Tuesday, July 7, 2009


These are some of the sights that I love in New York. Grand Central Terminal is gorgeous. The picture in the header above is part of the ceiling in this classic-looking train station. The aquamarine color is original and a nice departure from the typical white.

My sister, Tammy, and I were in NYC in May. We hit it spot-on arriving the week following six straight days of rain. We had three cloudy days and three bright blue sky days. Lucky us!

For my last few trips to New York, I have used Dial 7 (212-777-7777), for service between Newark Airport and Manhattan. It is great because for a flat fee (plus tolls) you get a clean non-smoking car, no waiting in line for a taxi, and no extra costs for rush-hour traffic. It ends up being almost the same price as a taxi if not cheaper if traffic is an issue.

Dinner our first night was at Osteria al Doge in the theatre district. Recommended by my friend Sharon, it is now one of my favorite restaurants. Also at her recommendation I ordered the TAGLIOLINI ALLA CHITARRA, homemade pasta with veal ragu and wild mushrooms--perfection. Tammy had the TORTELLONI AL SALMONE, homemade tortelloni with salmon and she loved it. All very reasonably priced and I highly recommend it for your next visit.

I have always wanted to tour the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club Decorator Show House (pic below) but my timing was never right until this year. Two favorite designers were in attendance: Charlotte Moss and Bunny Williams. I loved studying their work up close. It was also a great place to people-watch. Clothing styles: flats, tunics, short belted light-weight coats, and lots of patent leather bags.

Six floors of well-designed rooms including a large kitchen in the walk-out basement. Sounds odd but it worked with floor to ceiling window giving abundant light. Wish I could post all the gorgeous rooms but no photos were allowed. Click here for pics of a few rooms shown in House Beautiful magazine.

We then stopped at a new favorite lunch place, Corrado Bread & Pastry at 70th Street and Lexington. More fun people-watching.

Then we house-gawked. Loved this townhouse on the Upper East Side. The embellishments are just right. I so badly wanted to tap on the door for a peak inside ("really, if you knew us you would like us, please let us in". This door is attached to the house (see below) on the left side of the photo.

Tammy and I loved these two townhouses and couldn't decide which one we liked best. We stood out in front staring and taking pictures I'm surprised security wasn't called.

When we first arrived, after checking-in at our hotel, we promptly walked over to Gray's Papaya for its Recession special: two hot dogs and a papaya drink for $4.75. They're not exactly J Dawgs (best hot dogs ever), but for a quick, cheap lunch in NYC, Gray's Papaya was good enough.

Wednesdays are free at the New York Botanical Garden. We took a 20-minute train for $5 each way north up to the Bronx. It was one of the three bright blue sky days I mentioned so we hit it just right.

No changing trains just get off at the Botanical Garden Station and cross the street--you can see this sign (above) from your window seat.

This is a gem of a place. We took the 20-minute tram ride around the Garden to get an overview and then walked and walked. Loads of perfectly formed flowers. Bright colors massed together. Obelisks, urns, a gorgeous Victorian conservatory, all those precious gardening-enhancements everywhere. But, oh the flowers.

We came across a few deals on this trip--Botanical Garden free on Wednesdays; the Morgan Library and Study free on Tuesdays from 3-5 and Fridays 7-9. And a great dinner special at one of David Burke's restaurants, a little cafe at Bloomingdales. He has a three course meal for $20.09 that is delicious. Our third course was his famous cheesecake lollipops (below). Excellent!

We had lunch at the famous Balthalzar's where celebrity sightings are frequent. As we walked in Brooke Shields was walking out. It is a very French bistro. The highlight were the profiteroles (below) with warm bittersweet chocolate syrup poured by the waiter when it is served.

And in my family, every trip to New York includes a Butterscotch Sundae at Serendipity's.

Another must-do for us is a stop at the Union Square Green Market. Masses of flowers, fruits, vegetables, cheese from local farms, and other edible goodies fill Union Square.

These buckets of Wisteria sold for $6 a bunch--and the bunch was huge. Union Square is just around the corner from one of our favorite shops, ABC Carpet and Home (odd name, I know, but very cool store).

Bagels are a staple in New York and we tried three popular places: Ess-a-Bagel, Murray's, and Zabars. Ess-a is our usual place and we love it but its competition is Murray's, which we had to try. I love a toasted bagel and Murray's won't toast--they say a good bagel doesn't need toasting. They are right. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. What we didn't like was the neighborhood so Ess-a is the winner for us.

Eating bagels at Zabars sitting at a communal table on a very rushed Friday morning, we felt very New York. A long-standing staple on the Upper West Side, Zabars is an eclectic grocery store that is worth wandering through.

The cheese shop alone is fascinating. Downstairs it's all speciality food items and upstairs it's all kitchen items. Next door is the bagel shop we tried. Lots of action, lots of loud New York voices, and we loved it.

Churchill Square in Greenwich Village--a nice respite in the middle of the ever-buzzing city. After walking and walking through Greenwich and SoHo we stopped a bit in this sweet little park.

We did see two plays, Mary Stuart (my favorite), and Round and Round the Garden (part of the Norman Conquests trilogy). Both plays that orginated in London and brought its original London casts. Mary Stuart had two brilliant actresses, Janet McTeer and Harriet Walters. Round and Round the Garden was very funny British humor and very clever. Loved Mary Stuart and really enjoyed Round and Round.

New York is always great fun especially when you can take the time to roam around the great little neighborhoods. If you've been to NYC, what's your favorite place?


  1. Your post is so informative and fun. I want to go there now. I love your insights. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great pictures.. It was a very nice trip!

  3. Flowers, fashion, food and fun, what more could two girls want? It all looks so lovely! You are right, lucky you!

  4. Hi Kim,

    I am currently looking at your blog and wished that you could come with Jake and I to NYC! You did some great things! The designer showhouse…jeez! That must have been awesome! Have to say I have heard of Bunny Williams but not Charlotte Moss. And, I forgot about ABC Home and Carpet, but you reminded me and I will be dragging Jake there!!! And, I think we will hit Balthazar too! Did you see the restaurant, Insieme in Times Square? Read about it in Food & Wine and we may try that...will let you know! Thanks for the GREAT info and always, I am in awe of your traveling abilities!!! xoxo

  5. Hi KIm, First of all, thank you for visiting my blog & leaving a comment!....& now about NYC!....I LOVE it too, & if you are going you must do it without a schedule, just bumming around the streets, letting the city show itself off! Some of the places you went are ones I would love to go too!....We have our schedule or ritual too!....always stay on the Upper West Side (love the neighborhoods!)....we always go to Tinsel Trading Co. & many of the fabric & ribbon shops in the garment district & Soho, love it!!!...Anyway, I could go on & on!....Thank you so much for a delightful trip through New York!...Your blog is wonderful!....I will be back!...Your new friend, Heidi XO