Okay, so I am back! We had a great trip with good weather, we missed most of the rain that was originally called for. On Tuesday, I realized that I was breathing easier, too, which was a great start to the vacation.
If you've never been to NYC, I highly recommend it. NYC was clean and the people were quite pleasant. I never felt unsafe. I think it is a great place to take a family, with older children or to spend the week with your gal pals. I plan to take Buddy in a few years. Here are some of the things I'd recommend doing and visiting:
We stayed at the Belvedere Hotel on 48th Street in a Double Executive Room. Our room easily accommodated the 4 of us, was very modern and clean. We payed $289 a night, in a very safe area. We were exactly 2 blocks away from Times Square, 4 blocks from Rockefeller Center, right in the heart of the theater district and all the Broadway shows, and lots of places to eat were nearby.
We took a tour with New York City OnBoard Tours which was WONDERFUL! First of all, we were on an air conditioned bus with water bottles for guests (and we did get caught in rain sprinkles that day, so we were lucky for the enclosed bus). Secondly, we had a VERY knowledgeable tour guide. He was FABULOUS. He was very knowledgeable on the history of the city, having lived there all of his life and attended NYU for his undergrad degree and his masters degree. He shared all sorts of personal stories that really made you feel you were there during different periods of history. We saw all kinds of sights from Central Park (Strawberry Fields pictured here with our tour guide giving the history of the mural), Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, the Twin Towers site (which he gave us a very personal account of the day, he worked in building number 7), and various other spots we would not otherwise have seen like Wall Street, SoHo, and lots of beautiful churches. I highly recommend this tour company, although there are lots of deals to be had on the streets, this one was worth every penny.
Mamma Mia was quite a hit for us. I would recommend that, although there are tons of great shows in NYC right now so it is very hard to choose. Be sure to hit the theater ticket booth in Times Square, for 50% tickets.
Another favorite part of the trip was a carriage ride around Central Park. That was fabulous and it was a beautiful day, so you cannot beat that.
We also enjoyed going to the Top of the Rock...the best view in NYC. I enjoyed getting a nice shot of the Empire State Building from here.
We did enjoy some shopping. Macy's had lots to see; plus, they have a great place to grab a quick bite in the basement. The food was quite good there.
We did ride the subway to SoHo where we went to a tiny quilt shop, Purl Patchwork. While it was small, it was obviously a very popular place. The staff was very helpful and they did carry a large number of Japanese fabrics along with some other lines that I do not see at my LQS. If you get to NY, you should check them out. We also went to the other shop, Purl Knitting. Beautiful yarns...BEAUTIFUL.
We enjoyed lots of great food. One of my favorite lunch spots was Bocca on 50th Street right in Rockefeller Center area. They had great sandwiches, salads, pizza, and pasta. Delicious and very affordable. I also thought Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (located in Times Square) was a lot of fun with all of the movie memorabilia. I also answered all but 1 of the trivia questions right that our waiter asked us, not to mention that the food was terrific. This last shot is of the cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop on Broadway. The funny thing is that I enlarged this shot and asked Buddy which cupcake he would have picked and he picked the same one that I had picked. What can I say, the kid is just like his mama. Can you guess which one it was?