Friday, February 8, 2013

NYC Part 1

In mid January my daughter surprised me with a trip to New York City.  Neither of us had visited before so our wish list of course was a Manhattan mile long.  What a fabulous five days it was!

We arrived on a Sunday evening, after an efficient, 39.00 cab ride from LaGuardia to midtown.  We checked in to the the Roosevelt Hotel, with a traditional large gracious lobby and tidy but smallish rooms.  I got my first taste of sticker shock at the hotel bar with a 17.00 martini.  While Caroline ducked out to the rest room I struck up a conversation with two ladies and by the time she returned they had our evening mapped out.  Stepping outside the hotel and looking up was my first real view of the vertical enormity of the city.

Grand Central Station was only a block or so from our hotel and we found it deserted at 9pm on a Sunday, a great time to take in the view of the gorgeous restoration funded by Jackie O.
The the Campbell Apartment is a salon bar tucked in the mezzanine level of the station and could be missed without really looking.  We had appetizers and were tucked back in our room by 11:00.

We had agreed that a great way to see the city and get our bearings was on a bus tour.
Day one, we walked to Times Square and got our tickets with Grayline Bus Tours for 65.00 each which included uptown, downtown and Brooklyn tours as well as discounted tickets for MOMA.  

Our tour guide was an animated native New Yorker and was a fountain of information on the gentrification of certain parts of the city.  We had an impromptu dash tour of St. John the Divine cathedral.

Caroline, a labor and delivery nurse at HCMC really appreciated the beauty of this more recent stone column adornment to the main entrance.  From our uptown tour we hopped off at the south east side of Central Park and went for coffee and decadent dessert at Serendipity.  Right next door was an antiques store, Venfield which offers over the top opulence in Hollywood regency decor and lighting.  It was, I must say, my one and only venture into any sort of antiques shopping and certainly not junking!

We hiked the twenty or so blocks back to our hotel, recouped and had a sumptuous meal that night in the Flatiron district at Junoon.  The atmosphere, service and food was excellent and a surprise as this was a pre-paid Groupon deal.  We had appetizers, wine, entrees and dessert for 69.00 for the two of us.

Tuesday, was our outing to Brooklyn and our tour and lunch at Etsy headquarters...worthy of a follow-up post.  Wednesday was museum day and a day for a walk in Central Park.

We packed 2 museums, a rainy day bus tour through Little Italy, lower town Manhattan, a yoga class in Astoria, and dinner with friends from New Jersey.  Andrea Cianflone, a NYC transplant from Shakopee was nice enough to meet us back in Midtown.  Check out her lung capacity!!!

For the last 2 nights, Caroline had booked in at the TrumpSoho.  This kind of hotel experience was quite frankly off of my radar, but what a treat!  All of NewYork seemed to welcome us arms wide open and we were treated equally at the Trump.
This was the view from our guest room and bathroom at night...Incredible.

Guest service sent complimentary birthday cakes to our room and I was happy to oblige in the birthday hat that made the grade: (see previous post)