Posts Tagged ‘Central Park’

brooklyn spread love sign

Our recent New York weekend began with Mexican food, book browsing in the West Village and dessert at Cafe Lalo. It continued with a gorgeous, sunny Sunday.

little zelda brooklyn

We got chai and breakfast sandwiches from Little Zelda, and ate them perched on a bench on the sidewalk, enjoying the sunshine.

sept 11 memorial reflection

After breakfast, we caught a train to Lower Manhattan, where we visited the 9/11 Memorial. It was crowded, but still (mostly) quiet, and so moving.

sept 11 memorial pool

Everyone says it was a gorgeous fall day when the planes hit the towers – a day just like this. Endless, heartbreaking blue sky.

sept 11 memorial blue sky

I had wanted to see the memorial for a while, and I’m glad we finally went: it felt right to walk around the two sunken pools and pay my respects. I couldn’t help thinking back to the day (I was a high school student in West Texas) and the changes those attacks have wrought in all our lives.

sept 11 memorial flowers

I wanted to walk around and read every single name.

first responders sept 11 memorial

After spending a while there, we caught a train up to SoHo, where we browsed the high-end shops and visited Purl Soho. I came away with two gorgeous skeins of bright pink yarn.

purl soho yarn

Our friend Mary Kate recently moved to NYC, and we met her for lunch at Parm. We ate delicious Italian food (eggplant parm on a sandwich, people) and talked for ages.

jer katie mary kate nyc

After lunch we headed up to Central Park, which is always a treat, but especially so on such a gorgeous day.

central park nyc

We walked and walked, watching the children and the buskers and the rowboats on the lake, trading stories about our time in Boston and Mary Kate’s brand-new NYC life.

After all that walking, we needed sustenance, so we popped into Magnolia Bakery on the Upper West Side, where Mary Kate tackled this chocolate monster. (She asked for a box to take it home.)

mary kate cake magnolia bakery nyc

We headed back to SoHo in an attempt to visit the Central Perk pop-up shop – but, alas, it was closed. (We’d checked it out earlier, but the line was miles long.) We contented ourselves with photos of the iconic logo.

central perk logo nyc

Next we headed to McNally Jackson, where we stayed almost until closing time. I picked up the delightful Greenglass House (the author works there) and the fascinating The Genius of Language.

mcnally jackson books nyc interior

Dinner at the Grey Dog was delicious – hearty American food and more good conversation. (And cool lighting.)

grey dog soho nyc interior

New York, you are full of wonder (as always). We’ll be back.

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I do. (It makes me want to buy school supplies.)

J and I spent a long weekend in NYC recently with our friends Allison and Duncan, who hosted us in their wee apartment (though the air mattress took up most of their living room). Three days is only long enough to taste the glories of New York, but we savored every moment (and several delicious meals).

Saturday was summer-warm, so we strolled through Central Park:

central park lake manhattan new york

central park bridge new york

central park ramble paths walk new york

After lunch, we spent the afternoon wandering the West Village, browsing funky shops with adorable window displays:

swedish candy shop west village nyc

purple pumpkin window west village nyc

We sniffed and browsed teas at DavidsTea (I bought a tin of delicious pumpkin chai), tried on cloches at a gorgeous hatmaker’s shop (I felt like Maisie), listened to jazz in Washington Square Park, and finally headed to Victory Garden for goat’s milk ice cream:

(Allison had chocolate and salted caramel, swirled. I had salted caramel, with “choco-crunch” topping. Heavenly.)

We ate dinner that night at Arriba Arriba – the first good Mexican restaurant I’ve been to in New England. It wasn’t quite like home, but it was pretty darn close (and delicious). And then we saw The Fantasticks, which is a delightful, magical little piece of musical theatre. So much fun.

Sunday was rainy, but J and I braved the weather for another Central Park walk:

We visited the Frick Collection and then met our friends for chai at a hip little cafe on the Upper East Side:

sicaffe window photo nyc

That afternoon, we visited the Lower East Side Tenement Museum – a fascinating, well-researched museum detailing the lives of immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. If you’re interested in NYC’s history and/or the history of immigrants in this country, I highly recommend it.

I can’t go to NYC (or really anywhere) without visiting a few bookstores, and the group let me stop at Shakespeare & Co. on Lexington as we headed for Thai food and the Tenement Museum. And later on Sunday afternoon, Allison took me to Books of Wonder:

books of wonder nyc interior children's books

It is truly wonderful – a bookstore dedicated to children’s literature, with a gorgeous section of old and rare books at the back. I bought a copy of a story I loved as a child, The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes.

We ate a cozy dinner at Quaint that night, followed by Scattergories, ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s, of course) and tea in the cozy apartment. And the next day, we played Ping-Pong in midtown before catching the bus back to Boston.

New York is where I go to do things I can’t do anywhere else – often several of them in the same weekend – and also to do the New York versions of things I love to do all the time, like browsing bookshops and drinking tea. It can be gritty and overwhelming, but it’s also dazzling, and exciting, and fun.

I’ve been to New York four times now, and my trips there are always chock-full of magical moments, which make me believe again in the New York I know from so many books and films. Mostly, I keep going back for a taste of that magic. And the city always delivers.

If you’ve been to New York, what are your favorite things to do there?

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The little girls of Avonlea school always pooled their lunches, and to eat three raspberry tarts all alone or even to share them only with one’s best chum would have forever and ever branded as “awful mean” the girl who did it. And yet, when the tarts were divided among ten girls you just got enough to tantalize you.

Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

I didn’t eat raspberry tarts last weekend, but this quote sums up how I feel about my three days in New York. It is, of course, impossible to see all the things I want to see in one weekend – and Allison did her level best to make sure I saw as much as I could. But I just got enough of so many things to tantalize me. I only had a couple of hours at the Met (enough to get about half of a quick overview – the place is HUGE); an all-too-brief browsing stop at the Strand (partly because I knew I could have stayed all day); a short (if leisurely) stroll through Central Park; a tour of the Upper West Side cut short by heavy rain (though we braved it as long as we could).

Don’t mistake me – I enjoyed every moment, and tried my best to soak it all up. I loved seeing the knights at the Met:

And visiting Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park (as well as the other stops on my children’s literature tour):

I loved wandering through Manhattan, admiring the beautiful brownstones and wondering about the stories held in each one:

And, of course, I had to visit Cafe Lalo, site of the rose-and-a-book, he-knows-something-she-doesn’t-know scene in You’ve Got Mail:

There were so many other lovely moments: eating pie with my friend Beth on a bench in Brooklyn; a brief solo stroll around Prospect Park; hanging out in Bryant Park as I waited to meet Allison after work; watching Ramona and Beezus in Allison’s cute little Queens apartment and talking for hours; munching apple cider doughnuts at the Union Square farmers’ market. But all these moments only served to underline my already firm conviction:

I have to go back. And soon. (And bring Jeremiah with me this time.)

Because, really, who wouldn’t want more time in this beautiful city, with this lovely tour guide?

Thanks for a fabulous weekend, Allison. I’ll be back before too long.

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