After Christmas was behind us, my sister and I went into NYC to spend 2 days exploring the city and catching up with old friends. My sister had shows to see and even booked a room at The Larchmont Hotel in the West Village (aka, it’s a fancy hostel, with a good price in an amazing location). My good friend Lily was kind enough to let me crash on her couch, but not before I exhausted myself and NYC. But let me begin at the begining…
When coming in to Grand Central I HIGHLY recommend skipping the public restrooms and instead heading over to to the Grand Hyatt that is adjacent to the train station. They have a key pad on their bathrooms, but don’t be fooled because they aren’t locked and even non-patrons can use these stalls. They are extremely clean and since they’ve been remodeled, each stall is it’s own little room. Trust me, never use the Grand Central stalls… head straight to the Hyatt. The lobby was also redone and now has a modern Japanese esthetic. You can see from my photo above they have a lovely sculpture and waterfall.
From there my sister and I seperated. I was waiting for my old college roommate and good friend Lily to come back into the city and decided to do some post-holiday shopping on fifth avenue… big mistake. I forgot how much I hated crowds. I was elbow to elbow, check to check (if you get my drift) with TONS of people. Thankfully it wasn’t too long before I had my fill and Lily was back in the city. This picture above is of the Rockafeller Center Tree.
I met up with Lily, her boyfriend Joe and bother Dave at their apartment in Brooklyn. We went out to a delicious lunch nearby (Mexican food) and once sundown came, we lit the menorah with birthday candles (fun fun!). As I am not Jewish, it was fun to partake in the lighting which was a treat for me.
After the candles were lit, Joe Lily and Dave had to get ready for a concert and I had to head back into Manhattan for my biannual RISD interior Architecture reunion. Dot, Diana, and Sally all met me in the meatpacking district for a lovely diner at Fig + Olive. I’ve eaten there for restaurant week in the past with Lily and it was equally as tasty now. It was so great seeing the girls, if only for a meal.
From there I took the subway back to Brooklyn to visit The Bell House, which was where Lily’s concert was. Thankfully it ended just before I arrived and we got to chill on the bar side of the venue for a little while and chat. Seeing as they never really got dinner, we moved on to another bar in Brooklyn, closer to their apartment, where they could get some warm food.
The next morning, after a breakfast prepared by Lily and Joe, Lily and I headed on a walk to Prospect Park. It was a really nice walk and good to be able to chat with Lily. Girl talk is very important.
We stopped in this cute cafe, Joyce Bakeshop, where we sipped coffee and chatted some more. Unfortunately, the rain began to start while we were in there and dashed back to their apartment with our scarves wrapped around our heads. It was a sight.
After coffee, I packed up my gear and headed into the city with Lily to meet up with one of my childhood friends (and friend of the blog) Carrie. She, and a RISD friend Marsha, met me and Lily at the New Museum in the Bowery. I’ve been to this museum before and I love it. It was especially crowded because of the holidays, which meant lots of lines… specifically for the many wavers we needed to sign to partake in the exhibits. We began by signing over our credit cards incase anything happened to the goggles we needed to wear to experience the show ($1500 per pair!). EEk. You can bet we were EXTREMELY careful with them. They were fun to wear in the mushroom-room. The museum was transformed to mess with your senses.
There was a slide that went from the fourth floor to the second. Unfortunately, it was a long wait to ride the slide and we also couldn’t wear the goggles. I had some logistical trouble with the exhibit as a whole, but really enjoyed experiencing the museum. I recommend the current exhibit, although I would get there early to avoid lines.
A smaller part of the exhibit had a fish tank that you can put your head into, without getting wet of course. Here is Carrie testing it out. They also had large white pills falling from the ceiling next to a water cooler. A sign read “Please take only one pill”, how Alice and Wonderland of them.
As we left the museum and rain was falling steadily, I said my goodbyes to Marsha and Lily. Carrie and I continued uptown to Times Square area to meet my sister for dinner. Times Square on the day after Christmas is a nightmare. In the rain, it was murder. I’m learning I’m not as patient as once was. After elbowing many people, as well as taking a nasty spill in the subway, we met up with my sister and jumped into the closest dry place we could find: The Delta Grill. This cajun style restaurant is where I had my first fired oyster po’boy (it didn’t sit well, as you can imagine).
After dinner my sister went to see another show and Carrie and I hopped into The Gaf West, which was a cute little pub bar across the street from where we had dinner. We really needed anything to get us out of the rain. I tried a new beer, a Blue Point Toasted Lager, and we chatted until around 9:30p. My sisters play let out and we stopped at Shake Shack for a custard for the train ride home. When I say custard, I mean a super-creamy ice cream. It was delicious (and also a bad choice, given the fried oysters I tried early in the night. Hind sight is 20/20). We made it to the train on time, and ended our NYC adventure.