You know those You Tube video’s where a four year old is teased with a treasure trail of Disney themed gifts only to lead to an actual surprise trip to Disneyland where they rightly freak-out on being told? Well that was me a couple of weeks back, only my Disneyland was a surprise birthday trip to New York- pretty much my favourite city in the world.
Still groggy with jetlag you’ll have to forgive my sloppy spelling today, but what a trip- definitely worth the sleepy drunkenness today (…and most likely the rest of the week- I’ve the body clock of a six month old baby). I’m not a Big Apple first timer and have done all the usual sight-seeing bus tours and boat trips before, so what made this trip particularly awesome was that it was all about what we actually wanted to do as opposed to what you feel like you should be doing while you’re there. And so our bellies led the way and we worked out way through all the beautiful boroughs on a meal by meal basis, finding some little gems along the way. Pecan in Tribeca is such a cool little breakfast spot where we stuffed out faces with prosciutto, cheese and basil omlette-stuffed croissants and fresh orange juice all for less than twenty bucks, there’s a perfect Tribeca-artsy vibe to the place with exposed brickwork walls, too-cool-for-school (but lovely all the same) staff and French lounge music.
Another more established gem, Buvette in the West Village, involved both a wait outside (…for breakfast) and a kick in the wallet but the atmosphere alone should be bottled and sold. Both the queue and the wait are fast forgotten when your sinking your teeth into the best buttermilk berry waffles your ever likely to eat.
Times Square is looking well, and has grown considerably in the few years since I’ve last been, now complete with a host of characters in Disney suits fighting for tourists attention and spare change. There is something electric (aside from the lights!) about the atmosphere that creates pure excitement. Stealing his baseball cap and complete with giant foam finger & a hotdog, we hit Madison Square Garden for a Knicks game and I was blown away. I’m not great at watching sports and tend to turn to napping for comfort in these situations, but the pure show around the whole event had me absolutely sold and its definitely one for the list next time. Having previously been a little scared from an off-broadway performance of some Cluedo style show a few years back, we learned our lesson and kept it mainstream with The Lion King for our inner nine-year-old. It was honestly the one of the most colourful and creative performance I’ve seen, an awesome artsy production that we rounded off with chocolate martinis in Carmines across from the Minskoff Theater.
Not forgetting my relentless sweet-tooth, we found the most gorgeous little midnight bakery in Noho where lots of insanely good Italian restaurants were hit. The Little Cupcake Bakeshop stole the show with blueberry cheesecake like no other, and right before bed- happiness is!
And of course we trailed the streets to find the famous Magnolia Bakery where I got my sticky fingers on a red velvet cream-cheese iced cupcake that lived up to the hype… and took home their cookbook too so I can try my hand at recreating these babies myself.
After a week of filling our boots what better way to burn some calories than ice-skating in Central Park. Armed with my fluffy pink bed-socks, we wedged our newly fattened feet into some skates and made our way onto the ice like baby giraffes learning to walk. After ninety minutes and an ice-resurface we were giving Torvel and Dean a run for their money- or at least weren't crashing into small children half as much.
A quick pit-stop to Victoria Secret and a ShakeShack feed rounded off our last day as we headed homeward bound via JFK. Having only been in summer, I loved this time of year in NYC and would recommend it- clichéd as it sounds there’s few things more beautiful than Central Park in the autumn time and the lack of stifling humidity is a welcome breather. Take me back already!
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