I had such an amazing getaway last week in NYC with my best friend, and I’m excited to share with you all a small glimpse of some of the fun we had! That week in the City was a much needed break from reality. Although it wasn’t exactly restful in the I’m-sitting-on-a-beach-sipping-margaritas sense, it was rejuvenating and invigorating. We filled every minute, and didn’t waste time doing foolish things like sleeping (an option we probably should have reconsidered). In this post, I’ll be sharing with you a sample of what we did, where we ate, and what I wore.
First off, the weather was PERFECT. Fall is my favorite time of year. The air is crisp and cool without being too chilly, the trees are all gilded in gold and orange, and a hint of the holidays is on the horizon. Lyla would visit me all the time when Jonny and I lived in NYC, but this was her first time in the City during the Fall. I was so excited to share my favorite season in my favorite city with her, and now I’m excited to share these moments with you!
Almost all of these pictures were taken on our iPhones, despite being prepared with a great travel DSLR. These snapshots were taken on-the-go, and I don’t regret enjoying the moments in real time rather than through a camera lens, even if I had to sacrifice the quality of photos for quality of memories.
After an absurdly long wait at the airport, and a near-miss with lost luggage, we kicked off our trip by checking into The New Yorker Hotel. Jonny is a wizard when it comes to booking airfare and hotels on the cheap, and he scored us this hotel basically for free. We had a view of the Empire State Building, Times Square, Madison Square Garden, The Freedom Tower, and The Statue of Liberty all from our lofty corner room! Even after living there for two years, I couldn’t pretend I wasn’t psyched about those views!
What We Did
Brooklyn Bridge – I love walking the bridge when the weather is nice, and it helps that my favorite pizza place happens to be right at the finish line (well, almost). It’s a well-deserved treat after the long walk.
Window shopping at Chelsea Market, South Street Seaport, and SoHo. The seaport has gone downhill quite a bit since we lived there, and seems to be perpetually under construction, but they still have a few little pop up shops that are fun to stroll past. Chelsea Market also has some fun little finds, especially if you’re in the market for dainty little accessories or vintage baubles. And then SoHo somehow makes you feel super important and super poor, all at the same time. But it’s still fun to browse through all the designer merch.
Central Park – We strolled through the park at every opportunity and even took a bike tour on a rickshaw (super touristy, I know. I don’t even mind admitting that it was so fun! I learned a lot about the park from our helpful tour guide. I’m pretty sure we broke his bike though. Sorry, Yousef!)
Taylor Swift’s SoHo apartment – Wait, what? I wasn’t supposed to admit that, but fine. I’ll own it. I’ve been a long time fan (circa 2006, when her hair was a frizzy perm and she was strumming an acoustic to lyrics she wrote in Algebra class). It’s just nice to see she’s doing well for herself these days, and I thought I’d check in. Moving right along. Nothing to see here, people.
The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon – Joining the audience for a live taping definitely requires some prep work, but it was so worth it! Lyla and I are both big fans of Jimmy Fallon. (Ok, did I redeem myself for that awkward little Taylor Swift moment?) This was so worth the battle of securing tickets months in advance!
Le Bain Rooftop – This place can get a little “iffy” afterhours, but the night view of the city from the rooftop is amazing. We sipped some champagne early in the evening before it got overcrowded.
230 Fifth Rooftop – This was our favorite spot for a fun night out. The views are INCREDIBLE, and the white peach martini doesn’t disappoint. On chilly nights, they even offer robes to keep you roasty toasty. We may or may not have sampled them ourselves.
The High Line – We ambled along this mile and a half long elevated park and took in the views. It’s pretty cool to see how they converted an old unused railroad line into a park. It’s also a nice, quiet break from the busy city below.
P.D.T. – Slipping into this kitschy speakeasy isn’t the easiest. And truth be told, the process of getting into the
not so secret bar through a telephone booth in a hotdog shop is far more thrilling than actually spending any amount of time there. Nevertheless, it was a fun thing to check off our list. Don’t bother going without reservations unless you’re prepared to wait close to an hour and a half for less-than-desirable drinks.
Broadway – It would be a shame to visit Manhattan and not see a Broadway play or musical. I love the theatre, and was psyched when we won the ticket lottery to see Aladdin the Musical! For just $30, we saw the matinee show, and it was amazing. It may have made the cut in my Top 5 favorite plays/musicals. (Check out this site for more info on the Broadway rush lottery. I have my friend, Sarah, to thank for the tip!)
Where We Ate
Pure Thai Cookhouse on 9th Ave b/w 51st and 52nd St – Lyla is a huge fan of Thai food, so we ate here more than once. It’s amazing and affordable! Try any flavor of the sticky rice for dessert. I’m sad I’m not eating it at this exact moment.
Magnolia Bakery – Cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, please and thank you. The original West Village location is my favorite.
Morimoto – an upscale Japanese restaurant with specialty dishes in the Meatpacking District. If you’re gonna splurge on dinner, this is the place to do it.
Best Bagel & Coffee on 35th Street b/w 7th and 8th Ave – I couldn’t get enough of the breakfast sandwiches. Their bagels are divine and loaded with schmear.
Grimaldi’s for authentic Brooklyn pizza – I know there’s drama with Juliana’s next door, and I’m sure at some point I’ll have to do my due diligence and give them a shot, but for old-time’s sake, I stuck with the tried and true and ate an absurd amount of margherita pizza.
Eataly on 5th Ave and 23rd St – This is a great spot for authentic Italian eats. You can shop the market for pantry items or dine in at one of their many mini-restaurants throughout. We brought our Caffe Lavazza hot chocolate to the rooftop and enjoyed the warmth and the views. (Can you tell I have a thing for rooftops?)
Dominique Ansel Bakery on Spring St in SoHo – While I wasn’t about to wait in a two hour line at 7 am for the coveted and trendy cronut, I was thrilled to scoop up the lesser-known DKA, “Dominique’s Kouign Amann” (tender, flaky, croissant-like dough with a caramelized crunchy crust). Is your mouth watering yet? It should be. It was to die for.
The Kati Roll on MacDougal and Bleeker – I saved an old-time favorite for last. Jonny first introduced me to this tiny hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant back in 2006 when he was interning in NYC. I dream of their chicken tikka rolls at night. It has just the right amount of spice and flavor without being overwhelming. This time around, Lyla introduced me to the Lassi, an Indian smoothie-like drink, which pairs perfectly with the kicky tikka rolls. There’s barely enough room to sit down in the restaurant, but I would eat standing up in the broom closet if I had to. ‘Cuz I’m classy like that.
What I Wore
I got way too distracted romping around the City with Lyla to plan any organized outfit photos. I’m pretty much the least-organized blogger when I get distracted. You’re a gem for sticking around my site as long as you have. This is why my readers are the best! Anyway, despite my lack of great outfit photos, I’ll do my best to showcase some of my favorite pieces that were perfect for a Fall getaway.
Comfort is a necessity when I’m doing any kind of traveling, but I still wanted to look put-together, so I chose to wear my black leather leggings with a simple black tee on the plane. I threw on this oversized wrap cardigan to stay warm once I touched down in NY. (Plus, it felt like I was wrapped up in a huge blanket on the plane!) I wore wedge booties that were easy to slip on and off through airport security and were surprisingly comfortable for a fair amount of city walking. And of course, I loaded up my favorite backpack with all my travel necessities for the trip.
Although our hotel was central to most of our daily activities, we didn’t want to have to go back to change throughout the day. I needed a chic trench to stay warm and carry my looks from day to night. My exact trench is BCBGeneration from Saks Off Fifth outlet, and no longer available online, so I linked to a similar one. I love this leopard print sweater from Old Navy. It perfectly transitioned from day to night by switching out my go-to denim for a faux-leather mini skirt.
My go-to casual street style outfit consisted of my favorite faux-leather jacket from H&M (I linked to a similar one), distressed denim, and comfortable sneakers. I layered an olive knit sweater under this plaid blanket scarf (these things are everywhere!) to keep the chill off.
The last look I managed to catch on camera was one of my favorites. I love a great Breton striped sweater, and I paired mine (which is old from Target, but I linked a very similar one below) with a faux-leather mini from H&M (another similar one also linked below). To keep warm, I layered some opaque black tights underneath and slipped into my flat over-the-knee leather boots (once again, mine are old, so I linked the ones I’m currently loving). I topped it all off with a lightweight longline coat in a dusty gray-blue.
There are a few pieces that didn’t make it into any blog-worthy outfit photos, but I want to share them with you. I found this scarf in the B.P. section at Nordstrom for only $20, and it instantly became one of my faves. It’s big and blankety (that’s a word, right?), but not heavy and bulky. I also loved wearing my Sam Edelman suede booties, but they didn’t appear in a single picture from the entire trip. How did that even happen? I scooped them up last year around this time at Nordstrom Rack, so they aren’t current anymore, but I linked a similar style. They go with everything. I basically lived in them for three months straight last Fall, and I see a similar pattern approaching this year. One of the very few things I purchased on this trip was this sleeveless turtleneck sweater dress in black (the “brick” color is also gorgeous). It was on clearance, and somehow I ended up getting it for $1.47. That’s not a typo. It was cheaper than my morning coffee. I wore it layered over a long sleeve tee while in NY, and later this week, I’ll show you how I’m wearing it here in no-hint-of-Fall Miami.
If you find yourself in NYC this Fall, I hope you check out some of these spots and let me know what you think! If you want more details or other recommendations, let me know. This was just a taste of our trip, but there’s much more where this came from. I hope you enjoyed following along!