We Still Love You, New York
I wanted to write this post not only to share what we love about New York City, but also what keeps us coming back and why we still believe in it’s revival. And mind you, I’m writing this purely as visitor. I’ve never lived here and am speaking only from my experience as a tourist and why I love to visit. Living here is a different story and one for someone else to write😅
This year has been one for the history books, to say the least, and New York City seemed to experience the the most change and devastation as Covid hit in early spring. As cases peaked, New Yorkers saw the dark side of living in 600 square feet and everything to love about the city vanished overnight, quite literally. It was heartbreaking not only to see the spread of the virus, but also the quiet desolation in the city that never sleeps.
Abi and I took our last trip of 2019 in mid-December to visit during the Christmas season. Looking back I’m so thankful we went because we truly experienced the magic of the city for the “last time” before everything changed. We wanted a trip to get in the Christmas spirit and experience EVERYTHING festive! We sipped mulled wine browsing the outdoor holiday markets (Bryant Park was our fav), snapped pics of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, bundled up and walked Central Park with hot cocoa, visited Christmas bars like Paddy Maguires, drank champagne at the Plaza Hotel Champagne Bar, watched the light show on Saks Fifth Avenue, and ate more pizza than 22,000 steps a day could burn off (still dreaming of John’s of Bleecker Street 🤤). Looking back, the memories are even sweeter and gave us a deeper appreciation of all the city has to offer.
Abi and I both agree that our favorite part of New York is simply exploring it. Our husbands may disagree-they weren’t thrilled about walking 10 miles in a day-(we took the subway some days 🤭), but we felt so connected to the energy from the people and the iconic New York holiday spirit. As we walked, each new neighborhood felt like an entirely different world. We were Eloise one minute and Kevin McCallister the next! Really though, where else can you do that?! Some of our best memories were getting lost in the city and finding ourselves in restaurants off the beaten path, drinking in local bars or stumbling upon an iconic New York site (like the Friends building we found walking through West Village!) I’m no expert on everything the city has to offer, but wanted to share a few of our favorite memories:
- Visiting the Rooftop of the Met for an amazing view of the skyline
- 9/11 Memorial and Museum was a must see. It gave us a deeper appreciation and respect for the people of NYC
- Walking/eating our way through Eataly. Inside we ate at Manzo and SERRA by Birreria and both were delicious!
- Taking the subway! You feel like a local and the people watching is the BEST
- Walking through Central Park-we love it in every season!
- Paying way too much for a Ladurée macaron in the Upper East Side (always worth it)
- Visiting any and all buildings with Christmas decorations 🎄
- Bar 9-nothing like a good piano bar
- Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery -if you know, you know
- Finding small cozy restaurants on a quiet street
- Sharing a NY style pizza or eating a slice on the go-two favorites are John’s of Bleecker and Lazzara’s
So what will bring us back after Covid? We love this city for the nostalgia, the people, the energy, the food and the views. There is so much to see and no matter how frequently you visit, there is always something you’ll miss. I think this is why people continue to come back. There is a longing to experience it all. We’ve seen it’s resilience after 9/11 and it’s rebuilding not only of the city, but a newfound hope in its people. The city is changing, as it always will, but I’m hopeful it is for the better. And all the while, in its ever-changing state, New York City remains timeless.