Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Weekend in New York: Eat, See, Do


New York is like a familiar friend, it greets you with sunshine hues but also at once, is filled with mysteries and surprises.  My second time in this city felt more at ease, and not one that was filled with a desire for closure and certainty, like so many moons ago.

I thought I'd share some of the places that I really enjoyed during this extremely quick pitstop (I was there for work)!

STAY

Westin Grand Central



We had the pleasure of staying at the Westin Grand Central, right down the street from Grand Central station with a beautiful view. From the 18th floor, I could see the Chrysler building and my colleague's room on the 24th overlooked the Hudson! It's a typical business hotel but also family friendly, comes with an insanely well-equipped mini fridge...

But I hated the fact that you had to pay for WiFi in your room - how ridiculous is that?

212 E 42nd Street
New York

Check out
Pod 39 (East 39th St)-  Smaller rooms than the Westin but more modern, lively and contemporary, it also has a great rooftop bar. I stayed here last time!
Ace Hotel (20 West 29th St) - Stylish and modern hotel (much like Pod hotels) with free wifi and in-house art gallery, a blogger favourite or so I hear.
The Bowery Hotel (335 Bowery) - Loft-like suites with marble bath tubs (!) and an outdoor lounge.


EAT



What's New York without a diner experience? We hunted one which was opposite the hotel the next morning but it wasn't super great, but I was very impressed with the number of eggs it came with - THREE. I will also be forever in awe of refillable coffee (I don't drink coffee which is a pity)... 

Those pancakes were huge too. Unfortunately being lactose intolerant, mine was a good ol' sunny-side-up with hash, still very yummy and very filling! 

Try
Sarge's Deli (548 3rd Ave)- Wholesome and traditional diner foods like meatloaf, pastrami (I LOVE), matzo ball soup and less touristy than Kat's 
Zucker's  (370 Lexington Ave) - They had the best pastrami bagel I've had (not that I had many but still) and the portions are h u g e, check out this photo when I last went. Pick one up and nibble as you walk around city! 

A post shared by Cherie (@delicately) on


EXPLORE

Bryant Park & Herald Square



Take a stroll after breakfast down to Bryant Park and make your way towards Herald Square where Macy's and a giant Victoria's Secret is - just for the fun of it.

Union Square



Keep walking until you get to Union Square - another dandy area filled with shopping and just very quintessential New York scenery. Walk past the Flatiron building (it really is so strange!) 



DRINK


The Refinery Rooftop Bar





We wanted somewhere with a view and found reprieve from the sun at The Refinery hotel and rooftop bar. It boasts an industrial chic theme, with exposed bricks and lots of sunshine! Drinks aren't the cheapest but go for the atmosphere and the views.

It does get crowded on the weekends but I think they take reservations so you could make one for a larger party.

The Refinery
64 West 38th Street



SNACK


I needed a bagel break after two beers and that's exactly what I did! It was from a stall on the street which cost $2 but tasted so darn great. We meandered back towards the hotel, but not without a quick stop at yet another eatery (I felt bad for my colleagues putting up with my foodie habits) at X'ian Famous Foods.

Hannah recommended this small and cosy place, famous for its hand-pulled noodles and spicy beef soup. And my gosh, the noodles were top-notch and all you ever wanted: chewy but not rubbery, soft enough to go with the melting beef, and down it all with the spicy and soupy broth. It's actually a small chain, so they have a couple of shops in different areas. I went to the one nearest to our hotel!

X'ian Famous Foods
24 West 45th Street


EXPLORE 

Times Square by night



There's nothing better than taking a walk after dinner in the city that never sleeps. And it's true, I stole a midnight walk to Times Square and it was filled to the brim with tourists, 24-hour convenience stores, late night H&M (and a few sneaky purchases!) and the world's most famous billboards.

The lights were terrifyingly bright and acted as fuel for my jet-lagged body, and I couldn't fall asleep even if I wanted to. Take a few selfies and stroll back down to see Grand Central in the dark...

Grand Central


Serena van der Woodsen must have walked down these streets, right?! Or at least be ferried through these hallowed paths... Somehow New York becomes mystical when night comes, as you spy through smoke and cool air, a wonderful and most magical feeling - because it doesn't feel like you're alone at all.

EXPLORE

West Village


Where the soulful and youngins go for Sunday brunch... We hopped on the Metro and emerged from Bleecker Street and made our way to find a place to fill our (or my) bellies...


Very popular brunch place serving modern American brunch with great cocktails - we didn't make it in because the queue was too long but many friends have recommended it to me.

Jack's Wife Frieda
50 Carmine Street





Because we didn't want to wait long, we turned around and went across the street to the café opposite which was actually pretty good! They had the best fries (which came cubed, so I was very confused) and sausage patties and I was so full and ready for more exploring at this point...

The Grey Dog
49 Carmine Street

This whole area is littered with great places to explore, here are some more places I wished I had more time for:

by CHLOE  (185 Bleecker St) - A vegan bakery! The perils of being lactose intolerant means I get to indulge in cool and funky treats these days.
Buvette (42 Grove Street) - I saw this pop up in my Instagram feed so much I had to add it to my list. French-style bistro with brunch and lunch on the weekend, in the most beautiful and airy space (or so it seems!).
Freemans (Freeman Alley) - Recommendation from a friend, supposed to have some of the best ribs in town.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab (174 Prince St) - Where you can make your own lipsticks!


WALK



Between West Village to The High Line are some truly timeless architecture that makes you feel like a real New Yorker. The fire escape stairs zig-zagging down brick red buildings, those dulcet tones in between the yellow façades... everything moves at a slower and more enjoyable pace here, and that's the way it should be.

The High Line




I made it my mission to make it to The High Line - a suspended park 30 feet from the ground, built around an old train line with self-seeded greenery and beautiful views of Manhattan. The skyline looks almost unreal, and you wouldn't think you're actually standing in a dense metropolis if not for the sun glaring back at you from the neighbouring opaque reflective windows.

The Last Hurrah 


We went into Grand Central terminal this time, just to walk through it and then made it back to our hotel for our taxi to Stamford (lol I told ya it was a work trip aight?).

Even though it was only two days, I really did enjoy our quickfire trip in such a brilliant and lively city and can't wait to return as my best friend has now moved there!

Other places I wanted to try but of course, ran out of time for:

Milk Bar (251 East 13th Street) - David Chang's Momofuku offshoot, great desserts and pick-me-ups
Tarallucci e Vino (163 1st Avenue) - All-day Italian cafe with pastries, coffees, wine and nibbles
Please Don't Tell (113 St Marks Place) - Hidden 60s-themed (?) speakeasy bar
Smorgasburg (90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn) - Seasonal outdoor foodie market in Brooklyn
TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie (21 East 16th Street) - Udon restaurant! My colleagues laughed at me when I said I wanted Asian food so we couldn't go :(

What are your favourite places in NYC?
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