A Few Days in New York

Venture & Roam: Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island
Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island

It has been two weeks since we left New York City, and I’m not sure why I’ve been putting off this post. Could it be that I’m still having guilt over my love affair with Boston? Or maybe that writing this post means facing the fact that I’m truly back to the daily grind? Am I subconsciously missing vacation? Or could it be that I knew this post would be long, and I could’t fathom writing a long post after vacation? I can’t say for sure, but I’ll take a guess that its probably just due to pure laziness.

After an amazing trip to Boston, we flew to New York City and headed to our hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Mela, conveniently located right in the middle of Times Square. The room was small, especially for a king-sized bed (I’m pretty sure Husband felt shocked at the “price versus square-footage” conundrum that plagues NYC), but it was cozy and relatively quiet for the area.

On the first day, Husband had to do some prep for an important conference he was leading, so I decided to do a little shopping. I figured that it was the perfect opportunity to buy stone beads at some of my favorite jewelry supply shops without having to drag my husband along. I ventured down 6th Avenue between 40th and 36th Streets, making my way to all of the best shops, and after a few hours of sifting through rows upon rows of shiny colorful beads, I returned home with a bag of nice goodies.

After dropping off my haul from the bead shops at our hotel room, husband and I met up with a dear sorority sister of mine, Sarah. We had lunch near Rockefeller Plaza at a place called Bill’s Bar & Burgers, where we ate delicious burgers and tacos.  It was so nice catching up with my friend, hearing about her life in New York City, and sharing our excitement over Husband and I starting a family. Sarah works in the Digital Marketing division of Simon & Schuster, and brought us amazing board books for the baby. They were such kind gifts, especially given how much I love to read, and I was so thankful that she gave them to us.

We left lunch craving something sweet, so we headed to Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake and some banana pudding. With our goodies to go, we said our goodbyes to Sarah and headed back to the hotel for a quick rest and to have a nibble of our sweet treats. After satisfying our sweet tooth cravings, we went shopping at Buy Buy Baby to shop for strollers. We spent a lot of time deliberating the different models, hemmed and hawed over which stroller was best for us, and we finally settled on the Bugaboo Chameleon3.

In a rush, we hurried back to our hotel to freshen up before heading to the Eugene O’Neill Theater to see The Book of Mormon. My husband is not a fan of musicals, and the idea of going to see one while we were in New York was not at the top of his list of things to do. But within the first song, we were both doubled over with laughter, tears welling up in our eyes from pure humour. Husband finally had his first taste of Broadway, and I’m pretty sure it left him willing to try it again.

After the theater, we dashed to make our reservation at a little Italian bistro called Basso56. We each had a pasta dish, the Fettuccine Con Funghi Porcini e Spinaci for me and the Rigatoni alla Bolognese for Husband. Lulled by full bellies, the coziness and warmth of the restaurant, we could have sat there for hours. But a late-night flight delay and even later (2am) arrival the day before had finally taken hold of us, so we lazily shuffled out of the restaurant and headed back to our hotel for some much needed rest.

The next morning, my husband had his important conference. I left early to grab us some breakfast (yummy oatmeal and coffee from Pret a Manger). I curled up and read my book while Husband led his meeting, and then we headed out the door to do some more exploring. We walked uptown towards Central Park. On our way, we stopped at the Nintendo store, something my husband was very interested in seeing. It was fun to play the demo games, look at all of the old gaming devices, and shop for a nice Zelda shirt for Husband. We even bought a small pink Yoshi doll for the baby.

Venture & Roam: Nintendo store in Rockefeller Plaza
Nintendo Store

We continued uptown and made our way to Central Park. It was absolutely gorgeous and picturesque: fresh Spring air, warm sunshine, and blooming petals from the tops of trees all the way down to the spring flowers on the ground. We enjoyed a wonderful stroll through the park, breathing in the fresh air and and taking in the feeling of being back in green nature (something we don’t get a lot in Dubai).  As we made our way through the park, we worked up quite an appetite. Before we stopped at the American Museum of Natural History, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Cafe Frida, a little Mexican restaurant with a lot of flavor. We shared soft corn tacos with barbacoa, guacamole, and platanos fritos. The meal was absolutely delicious, and our hunger was satisfied.

Venture & Roam: Central Park in Spring, spring blooms, blooming trees
Central Park in Spring

Venture & Roam: Central Park Scenery, trees in bloom, nature
Central Park Scenery

Our next stop was the American Museum of Natural History. We visited the Hayden Planetarium first, which was in a word: incredible. The show, called “Dark Universe” and narrated by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, was visually spectacular. We felt as if we had been transported directly into Space, flying among the stars, and moving through time to discover everything that is currently known about the origins of the Universe.

Venture & Roam: Greeted by Residents at the Entrance of the American Museum of Natural History, fossils, dinosaurs, apatosaurus
Greeted by Residents at the Entrance of the American Museum of Natural History 

After the show, we roamed around the museum. At the top of our list for must-sees: dinosaurs, more dinosaurs, and gems. We met with our lovely friends, the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops, and we explored the world of rocks and minerals. It was such a great afternoon at the museum, and we really felt like kids again.

Venture & Roam: Tyrannosaurus Rex Skull, fossil, fossils, predator
Tyrannosaurus Rex Skull

Venture & Roam: fossils, dinosaur armour
Dinosaur armour 

Venture & Roam: Triceratops at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, NYC, fossils, dinosaur
Triceratops Relaxing

Venture & Roam: The Star of India Sapphire, with star shapes
The Star of India

By late afternoon, we were feeling pretty beat from walking around and exploring the city. We headed back to our hotel to take a nice nap (always a vacation-worthy thing to do). We awoke from our naps feeling rested (though my feet still felt quite sore… one of those things they don’t tell you about being pregnant), and started to get ready for dinner.

We walked through the crowds in Times Square, and made our way towards another little Italian restaurant, Becco. There, we met two good friends of mine from college, Lindsey and Nico. Over unlimited pasta, we caught up on each other’s lives, laughed about funny times in college, and had many discussions about wedding planning (as Nico & Lindsey are getting married!). We had a lot of fun, and it was so nice to catch up with them. We said our goodbyes to my friends, and strolled home enjoying the crisp air along the way.

The next morning, our last day in New York City and the final day of our trip, began early in the morning. We left the hotel and took the subway towards Battery Park. We grabbed a quick coffee (skinny hot chocolate for me) before buying our tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty. It was a cold, gray and windy day, but we were determined to see Lady Liberty. We boarded the ferry and watched Manhattan drift into the fog as the boat made its way towards Liberty Island. As we left the boat, the we waited in a line that seemed to last forever, but we finally made it to the observation deck of the statue. It was fun to stand at the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, but we decided that it was better to get a view of her from the ground given that it was raining and overcast.

From the ground, we have a wonderful view of Lady Liberty in all her glory. Her turquoise green hue stood in stark contrast with the gray skies. She stood strong and determined against the wind, and the sight of her sparked a patriotic fever in my bones. Strong woman, strong country. Proud.

Venture & Roam: Lady Liberty, Statue of Liberty, Pedestal, a view from the ground
Lady Liberty

Venture & Roam: Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, patriotic, Lady Liberty,
Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island

We left Liberty Island and decided to skip Ellis Island. Instead, Husband and I opted to take the ferry back to Manhattan and walked to the 9/11 Memorial Site to pay our respects to the victims. It was sobering to stand at the place of such tragedy, and to read the names of those who perished during the attack. The most memorable name for me was a woman and “her unborn child”. I was shocked and saddened, and felt instantly connected to this woman while my unborn child kicked in my belly.

Husband and I left the memorial and headed the Chelsea Market for some lunch. We perused the different shops and restaurants before settling on Friedman’s Lunch, a quaint little diner that serves amazing Club Sandwiches. Though the market is noisy and bustling, it has a unique charm that even the hardest critic would find difficult to resist. After lunch we hopped on the subway and went to the Momofuku Milk Bar near Union Square to try the truffles and Crack Pie (both out of this world delicious).

We roamed around the square, popping into Barnes & Noble. There, Husband found two books by his favorite author that he hadn’t been able to locate in Dubai. We bought them immediately and he was giddy with anticipation for starting his new books. By now, my feet and back ached from so many days of walking in a row (thanks pregnancy), so we headed back to the hotel to pack our belongings and relax before leaving for the airport that evening.

It was so wonderful to be back in New York City, if only for a few days. It was an action packed adventure, and I loved having the chance to show Husband around the city that I have loved my entire life. Now if only I could get my mind off of Boston!

Remember: Life is short, share in the adventure!

What are your favorite spots in New York? Share them below! 


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