I didn't travel much as a young kid. We were a family of 6 total and both my parents worked. They had two weeks off each summer and we didn't have the money to take long trips much less travel by plane.
Road trips were our thing and I think to this day that is why I hate car travel. Six people in a station wagon with no air conditioning. Three brothers who crammed themselves into my space or vice versa. California and Mexico were the only places I had been.
When I had the opportunity, as a jewelry buyer for a shop in Jackson, to go to New York for market week, I was thrilled. My dear friend, Jessie Milligan, was my guide. She was just as excited for me to see the city as I was to go. We stayed at the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking. It had just opened and it had quite the reputation as a party hotel. We had very expensive cocktails in the Boom Boom room, try to get into Hogs and Heifers with no luck, ate at some amazing restaurants and walked the city. It was marvelous. Late nights and early appointments made for an exhausting but exhilarating trip.
I had some bumps on that trip too. I forgot my phone (who even does that), had to maneuver to appointments without any google maps or direction, took the wrong subway, and walked to dinner one night through not such a great part of town because I couldn't call anyone. Used an actual payphone to get directions.
I am now a bit more savvy, never forget my phone, still don't trust the subway, and walk most of the time and still get lost. But, I love every minute of it.
Walking is probably the best way to get around the city. I try to stay in a central location so walkability is key. My favorite place to stay is the Ludlow Hotel on, of course, Ludlow on the Lower East Side. I love LES and the East Village. My faves in the LES, Frankies Shop for trendy cool girl style, Sweet Chick for amazing fried chicken sandwiches, late night cocktails at Death and Co., Thursday's Kitchen for Korean tapas. Of course dinner at either Pastis or Balthazar is a must. Iconic french bistros that are buzzy and delicious. Start with Champagne and oysters a match made in heaven.
Gallery walking is something I try to do, but I always seem to run out of time to do so properly. So here is my dream agenda if I had the time. Get up early (hahaha) grab coffee at Ludlow Coffee company, take a taxi( remember the subway incident) and head to the Whitney Museum. There is an exhibit on 20th century American Modernism. Spend a bit of time there and then have lunch at the Chelsea Market. Los Tacos No. 1 are the best. After a quick bite head back over to 21st Street. This is where it gets a bit tricky, you kinda have to zig zag around and have your gallery list ready. Start at 21st Street and end at 24th at the iconic Gagosian. If I had planned perfectly I would find a little bar to enjoy a cocktail before heading over to my reservation at CookShop. That is the perfect gallery and art day.
I can ramble on and on about where to go and what to do in the City. This is just a teaser. If you have any other amazing place I should see and do, please don't hesitate to stop by the shop and give me your NYC list. We are heading out soon and hope to bring back lots of ideas, inspiration, and hopefully new places to go and visit. We LOVE New York.