Peachhead™ Approved Vacations: Vacation in New York, April 2014
I love to travel with my girlfriends, so you can imagine my excitement when a college buddy asked me to fly with her to New York for the week, since she had to go for business but wanted to have fun, too. We flew on Delta airlines using miles and were able to fly first class on a 767 plane. Talk about pure luxury. They have seats that fully recline and they even had massagers. You also get your own individual screen to watch a variety of movies and shows. This was the best flight I have ever taken.
I made a reservation ahead of time for the Dial 7 car service to pick us up at the airport. They had a set fee of $53 (but I got a $5.00 discount online) for a luxury sedan. In addition I paid the $7.50 toll, plus tip.
My friend booked us at one of her favorite hotels in New York, The London New York Hotel, and I could easily see why it is one of her favorites. Not only is this hotel in a great location (near Central Park, The Theatre District, and Times Square), but it has very large rooms. The rooms are 500 square feet (which is very large for New York), and beautifully designed. Even the shower is large, with two shower heads at each end of the shower. The staff at the hotel is exceptionally nice and helpful.
Our first night in New York we went to dinner at PizzArte. They are known for their pizzas (they even have gluten-free pizza) but I really loved the Insalarte salad (Burrata cheese, tomatoes carpaccio, and basil olive oil). You can sit downstairs or upstairs but we found the upstairs much nicer. The restaurant also showcases different artists so you can view different pieces of art when you dine there. After dinner we walked around and ended up at Central Park, so we took a nighttime horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park. It was a really beautiful evening. After our ride we walked around Times Square and ended up at a comedy club. It was a fun first day.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel. They set up a wonderful buffet, complete with bagels and lox, fruits, cheese, croissants, and of course my favorite: chocolate croissants. After breakfast we ventured out to shop on 5th Ave (similar to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills) where they have stores carrying many of the high end brands. Some of the stores will actually deliver your purchased items to your hotel so be sure to ask if you plan on being out for a while.
After shopping, we took a taxi to the High Line, an elevated train station that has been converted into a beautifully landscaped walkway encompassing 30 blocks. It was absolutely stunning. From there we took the subway back to our hotel (which surprisingly was very easy using the app Hop Stop).
For dinner that night we went to Sushi of Gari 46, a sushi restaurant in the theatre district. The sushi was fantastic, and they cater to theatre crowds, so they were very swift in serving our food. They have 3 different sushi combos to try (they are not well described on the menu, so you should ask the difference between each item--I am still not clear on the difference).
Our first show in New York was Rock of Ages. What an incredibly fun, energetic, funny show. From the time the show starts, you are thoroughly entertained by all of the great music of the 80’s. The costumes are fun and the set design was great as well. The band performs on the stage and becomes a part of the musical. Such a high energy and fun show….you definitely leave feeling energized and happy.
After the show, we stopped in the Lounge Bar at the London Hotel for a drink. They have a wonderful drink menu and offer a unique selection of drinks. My favorite was the London Red Carpet. I love deviled eggs so I was excited to try the caviar deviled eggs from the bar menu. Yummy.
The following day we saw The Bridges of Madison County Musical. This was such an emotional show. Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale had such chemistry together. The set design was beautiful and cleverly done. The show’s final performance was May 18th; however, they will begin a national tour in the fall of 2015.
I love Michael’s restaurant in Santa Monica so when a friend mentioned that there was a Michael’s Restaurant in New York a couple of blocks from our hotel, we decided to dine there. I thoroughly enjoyed the Sashimi of Hamachi, the Buratta appetizer, and the Maryland Lump Crab Cakes. Michaels Restaurant has great service and a wonderful ambience. It is such a nice, quiet restaurant, compared to so many other New York restaurants that are very loud. You can actually carry on an enjoyable conversation while dining. After dinner we saw the show Mamma Mia. This was such a cute show, full of great energy and music, which includes all of Abba’s wonderful music. The story revolves around a daughter who wants to know who her father is, so she invites the three men that she believes could possibly be her father to her wedding. The show was funny, energetic, and entertaining.
I was meeting some friends for dinner one night so I had to take the subway by myself from midtown to Tribecca. Luckily it was only one train but what really helped is an app called Hop Stop. You can tell it your current location and where you want to go and it will tell you which train to get on. The only confusing thing for me was making sure I was getting on in the right direction. We had dinner in Park Slope at an Asian-American restaurant called Talde. The food was different, but very good. Afterwards I met some other friends at an bar called Apotheke. This was such a unique place. The drinks are called prescriptions, and they are all freshly made using exotic herbs and fruits. The drinks were wonderful with very cool names. There are restrictions in getting in and minimums per person on Friday and Saturday nights, so be sure to check first if they are taking reservations that night or allowing walk ins. We left Apotheke and went to The Village Underground, where they play live music downstairs. The night we were there, the house band was playing, a 10-piece band that totally rocked the place. We stayed until closing. It was only a $5.00 cover charge (on a Thursday night) and a 2 drink minimum.
I wanted to take a bike ride through Central Park, but when I did it once before with my family, I felt like I didn’t see all of the wonderful sites to see, so I went on a 2-hour guided bike tour with Bike and Roll. It was so wonderful. We had a small group, and Damion was our guide. He was so knowledgeable and told us the most entertaining stories. He truly loves his job, and his enthusiasm rubs off. He took us to so many great spots, including a waterfall I never even knew existed. The flowers were in bloom. After my ride I continued on my own and rode completely around the park at my own pace. At the far end of the park there is a pretty steep hill that can be quite the workout. If you are riding with young kids, I would suggest finding out where the cut-off turn is to avoid the big hill.
My last night in New York I saw the show Jersey Boys. This show tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and how they went from working on the streets to the stardom they achieved. It was very entertaining and the singing was amazing--so many recognizable songs. The staging was done very differently, including having a drummer on a moving platform on the stage, so he glided across the stage while he played.
If you are going to New York to see shows like I did, you can get discounted tickets for shows by going to the TKTS box office in Times Square, or you can go online to www.Broadwaybox.com. I went to BroadwayBox.com to try to get discounted tickets for Jersey Boys, but the seat options were not great. I then chose the option for regular price tickets, and since I was only getting 1 ticket, I got 3rd row center.
New York is a fabulous city to visit. Whether you are going with your family and doing all of the sight seeing adventures or going with a friend for a getaway full of shows, food, and fun, New York has something for everyone.
I want to thank The Bridges Of Madison County Musical, Rock of Ages, and Mamma Mia for giving me tickets to the shows and Bike and Roll for hosting my guided bike tour.