When I first moved to New York City, I knew I had a whole city to explore. But I don’t think I ever realized the magnitude and size of this city and just how much it has to offer a culture vulture like me. In my first eight years here before having children, I took advantage of every waking moment and explored every nook and cranny of this city and became quite attached to it.
Life has changed somewhat since those days but every now and then, I grab my friend or my husband, or I venture back into the big lights on my own for a dose of NYC. It’s true. The city is my drug and a shot of my favorite stomping grounds remains pivotal to my daily existence, when the stars are aligned and I can get away.
Here’s my description of a perfect day in my perfect city: New York City.
Head to Sarabeth’s for breakfast, located at 1295 Madison Avenue, and coffee. Their scrambled eggs with scallions and cream cheese are to die for or you can opt for their lemon ricotta pancakes or vegetable frittatas. This NYC landmark uses the best ingredients and your mouth will water for their baked goods long after you leave.
Then take a stroll through Central Park, walking along the east side of the park, all the way down to West 57th Street, to take in the morning air, watch the joggers and gaze at the views of the city on both sides of the park.
The Museum of Modern Art, located at 11 West 53rd Street, is the perfect destination for a morning of art and culture. Get there just before they open at 10:30 and plan to spend several hours walking through each exhibit slowly, with time to read the descriptions. Now through April 29th, they are featuring Edvard Munch’s The Scream, and they have ongoing exhibitions including Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, painting, sculpture, photography and famous pieces of modern art that will blow your mind. Stay for lunch in either Cafe 2 or Terrace 5 and opt for their yummy prix fix meals.
After your visit, hop on the train down to 14th Street, grab the L train, and ride over to Williamsburg where you can spend the afternoon moseying from store to store. You’ll find vintage clothing, record stores, funky accessories, housewares and furniture and other shops run by creative locals. When shopping fatigue strikes, head to a local coffee shop with a book and relax.
If you have time after a bit of shopping and are in the mood for a fantastic skyline, hop a cab and head to Brooklyn Heights for a stroll on the Promenade. Made famous by cameo appearances in movies like Annie Hall and Moonstruck (two of my favorites), it offers a view of the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge.
For dinner, catch the subway back to Times Square and head to Dafni Greek Tavern at 325 West 42nd Street for affordable, delicious Greek food. They also have great wine and a pleasant wait staff. It’s the perfect pre-theater restaurant.
And then head to a show. You can book half-tickets via TDF in the middle of Times Square or try another option outlined in an article I wrote on the subject on this blog not long ago.
For a drink and an opportunity to hang out with Broadway actors, Joe Allen, located at 326 West 46th Street is a theater district favorite, where you are likely to see the likes of Sam Shephard or Nathan Lane at the bar.