Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New York State of Mind: Day 1

One of my favorite things about traveling is about sampling the best of what the city (or country) I'm in has to offer.  Perhaps no other city in the US has more offer than New York City.

New York is a city that I enjoy visiting but one I find very overwhelming.  Boston is a big city, but pales in comparison to NYC.  In NYC, there is just so MUCH going on - the people, the traffic, the lovely aromas of the subway. It's a place that I can take in small doses. Just like Las Vegas.

Recently, a friend and I traveled down to NYC for a weekend.  Just a little break from work and Boston to spend some time in the City that Never Sleeps.

This time, I decided to take the train down from Boston to NYC.  Price was a bit more expensive than a plane ticket but the total travel time worked out to be about the same, if you factor in airport security, actual flight time, cab from the airport, etc.

Plus the train is comfortable and has free wi-fi, people. Oh and large windows, which for a gazer like me, is great.  I could just pop in my headphones, gaze out the window, and watch the New England coast fly by me.

After arriving in NYC, I made my way to the Hilton New York, where I had booked a room for $133 a night through Priceline's Name Your Price tool.  If looking for a 3 or 4-star hotel in a certain area (and not a specific chain of hotels), then I highly recommend this option. I've used it twice (NYC and San Francisco) and each time the hotel has been great, both in location and price.

While waiting for my friend to arrive on her train (and to escape the cool weather), I dashed in between the raindrops to Bar Americain, one of Bobby Flay's restaurants, for a bowl of French Onion Soup.

After my friend arrived, we made our way out to explore the city.  Stops included:

Times Square - oh the tourists.  Everyone needs to visit Times Square at least once in their life. But that is it.  Otherwise, it will just annoy you with the tourists and the lights and the commercialism.

Forgive the hair. Humidity is evil.
Union Square

Strand Book Store - I'm a book nerd. I love books and bookstores and if left on my own, could probably spend hours wandering the stacks.  Strand is a bibliophile's heaven.  Books from (where book nerds like me could spend HOURS)


East Village & The Redhead NYC ( read my review [here] ), with a photo op in front of a restaurant of my people!  

Glass of wine Bar Veloce with its funky sunglasses lamp.

We ended our night by walking to the nearest subway station and navigating the labyrinth that is the NYC subway system back to our hotel. After a night cap at the hotel bar, we collapsed into our beds to get a good night's sleep, ready to explore the city the next day...

To be continued...

Scotch, scotch, scotchy scotch scotch...

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