Welcome to New York!

…I’ve been waiting for you!

With the impending start of school / disappearance of free weekends, Wilson and I have been talking about taking one last vacation. We’ve been wanting to do a New York trip since early last year – we actually meant to go in May but things got hectic and we ended up pushing it off. I had been looking forward to it so much and even went into super-tourist mode and bought a guide book…and then was very sad our trip never happened. So two weeks ago when a flight deal popped up, I pounced.

The view from the Highline

 We went this past weekend, and it was absolutely wonderful! The last time I went to New York was in college with a group of friends (realistically, my toddler years as a Brooklynite don’t count), and while we did the hop-on, hop-off tour, a Broadway show, and the Met, it was a short trip and difficult to coordinate what we wanted to do with so many people. This time, with a travel companion willing to do whatever I want to do (Wilson is the best), I went into guide book / excel spreadsheet trip planning mode. (not overboard at all.)

 

My list included:
The New York Public Library – because duh.
Grand Central Station – what were we doing the last time I visited?
The Plaza Hotel – Must see the Palm Court and take a photo with the Eloise portrait!
Central Park – the carousel and the Balto statue
Bemelman’s Bar – where the mural of Madeline lives
Eric Kayser – for many, many tartes citron to relive my Paris days (we went twice)

The New York Public Library

Obviously we did much more, but those were the highlights. I might as well call our trip the New York tour of my childhood literary dreams. And it was amaazing!! The sheer amount of places to see, old friends to catch up with, and things to eat was exhausting – I don’t think we slept earlier than 1am the entire time we were there. And despite maximizing our time, we’ll just have to keep coming back because we only skimmed the surface of all the things we wanted to do. After seeing the lists and recommendations our friends sent, it’s obvious that I’m just going to have to move to NY in order to do it all.

Inside Grand Central

Also – can we just take a moment and marvel at how amazing the Times Square Toys R Us ferris wheel is?! I had no idea it even existed, until my friend insisted we check it out before heading to dinner. My favorite is the Little Tykes scoot along one – so many memories! Unfortunately, we were put in the ET one – one of my few childhood fears – I made sure to sit on the Geoffrey the Giraffe side. 😛 Sadly it’s coming down in 2016, so I’m glad I got to catch a ride before it’s replaced by something else!

NYC toys r us ferris wheel

What I (think) I know of New York I’ve read in books and seen on TV – basically a glossed, romanticized Hollywood version. That, and the stories my dad tells of living in not-cleaned-up New York in the late 80s/early 90s (we moved because he was mugged twice – that’s a story for another day). I don’t know what I was expecting, but walking through the East Village, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Central Park, and the other countless places we went, I found it all to be so surreal. The pretty (and old!) public spaces, brownstones, high-rise apartment buildings, fire escapes, and neighborhood shops — I felt like I was in the middle of a movie set. So I guess I expected something else of the “real” New York, but the real-life version is pretty darn wonderful, and we’ll definitely be going back.

Central Park

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