#tbt Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of

New York City 2012

I wrote the following during the return flight. This will probably be the most detailed of the #tbt series because I actually took the time to record my experience.


The xx – Coexist

Marina and the Diamonds – Electra Heart

Alex Clare – The Lateness of the Hour

The Lumineers – The Lumineers

Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is an Animal

Imagine Dragons – Night Visions

Matchbox Twenty – North

P!nk – The Truth About Love

Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind (Part II Broken Down)

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

We arrived at JFK (my first time despite all of my travels) late Thursday morning. Not wanting to pay for a taxi we ventured on the AirTrain to Jamaica Station where Barbara somehow managed to get her suitcase handle stuck on the turnstile. After a bit of a struggle and some nasty glares from fellow travelers, she was able to free herself. The rest of our trip to Manhattan was thankfully uneventful. Our home for the weekend was the Chelsea Savoy Hotel.
Following check-in, finding sustenance was our top priority. Heading up 7th Avenue we stopped in at BRGR. With full stomachs, we continued uptown via the subway to visit the legendary Metropolitan Museum. Opting to spend less time in the main galleries we headed up to the roof to see Tomás Saraceno’s Cloud City. It was a cool exhibit and offered wonderful views of the city. Needing a moment to regroup, we returned to the hotel for a quick nap.
That evening we returned uptown for dinner and a show. Exiting the subway at Times Square we meandered around until we spotted a restaurant that looked interesting. Both being fans of Italian we hit up Nizza on 9th Avenue. I ordered the Caprese salad, thus starting the theme of the trip. Satisfied after our meal we strolled down 45th Street to the Minskoff Theatre to see The Lion King. [Side-note: Whenever Barbara and I travel anywhere, and The Lion King is an option, I will choose it.] The show, as usual, was incredible! Barbara being the expert ticket buyer she is snagged us front row seats of the mezzanine. This was the perfect spot for me being the shorty that I am. I don’t think I will ever not get goosebumps at the beginning of the Circle of Life. Our only complaint about the show was how incredibly cold it was in the theatre! We had to huddle under our jackets. We decided to end the night after the show and hopped on the subway back downtown to Chelsea.

En route to JFK
The Metropolitan Museum
Tomás Saraceno’s “Cloud City”
The Lion King
The Minskoff Theatre


Friday, September 21st, 2012

The day started out with a bagel in the hotel room. After getting ready, we made our way uptown to visit the MoMA. I had a lot of fun with this museum! The gift shop alone was entertaining. Barbara knows the best way to travel with me is to make sure I am fed every few hours – to Terrace 5 we went! We shared an order of lemon chickpea hummus and a quinoa salad. Our light and refreshing meal was enough to tide me over until our next stop. It was while munching on some pita, overlooking the Rockefeller Sculpture Garden and surrounding skyline, that I decided to call my mom and share where I was. This was a bit mean on my part because visiting the MoMA is on her bucket list. I just couldn’t wait to tell her how much she would love it!
Having our fill of art we set off towards 5th Avenue for some retail therapy. We hit up Uniqlo for some new leggings and then continued with some window shopping.
Our next stop as tourists was Rockefeller Center. We purchased tickets to go to the Top of the Rock and had some time to waste before it was our turn. Naturally, we decided food was in order. We went to the Italian café where I ordered a Caprese salad (surprise surprise!). I would highly recommend visiting the Top of the Rock if you want to see some incredible views of the city!
After being awed by the “concrete jungle” we journeyed to the Kate Spade flagship store where I splurge purchased a bon shopper tote. Being in such close proximity to Little Italy we couldn’t not visit the area! Luck was on our side because it turned out the annual San Gennaro Festival was taking place! We stopped into one of the many Italian restaurants and ordered a margarita pizza and a Caprese salad (shocking, I know!). On our way from the festival, I stopped and put a dollar on the statue while Barbara bought us some goodies.
When we arrived back to the hotel room we feasted on our desserts and tucked in for a nap. Later that night we headed back uptown to the Jacobs Theatre to see Once. It was a great show worthy of the Tony’s it has won! I adore the soundtrack. After the show, we stopped at Junior’s Deli for a slice of their famous cheesecake to go. We then battled our way back thru Times Square to call it a night.

Museum of Modern Art
Lunch at Terrace 5
View of the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock Observatory
View of Central Park from the Top of the Rock Observatory
Statue of San Gennaro
San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy
Once at the Jacobs Theatre
Junior’s Cheesecake
Times Square


Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Saturday was a lazy morning with a half a slice of cheesecake for breakfast. Yum! Our first stop of the day was a walk along the Highline. While picturesque, we didn’t find it to be as great as was advertised. The massive amount of people took away from its simplistic beauty. However, I would be willing to give it a second chance.

We cut our walk short and grabbed a taxi to the Chelsea Market. It is an impressive market, to say the least! Although I still think our Westside Market could give it some good competition (I might be a little biased). We decided to stop at a Privé sample sale. While I was impressed with the large selection of Free People merchandise, Barbara decided she needed a Jachs shirt in her life. We then set forth on our mission to find food for our picnic. Barbara chose a meal of cheese, vegetable quiche, and wine to go with our apples. I chose a slice of margarita pizza, a brownie from Witch Bakery and a bottle of coconut water.
We decided a taxi would be the easiest method of transportation to our destination. We arrived at the Conservatory Gardens in Central Park in no time. We settled on a bench in the North Meadow to feast. We were soon joined by two adorable labs, Hunter and Bear. These two were my introduction to NYC city dogs. Based on my observation of these two it seems the dogs in the city are so well behaved leashes are unnecessary and strangers have no problem with the dogs greeting them as they enter the park.
After we finished our lunch we headed out of the park and made our way on the subway downtown to 33rd street. We then strolled down 34th street making our way past Macy’s. A Starbucks stop was deemed necessary before heading to the Pennsylvania Hotel to wait for Meghan and Rebecca to arrive at Penn Station. Once the girls arrived we boarded the N train to Union Square park. After walking around the outdoor market we did some browsing at DSW before making our way to Brooklyn. Unfortunately, we were unaware of the weekend schedule change and that the F train was doing the A train route. After having to backtrack one stop we made it to our exit in Brooklyn. What is traveling without getting a little turned around? We settled on a small Italian restaurant named Almondo’s for dinner (I’ll give you one guess as to what salad I ordered!) After dinner we made our way for our true purpose in Brooklyn; to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. It was quite the walk and offered an exquisite view of the Manhattan skyline. We made it three-quarters of the way before the skies decided to open and we were caught in a down pour. We ducked into the subway at the end of the bridge, said our goodbyes to the girls, and headed towards Chelsea to end the night.

Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market
Picnic Spread
Central Park Conservatory Garden
View of the Freedom Tower from the Brooklyn Bridge

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Sunday morning started with a bagel in bed. Our first stop of the day was to be the World Trade Center. After discovering we needed tickets to see the memorial, we scheduled our reservation on our iPhone (yay technology!).
The next available tickets were in the afternoon so we decided to hit up the Guggenheim. On our way to the museum, we ended up walking next to Katie Couric and her daughter! We played it totally cool and gave them their personal space. Unfortunately, arriving at the Guggenheim, we discovered the ramp was in the middle of an exhibit change. After walking thru the open exhibits we hopped on the cross town bus and headed over to the Upper Westside. We jumped off the bus and entered Central Park for a walk to 72nd street where we saw the Dakota. It was about this time that we had to resume our search for food. We continued down Central Park West to 68th street where we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Joanne Trattoria. We were lucky enough to see Lady Gaga’s mom, Cynthia Germanotta on our way out!
We then headed back to towards Central Park and Strawberry Fields to visit John Lennon’s memorial. Making our way back to WTC, we strolled down a closed Columbus Square for a street festival. Barbara jumped on the opportunity to purchase some organic lavender lotion!
We walked to the WTC Place on Vessey Street to pick up our tickets and then made the pilgrimage down Church Street to the entrance of the memorial. The World Trade Center memorial is truly an emotional experience. The simplistic magnificence of the fountains where the two towers stood is an image to behold. It was almost as if the memorial was surrounded by a bubble it was so silent with everyone’s reverence.
We exited the memorial in search for a Starbucks and then took the E train back to the hotel. In a splurge and a state of exhaustion, Barbara decided we would take a taxi to JFK. We arrived at Terminal 5 with an hour until boarding. We checked our bags and then managed to stomach some airport food after days of feasting on some of New York City’s finest fare.

Guggenheim Museum
JoAnne Trattoria
Prosciutto Pizza at JoAnne
Imagine – John Lennon Memorial Strawberry Fields
Saved Tribute from 2001
1 World Trade Center
“Reflecting Absence” Memorial
September 11 Memorial
NYC Subway – The E Train
Subway Art


[previously posted on Blogger 7/2/15]


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