My favorite day in NYC, by far, was our picnic and bike ride through Central Park.
First, we went to Grand Central Market and bought all sorts of picnic goodies. Baguette, fruit, drinks, salads and some lovely runny cheese. Then we hopped on the subway and rode to Central Park.
We found a bench near Umpire Rock and ate, and people watched.
The boys swore this was the bridge in the final scene from the movie “Cloverfield”. We had fun spotting all the places in the park which we recognized from a favorite movie.
Then we rented bikes and set off around the bike paths. This is the best way to see the park! The boys took off on their own and did the whole park loop! Jef and I stopped for an ice cream along the way and another people watching session on a park bench. It was the best day!
It’s hot and steamy with a side of rainy day in NYC in the summer. I tried to pack by occasion and the outing planned.
I’ll admit most vacations are planned around eating ourselves silly, NYC is a very good place to do that!
Shake Shack- I shy away from places I’ve seen on TV travel shows that implore you to go. I’m glad we checked this out!
Black Shack Burger- However, the joint that won our undying affection was this place around the corner from our hotel.
Mulligan’s Pub- This was the perfect place to rest our tired dogs after a day of sight-seeing. Very friendly family owned place that pours a proper drink!
Il Cortile- We wanted to have a family dinner in “Little Italy” and I’ll admit I was put off by the reviews I saw on the internet for this place. I made the reservation for a Tuesday evening and crossed my fingers. It was good! Really good! Service, food, friendliness of the staff…. No idea what all those whiners on the web were crying about!
Quality Meats- One of the date night dinners Jef and I had. Relaxed and easy-going, definitely our kind of place!
Lucid Cafe- A very nice cup of coffee and croissant. Again, in the Murray Hill neighborhood.
Scotty’s Diner – Charming NYC authentic diner in Murray Hill. Once we found this place we went back every morning for breakfast.
Last time we had a weekend away I challenged myself to take as little as possible. Everything HAD to fit in the back pack and large tote pictured below. Our activities included sight seeing, dinner out and a football match.
The challenge for my dopp kit was made easier by knowing I would have body wash and shampoo waiting for me at the hotel.
Here’s the finished packing IRL:
I went ahead and gate checked the backpack so I had even less to fuss with while on the flight.
Edit: All the light packing techniques in the world won’t save you however if there happens to be an Anthropologie shop near your hotel. Heh. I had to buy a cheap duffel to check so I could get my new purchases home.
Next time though, I’ll do better! Maybe….
It’s big! Like, really big!
Makes me sound like a gawking tourist doesn’t it? Yep, I was.
All the travel shows tell you, “If you don’t want to be taken for a tourist, do this and that and this….”
I’m not sure that’s very realistic. No one is going to take me for a native New Yorker, or Parisian, or Londoner etc.
The guy marching down the side-walk conversing rapid fire on his phone, or the woman in a skirt suit with ear-buds firmly in place on the subway, those are natives and they pretty much ignore you.
photo by Gavin
Here’s what I learned.
Step out of the flow of sidewalk “traffic” to take pictures.
People in big cities are protective of their personal space:
-While riding the subway, don’t take up more than your fair share of real estate.
-Don’t touch anyone while riding the subway if you can help it.
Tell the cab driver what corner you’d like to be dropped off at rather than the address.
“38th and Park Ave” rather than “70 Park Avenue”
Leave a good tip. Especially if it’s a place you’ll be frequenting.
NYC really is the city that never sleeps. Traffic noises and service vehicles go all night long. You’ll want to buy a white noise app for your phone.
I truly enjoyed the differences between NYC and home. I think that’s why we travel. To gain a better understanding of the world, but also to appreciate what we have waiting for us when we go home.
More later on my NYC experience! Till then….
There is a bit of summer left before school starts. Why not pile in the car and go? Here are some links to help you get going.
10 Tips to remember when road tripping from Rachel Khoo Rachel went on a research trip in France for her new book.
Get the App! Roadtrippers
The 1909 Road Trip That Proved Women Could Drive
7 of the World’s Craziest Roads
Top 10 Funniest Movie Road Trips (NSFW)
Finally, no road trip would be complete without a dog-eared copy of this on your dash board.
photo courtesy of Tumblr
Traveling means asking your wardrobe to do double duty. Pack versatile pieces and let the accessories do their work to move a simple romper or sheath dress from day to evening.
Do you make playlists for trips too?
-N Y C-
1. New York, New York by Moby featuring Debbie Harry
2. I Love New York by Madonna
3. Brooklyn Bound by The Black Keys
4. Hey Eugene! by Pink Martini
5. New Amsterdam by Pink Martini
6. I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones
7. Sometimes by My Bloody Valentine
I’ve been gathering so many great links for my upcoming NYC trip that I thought I’d share.
This video is in um… Portuguese? But you get the drift How to Buy a Metro Card
I’ve been practicing my technique whenever possible!
Very excited about our hotel!
I can’t wait until it’s Coney Island day!
I’ve found a site that features videos from the ever amazing, always chic Ines de la Fressange. I’ve been glued to them for
hours a while as Ines shows us all her favorite spots and treats in Paris.
C’est tellement génial! Aimez-la!