Day 1 in the ‘magical land called New York City’ was so great that we weren’t sure anything could live up to it… but then came Day 2!
I do have to say, GoogleMaps was our best friend on this trip. After we booked our plane tickets and hotel, we scoured Pinterest, blogs, and the brains of NYC locals for what we needed to do! (Liz and I had each been to NYC before, so we wanted to visit a mix of touristy and not-so-touristy spots.) Then, we created a GoogleMap, color coded by day with walking directions between each stop. When we took the Subway, GoogleMaps told us everything we needed to know about which route to take.
Day 2 began at Battery Park, with a great view of the Statue of Liberty. We skipped the free ferry ride since it was a cold morning and we had a lot on our schedule… but 22 million take the ride each year, so it’s on the list for next time!
For lunch, we found an incredible little restaurant in the West Village called Buvette. Their website says that “Buvette Gastrothèque is inspired by the European traditions that honor a history of craft and design where each detail evokes a sense of story, place and delight.” They certainly live up to their inspiration. The restaurant is cozy without being crowded, and the decor takes you to another place and time. The tiny plates and tiny utensils carried the most fantastic Croque Monsieur I’ve ever eaten… and I’ve tried them everywhere from La Madeleine to cafés in Paris!
On our way to the Chelsea Market, we browsed some cute shops and stopped in at Magnolia Bakery (mentioned in The Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City) for some of their famous banana pudding. This southern girl was a little skeptical, because I’ve had some GOOD banana pudding in my time… but I learned a couple valuable lessons from this experience. 1) The South doesn’t have the corner on banana pudding market. 2) Get the medium. Or the large. The small is just not nearly big enough. No pics for this one… like I said… it was GOOD. And it was SMALL!
We almost missed the Chelsea Market with everything else on our schedule, and I’m so glad we didn’t! At this point, I was less bummed about getting the small banana pudding, because Chelsea Market is filled with lovely places to eat! Eleni’s cookies are hand-made, hand-iced, Kosher, and nut-free. They also happen to be beautiful. And they ship well! I sent a gift set to a friend and received this text: OMG! Not only were these cookies beyond cute, they tasted SO good!
Another not-to-miss spot in Chelsea Market… The Doughnuttery! They serve tiny doughnuts covered with flavored sugar. We tried Paris Time (Lavender, Vanilla, and Pistachio) and Bam Berry (Acai, Blueberry, and Maqui Berry)… both of which were fantastic! We played it safe… but for the more adventurous foodie, there’s the Purple Pig (Maple, Bacon, and Purple Potatoes)!
We needed a break from all of this incredible food, and Artists and Fleas (attached to Chelsea Market) was a perfect spot to check out some incredible art, jewelry and stationary. My favorite booth was Kevin Marcell’s NYC Re-Cycling booth. Marcell creates works of art on outdated cycling maps of NYC. These maps make a great souvenir if you’re looking for something that’s unique to NYC, but also just-plain-unique in general.
Just across the street from Chelsea Market is an entrance to The High Line. It was nice to get above the hustle and bustle of the city, but it was a little chilly, so we only stayed up there for a few minutes. On their website, though, it looks like there are some incredible activities (from star-gazing to match-making and garden tours to Latin dance parties) when there’s warmer weather!
TKTS Discount Booths offer 20-50% off Broadway and off-Broadway shows… and although it’s a bit of a gamble, you can find great seats for some popular shows. The TKTS booth opens at 3 PM in Times Square, so we got there around 2 and made our plan for which shows we wanted to see (Matilda, Les Miserables, or Jersey Boys). We ended up with 10th row tickets to see Matilda at 30% off!
Dylan’s was such an incredible experience on Day 1 that we needed to go back for a repeat. We headed up to the third floor, where there’s an ice cream shop, café with cupcake shaped booths, and a candy bar with adult beverages inspired by the sweet treats on the floors below.
Matilda was one of my favorite movies growing up, and I was SO excited to see the musical, but a little nervous that the play couldn’t live up to the movie. Boy, was I wrong! The songs and choreography were incredible, and the show is wow-ing audiences with some of our favorite scenes (chocolate cake and the pigtail hammer-throw) and a few characters that weren’t in the movie (the librarian stole the show!). It’s a whimsical yet emotional show that reminded me of the importance of investing in the lives of students.
The subway ride home included a stop at Grand Central where, contrary to every single chick-flick ever, I was not reunited with a long lost love. It was a beautiful stop anyways, and a great end to Day 2!