NFDI Travels: New York City
I've lost track of the number of times I've been to New York. Each and every time has been a completely different experience from the last, which is what makes this city so fascinating. There's never a dull moment. The majority of my visits have been work related and design focused which have been amazing in and of themselves. The design scene is fabulous whether in showroom, retail store, hotels, restaurants and architecture. The few personal trips to NYC have been filled with as much as possible within our stay however I always leave feeling as though I missed something. The truth is, you'll never see it all. There's just that much. That's the thing is though, New York City has magnetic capabilities which leaves you wanting to go back. So then you can see more :)
My most recent visit to NYC was a personal trip. A mother daughter weekend with best friends. So. Much. Fun. I saw New York through a different set of eyes, which I loved, and around every corner was a new photo opportunity for one social media platform or another for our teen girls to share their experiences on. I have to say I loved living vicariously through their lens.
While this trip had minimal involvement in design, there was still so much to be inspired by and embrace in this city that never sleeps. I thought I'd share a little insight into what we did, where we went and what we saw.
Manhattan Bridge/ DUMBO
There's a famous intersection in DUMBO with a fabulous view of the Manhattan Bridge. First of all DUMBO is a great little area of Brooklyn. I would have loved to spend more time here. There is also a famous pizza place likely worth the line that extended down the street however sadly we decided to move on. The corner of Front Street and Washington Street is the place to take the iconic photo with the Manhattan Bridge in the background. Have a walk around the area before heading back over to Manhattan. Lots of great shops and cafés.
Note: if you look closely you can see the Empire State Building perfectly positioned within the arches of the bridge. I'd love to know if this was planned!
Top of the Rock
I had been to the top of the Empire State Building during a previous visit which is a fabulous experience as well. It was pre 9/11 so the view of the World Trade Centre was incredible. The Empire State Building with it's Art Deco architecture is beautiful, and while it's visibility from the ground is quite prominent throughout the city, seeing it from higher ground is pretty spectacular. This is why visiting the observation deck of Rockefeller Centre is my recommendation. It's a breathtaking view of the city.
In all my visits I had never seen the Flatiron building and it was on my list this trip. I wasn't sure we were going to fit it in however we ended up walking alongside it without even knowing until I looked up. Wow! Not only is it a stunning building, the surrounding area includes Madison Square Park and the original Shake Shack which is always a great pit stop.
If you're into Broadway, I highly recommend Waitress. That's all. It's a must see!
Walk Central Park
New York City is a walking town and the best way to see the city. Walk a little or walk a lot. It's completely up to you. Inside Central Park is a Zoo, carousel, a restaurant, a museum, and a reservoir to name a few. You could really spend an entire day exploring the park. In mid April the trees were barely budding however the cherry blossoms where in full bloom. Gorgeous!
Walk the High Line
Once home to a railway that shut down in 1980, the High Line has been preserved and transformed into a public open space. With NYC known as the concrete jungle, green spaces are few and far between. This walk not only offers a sense of life and greenery, it boasts views of the city and the Hudson River. Extending over two kilometres there are areas to sit, stand, people watch and take in the scenery as you walk.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
I have to say this was a highlight and I'm thankful I did a little extra research the night before. Our initial plan was to make our way down to lower Manhattan and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge towards Brooklyn. However, what was suggested was to subway over to Brooklyn and walk across the bridge towards Manhattan so you can take in the view. Brilliant! It's very busy with both pedestrians and cyclists so be mindful as to which side you're on. The cyclists will make it known if you're in their way!
While the market itself was smaller than I anticipated it's charming aesthetic, warehouse vibe and plethora of grab and go eateries is the perfect stop before or after walking the High Line. I regrettably passed on the boozy milkshake stand as it was only 10am. Chelsea Market will be on my list again for my next trip.
I had not heard of Glossier prior to this trip. I'm out of the loop in the makeup scene and we weren't going to make this a priority to get to as it's a little off the beaten path. Just south and east of Soho, the Glossier showroom is located on the penthouse floor of a modest building. The attraction grabber is the line up to get in (worth the wait BTW), the exclusive ride up the elevator, and the party atmosphere once the doors open to the showroom. Glossier staff, dressed in pale pink jumpsuits, are on hand to assist you with any questions and the music is pumping. With list in hand proceed to the checkout counter where they'll compile your order packaged in the cutest clear pink bubble envelope. Love the details! And now I'm hooked on their product. The caveat is you can only purchase Glossier product online or at this NYC showroom so it's a great opportunity to give it a try in person. And it's fun too!
This was a last minute recommendation from open table and it sure didn't disappoint. Essentially I would go back again and that's always a good sign. Located on West Broadway on the edge of Soho it felt very local and the food was delicious. They have a focus on tea, however the food was delicious. Their tag line: "At Sanctuary T, tea is more than a drink, it's a lifestyle." Love it! (Image via Sanctuary T website)
Sullivan Street Bakery
Sullivan St. Bakery is a staple of midtown Manhattan. We stopped there on our way to Chelsea Market for a coffee and bite to eat. A little off the beaten path and very much worth it. The food was delicious and you felt a connection to the locals as they came in to pick up their daily bread.
Freehand, another boutique hotel option located on the east side is über chic in the most casual way. The Studio is the onsite restaurant that is fabulously good with a stylish design. It's North African and New East inspired menu is interesting and delicious. There's also a cheeky boutique in the hotel lobby if you're interested in some provocative product.
I had read about Nomo's highly Instagramable location and was happy to come across it for the photo opportunity as well as the interior design. It's a gorgeous hotel and stylish hot spot for locals and those who want to be 'seen'. We ended up sitting in the lounge for a cocktail and a snack as the restaurant was packed on a Saturday afternoon at 2.
Small and mighty are most New York City hotels rooms and this one was no exception. Our super stylish "dorm room" with four bunk beds was perfectly suited to individuals (rather than couples). Conveniently located in the Garment District, close to Times Square, Herald Square and the Theatre District, the Moxy was well appointed and comfortable. It did start to get a little crowed after a few days but I'll chock that up to the additional bags from our shopping endeavours.
While I have not stayed at Nomo Soho the overall vibe offers maximum cool factor with a subtly gorgeous entrance into the hotel and understated luxury in the lobby.
I will often read other blogs, websites etc. before going on a trip, even if I've been to the city before. There's always great insight from other people's experiences which is what I hope to share with this post too. If travel plans take you to the Big Apple anytime soon there's no shortage of things to do, see, eat and of course shop. This barely scratches the surface, however as mentioned, eventually this city will pull you back in so you can experience more.
New York City is always a good idea!
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Me and my girl in NYC.