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Highlights of The Best NYC Trip Ever
The NYC everyone deserves to discover. Italian food, high street shopping, Times Square, Broadway, the "Kats Deli", SOHO, US Open, etc.
I remember it well. It was with my then girlfriend now wife. She took me to NYC for the first time. We went during the US Open and NYC fashion-week. As we approached after some 4 hours from Chicago the NYC sky line was incredible in the mid-morning more than how you read and see it in pictures. An incredible start of holiday that I had no idea would be one of the best trips ever.
After wrestling for our bags with what I thought to be thousands of people we took a cab to the Holiday Inn in SoHo. It was wild NYC traffic was bumper to bumper and cabs were honking and driving effortlessly from lane to lane.
Once we checked in our first stop in NYC was Katz Deli. That’s right the famous deli seen in “When Harry Met Sally” It’s all that and much much more. It’s old school at its finest. When walking in they hand you a large ticket that you present at the counter when ordering sandwiches beer, wine, sodas. Whatever you do don’t lose your ticket, as this is what you pay on the way out. Oh and they only take USD no credit cards. The ole wooden floors the smell of the world’s best pastrami, corn beef, and mouth-watering delectable ham are a tourist’s dream come true. A good tip for one to remember is you won’t be hungry for at least 6 hours.
Next we took the subway up to Times Square stop and walked to Herald Station the best Macys in the US. We split accordingly and went to our perspective floors for the news fashion. As I was waiting for an elevator I lost patience and took the escalator up 2 floors I saw a large poster that said one day only Tommy Hilfiger appearing in the men’s jeans department. We hung around to see the famous designer, He looks like a well preserved rocker from the 1980’s perfect grey hair, thin black jeans and proper thin fit dress shirt. Not very tall about 5’5”. After a quick video for proof that we saw the famous designer we left Macys. We felt fortunate to have dropped less that a grand.
Off to next stop back to Soho. After drinks and some grub in a little pub Naked Lunch to shake off the adrenalin that we both had running through our veins. After we went to Bloomingdales to Christmas shop and saw they were serving wine spritzers and matzo balls because it was fashion week. I love this fashion week. After a stop to Top Man and Diesel it was time for dinner. We went back to the Holiday Inn and changed to evening wear. It was a nice night and we were hyped to get out.
We walked to the Italian Village. Actually I believe it to be one of the most famous Italian neighbourhood’s in the US. I had made a reservation at Umberto's Clam House. It is the undoubtable place to eat classic Italain food like grandma made. On our second night we ate at “the Da Nico”. It is former Mayor Rudy Giuliani most favorite pasta joint, Rudy who famously indicted may of the heads of New York’s five mafia families during his attorney general days. That was back in the 1980s. Rudy once called this pizzeria “The Best of the Best in Little Italy". He personally ranked it as his top dining recommendation for visitors. It is said by locals that he still goes as does many other celebrities. Ironically, the place was and rumored to still be a hangout for crime figures. I always figure that if it’s good enough for them its good enough for everyone. As one who had an Italian grandmother I have an affection to good Italian food. I personally wholeheartedly recommend what you order the rigatoni with sausage and peppers. I say order it “capiche”
After we walked on Mulberry and enjoyed the smells and all the people out on the streets we stopped at Caffe Palermo. They Est in 1973 and simply have the best cannoli anywhere. The cannoli they make is a flaky exterior and rich creamy interior, exactly how old school Italians want their traditional Italian dessert. If you really, really love cannoli, consider stopping. I think it’s the best I have found anywhere. I have had cannoli at some of the best Italian bakeries in the world. I have tried at the best in to name a few cities Chicago, Cleveland, Spain, Rome, Florence, London, St. Louis, DC, Paris, Dublin. It’s quite honestly the best around. I even went the morning of our last day in NYC and had them box 15 for me for the plane home. What a treat it was for that week back home. Also stop at Cha Cha’s café in Little Italy for a proper espresso or drink. On the weekends the street Mulberry is closed to traffic and it is more of a festival atmosphere than a restaurant neighbourhood.
Well after a walk we cabbed it all ready to dance the night away. In NYC there are so many dance spots we cabbed it to a club called “Culture Club” in a very obscure part of Midtown. The music alternated between being awesome with everyone's favorite 80's songs compiled. I don't know where the DJ is located, but the drinks at the bar are small which were mostly ice, were $15 each. They did have a coat check ($3 per item) is upstairs. They played 80's movies on giant screens It's a good place to go for a fun night out.
The place is dripping with real NYC disco nostalgia, including a DeLorean suspended from the ceiling and larger murals of all the icons that made the last two decades what they were. We left at about 2:30am. If you're in the mood, ignore the haters and relive your misspent youth. Day one in NYC was a hit.
On day two we spent at the US Open Flushing Meadows. A very nice tennis tournament. The two stadiums that they place in are very close and the food and drinks are grand. We had tickets to day and evening sessions. We saw some great matches and the weather was perfect. I recommend to book tickets the second week of the tournament to see better seeds and great matches. Be sure to visit all the shops, Nike, Polo, Adidas. We left the grounds around midnight and the trains were crowded back in the city. Once back to the hotel we hit the hay to be ready for day three and more excitement and adventures.
Day three was our tours and sites day. We woke early 5am and went to see the “Today Show” at Rockefeller square. This is a must for any NYC visitor. We then at about 9am went to ground zero now Freedom Tower area, went up in Empire State building, I recommend buying tickets ahead to avoid lines. Then a walk down to Battery Park. Early afternoon trekked to Central Park and scheduled a 2hour bike guided tour in Central Park. A bike tour is a recommended thing at least once when in NYC. You are with about 8-10 people and its very insightful the information about the park you learn.
We then went to a must see for any shopper or visitor to NYC. It is a store called “C21”Century 21. There are only 2 in the world both in NYC. The one I recommend to go to is at the last subway stop to the New "Freedom Tower", formerly Twin Towers.
I would recommend at least 2 hours here as the crowds are crazy. It is like a TJ Max on steroids. Great designer items discounted but what you get all depends on the day you go and the size you are. Very much worth visiting. I truly love C21. After this a must stop was a planned visit to the East Village. An early dinner at the famous Dempsey’s I recommended. It is a great place to watch sports and has very beautiful people working there. The sandwiches wing, and steaks are great. After several hours there it was time for a
On day four we slept in and trained it up to Times Square area for some wandering and a late lunch. We had tickets for the Broadway musical “Beautiful” in the Steven Sondheim theatre. It is the life story of Carol King and I would give it a 5 star. It’s located at 124 West 43rd Street. I recommend an early evening show 7pm. Then after dinner but book a table. New Yorkers eat late much like Europeans. We ate at St Andrews a local neighbourhood restaurant. It came well recommended and has International Cuisine. After a 3 course dinner and a cappuccino in place of desert we walked to Times Square to look around with all the lights for an hour. Then took Times Square Street Station back to hotel. We walked one last time to Mulberry for a late night cannoli. I ordered a chocolate shell this time and it was heaven.
Last day five flying out after Noon. We had breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien in SOHO a neat French cafe. It has a real European atmosphere and elegant decorations. The restaurant is famous for its coffees avocado toast as well as a different array of unique breakfast dishes. This place was our last destination on this holiday but oh boy it was the cherry on top of a fabulous trip. After getting a near perfect hot chocolate we walked to our hotel to catch our pre-booked cab to airport.
Of all my many travels Rome, Spain Paris, Germany, Croatia, UK etc. I have to say NYC I in my top two. It’s got everything. I love New York