Two of three trips this month are complete and one more to go. What a whirlwind of good times, great food, and the best company. I've enjoyed it all and thought I'd share a quick recap of my New York trip.
The BF and I have both been to NYC many times before so neither of us had any must-see's other than the Chritmas markets and Christmas trees around Manhattan. While NY is always busy and even more so during the weekends and holidays, there are ways to enjoy it without getting too caught up in the crowds.
Depending on what area of town you stay in, you'll want to map out your walking itinerary according to what makes logistical sense. We aimed to get a lot of mileage in each day while also making stops at festive, holiday spots on my list. Plus, it snowed!!! We were elated to walk around in that as well. Us Southerners have to soak it up while we can.
Always a must regardless of the season or weather. It's nice to get lost in it, see the nature amidst the skyline backdrops, people watch, and get some activity in the day as well. It had recently snowed, and then snowed again while we were there. It's neat to see the ice skaters, the ponds that are frozen or partially frozen, the piles of snow and ice, and to meander through the Christmas Market at the corner of the park by Columbus Circle.
The Pennisula hotel had a festive entryway and foyer with snowmen, snowflakes, a beautiful (super tall) Christmas tree and a cute little shop set up.
I think this goes without explanation...the tree and decorations at Rockefeller Center is a must-see. Ice skate at your own risk not only to fall but the massive amounts of people...good heavens! We stopped by there long enough to snap a photo, see the decor, and left. However, we did eat dinner at the Sea Grill Restaurant later that evening and the food was wonderful as well as being able to watch the ice skaters.
Santa was out there skating with the kiddos as well. ;)
New York Public Library
Not only is the library pretty all year long, the Christmas tree inside is beautiful. It was quick to get inside (no fee) and wait a few minutes to get a picture without someone standing in it (virtually impossible in NYC anyway), and get back out. Now, if you haven't been before you may want to walk around inside. We've been so we only stopped long enough for the tree.
The tree, ice skating rink, and Christmas Market are top notch at Bryant Park! Plus, it's right behind the library so you're already there for both, right? Great food and snacks, shopping, Christmas music, and this time - snow! What better way to get into the Christmas spirit?
Madison Square Park
We walked through here on our way to Union Square. The tree was large and lit and there was some other large area display with Christmas lights that was seemingly a display for something we never did figure out. But, what was neat was a Gingerbread House that you can walk through and watch a 2 minute video about the Gingerbread Man decorating the Christmas Tree for Santa. I don't know why I didn't take any pictures of that, but if you're in the area it's worth the time to go into it. The Gingerbread House closes for the season on December 20th this year.
There was another Christmas Market and Farmer's Market set up at Union Square. We walked through it to/from Max Brenner's where we decided last minute to head to since we were in the area and wanting something unhealthy, sweet, and chocolaty! It had started snowing very heavy by the time we left Max Brenner's to walk all the way back to our hotel by Central Park and in an instant everything was more beautiful and festive!
We stopped back at Bryant Park to see the tree in the snow storm (see above) and then continued back to the hotel while enjoying the heavy snow falling down on us.
Lotte New York Palace Hotel
This hotel has a stunning Christmas tree in it's courtyard and then two more large trees inside the hotel. It's a definite must see in the evenings for a photo opportunity!
We stopped by the Plaza Hotel and the St. Regis since we stayed close by but I must say that I was very disappointed in their Christmas decorations and wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see it unless you are in the area anyway.
Holy moly was this meal incredible...the truffle sashimi might have changed my life. Then there was the rest of our meal...of which we used everything imaginable to soak up the rest of the truffled sashimi sauce. We enjoyed every bite of our lunch: truffle sashimi, MRC sushi roll, chicken sandwich, Parmesan truffle fries, the #hitme dessert...
Let me just say that the next time we're in NYC, we will eat lunch AND dinner at Catch. We're anxious to try the dinner menu.
Noby Fifty Seven is on my must-eat list every time I'm in NYC. Partially spoiled by my sister and brother in law having lived there for over a decade and being privy to all kinds of amazing restaurants through the years, but also because it really is SO GOOD! It's pretty great for people watching too, especially an occasional celebrity/professional sports player/news anchor type of spotting. But, the food...
I didn't take photos of our meal that evening but we loved the rock shrimp tempura, sashimi salad, rolls, shishito peppers, and the wine. YUM! This is a photo of the sashimi salad from a trip in 2015:
It's with utmost love that I venture back to this establishment. You may remember it from the movie (I heart so much) called Serendipity with John Cusack.
Serendipity is always busy and you can't make a reservation, but it's worth it. There's fun knickknacks to look while you wait, too.
The very heavy dishes are delicious but HEAVY...which is sort of OK if you are planning to walk 7+ miles every day and not feel like a slug after eating. We're talking burgers, hot dogs, chili, pot pies, nachos, etc. which have all been delicious and yes, in my visits there I have tried just about all of them...And THEN there's the desserts which they are famous for. Bring your appetite or you won't make it out of there alive.
The infamous frozen hot chocolates are good and worth trying once at least, but I am a bigger fan of the sundae's. I can't even explain what happens with those bowls full of decadence. I recommend the "Can't Say No" sundae. You can thank me later.
This place both surprised me and did not disappoint. We had a reservation and were seated promptly despite how crowded they were and the people waiting at the door. The managers were kind and the food wow'd us. We definitely ate more than we anticipated simply because the flavor was so great!
Well this wraps up my attempt at a semi-quick recap of our trip. Obviously there are a ton of other things to do in NYC including plays, concerts, shopping, and allllll the many, many tourist spots and sites to see. You simply cannot have a bad time!
Have you traveled to any fun places recently to take in their Christmas & holiday sites or events?