New York, the city where dreams are made. There’s something magical about NYC – a certain energy that runs through the city. Every neighbourhood is distinct yet familiar and there’s always a beautiful restaurant, café, or building waiting around the corner. I was fortunate enough to spend Easter long weekend in NYC and I came back feeling rejuvenated and creatively stimulated.
Here’s a guide to a few of my favourite spots in New York City.
If you want to take in some breathtaking views of the NYC skyline but would prefer to avoid lineups at Rockerfeller Centre or the Empire State Building, try 230 Fifth – a rooftop lounge on 5th Ave. It offers incredible 360 vistas of Midtown Manhattan that you can soak in over food or drinks. We went up to their rooftop deck at night but I imagine it would look stunning in the day time. Reservations are required to get prime table seating (especially on Friday and Saturday), but the views from their general seating patio are equally as spectacular.
(Image via 230 Fifth Facebook)
A popular tourist spot for a scenic walk, the Brooklyn Bridge connects pedestrian traffic from Manhattan to Brooklyn. It also happens to offer breathtaking views of the city, Manhattan Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. The bridge gets quite busy during weekends and peak season (usually May – October) and it can be a little dangerous for photos when cyclists are whizzing by, but a trip to NYC just isn’t complete without a walk across the bridge.
The High Line
A green space in Chelsea converted from an old train bridge, The High Line offers a bit of an oasis from the hustle and bustle from the city. Flanked by tall buildings and skyscrapers, it’s a popular tourist destination near the Meat Packing District. It has expanded since the last time I visited New York and offers beautiful views of Chelsea Pier, New Jersey, and a different angle of Manhattan. We went on a sunny day so it was busy, but during off season you might find you have the whole place to yourself.
Places to Eat
There are so many amazing restaurants in New York City, this list is just the tip of the iceberg.
Eataly NYC, Flatiron District
Eataly is a 50,000 square foot Italian marketplace overflowing with restaurants, take-away counters, and Italian cooking necessities. It came highly recommended by my Managing Editor Jan, and boy it didn’t disappoint. Eataly is just as described, a huge market where you can buy meat, cheese, bread, pasta, and produce; Italian honey, jams, marmalades, desserts and spreads; and any type of balsamic vinegar or olive oil that you can dream of. In fact, there was an entire room dedicated to vinegars and oils.
My favourite part of Eataly was of course the food. There are sit down restaurants within the space but felt a bit strange to me with people grocery shopping next to you. There’s a restaurant in the middle of Eatly where you can order any type of meat and cheese plate or pizza. Pair with a glass of wine or Italian spritzer and it’s perfect for sharing. We went on a Friday night so needless to say it was busy (we had to hover over a table until they finished). It’s first come first serve so you have to be quick on your feet and a little territorial because other people will swoop in even if you’re standing close by.
If you like weekend brunch, you will love New York. With delicious restaurants on every block, you don’t need to walk far to find one. What you might not love are the wait times. After checking three restaurants within a four block radius, I found out that it wasn’t uncommon to be waiting 1-2 hours for any well-known establishment. I really wanted to try Jack’s Wife Freda (if only because I had heard so much about it) and I’m glad I waited. It was a charming little space with delicious food and happy patrons (even a celebrity sighting). Other places to check out close by are The Butcher’s Daughter and Egg Shop.
A little café featuring French baked goods and family-inspired recipes also recommended by Jan (thanks so much Jan!), this quaint café quickly became a favourite. With its rustic interiors and most beautiful cups, every inch of the space was pure eye candy. I was impressed with their coffee as well as their famed lavender hot chocolate (which I got within 20 minutes of each other). I was very happy to find out that Maman has a Toronto location that will surely keep the New York wanderlust at bay until my next visit.
A great place to shop
I didn’t do too much shopping this trip due to the strength of the American dollar, but I did manage to score a few things from local vendors at a Williamsburg market. Williamsburg itself is an amazing district to visit, a neighbourhood full of boutiques, flea markets, and thrift shops where you can find one-of-a-kind items.
A little tip: Catbird has a store front in Williamsburg with cases upon cases of beautiful jewellery but the markets across the street offer similar styles of jewellery at a fraction of the price.
There’s so much to do in New York I couldn’t fit it all in four days. I guess it’s just another reason to go back!
Feature Image: @NewYorkCity Instagram