Sunday, May 23, 2010

36 hours in NYC


Well howdy! I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Ours was a whirlwind!

My hubby and I took a little “jaunt” to New York City with a few friends for the weekend. Actually, it was a business trip for hubby and some of his coworkers, and I tagged along. A trip to NYC is non-negotiable. This wife is going, every. single. time.  :)

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know New York is my favorite place on earth, besides home. My hubs took me there almost ten years ago for my first trip (just two weeks before 9-11) and I feel in love at first sight.

Even before I had ever been there, I knew I would love New York. It did not disappoint. And every trip since, I fall in love more and more. We love the city so much, we got married there.  ;) Needless to say, I have an emotional attachment to NYC, and I miss it so very much when I’ve been away for too long!

We got in Friday morning and left late Saturday afternoon, so it was a very quick trip. I was still able to take about 150 pictures in 36 short hours though! I thought I would share some of the city I love with you…

The one place I’ve never been in NYC that I’ve wanted to visit every time (and we never get to it) is Grand Central Station. Imagine my glee when we pulled up to our hotel and it was right next door!:

gcsIt was all I had dreamed and more!:

Part of my fascination with the city is the beautiful architecture everywhere you look. The detail inside and outside the older buildings is fantastic. I can’t get enough of it!!

A hotel staff member took us on a quick tour and told us a story about the ceiling -- it is stunning – painted blue with all of the astrological signs:

ceilingSigh. Seriously. Do you see all that detail? Excuse me while I SWOON. Anyhoo, notice the little spot the arrow is pointing to? (I added the arrow, by the way. :) ) Turns out smoking was allowed inside for so long, the ceiling and stone used to be the color you see in that little spot.

Ummm, EWW. From what we were told, they didn’t even know the ceiling was painted as it was, until they meticulously cleaned all of it. The dirty spot was left next to the Cancer sign as a little subliminal message.  :)

No other place makes me feel as energized as Times Square:

The city has shut down a couple streets in Times Square to traffic, and it was pretty awesome:

Times Square at night is sensory overload (in a really good way). I’ve never seen this many people there before – it was crazy Friday night! They have tables and chairs out in the “streets” now and it’s just so cool.

Every time we’re in NYC, we have to get to Roxy’s:


But we don’t go for the amazing sandwiches – we go for this:


Cheesecake as. big. as. your. head. My pick this time – apple caramel streusel cheesecake. Just looking at the picture has me salivating all over again. Yummo, it was delish!

One of our favorite spots in Times Square is the massive Toys R Us store:


We’ve decided we’ll take the Bub to the city soon and we’re pretty sure we could kill half a day just in here. :) The massive Ferris wheel greets you when you walk in:


And the magic for grown women the kiddies just keeps going:

087 088 090


I feel six years old all over again every time I walk in here!

We saw the musical Promises Promises this trip. I think it’s the first time we haven’t seen Wicked since it’s been on Broadway. Sean Hayes (from Will and Grace) and Kristen Chenoweth (from Glee, Wicked) were the leads and it was FUNNY.

Of course, my eyes wandered to the magnificent theater:

Now, that’s a light fixture.  ;)

Dare I say it – I even love the subway. The subway smell is something you never forget. I don’t think it smells bad…it’s just that smell:

subwayIn all the years we’ve visited, we have never seen an infamous ‘rat in the subway’ – until this trip. We counted at least six. I have pictures but I didn’t want to freak anyone out with the beady eyes! (A few were honkers.) I’m thinking the city is spending their bucks on more important things instead of the rats lately.  :)

We spent a few hours in Little Italy:

little italy

The street was shut down here as well, and it was magical. It always amazes us how there can be restaurant after restaurant after restaurant down the street, all serving Italian – and they are all PACKED!

The store fronts are beautiful:


Da Nico is a favorite of ours -- every time we visit we eat there for at least one meal. And every trip, a very sweet, 90-something Italian woman named Lucy has been sitting out front. My stepdaughter and her friends would get a picture with her every year. She told us the key to her long life was lots of pasta and lots of wine.

If she’s right, I think it’s safe to say I’m going to live till 100.  :)

We didn’t see Lucy this time though. I’m hoping she’s doing OK and the pasta is keeping her going!

Every time I see some of the city’s finest, there’s a slight tug at my heart:

It still makes my heart ache.

I’m so thrilled that I’ll be going back to this lovely city at least two more times this year – and the next trip is only a few weeks away! This time it’ll be with girlfriends, and I cannot wait!!

Because I am so inspired by the beauty that is everywhere in New York, the pictures I take there are some of my all time favorites. I played around with a few of my faves from this trip – now I just need to find the perfect spot for them!:

Grand Central lights

Grand Central Station

Little Italy ironwork Little Italy If you haven’t gotten a chance to visit New York City – I urge you to go. It is ALIVE. And it makes you feel that way too!

I’ll be back with a kitchen update tomorrow!


  1. This post made me miss NYC SO much! When I was 12-14 my parents and I spent a LOT of time driving to and from NYC from Pennsylvania. I even spent a summer there at a performing arts camp. We moved to Los Angeles a few years ago, and while I loved living there, New York will always have a special place in my heart.
    I'd love to go back again soon!

  2. I am drooling over the sight of it all!! Would love to visit someday!!

  3. Isn't New York the greatest? I've lived here my whole life, and I am still amazed by it all the time, I love NY!

  4. Oh, such awesomeness all wrapped up into one huge city. I've never been to NYC and it tugs at me everytime I see photos of it. Maybe next year... sighs.

    The Blue Ridge Gal
    Thanks for these totally rad photos!!!

  5. My dad used to live in Greenwich Village. I was only lucky enough to visit twice. We visited Times Square, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral and few more popular places. Like you, I *love* NYC. Just love it! But I think I loved the Village much more than downtown. I just loved all of the neighborhoods. I didn't want to come home. Looks like you had a great trip. I love all of the photos.

  6. I loved NYC when I visited in 1996. Unfortunately I haven't been back since. One of the daughters of family friends attends college just off of Times Square. What a lucky duck!

  7. I LOVE New York. I've only been once but am dying to go back. Would love to take the kids there. The pictures you took are amazing! Can't wait to see where you put them!

  8. Without question it is too my favorite city in the US. When I used to live in the DC metro area I was lucky to be able to take the train up many times just to spend the day. So much to do, so much to see and SO much to eat!!:O) Thanks for sharing and reminding me that I need to take another trip to the Big Apple soon!

    P.S. As for the rats, see my new blog and this recent post "an ivy metal bowl, candle holder and a snake." :O)

  9. Ah, New York! I went to NY for the first time in March and had serious depression when I came home. There truly isn't anything like it, and once you go there, you get it. Thanks for posting pictures! I am glad to get some tips for our next trip...whenever that is. ;o)

  10. Love the pics. Thank you! Those black and whites are stunning!

  11. Great photos and interesting info about Grand Central Station. Really enjoyed this post.

  12. I am with you - there is nothing like NYC! Your pics are GORG! Glad you had fun!

  13. Say a big, Thank You, to Jackie O, she and a group helped to clean and SAVE Grand Central.

    Amazing what smoking can do in such a big space...
    Go Yanks!

  14. My daughter really wants to visit NYC but it seems kind of intimidating to me. We may go in October and I'm hoping that's a nice time to go.

  15. I LOVE NY! My hubby and I went on a somewhat similar trip before 911 and it is forever etched in my heart. I took TONS of pictures, but the ones I really wanted were the ones from Grand Central and of every pic I took, not one of those came out. I am still upset about that. :( I am glad to have a pic of the twin towers now too...we went the year before that horrible day. I love Jr's cheesecake, is Roxy's better? I will always remember NY...mainly because I have a third child because of that trip :), but also because of the feelings it stirred within me. The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, & The Empire State Building...places that stir you deep within just make memories that are etched in your mind and heart forever.
    Thanks for sharing your pics...especially the ones of Grand I know what my pics SHOULD have looked like. :)

  16. I love NYC too! I used to go there as a high school kid and when I was in college (I used to live in Montreal!)
    I miss it, there is no other city in the world like it! Although I would never raise children's a great place for a visit!

  17. Never been there, but this makes me want to go. You did a great job with the photos!

  18. Next time you go - you HAVE to go to Serendipity (which the movie is named after). The food is delicious (and all I had was meatloaf!) and the menu is HUGE (physically)!

    I also really love Dylan's Candy bar. They have all the old school candies... like zebra stripe gum.

    And try to see a show in the New World Stages. It's an old movie theatre that they converted to a stage theatre. There are multiple shows going on at the same time, there's a bar inside the building AND you can drink during the show. I saw Evil Dead the Musical and Altar Boys there. LOVED them.

  19. I loved seeing your pictures from NYC. Big cities scare me; I get completely discombobulated in them. It was good for me to hear your excitement about being there - it doesn't sound so scary any more. :) (Your black and white photos are gorgeous!)

  20. LOVE NYC! Just took my son for a long weekend to visit my sis. He loved it!

    Have you been to sugar Sweet sunshine bakery?? O.M.G. the best cupcakes evah! I brought a box home, in the taxi and then on the train back to VA for family and friends. they are to die for. totally worth the hours of box babysitting during the trip.

  21. I am going to NYC for the first time ever a week from tomorrow. I was excited before, but now your post has been super excited! Before, I was just gonna take in the sights, but now I'm sure I'll be looking for the beautiful architecture too!! LOVE your post!!!

  22. LOVE your black and white photos at the end! I'm a sucker for architectural photography though. Gorg! My husband and I were in NYC about 13 years ago, so a few years before 9-11. Amazing city that truly never sleeps! We loved it!

  23. I lived there fresh out of high school (in Westchester, but went to the city most weekends) as a nanny, and have only been back twice in the last 20 years, but seeing your excitement and the photos makes me remember what was so magical and enticing about being there. I may have to plan a getaway sometime in the not-to-distant future....

  24. We just got back from NYC 3 weeks ago -- how fun to see some of the same shots that you have! Glad you had a great trip!! I big time {HEART} NYC!

  25. It all looks so amazing!!!

  26. Love the NYC post! My husband and I went there for our honeymoon last year. First time for both of us and we loved it. It's funny that when I told people we were going to NYC and that I really wanted to see Ground Zero they didn't think it was appropriate for a honeymoon. But to me, I thought it was important to go somewhere that would be really meaningful on our honeymoon. We can go to a beach anytime. And on a happier note, we got to be on the Today Show! We made a sign and got chosen to be "interviewed" by Stephanie Abrams. All in all, the trip was great from the food, to the views, to the sense of pride in being an American, and so much more.

  27. I too have always been in love with NYC even though I have never been there. My hubby thinks I am crazy, but I would love, love, love to go visit! Your pictures just make me want it even more! Glad you had a good time!

  28. Yay for NYC.
    The hubs is from NYC so we are lucky enought to go often. (going next month) We also spend Christmas there and is a magical time. I urge for anyone to make the trip there.

  29. You got some great shots!I too love NYC My brother lives there and i have visited 5=6 times - Each time i go I take hundreds of shots I so love the architecture- the food- the people the shows- last year we saw Wicked aw that was the best!! let, see we have seen over the years Les Miz, Beauty and the Beast,the Fantatiks, Blast,and the RCMH Christmas Show I heart NYC

  30. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing. I grew up in New York til I was 10, and miss it. I am hoping to take hubby and the kids someday.

  31. Lovely photos! I've never been to NYC and cities scare me (I am a pure backroads kind of girl) but your pictures make me want to visit! Maybe if I can talk my husband, who also hates cities, to go and we can brave the urbana together. :)

    Cabin Fever in Vermont

  32. You know what?
    I visited NYC once 15 years ago and HATED it. (Sorry).
    But, after this lovely post (you should be on the NYC Tourism Board), I want to go back and give it another chance, I think I'd see it through new eyes and tastebuds :)!
    What gorgeous pictures, and a lovely tour you gave us.
    My hubby loves NYC, and will be happy to know that I am interested (due to this post) in visiting once more :)
    Blessings to you and I am glad you had fun!

  33. The last time I was in NYC, I chose that same cheesecake to try at Roxy's! The group of girls I was with were kind of like ummmm...but once all of our choices came out, mine was everyone's favorite. SOO good!

  34. Looks like a fun little getaway. Funny thing - I was also in NYC 2 weeks before 9-11, and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were both there this weekend AND went to see Promises, Promises. Small world, eh? Love the black and whites - they look fantastic and I am sure you will be displaying them proudly!

  35. Oh, girl, you know I {heart} NY. I {heart} it so much that I can't wait for my girls' trip in December to go. I think I'm going to head up with a friend in the next month or two. :)

    GREAT photos!!! I have to say, Toys 'R Us in Times Square is much much different in December. I couldn't wait to get out of there during the Christmas rush, but it wasn't awful when I went in September. :)

  36. I have to tell you about something you must see at Grand Central next time you are visiting wonderful NYC...It's the Whispering Gallery right outside the grand central oyster bar. There are no signs for it and I had never heard of it before...We read about it one of our guide books. The tiled ceiling and arches create an acoustical phenomenon, where if you stand facing one of the pillars diagonally across from someone else and whisper, they will be able to hear you. My husband and I looked like crazy people talking to the wall (especially since it took a few times to find the right spot), but it is the coolest thing ever. It sounds silly, but it is truly an incredible feat of design. We've been back since then and made a visit to grand central just to whisper to each other. :)

  37. Oh how I wish I lived closer to NYC. What a fabulous place. And the cheesecake at Roxy's truly is the best!

  38. I love NYC too. There is nowhere I have felt more alive than in Times Square, although it truly is sensory overload! I stayed in the hotel right next to Grand Central Station and spent a couple of hours just wandering through it by myself during our last trip. I loved it. My fave coffee mug came from a store in Grand Central Station! ;) Your pictures are gorgeous. Glad you had a great trip!

  39. NYC is hands down my favorite makes my heart so happy! A great friend of mine lives in Brooklyn, so I am ALWAYS eager to visit her...rather than have her come visit me in Dallas. I heart NY! And, Da my Italian spot, too! I am giddy that you mentioned it in your post, as we always take time to shop on Canal Street and eat yummo food in Little Italy! Small world! Have fun with your girlfriends in the city! ;)

  40. I have always wanted to go to NYC but the hubby is so against it. Says he didn't lose anything there so he doesn't need to go! He loves the quiet of the country and there is no way he would enjoy the hustle and bustle of a city that large. I am sure I will get there one day...Enjoy!

  41. I've never been to NYC but your post makes me want to go NOW! Glad you had an amazing time and I can't wait to see the kitchen update!

  42. LOVE your pictures! Looks like a great trip!!!

  43. I had my birthday at 49 grove last Saturday night. The place was a bit to packed but had a lot of fun. Good looking crowd, great DJ and very strong drinks. A bit too strong for some of my friends, but their light weights. All the staff were really attentive and made a point of taking care of us. When we left the club we even got a thank you from what turned out to be the owner. It wasn’t your usual B.S. “Thank you come again,” either and for that I want to plug this place as a great place for a birthday.
    Great Place For A Birthday.
    Carter Jones

  44. So glad you got to go this weekend!

    I'm with you on Grand Central Terminal. It's one of my favorite spots in the city. SO beautiful, and so hustly-bustly in the best way.

    Have you ever seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie North by Northwest starring Cary Grant and James Mason?

    Beautiful photos!!

  45. OMG I want that top picture that you played around with. I have the. PERFECT. Spot. for it at our new house. Love it!!!

  46. I ADORE NYC! It's one of my favorite cities.

    And fab B&W architecture shots. Nice!

  47. Your pictures are gorgeous!! Cracks me up that there is a person looking at a phone in every one with people in it. Ah, technology.... LOL

    I'm glad you had fun!! I may even steal that pic of the chandeliers in a row (is that okay?).


  48. Hi Sarah-

    Nice post, great shots. I lived in NYC and went to college there and worked at a tennis club in GCS. I used to run every morning at 6 am up and down 5th avenue before the city got moving - I loved that and saw some pretty amazing things good and bad at that hour. I just loved your comment about the subway smell. That smell is distinctly part of the city, especially in the summer. My favorite thing to do - Take the Staten Island Ferry over to Staten Island and then hop right back on to go back to Manhattan. Do this at dusk or as the lights are going on in the city. Stand on the bow and take it all in. The water, the city lights twinkling make for a spectacular view. Perfect for a summer night.

    My best - Diane

  49. BRAVO! I can't tell you how much I love this post. My mom was born and raised in Brooklyn, and while I grew up in Philadelphia, we went to Manhattan frequently as I was growing up. One of my fondest memories was going to the top of the World Trade Center with our German exchange student in 1997, watching the sunset and the breathtaking views. I've only been back to NYC a handful of times since September 11th, and the energy is still there.

    I feel like I could have written this post--I too enjoy (?) the stinky subway smell and the masses of humanity. Something about that city just charges me up and makes me love life. You hit all of my favorite places and described them exactly as I would have.

    Do you love Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind"? I personally love the "(Part II) Broken Down" version. I see myself there every time I hear the song.

    Thanks for the awesome post!

  50. I have been to NYC twice as an adult. My husband and I went in 2005 for our first trip away from kids since 1997. It was magical and we were giddy with excitement. He passed away in 2008and I will treasure our memories and all the photos. It was so much fun. Now, I want to take my kids ages 10 and 12. It would be great if you would maybe do a write up of the hotels you stay in. I think it's hard to know where to stay and having your recommendations based on experience would be great!!!
    Loved this post! In 2005, we at at Roxy's for my birthday and had some delicious cheescake! You are is HUGE!!

  51. Ah, we were in NYC two weeks before 9-11 also.... that's when my husband and I got engaged!

    Fabulous place, yes I agree!

  52. It's so cool to see my city through someone else's eyes. I've lived in NYC all my life, so I guess I take things like Grand Central and 42nd Street for granted. The best thing is Christmas in the city though! The tree in Rockefeller Center, ice skating at Bryant Park, the windows on 34th Street...

  53. I'm so jealous! I also adore NYC. I have always wanted to go and my hubby took me last year for our 10 year anniversary. I loved every minute of the trip and I'm dying to go back. I could go there multiple times each year and have a blast each time. That city is so alive and so much fun. Thanks for sharing the photos from your trip.

  54. I was the opposite of you. Before I went the first time I was sure I wasn't going to love it. I knew it would be a great vacation, but everyone I knew that had gone had 'fallen in love'. I thought it was silly. It was a city. A busy city.

    Ummmm...I seriously fell in love. When people say there is an energy they aren't kidding. I loved everything about it.

  55. Loved your post. My hubby and I went for one day last August during our vacation. He wasn't too sure about going, but I loved it. We took the train in and walked forever. Loved Central Park (my must see), Toys R Us (grandkids were on the receiving end) and Time's Square is unreal. The stimulation was unreal. We had lunch at a little sidewalk cafe and it was great. Hoping to make it again this year. Would love ideas on where to stay!

  56. Now I am missing my most fav place to visit. I live in OK and only can make it back once or twice a year!

    I can close my eyes and smell the subway now! Can't wait to try the cheesecake at Roxys the next time I am back.

    Thanks for sharing the fabulous pictures. I too have taken a ton of pictures and blown them up in B/W to hang in our home.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  57. Gorgeous pics! I have been twice to NYC and would love to go again! So the next time you go I'm assuming it's for NKOTB at Radio City right? Don't let me down;) I wanted to go so bad since it is my birthday weekend and all, but can't swing it this year. Hopefully I can live vicariously through you (if that is where you are actually going;)

  58. One month ago today I returned from the same kind of trip to NYC. I feel the same way about the city -- I have to have a "fix" every three years or so. We stayed right by Times Square in a WONDERFUL hotel, if you ever go back and want to stay there -- Staybridge Hotel. Got a great price on Priceline. I walked the city for six hours while my husband was at a trade show. The next day we walked about five hours more. LOVE IT!!!

  59. This post also has me missing the Big Apple. Great photos!

  60. I just got back a week ago from my first trip to NYC!!! My daughter is attending FIT there next year, and we went to check it out. I will be taking her back in August and now MUST go to Roxy's. We ate in Little Italy, visited the normal sites...and just soaked it all in. I'm willing to go on a girls trip with you if you need an extra ;-)...

  61. So glad you had a great time! I lived in NYC for seven years after college (left almost ten years ago) and still miss it so much.

  62. Great pictures! Love the black & whites!

  63. Sounds like a great trip even though it was short. I want to go there at Christmastime.

  64. We had a blast… great music, friendly service and awesome drinks. Looking forward to coming back soon at 49 Grove Restaurant in West Village NYC.

  65. New York City is a place I've yet to visit, but hope to some day. It's exciting to see how alive it appears in your wonderful pictures; thanks for sharing them!

  66. Last night I went to a great fundraiser at 49 Grove for the Susan G. Komen’s Race For The Cure Breast Cancer Charity. The weather sucked and only 100 or so people showed but the place was really high end and nice. Much nicer then I expected a fundraiser to be. Little touches like pink roses all over the place, scented candles, mints with the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on them, even the staff had pink ribbons on. The only thing that I didn’t like about the place was the location, West Village and we live uptown and that there was no food at the event.

  67. I love the black and white pics you took in NYC. What do you use to edit your photos?


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