3 DAYS IN MANHATTAN
I’ve spent the last few days exploring Manhattan with one of my best friends, her husband, and two friends of theirs that currently call the city home. I rented an AirBNB in East Harlem, two blocks from the couple’s apartment. We spent the days on our own and met up with their friends for dinner and drinks every night. Since we arrived with no plans or expectations we formed our days as we went along. It wasn’t the most efficient way to see all the hot spots, but we were able to leisurely stroll around the borough.
9/11 MUSEUM / Our first stop was the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. A word of advice, buy your tickets online because the lines are long. This was the only museum that we toured properly, and rightfully so. I thought the museum was engaging, educational, and powerful. It’s a must-see if you are in NYC, and be sure to plan some down time following the visit to allow yourself time to reflect and absorb the experience.
DAHLIA’S RESTAURANT TRIBECA / Mexican restaurant with decent prices, and if you inquire about happy hour at 2pm you just may get a discount on drinks.
SIXTYFIVE, Rockefeller Center / The actual top of the Rockefeller Center with incredible views of the city. Instead of paying to visit Top of the Rock follow the signs to the Rainbow Room and take the elevators to SixtyFive. Here you can get views from the wrap around terrace and a drink for the same price as Top of the Rock. I was told the men’s restroom also has an incredible view of the city. So guys, make a pit stop before you leave. There is a dress code but it’s not super dressy, just no flip flops or overly causal wear.
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS / We spent one evening watching An American in Paris at the Palace Theatre. I really enjoyed the music and dancing, but I couldn’t get interested in the characters or storyline. Gene Kelly they were not. Luckily ballet dancers mesmerize me, so I had lots to keep me interested.
PATSYS PIZZA, East Harlem / I can’t write a New York post without mentioning Patsy’s. The slices were a late night staple and favorite of most of our party. Sometimes even for breakfast with a Big Gulp for refreshment.
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY / My only request was to visit the reading room at the New York Public Library. After arriving we discovered the space was temporality closed. Sad Face. I did pick up my souvenir book, Here is New York by E.B. White at the gift shop.
THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART / We had less than an hour to visit the Met. After some rambling we headed for the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts exhibit. Our main interest was the area dedicated to recreated French palatial rooms. You can never have too much gold leaf. By the way, the admission fee is just a suggestion. We each paid a dollar.
DEAN AND DELUCA / Get a coffee and cheap meal (by NY standards) and enjoy your lunch at the nearby Ancient Playground benches.
PICKLES, OLIVES, ETC. / I passed the shop, and of course I couldn’t resist. After a quick convo about alligators with the cashier, I left with a pint of kosher dills straight from the barrel.
SPEAKEASY, East Village / Although I won’t share the name of the place we visited, with a little research I’m sure you can discover a similar speakeasy in the city. We spent a few hours in a covert establishment that had an ever-changing specialty drink menu and yummy fried cheesy snacks.
MCSORLEY’S OLD ALE HOUSE / An old Irish pub with many claims to fame, all displayed on the wood paneled walls. The atmosphere was great, even if crowded. We had a pint of their namesake light brew, and then we were off to score sweeter treats.
BIG GAY ICE CREAM / BUTTER LANE We went for an after drink dessert to Big Gay Ice Cream, and while waiting in the Big Long Line, the neighboring Butter Lane offered 2 for 1 cupcakes. I took them up on the offer, and I think it was the right choice.
LAFAYETTE / We had brunch at Lafayette on our last morning. It was a lovely restaurant with French influences and good-looking décor.
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY / My belief in the existence of dinosaurs rested solely on my viewing of fossils. I had to see it to believe it. After an intense convo with the best “Dinosaur Explainer” at the museum, I am sold. My enthusiasm for the dinosaur exhibit slightly surpassed my excitement for the Hall of Minerals and Gemstones. It was a great day.
THE CORNER BOOKSTORE / A quaint little bookshop with a good selection and well organized bookshelves. I especially liked the antique cash register. It’s the little things.
CENTRAL PARK / On our way home, we strolled through Central Park. The weather was beautiful and families were out playing and sunbathing in the park. It was a great ending to our quick visit to the city.