Friday, April 22, 2016

Travelogue: New York

  I always love visiting New York. There's an energy there that makes it hard for me to even sleep, there's so much going on! This is by no means a comprehensive list of places to go in New York but if you've never been there it may give you some ideas you hadn't thought of. Links are included below. Just click on anything underlined.

Above is my "flatlay" of our NY trip. I'll use it as a quick guide to some great things to do when in NYC.

• Museums: We saw three: the Tenement Museum, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art You can't go wrong with any of these but the Tenement Museum was so unique and memorable.  They offer so many different tours of what life was like for new immigrants around the turn of the century that I feel like I could go back several times and see something new every time. Led by well-informed guides, you'll be led into an actual tenement that was frozen in time in 1935. You'll find out about the actual families that lived in that building, their struggles, and successes in finding a new life in America. 

• Apple crumb pie: Who doesn't love pie? I had apple pie in two places-the Bar Next Door in the West Village and take out from Cafe European. For sheer ambience, go to the Bar Next Door. Tucked under a brownstone, you almost miss it but once you walk in and tuck into a cozy booth, you'll never want to leave. It feels like you're in a pub in England. This club only seats around 25 people, but somehow they fit a small jazz band in the corner. Candles light the place. Did I say it was cozy?

• Jazz clubs: We went to four. In order, the Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Lambs Club, and the Bar Next Door. There's no way to compare the four of these as they all offer something different and completely wonderful. At the Blue Note, we walked in 10 minutes before showtime at 10:20 on a Sunday night and were led to a table right in front to see the amazing John Scofield. Crowded but awesome experience.  For Jazz at Lincoln Center, there are 3 clubs to choose from but we were in the jaw dropping Appel Room. (I have to say here that we were there to watch our son and his college jazz band perform so it was extra special to us but no matter, that room would be incredible just sitting empty.) Imagine standing in front of a 3 story high glass wall overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park as the sun goes down. If you're in the mood for a high priced drink and some cool jazz in a beautiful setting, try the Lambs Club. The Art Deco interior is worth the price of admission. See previous bullet point for description of Bar Next Door.

•Restaurants: We went to at least thirteen. And don't worry, I'm not going to list them all. But here are a couple of my faves that I always try to visit. El Quijote-located in the ground floor of the Chelsea Hotel, I LOVE this place for it's dimly lit kitschy decor, waiters with old world manners, and wonderful Spanish food. If you're near the High Line, go to Pepegaillo on 10th Ave. Cozy, funky, eclectic decor with a friendly waitstaff and great Italian food at excellent prices. They even have an entire gluten-free menu too. 

• Miles Walked: Twelve (at least). Wear comfortable shoes. Enough said.

• Steps Climbed: 600. This is a conservative estimate. Again, consider footwear carefully.

• Iced Coffees: Nine or so. Best one was at Underline Coffee under the High Line.

• Subways taken: 16. Don't be afraid of the subway in New York. We had several people ask us if we needed help (which we did). This happens every time I'm there-locals go out of their way to help tourists use the transit system. Just ask someone if it doesn't make sense. Soon people will be asking for YOUR help (and we were able to help after just 3 days there)

• Photos Taken: 465 or so. And I'm going to show you all of them here! Just kidding...relax. In future posts I'll share some that I hope will inspire you like they did me.

•Bus Trips Taken: 23.When you compare the cost of Ubering or cabbing everywhere in NYC, there's just no comparison to taking their always available transit system. I was always skittish about transferring to the bus from the subway or vice versa and like Hilary, I had to swipe my Metro Card about 6 times the first time I used it but soon it was no big deal. In my opinion, you meet more people and get the feel of the city when you use their transit system too.

• Cannoli eaten: Last but not least--I only ate 2 cannoli this time around in NY, but I could've eaten 3 a day. You can find them everywhere it seems, but the best one I had was at Carlo's Bakery near Times Square. The crispy shell was just that-crispy, even though is was covered in thick dark chocolate. The filling was simply yummy. Carlo's got even more popular after appearing on the show Cake Boss, but their popularity is well deserved. They have at least 11 locations now.

John Scofield at the Blue Note

El Quijote restaurant (photo credit:

KU Jazz Band with Deborah Brown at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center

Bar Next Door (photo credit:

Dining Room at the Lambs Club

NYC blue sky view from 43rd and 8th Ave

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