Last November, the Executive Producer and I marked our 25th wedding anniversary and agreed that a trip to NYC would be just the thing to mark the occasion . What with one thing and another, though, it took us until a month before our 26th to celebrate that silver milestone! What a celebration it was ... despite inclement weather, we saw and did as much as we could over a long weekend.
OK, this is the part where I kick myself and y'all gasp in horror: I didn't bring my camera on the trip. In my defense, I wanted to focus on seeing the city through my own eyes rather than a camera lens (and I also didn't want to be weighed down by i). Of course I regret that decision now but I did take a few shots with the iPhone. The shot at the top is of us walking through Strawberry Fields, the memorial garden for John Lennon. Since this was our first visit to NYC, we took the Gray Line bus tours that give you an overview of the city. We chose to sit up on top of the double decker bus, which explains the ponchos we're wearing: it was raining, it was windy, it was cold and we enjoyed it immensely!
In deference to the Executive Producer, Strawberry Fields was the only garden we visited. He more than made up for the lack of garden time, though, by taking me to Flute Champagne Bar and treating me to several absolutely splendid glasses of bubbly. This after we'd been to the old Studio 54, which is now a theater, to see Carrie Fisher's one-woman show, Wishful Drinking ... appropriately enough. We wound up that evening at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, where the food and the service were just fabulous. Our first night there, we dined at Craft, an experience which was spectacular from beginning to end, and proved that chef Tom Colicchio richly deserves his position as head judge of TV's Top Chef. We toured the Museum of Modern Art on Saturday morning and I did get to see my Monets: the water lilies triptych moved me to tears, as expected. On the recommendation of the maitre d' at Craft, we lunched at the MOMA Cafe ... an excellent choice. That evening we ate at Lattanzi Ristorante, a small Italian restaurant in Midtown recommended by Mr. McGregor's Daughter and her family. Molto bene! We visited the Carnegie Club afterwards for a Sinatra tribute show by New York singer Steven Maglio. (Since we see a fair number of musicals thanks to the touring companies that come through Houston, we agreed we didn't want to blow our budget on full price tickets to any of those, nor did we want to spend any portion of our limited time in line at the discount tickets booth. It was a good decision for us.)
A word re hotels: the EP originally booked us into The Pod Hotel on 51st Street in Midtown, since it fit our budget and location needs. While the Pod's decor is very hip, the room was about as close as you can get to miniscule without being in Europe. After one night on a hard and uncomfortable bed, I called the Marriott Courtyard I'd spotted the previous evening and discovered that for only $6 more per night, we could have a spacious and comfortable room AND bed! The EP isn't big on doing research so in future, I believe I'll take care of that part of things. I was glad that we spent one night there, though, if only because of the view from our window. When I looked out on Saturday morning, this charming rooftop garden was just below us. I added some highlights and fill light so you could see details.
Our final morning there, we ate breakfast at a local diner, which did not disappoint. (We both marveled at the fact that we had nothing but great meals our entire visit. It's not often you can say that.) The most disappointing thing about the entire trip, actually, was the fabulous weather on Monday, the day we left ... I wanted so badly to stay and spend the day walking around Greenwich Village or SoHo, ducking in and out of shops and restaurants, soaking in the beautiful fall day. It gives us a great reason to go back, though.