I loved the hotel where we were staying, but they charged for their WiFi and I had an online class presentation to complete. Just one block from the hotel was this place:
It is the Turkish version of Central Perk I think. I felt very “New York” walking down the street, laptop bag in hand, headed to the local cafe like, “No big deal, guys. I do this all the time.” We had breakfast there and the food was really good. I had spinach pie and mom had a bagel and Turkish coffee. Perfect way to start the day. I ended up being there for over 2 hours..
They are right across the street from Central Park, so if you happen to have someone unfortunate enough to be stuck waiting around while you do school work, at least they will have somewhere to go. The place is surprisingly busy! There was a nice mix of tourists chatting excitedly amongst themselves about their plans for the day and locals who came just to hang out and read the paper.
So if you are in need of some WiFi, or just want a good local breakfast with strong coffee, check this place out! Good food and great hospitality.
By perfect I mean, most of us are not Donald Trump, so finding a place that won’t break your bank and where you don’t have to share a bathroom with some smelly college kids is a pretty good challenge. Astor on the Park is just like it sounds, right on Central Park! The staff was very friendly, the rooms were clean and NO SMELLY COLLEGE KIDS!
The interior was very modern, and seemed like it was recently remodeled.
Like I said, small but very clean. You could get up in the morning and walk right into central park or over to Manhattan Valley and eat at the local Whole Foods Market (My favorite!). There is a Subway line that runs right along the Park, so you’re only about a block from one of the main Subway lines. I would definitely stay there again, but if anyone has any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
On our recent trip to NYC, my mom and I discovered just how much we are nancies about the cold. After nearly turning into Popsicles on our first night there, our mission the next morning became finding better coats. There is an area near Morningside Heights, and near my bagel shop, that has three or four really good second-hand stores that are all within one block of each other. One is a fancy store that only re-sells expensive brand name clothes (It’s a bit pricey) and the others were the usual Salvation Army/Church types. Our coat prayers were answered in church… well below the church building, in their thrift store…
A whole wall of $5 coats!
This one was my favorite, but it was a little big. 100% wool though and so warm!
Then there was the leather jacket for anyone that wants to look like an extra from The Matrix..
There was also a TERRIBLE ’80s coat that was purple and hand enormous shoulder pads, I lost the picture of that one though sadly.. I didn’t really need a coat anyway, but my mom definitely did. She found this one… She loves having her picture taken…
Also 100% wool and made in America. Perfect for New York, but not so much for Florida. Because she only paid $5 for it, she was able to leave it behind for someone else to use! No trying to somehow stuff that thing into our luggage. No guilt in wasting the money since it was so cheap AND you get to help more people by re-donating the coat! Win-Win-Win.
My experience in New York City is limited to about 2 weeks, so I’m far from trying every bagel shop and being able to say which one is the best. I AM able to tell you that if you try the Absolute Bagel shop, you won’t be disappointed. Judging by their four square reviews, I’m far from the only one with this opinion. It’s located right on Broadway near Morningside Heights and Columbia University. This is also right where the M60 bus starts, which is the one you can take to the airport.
You can sit outside and people watch when the weather is good. People watching happens to be one of my favorite travel activities and where can you do that better than in NYC? But when it’s chilly like my last visit, they also have cozy seating inside…
The bagel variety is quite impressive and the people are really nice… as long as you know what you’re doing. New Yorkers don’t like to wait. First you go to the farthest counter and select you type of bagel, the everything is always a safe bet. Next they toast it for you, and lastly, once it’s toasted you tell them the type of spread. If you do this out of order, they get kind of fussy, but it all adds to the New York experience. Floridians like me aren’t used to rushing, so the intensity of it all is very amusing.
They have about every type of spread you can imagine..
Strawberry, Blueberry, Onion and Chives, Pimento, Lox and my favorite the Sun-Dried Tomato..
It really lives up to the NY bagel hype. It’s a small hole in the wall place, so it’s easy to miss, but it’s well worth finding!
Anyone have other recommendations?
Just a little design inspiration from NYC…
The High Line Park in Chelsea… LOVED this place, and found it by accident! It’s an old, above ground railroad line that they’ve turned into a park. The whole place was blooming, Absolutely gorgeous.
A locksmith in Little Italy… who wouldn’t want a sweater for their padlock?
Seriously though, where do I get one?
Urban Barbed Wire..
When I have my own kitchen, I think I need a wall like this…
New York. Effortlessly chic..
New York is famous, in part, because of the diversity that can be found in one city. You can find people, food and textiles from almost every corner of the earth. The same thing applies to the pets! You’ll see every shape and size walking around those busy city streets. There’s the little bull-dog waiting outside the butcher shop in Chelsea…
Who gets a little sleepy sometimes…
Or the long haired beauty at the farmers market… If you got it flaunt it, right?…
And his cute buddy with the candy corn teeth…
In Central Park you can find doggies taking skate board lessons..
And taking in the sunshine…
On top of all the actual dogs walking around the Big Apple, there is also plenty of pet photography
Custom doggy paintings…
and other miscellaneous puppy paraphernalia…
Despite the city being mostly a big pile of cement and metal, it is actually surprisingly pet friendly!
Times Square is amazing. You don’t have to have a plan… or buy anything… or do anything… Just BE there. Watch the people, see the sites and take it all in. There are so many families, school groups and couples from every corner of the earth all congregating in that small square in New York City. It’s sort of the Cliff Notes version of the ethnicities of the world. What better way is there to take in all those sights than while drinking a warm drink and snacking on delicious mini cupcakes?
The place is called Baked by Melissa and it’s just a few blocks away from Times Square so it’s easy walking distance. They have so many flavors and the prices are really good!
They are barely bigger than a quarter, so if you get a twelve pack and split it with someone it’s pretty guilt free. C’mon! You’re on vacation. Calories don’t count!…
So grab a chai…
And head to Times Square…
On day one of our itinerary-less trip to New York City, we were walking to breakfast surrounded by a bunch bland apartment buildings until there was a clearing for a small park. That’s when we saw it, looking down from the hill across the park where it sits in all it’s spired and stained-glass glory. Just like that, we had an itinerary….
Choirs were there rehearsing for a competition over the weekend so the beautiful halls were filled with music that was equally stunning.
There was a small monument in a side hallway to commemorate the 9/11 attacks and those that we lost. I don’t know if it was the surreal music ringing through the hall that made it so moving, but it was the most touching memorial that I had ever seen.
The top half is that of a woman, and the bottom box has a piece of the World Trade Center inside of it. It was just completed in 2012 by Meredith Gang Bergmann..
There are also several mini-chapels in the back of the building, each with a different theme and purpose..
The whole thing is in the middle of a remodel. Here you can see the divide between the old and new walls..
It is right next to the Columbia University campus, so if you’re in the area you should go check it out. They do not charge a fee for entrance, but giving a donation isn’t a bad idea. It all goes towards the restoration of the building.
You can also donate in the form of a candle purchase. They’re actually quite cheap and you can write a small inscription. There were many candles with writing in several languages. Some were in memoriam, others were prayer requests or notes of thanksgiving… All very beautiful.
I LOVE the New York City Subway. There is absolutely no way of telling what conversations you’ll over hear, the fashion choices you’ll see or, most importantly, the people you’ll meet. This time I met a Mr. Salah Chouli. Turns out he is a photographer and English teacher. The conversation started with “Hi. Where are you from?” I think that’s the best way to strike up a conversation with someone in New York and you might get some really interesting answers. We were only able to talk for about 2 stops, but before he left, he gave me 2 samples of his work…
The photo of them with my iPhone doesn’t do them justice, but I think they’re both brilliant. Next time you’re on the Subway, strike up a conversation! You never know who you’ll meet!
… is from Florida. Ha! Meet Jenipher from Nightly Doodles.
She has a booth in the Chelsea Market where she makes adorable cards by hand. There are cards for birthdays, holidays and just for fun. She makes the cards right there in the market so go take a look, say hello and buy a card! You can visit her website here!