Since the next line of that song is “I’m leaving today”, I guess I should have written this post a couple of days ago. Oops! Well, I didn’t, so I’m already in New York City. Surprise!
Yes, that’s right – we’re spending Memorial Day weekend in the Big Apple. We got here on Thursday evening and are staying until Monday morning, so we’ve already had a full day of roaming around the city (downtown) and we’re looking forward to seeing more of it over the next couple of days. Scott and I have both been here before, but I’ve only been once, so I’m far from an expert when it comes to NYC. Scott’s been here a few times and it’s really one of his favorite cities (if not his #1 favorite), so we figured it would be fun to take a trip here together. I’m pretty much always down for a trip, so here we are!
Okay, logistics. We had a standard Delta flight here, with nothing to write home about, other than the fact that we had to sit on the tarmac for about 15 minutes when we landed because our arrival gate was occupied. Also, our bags took forever to get to the carousel, so we both took advantage of Delta’s Bags On Time guarantee. Basically, if your bags don’t arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less from the time your domestic flight lands, you can get a credit of 2,500 Skymiles added to your account. We both filled out the webform linked above, but haven’t heard anything yet. I’m interested to hear if they follow through on this! In my experience, baggage isn’t normally a problem with Delta, but I’ll happily collect the extra Skymiles since it was in this case! We opted not to mess around with public transportation to get to/from the airport, so we requested an Uber, which arrived in minutes and had us to our Airbnb apartment in the West Village in less than an hour. As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of public transportation, but sometimes you just want to get where you’re going as quickly and directly as possible (especially when you’re just beginning or ending a trip). Your mileage may vary though, so go with what works for you. Just always plan enough time to reach your destination based on your mode of transport!
Upon arrival, we met our lovely host, who gave us the nickel tour of her small, yet comfortable apartment. Anyone who’s been to NYC knows how expensive it is to stay here, but we found a great deal on this apartment, which is in the neighborhood Scott wanted to be in. The West Village actually feels really residential and it’s easy to forget you’re in a huge city as you wander the streets lined with trees and row-homes. Although we did get to do a little strolling when we arrived on Thursday night, we knew we wouldn’t see much since it was already almost dark outside. So that first evening consisted of a bit of walking and dinner at Pizzetteria Brunetti, which is literally around the corner from our apartment. I definitely recommend it! We shared some delicious caprese salad (the mozzarella was super fresh) and then each had a pizza. We sat at the bar and that’s where everything is made and they have their wood-burning oven, so it was cool to see the whole process unfold.
Enter, Friday. We didn’t actually have a whole lot planned for this trip because we’ve both done the touristy things like the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock on previous trips. So we did some googling and came up with a plan to explore some of the downtown stuff on Friday and then move into other parts of the city today and tomorrow. We started off with breakfast (teetering on brunch – we never get too early of a start!) at Café Cluny, another place very close to us (after a quick stop at Juice Generation to get Scott his morning fix). It’s not a big place, but we didn’t have to wait for a table and we both enjoyed good food, a charming atmosphere, and friendly service. I’ve heard some celebs frequent this place sometimes, so who knows who you may run into!
After breakfast, it was all about walking through downtown. We meandered down West 4th Street, Bleecker Street, West Broadway, Prince Street in Soho, and eventually came to the World Trade Center, where we got a glimpse of the new NYC Freedom Tower. Unfortunately, the One World Observatory doesn’t open to the public for another week, so we weren’t able to see it. Although I’m sure it’s similar to other skyscraper views in the city, we would have done it if it had been open. Even though we didn’t see it, I would still recommend it the next time you’re in NYC!
After the World Trade Center, we continued on to City Hall Park and onward to the Brooklyn Bridge. We only walked about halfway across the bridge – far enough to get a few good pictures. There’s tons of pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the bridge, so keep that in mind if you’re going to go across it. While there is a lane for each, the traffic goes both directions in both lanes, so you’re walking with people going the same direction while also being passed by people walking back the other way and also having bicycles going past you and coming towards you. It wasn’t a problem for us, but could be for someone with limited mobility or who isn’t a fast walker.
By this point, we were a couple of miles from our apartment, but we figured we were on a roll in the walking department, so we decided to hoof it back. While you envision us doing that, enjoy some of the photos from our trip thus far.
The outside of our apartment. Cute building!
The small, but functional, kitchen.
Not the best bathroom we’ve been in, but still serviceable.
Okay, the bed isn’t the neatest, but I took this after we got up.
Our Friday breakfast location.
I really loved the doorway of this building.
Sign in front of some houses on West 12th Street. True words!
We haven’t used the subway, but I liked this subway entrance on Christopher Street.
You have to look UP a lot in this city!
Cool sculpture near the World Trade Center.
More looking up, this time at the NYC Freedom Tower.
The fountain in City Hall Park.
But first, let me take a selfie.
Looking back towards the NYC Freedom Tower on our walk home.
The very interesting ceiling in the Cubbyhole, where we had a few evening cocktails.
As you may have guessed from that last picture, we had a few cocktails later in the day! We stopped at both the aforementioned Cubbyhole and Julius’ because we wanted to experience some of the local gay culture. Both places were nice and laid-back and only accept cash, so if you’re card-carriers like we are, be sure to stop at the ATM first! Dinner was at another local place (right next to the pizza place, actually) called Móle. Although it was busy, we didn’t have to wait for a table, had a nice conversation with the couple sitting next to us, and enjoyed some really tasty food. We shared guacamole, a quesadilla, and some nachos and they were all really good (especially the guac – very fresh!). After such a full day, that’s why you got this first post today instead of yesterday. 🙂
Onwards to our next day in the Big Apple!