A New York Minute - What to eat, see and explore in NYC

nicki-new-york.gif

With teenage kids at home, I'm finding it easier to call "shot-gun" on a few of my husband's business trips where I have time to myself to explore and breathe in some new inspiration. 

Working from home has meant the world to me and my family, but I spend A LOT of time at home, and my creativity feeds off of new surroundings and inspiration.  So when the opportunity to spend 30 hours in NYC came up last minute last week, I packed an overnight bag and my nexus pass, filled the fridge with pizza and easy to make foods for the kids and off we went. 

Honestly, it wasn't that easy, as I agonize over every small detail of what they may need or want while I'm away, but they are responsible and independent teenagers, time for Mama to let-go... after all, my oldest will be at university this time next year.  I'll save how I feel bout that for another post...

NYC is one of my favorite cities of all time.  I love the atmosphere, the vibe, the energy and the people watching!!! I've been so many times that I can easily navigate the city and have my few fav spots that I just need to visit each time I'm there.

Here's a list of what I recommend from this trip to see, eat and explore to enjoy New York City.  In a New York minute, or 30 hours - give or take!

EAT

Coco and Cru for yummy, fresh Avocado Toast with a poached egg on top with a cup of fresh brew coffee gave me the energy to start hour one of my NY minute!

coffee nyc.jpg

I hadn't visited the Waterfall Plexiglass tunnel at the McGraw Hill building before and read about it, so I went to check it out and have to say, skip it!! It's very underwhelming and not worth the time.  Losing the 30 minutes or so that it took me to walk there, I found this beautiful lobster cart with the yummiest lobster rolls (they are about $19 a roll, but a great way to get some energy to continue exploring!

lobster roll.jpg

It was super fresh and just enough to hold me over until our dinner at the Spotted Pig that night!  Now if you haven't been to the village and explored, you need to put it on your list!! I'll get into that more when I talk about where to explore, but the Spotted Pig has to be one of my favorite places to eat when I'm in NYC.  I love really yummy, fresh and good quality food but don't love the atmosphere of most fine dining restaurants.  The Spotted Pig offers the cutest decor, and English Pub vibe, with some of the best tasting meals I've enjoyed.

They did receive a Micheline star for their burger, but now has been downgraded to a Bib Award.  Long story short, eat the burger and share the fries and enjoy the cozy vibe!

spotted pig life i design.jpg

While my husband devoured the burger, I enjoyed the black char avec gills and all! It again was fresh, flavourful and the texture was amazing!  It was also the first time I had succotash and now have to find a recipe to make my own! Their menu changes but that burger is a staple!

My last two places that I recommend for great food experiences are  Chelsea Market and Gansevoort Market. Chelsea Market offers a rally cool experience of everything from fresh lobster and seafood (if you can stand the smell of fish ... it's literally that fresh) to baked goods and coffee to artisan jewellery and home decor.  Yeah, not food, but it's one of my favorite spots to pick up a new pair of earrings or rings!! 

As for Gansevoort, it started off as a farmer’s market in the late 19th century and re-opened as a multi vendors market recently.  I had a Peruvian Ceviche Bowl and was so excited to devour it that I didn't snap a pic!!  It's a beautiful spot to eat, to enjoy a bit of a break from the busy city and there's something for everyone.  

WHAT TO SEE

We started this morning with a walk to Bryant Park and enjoyed a coffee and people watching.  It's a pretty spot but check out Washington Square and Madison Square Park and Washington Square Park for a quieter, people watching experience.  They are high on my list!

bryant park.jpeg

When exploring a city, walking is the best way to experience it as far as I'm concerned. The more I can walk, the better.  Sometimes I explore intuitively and have often discovered some amazing streets and shops this way.  If you haven't walked the Highline yet, I highly recommend it. 

It offers you to a new angle and vibe of the city as you explore beautiful old architecture and deco-style buildings.

highline nyc.jpg

I always hop on from the top of the city and walk south ending up at Chelsea Market for a bite to eat and to shop.  It really is a fun way to spend the morning and experience great views.

highline.jpg

Next up, I spent time exploring Greenwich Village.  It was a welcomed break from the summer smells and heat of the city.  Summer in NYC isn't my favorite time to visit to be honest.  The Village offers peace and tranquility and lots of gorgeous shops, streets and buildings to explore.  Soho is another area that I love but didn't get time to visit this trip.  

the village.jpg

I happened upon the Friend's Apartment building while I was wandering the streets.

friends.jpg

I followed a small walking tour group for a bit to listen in on the history of the buildings and people who lived in them.  I've made a note to self to book a walking tour when I'm in the city next.

flowers of nyc.jpg

We stayed at the Hotel Hayden and enjoyed it! It's fairly new boutique hotel, the rooms were clean and the staff were great. They have a roof-top bar -  the views aren't great but it offered us a spot to enjoy a few cocktails and laughs.  Although the construction on the street made for long waits for Ubers, it's in the heart of the flower market.  I drooled and swooned over every massive bouquet that we passed each time we walked passed.  Just look at these bouquets!!  I wish I could have taken one home with me!

new york novel.jpg

I popped into a few book stores during this trip and this novel made it home with me.  I have just started reading it but am already in love with the writing! It's historical fiction and tells the story of how New York was settled by the Dutch and references major events through the years, even including the tragic events of September 11th.  I intend on taking my time with this one.

So there you have it!!

My New York Minute highlights!  If you've been to NYC a few times and want to stay way from the touristy experience the city has to offer, I recommend walking, exploring and visiting a few "not-so-popular" spots.  I hope they inspire you and fill-you-up a little like they did for me!