Friday, May 30, 2014

New York: Day One

Is three days enough time to really experience all that Manhattan has to offer?  Well, yes.  And no.

In three days, my mom and I saw Union Square Park, Washington Square Park, Magnolia Bakery, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, the High Line, the Meatpacking District, the Flatiron District, Madison Square Park, the 9/11 memorial, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty (from a distance), the Financial District, Trinity Church, Chinatown, Little Italy, the Plaza Hotel, the Theater District, Wicked, Times Square (ish), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the view of the city from the top of Rockefeller Center.

And it was awesome.

But there are definitely things I'm going to have to go back for.  Like the Brooklyn Bridge.  And Serendipity.  And Phantom of the Opera.  And the South Street Seaport. And the Museum of Natural History.  I think Gracie and my mom and I will have to make another trip when Gracie is old enough to appreciate the magic of New York City.

But until then, I'll absolutely cherish the memories I made with my sweet momma and the hundreds of pictures that I took.  

Since we did so much, I figured breaking our trip up by day made the most sense.  And hopefully it'll helpful to any of you who are planning a trip to NYC anytime soon.  So... here we go.

{Day One:  Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and the High Line}

I'm an optimistic idiot and booked a 6:00 a.m. flight out of DFW.  Which totally sucked when my alarm went off at 3:00 a.m.  But it was awesome when we got to the hotel well before noon (and were actually allowed to check in - booyah!).  

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(in the cab and SO excited!)

We stayed at the Hyatt Union Square, and I can't recommend this hotel enough.  It was phenomenal and in a fantastic location, in my opinion (very close to a central subway hub and lots of restaurants, etc. but not in the middle of the cluster-eff that is Times Square).  The rooms are small (like any other NYC hotel room) but stylish and comfortable and new.  We just loved it.  (The bathroom, in particular, was phenomenal.)

After we threw our stuff down in the room, we headed right back out to explore.  The first stop was lunch at a French cafe near our hotel (wish I could remember the name because it was delicious and so quaint), and then we walked a few blocks down to Washington Square Park.

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After lunch, we obviously needed cupcakes.  So we headed west to Magnolia Bakery for a treat.

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(I was boring and went with vanilla on vanilla, but mom's hummingbird cupcake looked to die for.)

The stroll through Greenwich Village was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip.  It's just the most adorable neighborhood, and for a little while, I felt like I really lived there.  I mean, minus the touristy cupcake and giant camera hanging from my neck.

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After our cupcakes, we headed to one of my other favorite spots in Manhattan.

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The High Line park.

This elevated park was built over an old railway, and it's seriously the neatest thing.  The lush green space is so calming, and the extra height lets you see the city from a really interesting perspective.

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We got on at what I think is the southernmost entrance to the park in the Meatpacking District (Gansevoort St., I believe) and walked all the way up to 23rd St.  If you're headed to NYC, you really shouldn't miss the High Line.

At 23rd Street, we headed back east to see the Flatiron building and Madison Square Park.

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Insane, right? I think the angle in the front is only, like, 25 degrees or something.  I'll have to ask my engineer husband how it doesn't get blown over. :)

When we saw the Shake Shack in the middle of Madison Square Park, I was regretting the fact that we'd already eaten, as the burgers there are apparently fairly epic.  Next time...

At this point, we were wiped out.  It doesn't sound like we covered much ground, but we walked for nearly 3.5 hours straight, and we both needed a rest.  So we headed back to the hotel for a nap.

Dinner that first night was at Max Brenner.  The food was okay (I had fancy mac and cheese, and Mom had something chicken-ish), but dessert.  Dessert was just... unbelievable.

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S'mores crepes.

I died a little.

Mom had a chocolate peanut butter sundae that was equally delicious.  If I go back to Max Brenner, I will almost certainly skip dinner entirely and just enjoy the chocolate.

We're both old ladies at heart, so after dinner, we were both ready to take it easy back at the hotel room (just a couple of blocks away) and call it a night.

Which was probably a good call considering how jam packed Day Two turned out to be...

{To be continued...}


Emily said...

Love love LOVE everything about this! I have been to NYC once and loved it. I am so thankful I went before marriage and kids, because Stephen has no desire to go! Maybe my Mom would like a girls trip like you guys did though! So fun!

Hayley Chandler said...

Oh my!!! I want to go back to NYC now. I have been 3 times and yet haven't been to High Line Park. I really want to go with my mom now!!!

Kristin said...

That looks like so much fun! I haven't been to NYC since 2008. I think this time of year would be pretty. (Maybe I've been watching too much Gossip Girl…I would just want to shop there).
Delicious looking eats too!

Nichole @ said...

We went to Manhattan last year for one was so overwhelming trying to fit a lot in! I can't wait to go back, especially after all your photos :)

nicole said...

Great photos!!! So glad you had such a wonderful trip!

~ Nicole from

Katie said...

So very helpful! Thanks so much. Diligently waiting for Parts 2 and 3. Brian and I are planning our 5 year anniversary trip to NYC - we go in a month!

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