New York City: A Day During Christmas Week 2013

New York City, New York
Yesterday my family and I returned from visiting relatives in New Jersey for Christmas. It was a fun but crazy week full of food and dancing/playing children. We visit them about once every couple years, and a trip to NYC is always on the schedule. This past week I had planned for us to go on Monday for my little sister’s 19th birthday, but the weather was going to be miserable, so we cancelled (which meant I lost my Statue of Liberty tickets). We ended up going on Saturday, a beautiful day that we could hardly believe was real (55 and sunny in NYC at the end of the year???). Being just myself, my sister, and my boyfriend who came along for the week, we had a short and simple to-do list while we were there.

First, which obviously made my boyfriend really happy, we made our way to Carrie Bradshaw’s front door step, located at 66 Perry St. You can’t go up the actual steps (well, you can, but you might get yelled at) but there were hardly any other tourists there. It seems to be a secret spot, and it wasn’t even advertised as being from the show (it is, though). It is a privately owned home so don’t be too much of a creep.

After Carrie’s, we walked a couple blocks north west to Magnolia Bakery ’cause our hunger pangs were sticking like duct tape. I wanted to take a picture of my cupcake, but I forgot and ate it too fast. 
One of the most famous bakeries in New York, we expected to be able to sit inside with a cup of coffee and see a ton of other people there. In reality, it was a super tiny shop with one little table, and the windows were fogging up so much I couldn’t wait for my sister and boyfriend to pay for their cupcakes – I had to step outside! It was awesome, regardless.

We hit up Magnolia and macked on some cupcakes 
No doubt that bakery’s got all the bomb frostings.

I loved my cupcake like McAdams loves Gosling

Being fans of Seinfeld, we naturally made our next stop Tom’s restaurant, which is called Monk’s in the show. I thought this place would be loaded with tourists but it turned out to be in a very quiet location north west of Central Park. Very easy to get the picture you want.

Awesome!

On our way to Central Park we stopped inside the St. John the Divine cathedral – absolutely beautiful from the inside out.

Adorned with origami doves.

Due to our time crunch and 1:30 9/11 Memorial tickets, we decided to skip our walk through central park and grab lunch on the way to the memorial. We stopped at this fantastic, hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant called Tajin that’s just a couple blocks south of the memorial. I HIGHLY recommend this place as it’s the best Mexican food I’ve ever had, and the prices are very reasonable, too.

Tacos Rancheros – so fresh and simple. Ate it all up.

The 9/11 Memorial was packed and unorganized. I could tell they were struggling to keep everyone in order. The mass of people had to get into a single-file area and of course a TSA-like security zone. It was pretty crazy until we got into the memorial site, which was big and open with the two beautiful pools. Unfortunately, the museum was still closed.

North Pool.
South pool.
Someone has left a rose in the name.
Beautiful picture on the way out.
A gorgeous day!
Then it was finally time for us to head to the Empire State Building, for which we had tickets to the 86th Floor Observatory and were hoping to catch NYC by sunset. We got in line at 3PM, figuring that we would be well up there by the 4:30PM sunset. WRONG. We only got up to the observatory by 5:30, by which time I was crabby and hungry and could already tell it wasn’t worth it. I can tell you what is worth it, though – paying $50/adult to skip all the lines and head right up (even though there is a wait for the elevator). Looking back, paying $23 more per person would definitely be smart especially if you want to be up there by a certain time. Once you’re up there, you can’t even appreciate it because of how exhausted you are by the line. We completely underestimated how long it would take and we definitely regret not paying more. Now, instead of the beautiful NYC-night time views, we only remember how stupid the line was and being so tired.
Entertaining ourselves in line.
My boyfriend and I.

Times Square and the Ice Rink.
Gorgeous view, but not worth the wait!
For dinner, my cousin invited us to join her and her husband at the Times Square Hard Rock Cafe, where we enjoyed a delicious dinner, dessert, and a few drinks.
The color-changing lights above the bar.
Sharing our dinner with Neil Young’s outfit.
Linkin Park autographed guitar!

Adam Levigne (sp?) autographed guitar. 
Giant brownie sundae.
Elton John’s outfit at the next table.
A smashed-up guitar, courtesy of Nirvana.
Spilling out into a brightly-lit Times Square.

What a beautiful and exciting day. Although it stinks that we missed out on the Statue of Liberty, I know we’ll be making another trip to NJ soon and with that comes its day-cation to NYC.

Happy travels!

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