After 20 years in Los Angeles I consider myself a Californian, so when I visit NY I feel like a tourist, it just happened at some point.  Subway tokens have turned into swipe cards that still take me 3 tries before the arm opens. And the 'WATCH THE GAP' signs on the Long Island Railroad (which I commuted on for years) now freak me out. And I forget pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way!

So like any tourist NYC becomes about the sights, sounds and the food, and of course the mega picture taking. Did I mention the food? And the walking is wonderful, considering how much time my butt spends glued to the seat of my car every day. I clocked our walking miles one day on my phone. We went from down town to up, from west side to east and when we were done it registered 22,876 steps. According to my husband that's about 8 miles, but keep in mind he measures in football yardage. Let's just say it was a lot of walking, but with so much to see you don't really notice, until your feet give out that is.

I have some new and some old favorite eateries to recommend, and of course my annual pilgrimage to the NY pretzel stand to have a pretzel as big as my face with enough gluten to keep me honest for the next few months. Oh, and pizza of course, because LA pizza and NY pizza are two totally different experiences. (That's a whole other post.) And a square potato knish too, also not possible in LA.
Seeing NYC through my daughters eyes, she's actually a native Californian, I always come away with a new appreciation for it's architecture and tourist attractions.

I'll start off with one of our favorite things to do, just stroll around and photograph the beautiful brownstones of the West Village.
And no trip to the West Village would be complete without a casual stroll by Carrie Bradshaw's humble abode (below.) Well the door anyway.  If you're a Sex in the City fan (and I am) you know that Carrie lived on the Upper East Side, 245 E.73rd St., to be exact. However, the facade they used for those iconic steps and front door are actually at 64 Prince Street. Which is a 4,000 square foot brownstone with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 6 fireplaces and a backyard. It last sold in 2012 for $9.85 million! Just in case you were interested ;) 
And if you really want the best view of the city head on up to The Top Of The Rock, the observation deck on top of the NBC Rockefeller Center Studios and pretty much it's own giant indoor village. Very touristy, very worth it. 

Tea at The Plaza in the Palm Court is a Mother Daughter tradition for us, it's a bit pricey but I highly recommend it especially if you are a fan of Eloise of course.
The picture is blurry but the waiter volunteered to take it. Our reservation was for noon and it was nice and quiet, by the time we left it was packed. They do serve food and drinks as well as tea service.

The Plaza Palm Court Ceiling
After a great meeting, (this was a biz and pleasure trip), that just happened to be across the street from Tiffany & Co. what's a girl to do but channel her best inner Audrey Hepburn.


Jack's Wife Freda - I can't begin to describe how good the food is here, we went twice in one week and I'm still craving it! Two locations in the Village 224 Lafayette St. and 50 Carmine St. 

The Butchers Daughter - Juice Bar and Cafe 19 Kenmare St. in the Village. 

Cafe Lalo - An old favorite and a must every trip. 201 West 83 St. on the Upper West Side.

Serrindipity3 - Also an old tradition for us.  If you have never had a frozen hot chocolate you must go. Warning, this one's a tourist trap so there is always a wait.  It's on the upper East side 225 East 60th St near Bloomingdale's and the 59 St. Bridge. We walked here all the way from Columbus Circle (the Upper West side) at about 9 PM, the great thing about NY.

Baker & Co. - 259 Blecker St. has the sweetest little secret garden in the back.

Aurora - 510 Broome St in Soho. My high school BFF took us here for a lovely lunch. Give me a restaurant with brick walls and great food any time!

Aria - 369 W. 53rd St. Hell's Kitchen. Loved this place, it was an accidental find, the restaurant we were going to was closed for a private party and this was across the street. I'd definitely go back!
Jack's Wife Freda ~ scrumptiousness
 Cafe Lalo
Baker & Co.


Walk ~ everywhere. Check out different neighborhoods as each one has a very different vibe.
West Village, East Village, Soho, Meat Packing District, Chelsea, Mid Town, Theater District, Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Columbus Circle, Central Park West and South, stroll 5th Avenue, Park and Madison uptown. Of course there's more but that should keep you pretty busy. 

Central Park ~ 750 acres of land created as Americas first public landscaped park in 1853! Take a ride on the Carousel, row a boat on the lake April - November and have lunch in the boat house restaurant. Ice skate at Wollman Rink November - March. Sit on any one of a zillion benches and people watch. And the Zoo is always a good idea. Visit the Chess and Checker House or the Conservatory Garden just to name a few.

Walk on the High Line which runs from Gansevoort St. in the Meat Packing District to 34th St. between 10th &12 th Ave. It's an outdoor boardwalk/garden/park built on top of an old rail train yard. As you walk, different sections have a different feel, so if your feet can handle it walk the whole thing. There's seats along the way if you need a rest.

Visit Top of the Rock for the spectacular views of the city every direction and fun mingling with people from all over the world.  

And of course there are great Museums and Broadway Shows to squeeze in too. Be sure to check out the Cheap Ticket Booth for up to 50% off on tickets for the same day.
Central Park
Don't Forget To Look Up!
See, It Says Walk.
One Of The Many NY Scenes Captured From The High Line...Taxi!
Urban Pumpkin Patch.
 A Message From Albert On The High Line.
Love The Juxtaposition Of Old And New Architecture.

Over the weekend we went upstate to spend time with family. Found a street sign named after us, took in the beautiful changing colors of the trees, went to the Stormville Flea Market (if you're an HGTV fan) and walked a bridge over the Hudson River.  My 5 year old great Nephew asked if it was stable! And had a sleep over in the cutest little throw back cabin in Brewster NY called Heidi's Inn.

 This, Right Outside Our Room at Heidi's Inn in Brewster NY.
Until Next Time NYC.

For past posts on NYC go here , here and here.