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New York City

NYC & Brooklyn: Things To Do

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-1

Our daughter recently graduated from college and we celebrated with a champagne brunch for family and friends and a surprise trip to Brooklyn. She’s always wanted to visit NY and it was the perfect Mother/Daughter getaway…lots of shopping, eating and sight-seeing. Here are some highlights from our trip in case you’re planning a future visit of your own!

1. Visit the Top of the Rock – I’ll admit, I was a bit reluctant as I thought it was touristy, but I’m so glad we did it. The views are spectacular, truly. It’s easy to pin point landmarks of the famous city from above and fun to visit with tourists from all over the world. From there, you can walk to Times Square and see Japanese girls take round-about photos of themselves with selfie sticks.

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NYC – Favorite Restaurants & Hotels


It goes without saying, that there are plenty of unbelievably great places to dine in NYC. And my experience included nothing but delicious meals at every restaurant. The above photo was taken at the communal farm table just outside The Green Table, which is located in the Chelsea Market. Aren’t the flowers and wine bottle repurposed for water such lovely touches. If I remember correctly, I had macaroni and cheese…or some sort of gooey pasta dish. This is a great place to relax, have a nice meal and people watch.


The Meatball Shop was soooo good. It could have been that I was famished when we went, but it also may have been the stellar meatballs, sandwiched between a brioche roll, with an arugula side salad. Oh, and the toasted marshmallow ice cream and ginger cookie. Yum!

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We stayed at The NoMad Hotel, which was just a block or so from The Ace. I highly recommend both hotels with their great locations, nice amenities and dining options. The NoMad had a gorgeous Library Room where you could relax at the end of the day and have drinks….and maybe spot Katie Holmes! For many of our breakfasts and quick coffees, we would walk to Stumptown or The Breslin both located in The Ace.




There were also a few ultra cool places for dinner, like Beauty & Essex, where you enter through a pawn shop to get to the restaurant. I think this is where James Bond would go to dinner. In the ladies room they have a complimentary perfume bar and serve pink champagne! For reals. Check out their website for more info and reservations.


And French comfort food was on the menu at Pastis. Where we had omelettes with frites and champagne for dinner. I loved this place and it certainly did remind me of Paris.


And another favorite was La Esquina. The underground brasserie bar is located in the basement and you enter by going down a flight of stairs, and through the kitchen. They take reservations 3 weeks in advance. This is the perfect place for a celebration with friends! They serve amazing Mexican food and their staff was very friendly. Great atmosphere here.

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Well friends, I think that about sums up my NYC posts for this trip.
Thanks for coming along with me! I hope you had fun and found a few new places to try.


NYC – Eataly


I’m going to admit, I must be living under a rock, because before this trip, I had never heard of Eataly. I also was unaware of one of it’s famous owners, and didn’t clue in until I saw a half dozen of his books on the shelves, and thought, wow…they must really like him. But after going, it’s easy to see why there’s all the buzz. Let me show you what this food empire is about


The restaurant, market and school are all combined under one roof to form a foodie lovers paradise. You can shop for high quality ingredients from the US and abroad or sit down in the chef’s kitchen and learn how to make an unforgettable meal. There are rows and rows of fresh produce, shelves of gourmet treats and snacks, and multiple food counters where you can buy freshly made breads, cheeses, meats and pastas.



At the entrance you will find stylish New Yorkers ordering their morning espresso or sitting at the nearby cafe tables enjoying the start of their day.



Their butter selection is literally the cream of the crop.
Why, oh why, don’t we sell butter like this in the states?



Their are exhibition stations around the store where you can watch fresh pasta being made, breads being formed into delicate loaves and the butcher carving the day’s selection of meats. For me, it was all about the bread and pasta! The Pretzel Baguette was delicious…warm and chewy with that signature pretzel taste.



There are a TON of cookbooks to choose from, one from every possible form of culinary expertise. Not to mention a large variety of kitchen tools, dinnerware and cookware.
If you plan on going, be sure to note their hours. They open a bit on the late side…probably because they’re up all night preparing for the next day!


And I had to share this photo. When we headed down the street to our next stop, we came across this group celebrating their recent graduation from pastry school. Their expressions and excitement were absolutely contagious. Man, I love NY.