It’s no secret that I love New York (it’s the closest thing to Paris, after all), especially during the holidays. This year I was lucky to get there a couple of times during the month of December for a few days each trip, which is just the right amount of time to savor it all without getting overwhelmed (or going broke). Here’s a little recap of the stops during what to me were two perfect NYC getaways.
I love going uptown to window shop any time of the year, but the windows at my two favorites, Bergdorfs and Barneys, are always a feast for the eyes around the holidays. This year the theme of the Bergdorf Windows was “Destination Extraordinary” with each window displaying a wildly colorful and exotic scene from a very fashionable fairy tale (click the link above for details). The windows at Barneys were festive with a quirky twist, as is usually the case. This year several artists were commissioned to interpret the theme of “Love, Peace, and Joy” including Matt Stone, whose widow featured the hilarious, mouthy, South Park Gang. Here is a link to an article with highlights of these and other holiday windows throughout the city.
I usually stay away from major tourist draws like Rockefeller Plaza but who can resist a good and really uuuuuuge, to quote a famous (soon to be former) New Yorker, Christmas tree? The ice rink was closed that day – probably fortunately for me. I was freezing just standing there for ten minutes to take pictures. This one would have been better if the tree had been lit, but you get the general gist.
Hubby and I love to catch a Broadway show from time, and this year I was especially thrilled to see the stage version of one of my all-time favorite books and movies, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons). The behavior and relationship of the main characters – the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont – is utterly fascinating. Their complete lack of empathy and calculating natures enable them to weave a tangled web of intrigue that they mistakenly believe to master, until the end of course, where nobody lives happily ever after. Here is one of the more memorable exchanges between the two: (Valmont) “I thought betrayal was your favorite word.” (Merteuil) “No…’cruelty.’ I always think that has a nobler ring to it.” Ouch. The stage actors (including the one and only Ray Donavan AKA Liev Schreiber) were outstanding – and the decor and costumes were to die for. Definitely rent the movie during the next snow storm (and drink as much champagne as Valmont would have while you watch it).
A special occasion (we were celebrating hubby’s birthday) calls for a special location, and one of our faves is Babbo In Greenwich Village. The place is always packed with fabulous patrons, the service is impeccable, and the food is to die for. Probably the only place I will eat pasta without feeling remorse for the next 24 (or 48) hours.
As for our favorite casual dining picks, let me preface by saying that we stay in SoHo when we are in NYC, so naturally, most of them are within walking distance of the apartment. There is definitely no shortage of options, but our go-tos (literally) for dinner are Raouls, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Lupa, and La Esquina. Balthazar is one of our all-time favorites for dinner, lunch, or happy hour, and at least one weekend brunch usually occurs at The Dutch (the best Bloody Mary ever). As an aside, my new favorite spot is by Chloe, but to be honest, I’m not sure hubby will be as enthusiastic as me about their (delicious) vegan menu.
Exercise may be a chore for some, but it keeps me sane (and relatively guilt-free given the the eating and drinking suggested above). As most of you know, I am a huge fan of SoulCycle, and some of my favorite instructors are in NYC. I used to dart all over town to take classes, but lately I’m pefectly content to stick to the studios (SoHo, NoHo, and West Village) that are within a 15 minute walk radius from the apartment. Of course that’s probably because Marvin or Parker (endorsed by hubby who doesn’t particularly care for indoor cycling) both teach at these studios. If you are ever downtown and want an epic workout, look these two up.
Next stop (next week), Paris! Can’t wait to share my adventures from the other side of the pond. Hope to see you here when I do!