New York: a city of life, of lights, of late nights. We decided to take some of it in and see what all of the hype was about.
Last year, we had the unexpected pleasure of visiting New York twice in two months and even got to jump over into New Jersey for a bit. Aware that New York has so much to offer on so many ends of different spectrums – woods to concrete jungle, rural to city, posh to urban, cheap to astronomically expensive – we decided to pick a few objectives to make the most of the trips. Our objectives fell into three categories. Of course, there’s some overlapping, but here’s the general breakdown (listed in order of priority and importance):
We knew that we wanted to try some of those New York City cookies we’d seen all over foodie accounts on Instagram like @foodbabyny and @new_fork_city. We also knew that we couldn’t fly all the way to New York without tasting some of the famous NY cuisine so besides Chip NYC, we hit up a life-changing ramen restaurant called Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen, a historic pizza place called Lombardi’s Pizza, a bagel place in Bronxville called Park Place Bagels, and the heavenly Magnolia Bakery which our dad introduced us to many years ago on a previous trip to NYC. We also stumbled on a gem of a restaurant called Alex’s Restaurant in Poughkeepsie (I LOVE this word). Of course, we picked it for obvious reasons… Alex, but boy did it live up to its name. Just wow.
Since it was Fall, I knew I wanted to pick some kind of fruit. Anyone who knows I have a bucket list knows fruit picking is on it. It might sound simple to some, but I need to do it. It’s been my dream to go fruit picking. I had occasionally seen pictures of New York orchards – usually engagement photo shoots – so I decided I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity engagement or no engagement. I even rubbed an apple on my shirt and ate it like in the movies! We also opted to go for a hike while passing through Mahwah, NJ. Gorgeous. Pre-trip research turned up shots of Central Park's picturesque Sheep Meadow which beckoned through our screens so we added that to our must-do list.
Times Square wasn’t exactly an objective, but we stumbled across it and what can I say? The lights were pretty and the street performers were uuber talented but …it didn’t make me feel brand new or inspired. It was congested and it gave me anxiety. I don’t even want to imagine what it’s like Dec. 31. Besides that, we made sure to hit The High Line elevated linear park. A quieter more peaceful stroll was in order. Speaking of linear walks, if you travel to New York, but don't walk the Brooklyn bridge, did you really even go? We didn't want to chance it so... we went.
In contrast to the hustle and bustle, Bronxville offered a quaint quiet that let us rejuvenate and made us actually feel like locals. It had tons of small businesses and food spots to choose from and it was within walking distance from the train station. I was struggling to find anything wrong with Bronxville. In fact, I think I may have left a bit of my heart there. Oh wait… there was that time we got pulled over by the police. More on that in a future post.
Our budget was skanty to say the least so we couldn’t let the accommodations eat up too much of it. We had to be industrious. During our first visit, we stayed in New Jersey. It meant a longer commute, but beggars can’t be choosers. On our second visit, we stayed at a friend’s house in Bronxville. So. Cute. Honestly, it’s like a quaint Gilmore Girls town. The first day we arrived, we met this guy while we were walking to get some grub. He saw me taking a picture of a sign for mac n cheese (my favorite) and dubbed me the “mac n cheese girl”. Two things: 1. I felt honored 2. He saw me almost every day after that and continued to call me “mac n cheese girl”. By the end of the trip, I truly felt like I belonged.
All in all, I’d say we were quite successful considering we were NOT on an NYC budget and we only spent a few days at a time. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of our New York experience.