So I returned from a 5 day NYC trip about 2 months ago and I have been excited to share my experiences with you guys even though it took me a little longer than normal to post. You may find this entry especially helpful if you are looking to book a NYC trip of your own. I would have liked to have posted this up right away, but life got a little bit busy…so hopefully you will still find this to be of some interest!
There is something about New York that just makes you feel at home whether you enjoy city life or not. There is always a show to enjoy, an attraction to see, or an activity to experience – I’m already wishing I could return. If you would like to learn about some different activities I experienced while on my most recent visit to NYC, keep on reading!
The Roosevelt Hotel
We arrived at our hotel in Manhattan at about 10 am, however check in was not until later in the afternoon. Al at the front desk was more than accommodating and without us even needing to ask, he allowed us to have an early check in and even upgraded our room for us. The rooms were well priced, clean, & ready for us as soon as we went upstairs. Now it was very cold in NYC when we were there, and we did have some issues with our heating system breaking down on 3 different occasions. Luckily – we spent very little time in our room other than to sleep so each time we would let them know, it was taken care of promptly.
The hotel’s lobby is beautiful and is definitely what the location is known for, there was even an episode of “Quantico” shooting while we were there. It’s about a 10 minute walk from Times Square, and in the summer it would be an easy distance to walk. Like I said, It was VERY cold while we were there and the wind was quite strong so we did end up cabbing it most days, but all in all it was in a good location. There are some dated parts within the hotel – but if you are looking for a place to stay within Manhattan that isn’t going to completely break the bank, I think it’s a great option.
Drinks & Dining
Good food is literally available absolutely everywhere you go within NYC, and I can honestly say that between my trip in 2012 & my trip just recently I did not have one bad meal while I was there.
640 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10017, USA
This was probably the best dining experience of the entire trip as it is an authentic Mexican restaurant, and good Mexican food is my absolute favourite. To drink I enjoyed a glass of Sangria, along with some shells they brought out at the beginning of our meal to snack on. I asked the waitress what her recommendation would be to get for dinner and was told that the chicken taquitos were the best. And let me tell you – they were unbelievably amazing! My cousin had a quesadilla which was also very tasty (minus the cilantro, just a personal preference).
Carmine’s Italian Restaurant
200 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036, USA
Carmine’s is a family style Italian restaurant right across from The Phantom of Opera on Broadway. I had been there before and insisted we go again, as they have the best penne alla vodka on this planet. Once again – it did not disappoint. However, being that it is family style – the portions are insane. So if there are only 2 of you it may be a little overwhelming, but totally worth it. It can be hard to get in so make sure you make a reservation ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
O’Lunney’s Irish Pub
145 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036, USA
My cousin & I both love a good Irish pub so we stopped at O’Lunney’s on our first day on the way down to Times Square. They have an array of liquor and both Irish & American dishes available. We went with the sliders & fries which was a great little meal to split as we weren’t super hungry. Service was great, and the mimosas were exactly what we needed to start the morning off.
121 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036, USA
Connolly’s was our go-to pub for drinks on this trip. The bartenders were Irish, so of course they had phenomenal senses of humor & had us laughing the entire evening until we were ready to move on to our next spot. There was never a dull moment in this pub!
The Mean Fiddler
266 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036, USA
The Mean Fiddler was an Irish Club we discovered through the bartenders at Connolly’s. We went in expecting a similar atmosphere, but man was it crazy. So many people up dancing, a great DJ, and a very entertaining crowed of people. It was definitely another favourite spot and one I would highly recommend if you are looking to have a super fun night out dancing and are not really into traditional clubs. Outfits were anywhere from heels & dresses to sweatpants & sneakers…so you are sure to feel comfortable no matter what you arrive dressed in.
The Three Monkeys
236 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019, USA
The Three Monkeys was another pub style restaurant we discovered on google after searching restaurants close to a show we were seeing. To start off we shared some mac & cheese bites that came a with sriracha ketchup, and they were unreal. For our main I had the Arugula Flatbread which had goat cheese, mascarpone & sundried tomato. It was pretty great but after trying Britt’s I was very jealous as she had the IPA Smoked Brisket Flatbread which had bbq sauce, jalapenos, jack cheese & a queso fresco crust. Her’s was unbelievable & if you like heat you would love it.
The Chelsea Bell
316 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001, USA
The Chelsea Bell was near a show we were seeing in Midtown West, Manhattan so we just went in on a whim for lunch. It was a very similar atmosphere to the other pub style restaurants we had been to and I think the standout for them would be all of the different kinds of beer they have on tap. I had the Pulled Pork Sandwich and it was very tasty but super filling and I could hardly eat half of it. Another great experience, the Food in New York rarely disappoints and in our case, it didn’t at all.
Shows & Entertainment
For Broadway entertainment, I won’t go too into detail because I truly don’t think you can go wrong with seeing any of the shows. My cousin was set on seeing The Phantom of The Opera, and even though I had already seen it on Broadway before I was more than willing to go again. It’s a classic, and one that I think if you are at all into theater you need to see at least once in your lifetime.
Wicked was completely out of this world amazing, and I plan on going to see it again when it comes to Toronto this summer. I can’t believe I waited so long to insist on seeing it being that I am such a big Wizard of Oz fan. The music is captivating and I have been listening to “Defying Gravity” on repeat ever since.
The Wendy Williams Show
I LOVE WENDY WILLIAMS! So when I found out I was going to NYC again, I was on the Wendy Williams website to score tickets. Tickets are free so I made my cousin come along with me. I would say the only downfall to going to the show is that you have to be there pretty early (I think it was like 7 am) and when you’re in New York, the last thing you want to do is go to bed early the night before.
It was a bit of a process to get into the actual show area. We were first asked to line up outside and then given ticket numbers after our names were checked off of the list. We were then moved into a small room to answer some questionnaire’s since there was an “Ask Wendy” segment on the show that day. Producers then went over our questionnaire’s and decided what the juiciest questions were and if your name was chosen you were asked to go talk to the producers to see if you would be on TV. After this was over we were escorted into an elevator in groups and moved up to the studio which is where the party started.
There is nothing like The Wendy Williams Show to get your weekday started with a bang! Between the 90’s beats played by the DJ, the awesome hype man who came out to get the audience pumped up, and of course Wendy herself – nothing beat it. Even Brittany who had never saw an episode before thoroughly enjoyed herself.
If you are wanting to be shown during the course of the show, the trick is to make noticeable facial expressions when Wendy was speaking on certain issues especially during Hot Topics. All I can say is that I must have been really pumping out the facial expressions that day because I was shown on the TV about 7 or 8 times (and of course they were the most unflattering angles).
Once the show was over, Wendy came out and shook our hands and thanked us for coming to the show. It was a fantastic experience, and a great show to see on our last day.
The Tenderloins Podcast (The Impractical Jokers)
Hands down The Tenderloins Podcast show was the highlight of the entertainment we saw while on the trip. I have been a HUGE fan of the Impractical Jokers show for years, and while we were in NYC we found out that they would be hosting a stand-up show at Caroline’s on Broadway. We decided to book dinner reservations at Caroline’s as well which I highly recommend doing if you are looking to get good seats (the earlier you arrive, the better seats you get). Once you are there, they will give you a numbered section and when your section is called you will be escorted into the show area and shown your seats.
We were lucky enough to have amazing seats and it felt as though we were one on one with the Jokers when they came out on stage. The podcast show was basically them testing out new material for their tours. Let me tell you, these guys are highly entertaining, and if you go and see them you won’t want your evening to end. A nice bonus was that drinks could be delivered to your seat while the show was happening, so you didn’t have to get up to go to the bar during the show.
I’m pretty sure that The Tenderloins visit Caroline’s quite often, so if you are in NYC I recommend checking out the schedule and seeing if you can catch them live. Also if you just enjoy comedy in general, Caroline’s is a great place to check out some hilarious acts as they have a great lineup on their schedule if you take a look.
So while I was in New York on my first trip, I was lucky enough to experience a lot of the classic “touristy” spots (Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Central Park, etc.). Now being that it was Britt’s first time I wasn’t sure where she would want to go to, but she was pretty content with just seeing the Statue of Liberty and anything else we happened to encounter along the way.
National September 11th Memorial & Museum
I can honestly say that visiting the 9/11 Museum was one of the most emotional things I have ever experienced. Seeing the names engraved in the Memorial Pools was something that I don’t think I can even begin the explain. An incredible job was done remembering the 9/11 victims and families within the museum as well. I believe everyone should go and visit the museum at least once in their lifetime in order to try and even begin to understand the heartbreak & pain that was felt in NYC on Sept.11th.
Some parts of the museum that really stood out in my mind were the Survivors Stairs, The Ladder 3 Fire truck, the quotes on the walls of victims final words, and of course the memorial room with photos of the almost 3,000 victims. If you are in NYC and have yet to visit the 9/11 Museum & Memorial, I strongly encourage you to visit and take the time to remember all of those brave men and women who perished on the day of the tragedy.
UBM NY Women’s Show
The main reason for wanting to visit New York again was so that I could check out the NY Women’s Show. My goal was to search out new and interesting brands for my store & network with others in the business. The show was easy to register for, and was surprisingly easy to navigate and move around in. It took place at the Jacob Javits Center so it was about a 20-30 min drive from our hotel in Manhattan. If it is your first time at a show, it could be a little overwhelming. My advice to you would be to check out the online booklet before hand in order to figure out which sections of the show (FAME, Moda, Accessories,etc.) interest you the most, and research the brands ahead of time that catch your eye.
So that is that for the NYC blog! Let me know if you liked reading about my trip recommendations and experiences and I would be happy to post more. I’m heading to Las Vegas this weekend and would be happy to take lots of notes & photos to let you know how it goes!
Enjoy your Monday…