NYC Mini Guide for Fall
It’s been 10 years since we moved away from New York City but I still always jump at the chance whenever we can take a trip back for a visit. Since Lorenzo’s family lives on the east coast, we were recently able to combine a trip to include both Business and Family time. Here’s a mini guide of suggestions when mixing the two in the autumn months:
The London Hotel – 151 W. 54th St.
Square footage in Manhattan is a rare commodity. To help you out, The London is an all suite hotel with rooms starting at 500 square feet. It might not sound like much, but it IS! The London is centrally located in mid-town just a short walk from Central Park, Broadway shows and 5th Avenue shopping. The staff is helpful, warm and welcoming. For in house dining, you can’t go wrong at Maze by Gordon Ramsey (especially for a business lunch) and The London Bar (perfect for business cocktails).
Yama Sushi – 122 E 17th St
Tucked away in a basement with minimal signage, this is a hidden gem. Tiny, clean, no frills. The quality of the sushi is incredible – we are talking FRESH. Portion sizes are huge and reasonably priced. I will definitely be back!
You won’t find many locals here, Little Italy is definitely more for tourists. But it’s close to our hearts. We started going to La Mela (167 Mulberry St.) when friends would visit us from out of town 14 years ago and it has so many fun (and loud) memories. It’s perfect for big groups and families. It’s definitely a place we wanted to bring Joseph when he was old enough to appreciate it. This was his second time here. Last summer being his first visit and he LOVES it. You won’t hear any complaints from him. From The London Hotel, we were able to jump on the Downtown Q Express Train from the 57th & 7th station to Canal St. and get the combination Little Italy / Subway experience all at once.
~ joseph thoroughly enjoying his pasta at la mela~
While Joe’s, John’s of Bleecker, Grimaldi’s and Sal & Carmine’s are some of our personal favorites, no trip to NY is complete without picking up a quick slice bigger than your head!
~his face almost disappears behind that slice~
City Crab – 235 Park Ave South
I couldn’t believe it when I heard the Famous Oyster Bar across the street from the London Hotel had closed after 55 years in business. Lorenzo and I first went very early on when we started dating and had been countless times since. It’s our tradition to go out for east coast seafood whenever we visit, so we made reservations at City Crab for our first dinner after arriving. What I also love about this location is that it’s within blocks of where Lorenzo and I both had offices while living in NYC. Coming to this part of town when we visit always brings back such great memories for us.
I don’t have enough patience to wait in long lines for food so whether or not we were going to try Shake Shack was all up to chance. Joseph and I headed to the American Museum of Natural History one late morning while Lorenzo was taking a few business meetings and we walked by Shake Shack on the Upper West side and found an off chance with no lines! The burgers and milkshakes were, in fact, delicious. But I still would not wait in line for it. Turns out, the original location of Madison Square Park has a Shack Cam where you can take a look at the line in real time before deciding if the trip is worth your while. http://www.shakeshack.com/location/madison-square-park/#shack-cam
Momofuku Milk Bar
On a way back from a meeting, I stopped in to pick up a few desserts for Lorenzo, Joseph and I to each have a taste back at the hotel. We sampled a slice of the Crack Pie, a slice of the Candy Bar Pie, a Composte Cookie and Cereal Milk. Our favorite by far was the Crack Pie! All were good, but this one was just over the top delicious.
Pier 25 at Hudson River Park is the site of Manhattan’s only 18 hole outdoor mini golf course. It’s a very nicely landscaped course overlooking the Hudson River and with great views of the nearby Freedom Tower. Joseph and I went one morning and had a very relaxing, leisurely time. $4 for kids under 13 and $5 for adults. They sell soft drinks and snacks as well.
*Cash only and no ATM on site.
More info to be found here: http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/explore-the-park/activities/mini-golf
~view from mini golf~
Living in NY, we had been to countless games at the old Yankee Stadium but I hadn’t yet been to the new stadium. We both grew up in huge baseball families and have passed the love on to Joseph for sure. Lorenzo and Joseph were able to fit in a game while I was at a business dinner one night and then we all went back together for a Stadium Tour the next day. The tour covers the Field, Dugout, Monument Park, the Yankee Museum (which houses World Series trophies, bats, mitts and uniforms from past great players) and the Club House. Tickets can be purchased here: http://mlb.mlb.com/nyy/ballpark/stadium_tours.jsp
~up close with the 2009 World Series trophy on the stadium tour~
Empire State Building
Joseph and I went here on a whim one morning when he woke up and announced he would really like to go. I hadn’t been since a school trip back in middle school, so I thought it was a great idea. We made a few hours out of it and there’s just nothing quite like seeing the Manhattan Skyline from that high up.
~view from the top of the Empire State Building~
From it’s website: ‘The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues’. The grand opening of the third section just occurred recently. While we were there, it was wonderful for a long scenic walk. Gorgeous architecture combined with plants, flowers and gardens. It’s so nice to have an outdoor zen escape in the middle of the busy City. There are plenty of benches and places to sit along the way.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to figure out any time for shopping or live shows this trip. But we will be back in December so stay tuned!