Saturday, 8 February 2014

Life | New York, New York!

It is New York Fashion Week so I thought this would be a good chance to reflect highlights from my recent trip to the big apple for the fantabulous 30th Birthday of the Other Half (OH).

It was early December so the Christmas extravaganza was in full flow and the window displays were shining, it was snowing (in a nice romantic way, not the life threatening polar vortex way) and thankfully not too windy. We stayed at the Hilton Times Square and we had a brilliant city view overlooking Times Square although mostly we just saw snow. 

Starting with hotel then, it was exactly what you would want for a 4 night stay in a city you have never been to before. The location was perfect for getting around with the majority of shops you would be looking for within a 15minute walking radius. The room was clean and modern, with a comfortable bed (essential if you walk as much as we did) and quiet for a good nights sleep. The staff in the hotel were very friendly with a good knowledge of the city to help us find our way to where we wanted to go. We didn't book breakfast at the hotel as we wanted to get out in the morning and find new places when possible but we did indulge in room service one morning which was delicious and huge (I like pancakes big time but even I need help from OH to finish my portion).

The first day we headed over to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) as I had forever obsessed over Van Gogh's Starry Night painting and there wasn't a chance in hell I was missing our on seeing it. As we worked our way through the various galleries being shocked and in awe in equal measures we finally got to the painting I had been waiting for...and it was worth the wait! It was genuinely breathtaking and, unlike the Mona Lisa in Paris, you could get right up close without dozens of people elbowing you out of the way. There was also an interesting Magritte exhibition on which I found surprisingly interesting despite some of the more out there pieces which weren't really to my taste.

After having my mind blown by modern art we headed back down 5th Avenue to have a look at all of the window displays and sought out the big names like Barney's, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman, it was every shopaholics dream! I had the best day and then to top it off we managed to get to Macy's on their 25% off everything day - the 2 hours in there is a bit of a blur, but I came out of there with a LOT of bags! 

I thought the day wouldn't get any better but then we found the TKT booth in the middle of Times Square, this is definitely somewhere I would recommend a visit to if want to catch a show. Each day at 3pm they start selling the tickets for shows that haven't sold for that night. We bagged two tickets for Chicago half price for that evening...the day got better! The show was brilliant at the Ambassador Theatre, my face hurt from smiling by the end of it, and to finish the night off we rolled out of the theatre straight across the road to an Italian restaurant called Da Marino. What a find! There was live music and a great atmosphere topped with tasty food, I am sure you can find somewhere cheaper or better food but it was great and not too pricey so just what you need when you fall out of the theatre at 10pm in need of food!

The next day it was OH's 30th Birthday, so we had booked lunch at a 3 Michelin starred restaurant called Le Bernadin. Wow! From the cocktails to the dessert it was a taste sensation! Unlike other Michelin starred restaurants we have visited in th UK it was reasonably relaxed, and not overly pretentious so it was an enjoyable experience with amazing food. 

Later that day we headed for a change of scenery so we headed south towards Greenwich Village and wandered around the shops eventually finding ourselves needing dinner and we stumbled across a restaurant called Bleecker Kitchen & Co. which most certainly deserves a mention. At the time they had only been open a couple of weeks, the food was very tasty, I had a pulled pork slider with fries, delicious! The bartender rustled us up some cocktails on request and we also were given free dessert as it was a special birthday. The lemon meringue pie was amazing!!

The biggest discovery for me in NYC was Sephora. For those who don't know what Sephora is then it is a shop of dreams, scented, blushed and glossy dreams. It is a cosmetics store that beats any other cosmetic store, it was the most wonderful moment finding Sephora! I had to reign in the spending at this point as OH was getting a little stressed at the spend rate, but I managed to grab a couple of great buys which I will review on my blog soon. 

While we were in NYC we went to see the New York Nicks at Madison Square Gardens play the Chicago Bulls. I would recommend anyone to catch a game even if they aren't a huge fan as the atmosphere is electric and the entertainment was non-stop. I really got into the game and was cheering on the Nicks at full volume within 5 minutes!

Other highlights were the top of the rock at the Rockefella Centre and the 30% off the whole store at J Crew (needless to say we had to buy another suitcase to check in on the way home)...I had the time of my life in New York.

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