How to Spend a Girl’s Weekend in New York

I know there are approximately a million places to stay and dine and visit in New York (give or take a few) but as far as spending a long weekend in the Big City with my mom and sisters, I think we pretty much nailed it. We’ve been threatening to visit Jess ever since she moved last fall (remember this incredibly depressing post I wrote about her leaving?) but our own work, school and the whole surgery mess got in the way. Until last weekend. If you’re planning your own trip, allow me to recommend…

Hotel: We stayed at Ink48 in midtown which had an amazing rooftop bar with great views of the city, friendly staffers and sizable rooms as far as New York goes. Another perk? It was extremely affordable. We’re talking under $300 per night.
The only downside? We stayed on the street side, which was a little noisy at night. Request the Hudson River side and you’ll sleep like you had four vodka sodas at Beauty & Essex. Speaking of which…

Restaurants: I swear, every meal we had was incredible. A big thanks to Jess for coordinating all the reservations. Let me tell you about my favorites:

Beauty & Essex: My dad said this place was a must-go. I was worried it would be a little trendy for my mom, not that she isn’t cool but I know the city can be a bit of a scene and I didn’t want her to feel like she didn’t fit in (IDK I worry about these things I can’t help it).
Well, it was trendy and cool, but everyone we interacted with was so kind, especially our  lovely waitress, and the food was amazing.
My favs were the grilled cheese wantons, oysters, tuna tacos and the box of donuts we ate for dessert (not that the donuts were the only thing we ate for dessert. I just need to clarify. Order all the desserts.)
I won’t ruin the experience for you if you haven’t been – but definitely check it out.
*Reservation recommended / $$

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel: This was something my mom really wanted to do so we were all like, sure, OK, let’s roll, without any expectations. I made a reservation on OpenTable the day before for a Sunday, and I’m not sure if it was luck or if that’s always a possibility, but I’d make a reservation just in case because the Palm Court (the restaurant within the hotel) was packed.
Can I please tell you that if you go to New York with your Mom or even your sisters you have to do this? First of all, the Plaza Hotel is iconic. Its been in so many movies you will absolutely recognize it once you walk in. Its gorgeous with large, crystal chandeliers and a massive flowers display once you walk in. There’s a very Chelsea-market-like vibe on the bottom floor of the hotel, too, which we only discovered because we got lost trying to find the bathroom but still. Head there and take a look after your tea.
As for the tea, it was fantastic. There are several prix fixe menus which included either a champagne tea, regular or princess tea (which comes with cotton candy. Because that’s what princesses eat, clearly.)
Whatever, I didn’t get the princess tea because I’m 29 now and I was trying to be mature but the entire set up makes you feel like royalty. Little scones and cucumber sandwiches, gorgeous ornate china for your tea cups and saucers, pink menus… Are you getting a nice picture? I was a little skeptical that it may be cheesy, but it absolutely wasn’t. Get a little dressed up and take your mom – you won’t regret it.
*Reservation recommended / $70-100 for prix fixe menu

Bar Americain: This is Bobby Flay’s American restaurant near Broadway, which is perfect to eat at before you hit a show, cause its within walking distance. Because of that, I thought it may be overpriced or overrated, but then I remembered it was Bobby Flay and everything he does is amazing, just like this place.
Bar Americain is huge, which is great because it wasn’t overly crowded when we were there and it wasn’t too loud, so we could actually hear each other. It also had an extensive menu and covered all the bases for the different tastes at our table (I had the pork chops, my mom had the fried chicken, one of my sisters had mussels. See what I mean?) And everything was amazing. Just like Bobby Flay.
*Reservations recommended / $$$

Don’t Miss:
Chelsea Market. Wear flats, walk around. Buy yourself some expensive truffle salt, eat some ice cream, drink some organic juice.
A Broadway Play. This was my mom’s first time seeing a Broadway show – how cool is that? We saw this. It was one of those dark comedies where its funny and people laugh but then everyone dies at the end. Not really but kind of.
5th Avenue. The best (high end) shopping in New York, and its right on the edge of Central Park (#bonus). Bergdorf. Louie. Dolce. The Tiffany’s is massive. We’re talking like, eight floors and elevator attendants who say things like, “Welcome to the floor of magic” when you get off at Level 2 where they house all the shiny engagement rings. Its a trip.

Whatever you do…Don’t forget to bring comfy shoes and take the subway. We spent the first day in taxi cabs sitting in traffic for dayyys. Do yourself a favor and figure out the subway system, it will save you so much time and money. It will be worth it.

Another big thanks to my sister for showing us around her new home. We miss her terribly but are so proud of her for following her big, big dreams.

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