Here and Gone in New York Minute

There is no place like New York – I have said it before and I will say it again. Growing up in New Jersey, I notice now that I really took my proximity to the city for granted. As much as I love living in the DC area, I always love a visit to New York. I was thrilled when my boyfriend, Shane, proposed that we spend a weekend in the city. I had an appointment on Friday and we were already going, so why not?

I am so glad I did. While I love escaping city life from time to time, I also love embracing everything that cities have to offer. Needless to say, New York is one of my favorite metropolitan areas and there is so much to see and do each and every time. I would say that growing up I have easily been to New York ten dozen times, but I never have trouble finding new or exciting experiences. This trip was super special and fun for a few reasons big and small. On the smaller end, it was Shane’s first trip to Central Park and our first New York City overnight together – which seems crazy after spending nearly a decade as a couple, most of which we lived in New Jersey.

As much as we both love cities, we love visiting new places so we have spent our time in places like Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, and Denver, as opposed to visiting New York. Sometimes it is a hassle to be in New York – it’s crowded, expensive, and difficult to get into, but this weekend reminded us of just why we love it so much.

I have had a lot of cool professional experiences in New York when I worked for Ann Inc. the parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft. I was on the retail side, but they really like to engage their employees in the company from all levels. At some point I’ll share a bit more about these experiences. I have also had a lot of fun personal experiences in New York from a very young age. I love to be downtown, but for this trip our plans called us to Midtown, so we decided to stay at The Renwick. The Renwick is a Hilton Hotel located on the East Side. The hotel is located right near Grand Central and is about a twenty minute walk from Central Park. I figured that the location was perfect for our purpose and it looked super cute.


We had the best service at The Renwick. Through one of the bellmen we learned that The Renwick was once a longterm stay rental property, which housed authors like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Steinbeck – three of my absolute favorites. I felt completely at home. The boutique feel of the hotel is unbeatable, and for New York the room sizes were pretty spacious. It was a great experience and is in a great location for those seeking a quick walk to Times Square (AKA: the bane of my existence and place I avoid like the plague), Broadway, and even Central Park – if you don’t mind a stroll. If you are looking for a hotel with impeccable views, try the Plaza instead. The Renwick is only about 17 stories tall and looks out to the city, which was fine by me – who is in the room anyway? – it’s New York; there’s too much to do!

One of my favorite things about New York City is the food. I am a total foodie, in and out. Long before I was taking pictures of what I was wearing, I was taking pictures of my food; in restaurants with a professional camera. It was annoying to those I dined with, but totally worth it for me. Eating is my primary hobby, aside from shopping. While in New York on this trip, we skirted fine dining and went right to the stuff that foodie dreams are made of: burgers, tacos, and pizza.

Shane and I bonded early on about our love of food. On our first date, almost eight years ago, we went for tacos and I spilled salsa on my shirt, something I have done on pretty much every single taco date since. I wouldn’t say our relationship is entirely built on a desire to eat and eat and eat, but it is definitely something that brings us mutual joy. So naturally, the trip was planned around food.

We ate at several awesome places worth noting. On the first day we had lunch at 5 Napkin Burger, which is like a New York City chain burger place but also completely delicious. I sometimes avoid chain-like places, but this one was awesome. The burgers were huge for only $14, which is unheard of in New York. This place has five or so locations, we ate at the one in Hell’s Kitchen. There were other menu options including salad for those who don’t love red meat, a concept unknown to me personally, but something I definitely know is a consideration for some of my friends. They also have milkshakes and wait for it … YOU CAN SPIKE THEM (I know this is not unheard of – but it is wonderful).

We had dinner one of the nights at Los Tacos No. 1, which is on the Yelp top 100. Let me just say, it belongs on the Yelp Top 100. It belongs on the Yelp top 3 – in my life. As I have already said, I am passionate about food, but Mexican is my number one always and forever first choice cuisine. This past summer we took a road trip to California and back, and I had a lot of different tacos (including $100 tacos in San Fransisco – something that could only happen in San Fransisco) and these were by far one of the best ones I have ever had and definitely not $100. I highly recommend trying both the tacos and the quesadilla if you go here and make sure you get the corn tortilla over the flour. The only downside to Los Tacos No. 1 is that there is virtually no seating there because it is in Chelsea Market. There is seating in Chelsea Market, but we didn’t know about it, so we ate all our food and took no pictures in a rush to get out of everyone’s way. Still delicious. Still amazing. Just no proof  and the feeling of “did I actually eat it if I didn’t take a picture?” On a side note -Chelsea Market is adorable and has the cutest bookstore, where the English teacher in me felt totally at home.


Finally, we had pizza at the one of the best spots in the city – Prince Street Pizza. My number one let down about moving to the DC area almost two years ago was leaving the pizza I know and love behind. Virginia and DC have the WORST pizza. I had better pizza at a Pizza Hut in Arkansas this summer than I normally get at home. So this trip to Prince St. Pizza is one that will hopefully tide me over for a whole.

I’ll be really honest, if you’re looking for friendly staff and a place to sit and eat, this is not your place. No one will really talk to you, because they are busy making the best pizza in the world, and then you will stand at a tiny cramped counter to get any eating room at all. When we went it was 26 degrees outside and it was worth it to stand and shovel the pizza into our mouths just to be inside. This pizza is perfect. They might not have the style you want or the toppings, but you could literally eat any of the pizza here and there would be no problem. I really can’t say much more, I think the picture does it justice.


We also visited some other interesting eateries such as Urbanspace, which was a collection of different eating destinations right by Grand Central. They had amazing breakfast sandwiches, lobster mac and cheese, and doughnuts – what else could a girl need? On Saturday we visited The Little Cupcake Bakeshop, which was so picturesque and has more than one location. Both of these places were great, and totally worth a visit.

This trip was amazing. I enjoyed the scenic walks through Central Park, the eclectic shops and architecture of the East Village, and all of the food of course. It was fun to get out of DC and go somewhere old, but new. After having such a great time, I think we will probably be back for an overnighter sooner than I anticipated when we left on Friday. Sadly, our trip is here and gone in a New York minute, but on the bright side the new Cherry Blossom pop up bar opened up in DC so I have good things to look forward to!

As always, outfit details are linked below! Thanks for popping by.

xo, Nicole

Denim – J.Crew / Sweater (Top Left) – J.Crew / Sunglasses – Louis Vuitton / Top (Top Right) – J.Crew / Handbag – Louis Vuitton / Coat – Ann Taylor: Sold Out / Boots – Coach: Sold Out, Similar Style Liked

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