A-List Travel Diaries: Rounding Up NYC Again

We travel a lot, A-Listers. We’ve been on 20+ flights, have stayed in almost 30 hotels, and traveled more than 50,000 miles combined—and there’s no sign of us stopping! No complaints here! As we await our next adventure, we wanted to reminisce about one of our favorite cities that we (admittedly) have covered before: New York. We’re just as obsessed with it as we were in the winter when we first walked the avenues of Manhattan, but as this was our second trip there in four months, we were a little savvier than before.

Wrapping up our Sigma Delta Tau conference on the other side of the Hudson, we hopped on the New Jersey Transit Rail System from Newark Liberty Airport and took the train into the city. NJ Transit takes you straight into Penn Station on the West Side—super easy to hail a cab and get to your hotel. Yes, it’s easy to take the subway too, but with our bulky and heavy bags, we opted for the pricier option.

During our first trip, we stayed at the Four Points Sheraton in Midtown. This time around, we went the boutique route and stayed at the Avalon Hotel. The plus was that the room was huge. Downside: not as well maintained and visibly older than their mass chain counterparts. Either way, we didn’t spend too much time there, so we couldn’t complain.

Since our last trip was during the throws of winter, we wanted to soak up the June New York sun! First stop, the legendary Central Park Boathouse. We wanted to try the restaurant in February, but due to seasonal restrictions, we didn’t get a chance. This time we made a reservation, dressed up, and hit the park! The food was delicious (and don’t get us started on the yummy iced tea) but keep in mind it is a splurge. We went for lunch so it was a smidge cheaper than dinner, but we still opted to split an appetizer, entrée, and salad between two people, rather than getting our own pricier entrées.

The Boathouse from across the lake (aka where Malin Ackerman tells Katherine Heigl she's stealing her dream wedding venue in "27 Dresses"
The Boathouse from across the lake (aka where Malin Ackerman tells Katherine Heigl she’s stealing her dream wedding venue in “27 Dresses”
We split the Roast Chicken and Prosciutto Appetizer...and that Iced Tea though!
We split the Roast Chicken and Prosciutto Appetizer…and that Iced Tea though!

Following our tasty summer intro to the city, we wandered around Central Park for a while. Man is it huge! Fun fact: if you get lost in the park, the light posts have numbers that indicate what side of the park you’re on (East or West) and what numbered street you’re closest to. Smart right?

We stumbled upon Belvedere Castle (great photo op), Cleopatra’s Needle (seems so random in the Park!), and the Shakespeare Garden (couldn’t help twirling, it just seemed the right thing to do).

Fun Fact: Belvedere Castle was originally built as a Victorian "folly" (i.e. a decorative building) but was turned into a weather center!
Fun Fact: Belvedere Castle was originally built as a Victorian “folly” (i.e. a decorative building) but was turned into a weather center!
Great views of Central Park from here!
Great views of Central Park from here!
Part of a "Cleopatra's Needle" trio--the other two are in London and Paris!
Part of a “Cleopatra’s Needle” trio–the other two are in London and Paris!

You might think we were done for the day given how overwhelming Central Park can be. Oh no, no, we maximized our time. We hurried back to the hotel to freshen up and change, hopped on the train, and headed to the Bronx to go watch a Yankees game. We got some last minute tickets online (best places to look are Stubhub, TicketMaster, or the Ticket Exchange for that team).

Yankee Stadium Tips
Great seats at a great price! Thanks Fan Exchange!

The fandom is real! It was exciting to be surrounded by such passionate people!

Tip: The stadium doesn’t allow GoPros or selfie sticks into the stadium so leave those in the room!

The next morning, we let ourselves sleep in a bit, and made our way to TriBeca’s SaraBeth’s to brunch (channeling our inner Serena and Blair). Okay, when we say this might have been the best brunch meal we’ve ever had, this might actually be the best brunch meal we’ve ever had. The portions are huge so, if possible, share the plate—or don’t. It’s up to you. The French Toast and Lemon Ricotta pancakes are so good that they just might be waiting for us at the pearly gates. Heavenly.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes + French Toast + A Side of Bacon
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes + French Toast + A Side of Bacon

With a full stomach and happy memories, we boarded the Water Taxi and headed across the East River, to Brooklyn. And did we fall in love! *Cue dramatic sigh*

Wandering around the DUMBO neighborhood, we grabbed a sweet snack at One Girl Cookies – we personally preferred the cupcake but that’s just us—and headed to the TKTS booth to score some Broadway show steals for that night. Another tip: the TKTS booth offers legitimate and discounted show tickets for the night of or the next day, but the booth location in Times Square is by far the most crowded and popular with the tourists. We snagged some great tickets to “Chicago” with a way shorter wait at the Brooklyn location.

That cupcake though!
That cupcake though!
Ideal place for a picnic looking at the Manhattan skyline
Ideal place for a picnic looking at the Manhattan skyline

We then braved the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Here’s another tip for ya: walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan because you’ll get some beautiful pictures of the Manhattan skyline walking that way. Warning though—this walk is not for the faint hearted. We were so beat when we got to the other side that we hailed a cab to get back to our hotel. Don’t judge us.

But like actually this walk was a trek! So worth it though!
But like actually this walk was a trek! So worth it though!

Last night, best night, right? After a quick refresh in our hotel room, we had a mellow dinner at Pret-a-Manger (an east coast staple that’s UK based but still hasn’t made it to the west coast yet) and cabbed over to the theatre. It was raining oh-so-slightly…it was magical! There’s something about the rain in the city reflecting all the lights that just makes it the prettiest thing ever.

After a short wait to get into the theatre, we found our seats. We recommend wearing something that is both cute and comfortable and bring your daintiest clutch to accessorize because the seats are small in these historic Broadway theatres with very little room for your normal commuter tote. Regardless of all that, the show was fantastic. It’s been a bucket list item for us to go see a show on Broadway, and it really didn’t disappoint. In the Ambassador Theatre in particular, there is not a bad seat, so we were able to see everything, even in the Mezzanine. The tickets were definitely worth it!

You can't help but be excited when you queue up for this
You can’t help but be excited when you queue up for this

The next day, we were packed and headed back home, but our trip back through Penn Station and into John F. Kennedy airport was painless (highly recommended rather than taking a $60 taxi to the airport!). It was great being back in California after our East Coast adventure, but 5th Ave will always have a place in our heart.

What’s your favorite part about NYC A-Listers? Let us know!

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