“So maybe it won’t look like you thought in high school, but it’s important to remember that love is possible. Anything is possible. This is New York.” -Carrie Bradshaw
I have finally crawled out of my post-New York City depression to be able to share my wonderful trip to the Big Apple [tbh still don’t understand why it is called this]. My mom invited me on a 5-day trip to New York so I mean… I guess… sounded like it could be fun.
The last time I visited NYC, I was in about the 3rd or 4th grade, so I was going into this trip with fresh eyes, an open mind, and a jammed packed itinerary [seriously, I wrote up an hour-by-hour itinerary, so hit me up if you want it]. I wanted to share what I did; from the food I ate, to the classic tourist things, and everything in between.
I do want to thank my mom for flying me out to New York so that we could enjoy the city together!
As soon as we arrived, we knew we needed a drink. Our friend Silvia took us to this cute place called Pocion Lounge which was a vegan bar and lounge. There motto is “Healing with Booze + Natural Bites”. SIGN ME UP. This place was so cute! It was decorated with neon lights and floral arrangements . I had a margarita served in a science beaker which was everything a science major could ask for in this life. The menu was filled with vegan bites and exquisite cocktails. Definitely a hidden gem in the Washington Heights.
Ludlow Coffee Supply
We woke up bright and early to the questionable smell of the city. What was the first thing on my mind when I woke up? Well, coffee of course! We had a mini-spa day planned in the Lower East Village so we hopped on the subway and walked around to find coffee and breakfast. We stumbled across Ludlow Coffee Supply, a cute coffee shop! I got an iced almond milk latte and avocado toast. The toast was pretty standard and the latte was creamy and strong in all the right ways.The vibes in this shop were everything I did not know I needed, and I wouldn’t mind if my next apartment looked like this coffee shop. Decorated with record players, plants, and wooden accents; this was a place I could see myself writing a blog post or catching up with a friend if I lived in this city.
I first learned about Chillhouse by watching Refinery29 videos and really wanted to go. I wanted to do something really nice for my mom so I booked her a 50 minute The Works massage and the Full Rodeo manicure. She said the massage was great and the mousse hit all the right spots. I chilled around the lobby while my mom got her massage. Then, I went in for a Tier 2 Gel Manicure, which obviously meant I had to get an intricate design. I went with the Discoteca nail design, and I am still in love with my nails. I got to pick my own colors, and even though it’s been about two weeks, the nails still look brand new. I also should give a special shout-out to the staff because our appointment was running about 5 minutes late. I didn’t even notice, but they felt bad about it and got us free drinks! A++ service.
World Trade Center
After a relaxing morning, we headed to Tribeca to visit the World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. I didn’t take many pictures, but all I’ve gotta say was the museum was absolutely beautiful and definitely worth checking out if you ever find yourself in NYC.
Then, came my favorite part of the trip: heading to DUMBO, Brooklyn. This was not something I had on the itinerary, but it was one of those instances that the best times are always unplanned. We took a ferry down to Dumbo. Taking a ferry across the Hudson River is officially my favorite form of transportation, and Chicago needs to get with the upgrade [I’m actually sure there is some kind of water taxi…]. We walked around the port and hung out by the cliffs to watch the sunset. ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL. Couples were taking engagement pictures and dogs were splashing around in the water; I could see why Dan Humprey never wanted to leave Brooklyn. Next trip, I want to dedicate more time to have dinner in Brooklyn, so I will definitely be returning. The night ended with a ferry trip through the Hudson River, which took us back to Manhattan.
What the itinerary stated: Go to Strawberry Fields in Central Park then go to Plaza Hotel
How the day went: Took a $140 bike tour around Central Park, stop to have a mini photoshoot with your tour guide, and an hour and a half later actually see Strawberry Fields.
I know this sounds like the most tourist thing in the world and quite pricey, but I’m so glad we did it. I got to see so much more of the park than I originally intended. I also got to learn so much about the history of the park from different TV and film trivia, as well as all the activities that go on year round. Plus, our tour guide was such a sweetheart. Definitely one of those “say yes to the adventure” moments.
The Shops at the Plaza Hotel
Okay, I told you this got pretty touristy, but the going to the Plaza Hotel has been a dream of mine, ever since I first saw Eloise at Christmastime (one of my all-time favorite movies). I’ve always said [well tweeted] that I will one day stay at the plaza hotel. Unfortunately, non-guests can’t technically enter the lobby of the Plaza. Instead, we went down to the shops and enjoyed a glass of rosé at 2 PM, paired with mini donuts from The Doughnuttery. The Doughnuttery has a few locations around New York City and has a bunch of unique and delicious flavors from fruit cereal donuts, which is one I had to chai tea donut flavors! They were honestly so good, I ate them before I could photograph them.
The Sex and the City Tour
When my mom first booked our trips my mom had one request; to go on a Sex and the City Tour. How could I say no to that? She booked our tickets through On Location Tours and got us premier seats. This was a great way to see many parts of New York and to see where one of my favorite shows’ was filmed. We stopped for New York pizza, got to see Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop, and drank Cosmos [we are bringing Cosmos back ladies, get your Tito’s ready]. I don’t want to give too much away, because it is definitely an experience you want to live out. I also was thriving off the fact that I was probably the youngest person there and knew most of the answers to the trivia questions.
If you are a fan of the four fiercest women who lived in Manhattan in the early 2000’s, this tour is for you.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle Coffee was high on the list of top things to do in the city. I had seen this coffee shop all over Instagram and needed to experience the hype for myself. And, would I really be Cafecito in Chicago if I didn’t try some of the best coffee the city had to offer? Blue Bottle is only in select cities, but all over New York City, making it super accessible in NYC. Once my “6 PM I need caffeine crash” came along, I figured this was the perfect time to try it. This espresso was STRONG, let me tell you. I had an almond milk latte which kept me going for the last few hours of the day. Bonus: they used MALK almond milk in the latte so I knew the ingredients were clean and legit.
Located in the Upper West side, we decided to go to this cute health-conscious restaurant. The menu had a had a variety of gluten-free and vegan options, as well as grass-fed, free-range meats. This was my kind of heaven. I started with a gin-based drink called The Herbalizer and a Fresh Black Linguine with Seafood, both of which were FREAKING AMAZING. The seafood was so fresh and delicious, making it natural that the whole plate was gone in under 15 minutes. If you are more restricted when going out to eat, from either health or dietary reasons, I would definitely recommend Spring Natural Kitchen. It truly has something for everyone.
Jack’s Wife Freda
I had planned a whole trip to SoHo around eating brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda. This cute brunch spot lived up to the hype. The space was quite small for how popular it was, but we got there at the right time to score a table with no wait time. This food lived up to the hype. I got the Madame Freda, and I am still dreaming of it to this day. I mean the egg was on TOP of the sandwich, life-changing!
SoHo + Chelsea Market
I categorize these two together because they both were great places for shopping and dining. SoHo had every store you could imagine for shopping, and the Chelsea Market was filled with cute shops and tons of restaurants. My favorite part of the Chelsea Market had to be all the rooms that featured so many different kinds of local vendors. The vendors sold anything from custom bags to jewelry, candles, and art prints.
If you know me, you know I love a good rooftop bar. We ventured around the Flatiron District, going to a couple of rooftops.
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
This was definitely a spot to be on a Sunday night in the city. The bar had a glamorous lounge surrounded by windows that created a breathtaking view of the whole city. Then, we headed upstairs to the rooftop, which displayed another breathtaking view of the city. The atmosphere was very chic. Also, no rooftop experience is complete without a $12 frosé.
Top of the Strand
Located in the Marriott Vacation Club, this rooftop had a calmer vibe than the last place. What made this place so unique were there signature crafted cocktails that all looked so delicious. We got to try a bourbon cocktail, which is something I usually don’t go for, but it was smokey and delicious. A great way to end the night!
SoulCycle-East 83rd Street
Did you really think I was going to visit New York and not ride at SoulCycle? I rode with Junior at 10:30 AM and let me just say one of his walk-in songs was Burnin’ Up by the Jonas Brothers. From that point forth, I knew I was in the right room. I always enjoy a ride at SoulCycle and I love being able to do one of my hobbies in another city. Who should I ride with the next time I’m in NYC?
New York City was just a wonderful time, and I honestly fell harder for the city then I could have imaged. I can’t wait to go back!
Are you an NYC lover? What places do I have to visit when I go back? Let me know!
Will this Cafecito in Chicago one day become Cafecito in New York? That’s one secret I’ll never tell…