm on Twitter. /thatsostelle

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