This is a guest post by Glenda of PapersScissorsRocks. She and her partner, Karl, recently returned from a whirlwind trip to New York City. She takes us along and shows how, no matter what you do, you can have a great time!
I am thrilled to be here doing some guest posts for my good friend Gillian. We have been friends for a several years and I love reading One Giant Step.
My name is Glenda and my regular blogging gig is PapersScissorsRocks for my paper crafting hobby. So what am I doing here? Well, I’ve also done a bit of travelling in my time (more than 20 countries over the last 8 years) so I’m here to share some of my travel stories with you. Most of my travelling has been done for business (frequently solo) so my perspectives and experiences may be a little different from what you are used to reading here. I hope my stories are enjoyable for you and maybe a little helpful too.
I’m going to start off by contradicting myself by talking about a vacation, instead of a business trip….
New York City has never been on my long list of “must see” places but when my partner Karl came home with a NYC travel guide that he had found on sale, I started thinking about it. I had been going a bit stir crazy at home and needed to get away but we are currently on a limited budget so going somewhere really exotic was out of the question. The wheels kept turning and the next thing I know, I’ve checked my frequent flyer mileage balance (no problem there) and emailed my girlfriend in New Jersey (could we stay with her for the weekend? No problem there either).
I decided to make the trip a belated birthday present for Karl but wanted to keep it a secret. Booking his time off work was easy. Snooping in his calendar (to anticipate any potential conflicts) and trying to keep it a secret for six weeks was not. In the end, the secret was kept until I met him at the door the night before our departure, welcoming him to his five day weekend and handing him a cocktail.
It was dusk on St. Patrick’s Day as we descended into the greater New York area. As soon as we could see the city out of the airplane window, we started to try to pick out landmarks in the enormous expanse of city. We managed to see the Statue of Liberty, which we both thought looked rather diminutive! My friend Cheiron picked us up at the airport and, after a quick and delicious home cooked meal, we headed out to the local watering hole. It was St. Patty’s Day after all! The evening was spent in a Jersey pub, enjoying a few pints of Guinness and observing the locals. Couldn’t think of a better way to start the trip.
There was no specific plan for the weekend other than to see the city. You might call us ‘foodies’ (although I really don’t like that word – in addition to the words peeps, deets, sched…) so we were looking forward to sampling some great food.
Friday was an amazing 18 Celsius with glorious sunshine so it was a perfect day to wander around and explore, with our expert tour guide along to make some suggestions. We started off with a wander through the fabulous Chelsea market to do a bit of shopping and get a bite to eat.
We ended up at Bar Suzette for some amazing savory crepes. Mine had goat cheese, Parmesan, prosciutto and fresh greens – absolutely divine. After a bit of shopping (we were in New York after all), we grabbed a coffee and settled down to people watch in Central Park (Karl’s ‘must see’). It was a perfect day to get a flavor of the park as everyone and their dog (literally) seemed to be out enjoying the beautiful weather – running, walking, cycling, skate boarding. We could have stayed there all afternoon but thought we should continue on.
We walked down 5th Avenue passed the huge Apple store (didn’t go in, too much temptation), Armani, Prada, Tiffany’s (did go in, couldn’t help myself), and dozens of other stores where I couldn’t even afford to breathe the air.
We caught a glimpse of the Empire State building but didn’t think we needed to go up. My only absolute ‘must see’ for the city was the Chrysler building and I was not disappointed. It is a stunning piece of architecture and was absolutely perfect that day, glistening in the sunshine.
We also wandered through Grand Central Station which lived up to it’s name – grand size, grand design and probably several ‘grand’ worth of people buzzing around inside.
Cheiron is also a crafty gal so we did a bit of crafty shopping in Greenwich Village and then went back to Jersey for supper with Cheiron’s hubby.
If Friday was our day to sight see then Saturday was our day to eat, and eat, and eat some more. Before the feasting began, we started the morning at the Teardrop Memorial in Bayonne, NJ. Karl had seen a story about it and it was close by where we were staying. It’s a bit out of the way but definitely worth seeing. An amazing and touching piece of art.
We then headed into the city on the train (a side note here is that I love being able to get all over the city using subway or light rapid transit…when we weren’t walking, we were on the train or subway) and started in Greenwich Village with some amazing traditional Italian pizza at No. 28. A long, narrow, thin crust pizza with green pepper and sausage … oh so delicious.
Right around the corner from there is an amazing place called Sweet Revenge which pairs up sweets with beer and wine. Booze and sweets… it was fabulous! We all had very different pairings and they were all amazing!
The remainder of the afternoon was spent just wandering through Soho, China Town and Little Italy, taking photos and people watching. We stopped in Little Italy for some coffee and canoli (crack-your-teeth sweet but Karl quite enjoyed it).
After a bit more wandering, shopping (I did have to buy a pair of shoes in NYC, even though I’m not a big shoe shopper), and browsing we settled in for an amazing meal at Ed’s Lobster Bar. The menu isn’t huge but what is served is absolutely amazing. This funky little place does everything right. We all had different things – lobster roll, pasta, pot pie – and they were all spectacular. Karl and Cheiron had a great IPA (Harpoon from Boston) and I had the best gin martini I’ve ever had.
We down shifted on Sunday and spent the afternoon watching Bayonne’s St. Patrick’s day parade and eating some amazing home made food courtesy of Cheiron’s Irish/Italian sister-in-law. It was great to spend time with a big family and be welcomed so warmly. I always feel so fortunate when I am invited into someone’s home when traveling. It gives me a true sense of the local culture. A few more pints of Guinness finished off our second St. Patrick’s celebration.
Gillian always extols some words of wisdom on her posts so I would like to do the same. I guess my bit of wisdom here is that you don’t have to see all the ‘main attractions’ to enjoy traveling. We didn’t get up close to the Empire State Building, see the Statue of Liberty or go to a Broadway show and we still had an amazing time. Wander around, pop into nooks and crannies, and discover your own main attractions – you may just enjoy them more…
I also wanted to leave you with a memorable photo. One the great things about staying in Jersey was the views of Manhattan. This one is from Saturday March 19th and has the Perigee moon in it….
About The Author: Glenda loves to travel and is suffering a bit of withdrawal lately since not being able to travel for work as much as she used to. She regularly blogs about crafting at PapersScissorsRocks but every once in a while a travel story will sneak in there too!