Waiting on the train at Penn Station
New York was especially "new" to PR and Danny because this was their first trip, so we hit up lots of token sights!
To maximize our time, we rode around on an open-top bus tour.
We went with Gray Line and bought a package that included 48-hours on the bus, a boat ride around the harbor (which, save for a close peak at Lady Liberty, was kind of a waste of tourist time) and tickets to the top of the Empire State Building. The Gray Line buses (which are actually red?!) are everywhere around the city and we never had trouble catching a ride.
On Day 1 we hopped off the bus at Central Park. As you might imagine, these Beatles fans loved Strawberry Fields....
...and this pop culture fan loved seeing a scene from Gossip Girl being shot.
It was fun to watch the action, but there were no big star sightings. A few days later I did see a photo of Blake (nee Lively) Reynolds on that scooter pictured above in People magazine. We channeled more Gossip Girl while staying at The Palace Hotel...
A slight hotel obsession with The Palace was born when I was in New York last Christmas, and I've been dying to stay there since. Its Midtown location on Madison Avenue is perfect! Our view of St. Patrick's was amazing - the nicest I've ever had staying in a New York hotel. I actually didn't know the hotel had Gossip Girl ties when I booked it...likely 'cause I don't watch Gossip Girl. But still...I love seeing television and movie shoot locations. Which is why one day we lunched here......
Did you know you can make a reservation at Serendipity 3? I didn't either 'til I decided to just call and ask - I guess it was just fate (wink, wink!)? We walked right in for lunch passing a long line of people, and I was so happy the food actually lived up to Serendipity's hype. Another restaurant that really surprised me was the Rock Center Cafe. We popped in there after our appearance on TODAY.
HA!!! We went in search of Hoda and Kathlie Lee, but tragically, they weren't in town; all their shows that week had been pre-taped. (Now, those are some gossip girls I would have loved to see!) Rock Center Cafe has very reasonable (for New York) prices and the food was special without being too big city. It appeared lots of locals were there too for both breakfast and dinner, and we liked it so much we made a return trip!
We hit up Broadway and saw Rock of Ages! It was fantastic - if you're into 1980's music and off-color jokes (which I am...). It's not a show for kids or prude grown-ups, for sure.
We saw the 9/11 memorial, walked through old churches and with ice cream cones often in hand, peaked in different neighborhoods while wishing we had more time. Though we missed having Dan with us, I think it rates as one of my favorite family vacations!
I don't know why New York is called New York, but I think the city is aptly named. No matter how many times I visit, it never gets old.