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R&R Recap: Part 2 (New York City)

Catching Amtrak from Philadelphia to New York City (The Man took The Little Guy back to Chicago by himself – a baby on a plane alone is never a fun endeavor, so thank you to him!!), I met up with a friend from Chicago and we explored a good portion of Manhattan in a whirlwind weekend. We stayed in Midtown and headed north on Saturday afternoon to grab a late lunch at The Meatball Shop (amazing people – seriously amazing!). We had three friends who live or have lived in Manhattan recommend it, so we had to make a pit stop there. It was worth every one of the 37 blocks we walked to get there.

The location we visited sits just east of Central Park, so we wandered through the not-so-touristy section of the park. I have visited New York on many occasions but this walk provided my first experience with the middle section of the park and I loved every step of it. I couldn’t resist capturing this seemingly random patch of bright yellow leaves among a sea of lush green that seems to be anticipating the arrival of fall a bit too early. We get plenty of winter in Chicago and I bet most New Yorkers would agree with that sentiment, so let’s not rush into anything Mother Nature…


How beautiful is this view? It barely looks real! And to be taken from the center of a beyond bustling, 8 million strong city? Crazy, I tell you, and awesome.

We walked about 7 or 8 miles throughout the afternoon and into the evening on Saturday so comfort commanded my full fashion attention (what little of it exists). I relied on trusty old Target (shirt, shorts, and sandals all courtesy of “Boutique Target”) to supply the basics and added a couple more “luxurious” accessories to finish off the look. But let’s not get too crazy here, friends, my wardrobe isn’t exactly stocked with the latest and greatest couture; so my fancy pants accessorizing is all relative.


I have several friends who live in Manhattan so we had the luxury of local knowledge to lend a hand in building an itinerary. Following our afternoon in and around Central Park (and briefly Times Square – no one needs more than a few seconds of that rif raf), we cabbed it down to West Village for dinner with a college roommate of mine at Empellon Taqueria. The bustling neighborhood with not a tourist in sight energized us for a fantastic dinner and, after one quick drink, we took the subway back to our hotel and crashed for the night.

Sunday morning we picked up bagels (of course) from a local deli (of course) and headed south to the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked across the bridge and back to check out the fantastic views of the skyline that one misses while tangled up in the concrete jungle. This began our first day of twelve straight hours packed with walking, shopping, talking, eating, and seeing so many classic New York sights in one day it seemed crazy.


Yep, you recognize this trusty Target reunion – one of my go-to’s. I honestly never realized how often I live in Target apparel until I began this blog. I need to start getting a paycheck from Target because I seem to be working for their PR department…


After the Brooklyn Bridge, we crossed the island toward Ground Zero and passed by this gorgeous fountain as well as St. Paul’s Cathedral, a refuge for those helping in the recovery process after the September 11 World Trade Center attacks. I also liked this headstone, standing alone in the sun among a plethora of smaller, shaded headstones that read (after the larger print about the person for whom it stands):


Behold and See as you Pass By
As you are Now so Once was I
As I am Now you Soon will Be
Prepare for Death and Follow Me

I haven’t yet decided if it’s creepy or insightful ~ we all will die so we should accept this and live our life knowing it will at some point come to an end? In either case, it made me think, and I know I like that.



The morning lightened up when afternoon arrived and we grabbed brunch at The Cupping Room Cafe in Soho with my cousin and then shopped until we dropped in Soho consignment shops (primarily Greene Street where I purchased a shirt and a dress), on Prince and Spring streets (classic New York luxury shopping, where I obviously bought nothing because it’s out of my price range), and finally Goodwill near NYU (where I bought three shirts and we also stumbled upon Washington Square, below). Shopping left our stomachs hungry so we snacked on Georgetown Cupcakes and then had a nice Italian dinner at Lupa, one of Mario Batali’s local joints. Dessert then dinner? Sure, we’re on vacation!

W squeezed in an off Broadway show, Fuerza Bruta, Sunday night. A post-modern visual arts spectacle, the show is performed in a black box theater and requires you stand for all 60 minutes of the loosely interactive performance. I highly recommend you check it out if you’re in the city and suggest not reading too much about the show before attending ~ just step into the theater with an open mind ready for something entirely different yet engaging and high energy.

Last, but certainly not least, we stopped by the Today show (and were on TV for a split second), hit up the Top of the Rock for some great views of the city, and then trained it to Flushing Meadows for a day full of US Open tennis (where we also made it on TV). Throughout our trip, we could not have asked for more gorgeous weather. My friend and I planned this trip two years ago and Hurriane Irene cancelled our flights and all our plans. Bummed, to say the least, we gave it another shot and patience paid. We had a wonderful and relaxing trip soaking up the sights and sounds, shops and snacks of an iconic American city!




And a few smartphone snaps sent to Instagram.




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