Most often when I travel to New York, it's for business, rarely for fun. But this weekend was an exception when I traveled north with my friend Katie to meet up with our friend who lives in Manhattan, Danielle. We were in the city for less than 48-hours, but we filled it with fitness, food, a lot of walking and a little bit of culture.
Katie and I took the train up on Friday, checked into our TriBeCa hotel and popped into the gym for a quick workout before meeting up with Danielle for dinner later that night. When the taxi dropped us off in front of the Duane Street Hotel, I was worried that I wouldn't get much sleep. Why, you ask, would I know that from a simple glance? I'm a light sleeper and a creature of habit. I love my own bed. And often when I travel, I don't sleep all that soundly. With most hotels in NYC, the higher the floor on which the room is found, the better I sleep, because it's further from the honking cabs and late night NYC pedestrian traffic. It sounds odd, but bear with me. Our adorable hotel was, well, charming and small, which meant that all of the rooms were only a few floors above the sidewalks and streets. To me, this meant limited sleep for two nights and a boatload of coffee for the next few days. I was pleasantly surprised when we walked into the room and heard nothing. Not a sound. Other than the humming of the air conditioning, the room was quiet because of the super thick sound-proof glass they installed on the windows. I was sold on the hotel immediately and will keep it in mind for future trips.
Danielle selected great restaurants and made reservations for brunch and dinner, each selection better than the last. Locande Verde (located at the Greenwich Hotel), Rosemary's, Raoul's and Bubby's. When Danielle asked which of the four was my favorite, I had a tough time choosing one since they each had unique flare and phenomenal food, but I really enjoyed Bubby's, where we had brunch Sunday morning before heading home. Any restaurant that describes their pancakes as "James Beard Recipe" has my attention! We asked for an order of pancakes to share: one buttermilk, one blueberry and one chocolate chip. Delicious.
Both Friday and Saturday nights we watched Phillips 66 Nationals while crowded around my iPhone. The picture below is from Saturday night, when we stepped outside the restaurant so we could watch Michael's 100 backstroke and hear the commentators. I'm thankful that I have great girlfriends who will take a few minutes and cheer on my little bro on a Saturday night. Go MP!
Our culture explorations took us out to Brooklyn and then back into Manhattan to see Freedom Tower and Ground Zero Museum & Memorial... Our plans of visiting the Chelsea Market (a favorite!), Eataly, and the MOMA were saved for another trip.
Last, but certainly not least, we sweat! Danielle took us to her favorite high-energy spin studio on Saturday morning, where we "danced on our bikes." Followed after, of course, by coffee and a stroll through SoHo where we saw the Under Armour Brand Store and watched fitness buffs run, walk and bike down Lafayette, which is shut down to traffic on Saturday morning's during the month of August.
But the best part of the weekend was laughing with friends. There's a power and strength in having great girlfriends and I consider myself blessed to have these two by my side...