The Perfect New York Hotel

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!

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The interior was very modern, and seemed like it was recently remodeled.

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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!

NYC Coat Thrifting

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…

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A whole wall of $5 coats!

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This one was my favorite, but it was a little big. 100% wool though and so warm!

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Then there was the leather jacket for anyone that wants to look like an extra from The Matrix..

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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…

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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.

New York Bageling

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.

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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…

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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.

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They have about every type of spread you can imagine..

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Strawberry, Blueberry, Onion and Chives, Pimento, Lox and my favorite the Sun-Dried Tomato..

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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!

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Anyone have other recommendations?