I spent most of my life in New York and can’t say I was ever in Manhattan for more than 24 hours at a time. I finally decided it was time to make one of my trips back east a girls getaway in the Big Apple. I had a major dilemma, though… who was I going have my fun with? Visiting with my daughter, Sam, is a must when I head to New York, but I also had two friends I hadn’t spent time with in a while. There was only one solution to my problem – to turn a girls getaway into three girls getaways.
Coordinating everyone’s schedules, hotels, restaurants and activities was not easy. I also had to keep in mind what I knew each of them liked to do. Fortunately, I picked one of the most exciting cities in the world for this adventure.
Sam was (and always will be) first and it all started at the New York Palace Hotel. I loved the midtown location right next door to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which I could see from my large room. My room also had something else I’ve never seen in all the hotels I’ve been to – a remote control at the bed to change the room’s temperature. It will go down as one of my favorite all time hotel features.
After Sam met me at the New York Palace, we headed down to Times Square for dinner at one of our absolute favorite places. It wasn’t a recommended French restaurant or a famous steakhouse. Instead we went to Junior’s Cheesecake for their specialties – chicken soup, potato pancakes and, of course, cheesecake!
We had some serious calories to burn off after that meal so we walked around Times Square and tried to decide what was next on the agenda. I had remembered hearing about what a unique experience at the Marriott Marquis. The View turned out to be even better than we expected as we sipped cocktails and got a 360 degree tour of Manhattan sitting next to the window of this revolving restaurant.
The next morning it was off to one of New York’s very best brunch places, Sarabeth’s Kitchen. I had heard great things about this place and they were confirmed when we saw the line of people waiting out the door. Fortunately, we had reservations and before we knew it we were sitting down drinking Four Flower Mimosas while eating Almond French Toast and a Vegetable Frittata.
Before Sam left to go home, we walked down to Central Park and decided to check out the zoo. I was amazed at this place that had been in front of me so many times, but I never bothered stopping at. We had a lot of fun walking around and seeing the animals before I was off to meet my friend Liza.
Liza and I headed to The Vault at Pfaff’s, a fairly new underground Manhattan nightspot with a huge menu of wine, spirits and classic cocktails. We did some sampling, enjoying the Big Bird (house infused two berry Plymouth Gin, apricot brandy, sour mix) and Melkor’s Ghost (Delord Armagnac Blanche, crème de cocoa, crème de banana, heavy cream). We also tried some of their excellent small plates, favoring the Filet Mignon Medallions, the Cheese & Charcuterie Platter and Maitake Mushroom Melt.
Since The Vault at Pfaff’s is down at Bleeker Street, we used the opportunity to check out some of the music clubs down there, starting with Kenny’s. It was yet another facet of New York City I had not experienced and was glad too.
I had a second night of sleeping well in temperature- controlled comfort at the New York Palace before transferring down Madison Avenue to The Library Hotel and meeting with my friend Gail. I was curious to stay here as I had loved its sister hotels, Elysee and Cosmopolitan. Despite smaller rooms, I was fascinated with the “library” aspect of this place with floors named after the Dewey Decimal system and rooms that are marked for specific genres (and have appropriate subject books inside). Like the other two hotels, The Library also included a complimentary breakfast buffet, evening social hour and WiFi.
I didn’t get to experience any of that my first day at The Library because Gail and I were off to DoHyO at Yotel to have their afternoon brunch. This Richard Sandoval restaurant has an unusual concept of giving patrons two hours to eat and drink whatever they want for one price. Most important, there is quite a selection.
We went through a lot of the menu, which is a combination of standard breakfast food dressed up and unique cocktails. From Sake Sangria to Mango Mimosas and Bacon Bloody Marys, they know how to keep the thirst quenched. As for the food, I was definitely wishing I wasn’t allergic to seafood as Gail raved about the Crunchy Shrimp and the Crab Wontons, but I did get to feast on the Wild Mushroom Omelet with asparagus and cream cheese, the Wok-seared Cauliflower and the House Ground Meatballs in a kaffir and lime tomato sauce. Fortunately, the portions were small so we were able to keep eating.
When our two hours were up, it was off to see Godspell, thanks to the Broadway Collection. I had forgotten how good the music is for this show. It was updated a bit with modern references and especially fun to watch at Circle in the Square.
I was left by myself for my final night at The Library Hotel. It had been quite an experience with three different getaways in one trip, and finished perfectly in the morning before my flight with a big breakfast at the hotel. It started with fruit and yogurt, but there was only one way to finish it. After all, despite all the other experiences, I couldn’t leave New York without having a fresh bagel.
After many years as one of the top tennis writers in the country, Marcia Frost now devoting most of her time to travel writing, with a focus on food, wine and spirits. She has her own blog at WineAndSpiritsTravel.com and does weekly columns for Inspirato on Sonoma and Paris (two locations she visits often). Marcia also freelances for many other outlets, including Yahoo!; AOL; Michigan Avenue; Rum Bum; Los Angeles Confidential; Travel, Food & Drink; and Air Tran’s Go! Magazine. She has been contributing to Girls’ Getaway since 2010. For more information on Marcia, visit her website MarciaFrost.com.