A mini travel guide for you
Last week I traveled to NYC with one of my daughters for her 26th birthday. It was also a tiny bit of a business trip for me, but it was mostly a lot of fun. A lot of you might be wondering how things are in the city right now and whether it’s a good travel destination for you at this time so I wanted to share a little about my trip here for you.
If you know me well you know that New York is my happy place. To me, it’s a city where there is something special waiting for everyone. I travel there a few times a year for both business and pleasure. It was actually the very last place I visited before covid stopped travel (and life as we knew it) in its tracks. Like many of you, my heart went out to New Yorkers as we watched the city many of us love fall to her knees under the virus’s attack. And then when she started to get back up and dust herself off like the scrappy city we knew she was, I cheered for her comeback.
A little over a year later with both vaccine shots under my belt I felt ready to return. I wasn’t sure how she would greet me as we landed at LGA. I wondered how she’d changed over the past year but to my surprise, she was as vibrant and scenic as the last time I was there.
Were things different? Of course. But not much different than they probably are in your own city right now. There is mask-wearing, and social distancing and lots of outdoor dining- just like you would expect. And subsequently I felt very safe there and even more a part of the fabric of the city than I had in the past.
One of my favorite places in the city is Soho-(derived from being South of Houston Street) a neighborhood in lower Manhattan known for its art galleries and it’s variety of shops-ranging from the eclectic to upscale boutiques.
Here is a quick breakdown of where we stayed and what we did in case you would like to visit or you can live vicariously until you’re ready. That’s perfectly fine too.
Hotel– We stayed at the Sixty Hotel. It was actually my first time staying at this location. I have stayed at the midtown location a few times for business and this location was perfect for us. It’s a cute and cozy boutique hotel in the heart of everything, that also houses the french restaurant Bistrot Leo.
Speaking of restaurants let’s talk Dining– because our location was so central there were so many great restaurants within walking distance. Soho Diner was our favorite for breakfast. It’s an eatery with a vintage vibe that serves up all your favorite revamped diner classics. Balthazar is also fabulous French fare and I was told that it is one of the best restaurants in the city! I met with my beautiful, smart, and witty friend who in my mind is the quintessential new yorker. It could not have been more perfect! Pera Soho– a Mediterranean restaurant was right next door to our hotel and seemed to be the hot spot every evening. We also took an uber to Love Korean BBQ and this was such a fun and lively spot (even on a weeknight). The food was amazing, the service was great and the music/DJ added so much flare had it not been cooler and rainy that evening (we opted for their outside tent) we may have stayed there all night long.
I’ve already mentioned that SoHo is famous for its shopping options- so it’s no surprise that my first walk after breakfast on day one led me to Bloomingdales. To be fair this was also the location of the Dry Bar where my daughter had her hair blown out. While waiting for her I picked up a few birthday gifts. Around the corner were several designer boutiques (all of the big names) and many larger versions of our favorite stores back home, think Free People, The Converse Store, Madewell, etc…The only major designer store I visited was Chanel (probably because most of the others have online shopping options) and I swear the salespeople were more alert and attentive than ever. They are always pleasant but this was a particularly special experience…Which led to me making an impulse purchase. If you know me you know I am very thoughtful about big purchases. I typically research an item to death before taking the plunge, but I’m pleased that I let go and lived a little. And it’s not lost on me (or taken lightly) that it’s a privilege at this time in my life for me to be able to do so. It’s pictured above and I’ve linked a similar one here.
Sight Seeing– a trip to SoHo would not be complete without checking out a little art. The New Museum was also within walking distance so we checked out their exhibition on day two. Here’s an excerpt from their website-Positioned between a traditional museum and an alternative space, the New Museum’s stated mission was to be a catalyst for a broad dialogue between artists and the public by establishing “an exhibition, information, and documentation center for contemporary art made within a period of approximately ten years before the present.” The Museum presented the work of living artists who did not yet have wide public exposure or critical acceptance to a broader public.
And on day three we took an uber to MoMa too-you are probably familiar with this one-formally known as The Museum of Modern Art but it’s linked just in case. I personally love Van Gogh and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Starry Night with my own eyes. We also made a trip to Time Square as my daughter is a fan of a different kind of starry night. If I am being honest I probably would have skipped it with Broadway being closed, but it was both beautiful and bizarre… as usual. I’m glad we went.
Speaking of art, let’s also talk about photography-my friend Denton Taylor took a few shots of my daughter for her birthday. If you are looking for someone to quickly capture the NY experience for you while you are there, I highly recommend this photographer.
We had a blast! And we’re already planning a return visit. Have you traveled yet? If so, where to? I am always looking to add to my travel list.
Safe travels my friends!
As always you can shop my look here.
Until Next Post,
Xo Tonya Parker