New York City

imageI was trying to remember my first trip to NYC and my subsequent trips but I cannot. Could be age or number of visits…I’m not sure. I could narrow down the timing of my first trip to around 2000 because it coincided with my orientation training with Pharmacia. That job and my next two took me to NYC with some frequency until 2007. And there were also occasional trips just for fun. At one time I believed NYC and I were soulmates and we would live happily ever after one day.

After moving to San Francisco in 2007 my trips to NYC dwindled. I felt a bit like I was cheating on NYC’s culture, history, and energy with San Francisco’s cool California vibe, youth, and its proximity to nature. These two cities could not be more different.  I did not return to NYC until 2013 for a wonderful long Memorial Day weekend to rekindle my love affair with this place. In 2014 the kids and I spent a portion of our summer vacation in the Hamptons, Brooklyn, and NYC. We had a blast.

Beginning our six months off-distant travel with the city that never sleeps seemed apropos since we have a habit of squeezing in as many activities in one day as possible when we travel. We chose this city because we both love only one thing in equal measure to our love of nature: art. We never seem to tire of looking at art in almost every form. The added bonus was being able to spend time with friends and family.

We made Greenwich Village our home base. The Marlton Hotel is one of the cutest hotel in all of NYC. You can read about it here Five nights in this wonderland had me ready to move in. The lobby lounge and restaurant all took excellent care of us each and every day.

Greenwich Village has everything in my opinion, to pretend you live here. Parks, chic boutiques, restaurants and cafes of every sort and short walking distances to many of the other neighborhoods worth taking a stroll in. I highly recommend using goop’s app called goop city guides to gain a better understanding of the hoods you may be interested in visiting and which shops, restaurants, museums and galleries live in each.

We hit home runs with each meal we had in Greenwich Village. We had a wonderful breakfast each morning at Margaux,, the restaurant inside our hotel. Our dinner at Claudette, gave us some of the best grilled octopus, bouillabaisse, and chicken tangine we’ve ever had. Babbo, served us an equally incredible meal. More octopus, pasta and an olive oil cake with ice cream had us in a trance as we floated back to our hotel to sip hot toddies in front of the fire. We had an unfortunate situation at the Beatrice Inn and all I can say is beware of this awfully run establishment. We left and went to Bar Bolonat, and essentially ordered everything on the menu as we were starving from our mishap at Beatrice Inn. The chef at Bar Bolonat is full of the kind of culinary talent that I like. We were surprised and delighted with each bite. Our last meal in Greenwich/the West Village was at Dominique Bistro, A pretty corner, beautiful interiors, excellent service and delicious French food, what more could you ask for? The one dinner we had outside of Greenwich Village was at the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar: yum!

The galleries and museums we visited did not disappoint!  Art is so personal that it wouldn’t be of much use to others to read the list of galleries we enjoyed.  Brent took the lead of mapping out our gallery hopping and we ended up in Chelsea and TriBeCa mostly.  We only had time for the Met and MoMa as far as museums go although the smaller museums were on our list too…we just ran out of time.

We had a lot of fun exploring the Bryant Park NY Public Library, especially the map room.  There is something for everyone in this grand landmark.  We took the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building looking for a piece of nostalgia.  We were amazed at what they’ve done to convert this building into an Eco-friendly piece of history.

Central Park, Washington Park, Bryant Park, and the Highline were our parks of choice.  But what would a trip to NYC be without a late night walk to Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes?  Definitely one of my favorite parts!



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