A few wrong turns thanks to OnStar updating turns 3 minutes after you pass by your street or exit and we were in the city from the Bronx by 4:00 PM-ish. We chose any parking garage that looked halfway legit and crossed our fingers. Parking in Manhattan can be $$$, but we ended up with a $22 bill, which isn’t too bad if you’re crazy enough to bring a motor vehicle into the city to begin with. Traveling on foot or mass transit or bicycle are the best ways to get around the city. But this visit was actually the first time that we didn’t take any trains! So that will give you an idea of how much foot to pavement action we got that day.
Our first destination: Central Park, a 1 mile walk from where we dropped off our car.
Super easy to navigate with a GPS app. I feel as a life-long New Yorker I should probably know the city a little better than this by now. In my defense, I’m an upstate New Yorker. Completely different worlds!
I’ve never been to this section of the park. It’s massive, so you could spend the entire day just walking around it.
I thought it was pretty cool that Applegate Farms had an organic food cart in the park.
It wasn’t the only one either. In just a few steps there was another one advertising an organic menu. Awesome, if that your thing. We opted for the greasy hot dog carts outside of the park, haha. Gotta have a street dog when you visit the city! And share a warm soft pretzel.
Somehow I stepped in horse poo in the park. That was fun to clean off. Gross! lol
After the park we headed towards Times Square. We made a list of destinations, but mapped them out for specific trains near each location. When one little step changed, our map became irrelevant. So, we had to wing it with the GPS app. Still worked out pretty well.
Seeing this on our way to Times Square brought a HUGE smile to my face. I swear we didn’t put it there, LOL.
Props to whomever did, though! <3
Proof that FREEDOM IS POPULAR, yo!
Diddy looking spiffy as always.
Had to stop by the M&M store. I mean, 3 floors of M&Ms? Srsly.
Dustin thought I meant Eminem and wondered when Slim Shady got an entire store, haha.
My sentiments exactly, Mr. M&M groper.
Clearly this is actually Times CHOCOLATE Square with this view across the street:
My hair = windblown to hell
Dustin’s hair = hurricane-resistant
We walked around Times Square for awhile and then headed over to Rockefeller Center, on foot of course.
Some band was playing. Don’t ask me who, I have no idea. I’m listening to my 80s playlist as I write this.
The crowd was dense. Not my favorite attraction of the evening. I’m not into practicing sardines-in-a-can skills with random strangers.
From Rockefeller Center, we made our way to the Empire State Building. I’ve never gone to the top, until this visit.
We opted for the 86th floor view which was reasonably priced at $25 per adult.
This was definitely the highlight of my day. The views are worth the money and wait. The 86th floor deck was REALLY crowded, so you had to wait for someone to move to get near the edge. Only a few minutes, though.
I think those beams of light in the background are coming from the World Trade Center memorial?
I’m so glad that we went up at night; I love all of the lights!
I took pics from all four sides. Millions and millions of lights. It’s a magnificent sight. A must-see at least once in your lifetime.
Check out the rooftop gardens! These look like miniature forests. Love it!
Michael and Ashley having the time of their lives.
Taxis become ants from 86 floors up!
That was fun. Other than the Statue of Liberty, I’ve pretty much seen all the major NYC sights. And it only took 30+ years of living in NY, ha!
We finished the day with a visit to one of our favorite places to eat in Little Italy: La Mela Ristorante . I’ve been coming to this restaurant since I was a kid. It’s THAT good.
And we always order family style, if you remember from my otherNYC visit posts . The menu hasn’t changed in at least 20 years!
First course: Caprese salad with homemade mozzarella
Second course: Antipasti
Asparagus Parmigiana, Spiedini Alla Romana (fried mozzarella), Roasted Red Peppers, Stuffed Mushrooms
The spiedini alla Romana, I’m not even kidding, Dustin and I have considered going to the city in the middle of the night just to eat this. It’s the most remarkable thing I have ever eaten in my life! Fresh mozzarella in a chewy crust. I’m getting weak in the knees just thinking about it.
After walking for a solid 6+ hours straight, I felt zero guilt about any of this. Then again, I could have used a Segway all day and still wouldn’t feel the slightest remorse for eating any of this, haha.
Third course: Pasta
Gnocchi, tortellini with alfredo sauce, rigatoni with marinara
Unfortunately they did change their alfredo sauce. Not as good as it used to be! Too busy now. Was better when simpler.
Fourth course: Meat course (no pics, sorry!) We had them wrap it to go, we just wanted to get to dessert after all of the above AND 4 pitchers of water shared among the table, lol!
Fifth course: Dessert spectacular
Tartufo, Cannoli, Tiramisu, Italian Cheesecake, Zabaglione with Strawberries and Bananas
It doesn’t matter how full you are, there is always room to taste these desserts!
I had a small spoonful of the tiramisu and one of the tartufo (ice cream with chocolate shell + cherry). SO GOOD!
We took a taxi back to our car. It was after 1:00 AM and we went nearly 3 miles away and with 10 extra pounds recently added to our bodies walking just wasn’t happening. It was a sweltering 90 degrees F and humid in the city that day. Needless to say I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow that night. But no matter how tired I am after a long outing, I always have to throw my clothes in the wash and take a shower.
Our guests really, really enjoyed the city. Now, I just need to score some tickets to see the Book of Mormon on Broadway the next time we head to the city. Wish me luck with that!
Have you ever been to NYC? What do you like to do there? Any restaurant recommendations for my next visit?