Monday, October 28, 2013

New York City Day Trip

Last Monday, October 21st, I had the buona fortuna of visiting New York City with my girlfriends J and C in order to celebrate J's 30th birthday. We had such a great time...

We found this 30th birthday cake in a clothing store window.

We took the discount express bus service called megabus from Baltimore (specifically White Marsh; the stop is behind the Ikea and near the mall) to the city center bus stop located at 7th Ave. and W. 28th St. Unfortunately, the wifi was down, but since we departed before sunrise, I'm sure most on the bus were at least half asleep anyway. On the way, I started reading the Kindle book, Sister Mother Husband Dog: Etc. by Delia Ephron. I saved it for this occasion since it was written by a New Yorker. I love traveling with my lightweight Kindle!

First, we walked 3 blocks over to the High Line which is a new park, a trail really, that lines an old railroad for some sightseeing and pictures.

See the railroad tracks lining the walkway.

Behold the public art.

I love a city skyline.

We strolled down the High Line about a dozen blocks in the sunshine, before exiting to visit the indoor marketplace Chelsea Market for coffee and breakfast. Unlike Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market which is one large room containing stalls, this market is more maze-like hallways snaking around stores.

While there, I enjoyed a cappuccino and delicious and oh-so-flaky pain au chocolat from Amy's Bread.

We explored the market that was decorated for Halloween including browsing its Anthropologie. Next, the birthday girl stopped at Starbucks across the street from the market. It seemed to be the thing to do as many others accessorized with a Starbucks cup. After caffeinating, we walked around just a bit waiting for 11:00 AM, which is opening time for the store Second Time Around for some thrift shopping. This is one third of the size of the Philadelphia location I love and full of more expensive designer pieces. We exited the store empty-handed.

After that, we got out nails done at Fresh Spa. I loved my manicure with OPI's Dutch Tulips.

We browsed through the internationally-known clothing store H&M and a travel/foreign language book shop called Idlewild Books, which I adored! They also have language classes in the back. I didn't purchase anything (but have read so much of their inventory already! After seeing it in this store, I actually purchased the newly published Forever Chic: Frenchwomen's Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance by Tish Jett, the blogger behind A Femme d'Un Certain Age, on my Kindle yesterday).

Being tourists, we took pictures of the Flatiron building while looking around for a place to eat lunch.

We decided on an American sports bar/restaurant named Rogue. I loved my spicy and messy yet delicious pulled pork sandwich.

We passed a toy store/child care center that piqued our interest and checked it out. J may even order some Christmas gifts for her three sons she found there online.

I made them backtrack so I could quickly stroll through the Italian complex Eataly. At the entrance, I took advantage of a photo opportunity in a green, white and red painted throne. I also indulged in a small cup of absolutely decadent and delicious cioccolato gelato.

After that, we survived a cab ride arriving at our destination: Times Square. The more open spaces were blocked off with construction, but we still managed to take pictures of the scene and ourselves standing in the crowded sidewalks. Seeing this, my two girlfriends announced that they really felt like they were in New York now. I probably had that moment when I found that I was covered with croissant crumbs that morning, momentarily mesmerized by my European-style breakfast pastry, reminding me of a few I've savored in Italy. I remarked that croissants just don't do that back at home (in the suburbs).

Walking towards Macy's, we stopped in a touristy store for some I heart New York merchandise. They purchased gifts while I picked up some postcards. We browsed the shoe department at Macy's. I even tried on the pair of tall black boots by Nine West that I've had on my wishlist. Then, we ate slices of New York-style pizza at the counter of a random corner place on the way back to the bus stop. Unable to find a nearby bakery for a slice of layer cake or a cupcake for the birthday girl, we settled for a large food/convenience store that sold some baked goods from neighborhood places. Think the very New York black-and-white cookie. I bought a huge chocolate chip cookie half dipped in chocolate. I enjoyed a couple of bites on the bus ride back (but mainly it was a very nice accompaniment to my coffee the next morning for breakfast, still soft).

We liked the "New Yorker" sign. 
This was taken just outside the store where we bought those baked goods.

Even though we were very tired, J and C still stopped at my apartment so we could toast J's 30th birthday with flutes of champagne.

We basically followed my itinerary, produced from hours of (happy) research. I didn't expect this, but this was my friends' exciting first time in the city and they happened to look to me as tour guide. Since I am a traveler, I was happy to both formulate a plan that tended towards the girly and the touristy and figure out and lead the way. Furthermore, I enjoy being a good gift-giver and it was nice that I could use my talent to make my friend's big birthday celebration memorable. I probably did a pretty good job. All of us had fun. ...and can hardly wait to go back!


  1. Hi Michelle, your New York trip sounds like it was so much fun! Your nails look so nice and you've inspired me to try some color on my nails too! Thanks for sharing your special trip - I hope to visit New York in the springtime. How are you enjoying the book by Delia Ephron?

    1. Hello! Thank you! Have a blast on your trip!

      I liked the book. It was funny and at times insightful. I had read a chapter (Bakeries) that was excerpted before the book came out and that was my favorite part. I thought I would like it since I enjoyed her sister Nora's book "I Feel Bad About My Neck." I recommend it.

    2. Thank you for the book recommendation!