I adore New York City. It is certainly one of my happy places. I have been there almost every year since Allen took me in December of 2000 and proposed! Yes, it was very romantic, in a horse-drawn carriage ride through a snow-laced Central Park. I had just thrown a fit about the amount of money we spent for Tea at the Plaza Hotel ($90 for tea and a couple of pastries!) and then I lost my gloves and I was freezing! So Allen tried to calm me down and suggested we take a ride through Central Park. Needless to say, I was not in the mood but Allen convinced me to and we were off. I was still crazily looking for me gloves in my many bags from my purchases from the day of shopping we had just finished. As I look up, there is Allen, ring in hand, asking me to marry him! I was shocked- I promise I had NO idea this was coming. I said “yes!” put the ring on and them promptly found my lost gloves. Best part is he still wanted to marry me after my massive tantrum!
So New York holds a special place in my heart. I am now perfectly comfortable exploring the city and getting around on my own. It can be very peaceful when I am “alone” as crazy as that sounds. Most parts are familiar to me now and I know exactly where to go to find my favorite shops and restaurants. I also know where to go if I need a bathroom while shopping which if you have been you know that is extremely helpful! These are the things that make me feel comfortable in the city. I think that New York can get a bad rap for unfriendly people, but I have not found that to be true. Each trip I end up meeting someone that lives there that is from the South or has visited the South and loves it.
I went last weekend to spend some quality time with my friend Meg and to celebrate our birthdays. Our mothers were pregnant together and we were born a week apart in Charlotte. Though Meg and I always went to different schools and have since not lived in the same city, we have stayed close through the years.
In New York there are literally Starbucks on every corner. But, branch out if you are in the West Village and check out Saturday Surf Shop. Yes, it is a boutique surf shop with coffee. I had the most delicious latte both days because it is right across from Meg’s apartment.
Extra Virgin: This restaurant is right around the corner from Meg’s apartment in West Village. The Bellinis hit the spot and my brunch was so tasty but not too filling.
Bubby’s (Highline): The Pickle Brine Bloody Mary was perfect and the Huevos Rancheros and biscuits were big enough to split. If the weather is good, sit outside- there is terrific people-watching in the Meatpacking district.
Shake Shack: The perfect place in the city to enjoy burgers and fries. The burgers are all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free and have an amazing sauce on them called ShackSauce. For dessert splurge with one of their delicious Frozen Custards. They are all over New York so chances are you’ll be near one at some point in your visit.
My personal favs are:
Lettuce-Wrapped Miso Cod
The Champagne 95 is a delicious cocktail to try. I finally tried some cold sake (that I liked) when I was there also!
Boqueria NYC: My friend Meg took me to this amazing Spanish restaurant last weekend. We drank delicious fall sangria and enjoyed and lots of different tapas. My favorites were: Brussel Sprouts, Jamon Iberico (An Aged Spanish Ham that melts in your mouth!) and the Bacon Wrapped Dates.
Ladurée in Soho has some of the most beautiful desserts you have ever seen. When you walk in you feel as though you have been transported to Paris. I got an assortment of their delicious macaroons. My personal favorite flavors are the Gingerbread and Salted Caramel.
I have loved the cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery on Bleeker Street for a long time. I usually go the traditional route and get a vanilla cupcake with their chocolate buttercream. It will melt in your mouth! Be prepare though, there might be a lie to get in but I think it is totally worth the wait!
The basement of the Plaza Hotel has many different vendors with pastries, desserts and all kinds of yummy treats. I had an amazing Cashew Croissant that I have thought about many times since I had it last year! Check it out!
If you near Rockefeller Center stop by Morrell’s Wine Bar. They have great wines to chose from as well as Cheese & Charcuterie plates if you need a snack.
Bubble Lounge is a great place to enjoy champagne and yummy desserts like warm chocolate chip cookies and fondue.
Do yourself and favor and have drinks at one of the rooftop bars. My personal favorites are the Gansevoort Hotel and The Standard. Both are in the Meatpacking District. Tao also has a great bar with many delicious cocktails to chose from.
If you want a history lesson along with your beer stop by McSorley’s Ale House. It has been around since 1854 and has served everyone from Abraham Lincoln to John Lennon.
I hope you love these suggestions! What are some of your NYC spots?