Travel, United States

Our Journey in: New York, New York

For today and tomorrow, I am working from home.  Why?  My knee is sprained.  How? Apparently too much movement in the bitter cold.

The hubs and I traveled to New York last week, and the weather was in the 30s-40s all week.  Quite a change considering it was in the upper 70s at home.  We actually managed to see snow fall on the first night which was oh-so-magical.  Snowing in New York?  Love it.

You can see the snow blowing in the wind from the top of the Empire State Building.
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We accomplished a lot of sight-seeing on this trip.  It was unreal how much stuff we still didn’t get the chance to see!  We probably saw more than we really should have though… hence the knee sprain.  I wish I could say I did something cool to cause the injury, but all I can recall is walking a lot, using a lot of stairs to get to and from the subway, and abnormally cold weather for myself.  Mind you, I sit for most of the day when I’m at work, so my lack of physical activity could’ve been the culprit.  Now, I rest.  Next week, I sign up for yoga.

Anyway, per the usual we took a red eye in to New York to try and make up for the fact that we lose 3 hours flying East.  We freshened up, found a few good eats (Shake Shack, anyone?), and went to the Natural History Museum.  Luckily, it was pretty sunny our entire trip there!  We like to think we brought that California sunshine with us…

Shake Shack | 366 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Natural History Museum | Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024

After that, I recall us squeezing in a nice little nap, then somehow went into SuperTourist mode.  It was nearing dinner time, so we headed out to the famous Gray’s Papaya (if you’ve seen Fools Rush In, you know what I’m talking about), then discovered Times Square (packed but incredibly surreal), tried the Nuts 4 Nuts cart, watched the snow fall on top of the Empire State Building, soaked in Grand Central Station, then went to Eataly to have a late night beer at La Birreria. We didn’t waste a minute!

Gray’s Papaya | 2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
Times Square | Manhattan, NY 10036
Empire State Building | 350 5th Ave, New York, NY 10118
Grand Central Station | 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
La Birreria | Rooftop, 200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010




The following day was a little more paced.  We took a stroll through Central Park and headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we had to wait in line to get in because we got there too early.  Our fingers and toes were ready to fall off in the cold, but we managed to survive while chowing down on some Gyros at a nearby cart.  That museum is amazing, though.  I’m so glad that we got to see it.  It’s unreal how big it is and how diverse the art is.  That evening, we met with my husband’s cousins who live in New Jersey for dinner in NY’s Chinatown.  We also got to try black sesame ice cream at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory which far exceeded my expectations.
Metropolitan Museum of Art | 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory | 65 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013



By day 3, my knee was beginning to hurt.  I sucked it up for most of the day, but towards the end, we went to a shop to get me a knee brace.  We did manage to get a lot fit in — the 9/11 Memorial to pay our respects, Cafe Gitane to try the highly anticipated coffee and avocado toast, Brooklyn to walk the bridge and also placed a lock on a fence a la Lover’s Bridge in France, High Line to people watch, Top of the Rock to see a grand view of the city in the daytime, and dinner at Ippudo to spend some time with my husband’s high school friends that had moved to NY (Pretty good ramen, btw.  I mean, for $16 a bowl, it better be).

9/11 Memorial | 180 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007
Cafe Gitane | 242 Mott St, New York, NY 10012
Brooklyn Bridge | Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY
High Line | Manhattan’s West Side (see site for access points)
Top of the Rock | 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
Ippudo | 321 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019 (2 locations)



Phew, can you believe we fit that all in 3 days??  Oh, but wait!  There’s more!  Day four was made complete with – Circle Line Tours to pay a visit to Lady Liberty, Rice to Riches thanks to watching the movie Hitch, Soho for more people watching, Washington Square Arch to enjoy some street performers, Shake Shack (again!), Majestic Theatre for Phantom of the Opera which was phenomenal, good ol’ NYC Pizza at Johns’ because it came more recommended by locals than other pizza spots, and some time at Rockefeller Center’s Ice Rink just to soak it all in.

Circle Line Tours | 83 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
Rice to Riches | 37 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Washington Square Park | 5 Ave, Waverly Pl., W. 4 St. and Macdougal St.
Majestic Theatre | 245 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
John’s Pizza | 260 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036



For our last day in New York, we actually had only a few hours to spare before heading out to the airport.  My college friend had moved out to NY and works with ABC.  We had a quick brunch then she showed us the set of The Chew where she works.  It was awesome getting some behind-the-scenes looks at the set and all the people involved in the production of the show.  Definitely one of the highlights (Thanks, Christine!).

Three things if you’re planning to visit:

  1. We are avid CityPASS users.  If you do not know what CityPASS is, it is such a great deal for travelers looking to hit the main tourist attractions for a great price.  Here’s the direct link to the New York CityPASS.
  2. We probably only used a cab twice during this trip; other than that, we utilized the famous subway system.  I have to add — it’s pretty awesome.  It takes a little while to get used to, but it’s highly recommended, especially if you want to get a better feel of what it’s like to live in this amazing city.
  3. We stayed at The Excelsior hotel which had a grand view of Central Park and the Natural History Museum.  The location was perfect (and so was the price point).  The rooms were a bit small from what we’re used to, but it was definitely not a big deal. Clean and great service.

Can’t wait to go back one day.  We had a lot of fun bundling up and enjoying a bit of the chill that the East Coast experiences (us Californians consider this fun if it’s only temporary), but I would like to go back in the springtime when Central Park is looking lively.  I love the culture and the history that NY consistently offers — but next time, I’ll probably be wearing running shoes the entire trip 🙂

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