In keeping with my top ten list theme, I thought I would end the week by sharing some of my favorite places in the city that I love to explore, hang out at or just can’t get enough of. I know that the list is always expanding as I find new and wonderful spots in the incredible city of Manhattan but here are some of the places I have really come to love as part of my new home.
1. Central Park– I mean really, what is not to love? I have lived here for almost a year and I have not even come close to exploring all of the wonders that the park has to offer. As you wander into the beauty that is the park, you are instantly forced to slow down, breathe deeper and just let the serenity of the nature surrounding you relax and calm you. I love wandering through the ramble, looking for turtles at Turtle Pond, admiring the skyline of the surrounding city that peeks over the trees, sitting by one of the many bodies of water daydreaming or simply relaxing on a park bench watching the people stroll by. On a beautiful Manhattan evening there really is nothing more magical than a hand in hand wander through the park.
Central Park in the Fall
2. Chelsea and the Meatpacking District- This is one of my favorite areas of the city to explore. I love all the various architecture in the buildings, the amazing restaurants, the hip nightlife, eclectic shopping and the vibe in this part of town. There is soo much to see and do and it seems like this neighborhood is always evolving. It also includes two of my other favorite spots: The Chelsea Market and The Highline.
Street View- Chelsea
3. Chelsea Market– Chelsea Market is a fabulous indoor market that includes too many mouth watering restaurants and stores to mention. This is a family favorite to go to on the weekend where we treat ourselves to various yummy delights such as homemade bread, cookies, brownies, chocolate milk, cupcakes, crepes, fresh pasta, etc. (not all at once!!) There are also specialty non-food shops and the occasional sample sale 😉 It is a great way to start or end your Highline (see below) walk.
Eleni's Cookies, one of our faves at the Market
4. The Highline– The Highline is truly a wonderful gift to NYC. They have taken the old railway tracks and made a beautiful garden/outdoor/walking space. You can walk for blocks elevated above street level with fabulous views of Chelsea, Meatpacking District, The Piers, Hudson River and of course, the many amazing buildings surrounding the area including glimpses of the mighty Empire State Building. A must see!!
The gorgeous Highline walkway
5.Brooklyn Bridge And The South Street Seaport– There is truly something awe-inspiring about the Brooklyn Bridge. Walking across it or simply standing under it and looking up is mesmerizing. And the view from the middle of the bridge, is worth the huffing and puffing to get there 😉 If you make it across the bridge- DUMBO is a very cool spot to hang out. I also love the area right beside the bridge on the Manhattan side, the South Street Seaport. It is a fun place to visit in the summer where you can watch passing boats, have a drink on a patio or simply watch the kids play in the funky Imagination Playground.
Clouds over the Brooklyn Bridge
6. The Rockefeller Center and Surrounding Area– Yes, I know that this is an incredibly touristy area but it is one that I don’t mind fighting the crowds in. I really enjoy all of the different seasons at Rock Center. It is especially magical at Christmas with the tree and the outdoor skating but I also enjoy it in the summer months with its large outdoor patio. The girls love the stores in the neighborhood including American Girl, Lego World and FAO Schwarz. The walk down 5th Ave. during the holidays is incredibly spectacular. My goal is to enjoy tea at The Plaza this year!!
Rockefeller Center and the Tree
7. Riverside Park– This is a bit of a lesser known park than the ever popular Central Park but that is part of its allure. More of a neighborhood park than a tourist site, it is one of my favorite spots to walk the dog, go for a bike ride, pound out a run, have a picnic, talk to the water, play with the girls in the park or simply hang out on a bench and read my book in a shady quiet spot. The views are pretty spectacular too!
The Girls on one of the piers in Riverside Park
8. The American Museum of Natural History– There are tons of museums in the city and I have to say that I really do love them all but if I had to choose one right now that is my favorite it would be the AMNH. I love the building that it is housed in, the diversity of the exhibits and the proximity to my apartment. If it is a rainy day or an extremely hot day or just a day when we are all a wee bit bored we can head on over to the AMNH. Even if we go for only an hour, I always learn something new.
A large Dino hanging out at the AMNH
9.St. John of the Divine Church– There are also many beautiful churches in the city, but I have to say that St. John of the Divine Cathedral is truly one not to be missed. It sits on an incredible piece of property near Columbia University and is a majestic building with a deep history. It is a calming area of escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets. Also Morningside Park behind the church offers a stunning view into Harlem.
St. John of the Divine
10. Home Sweet Home (My Nabe)– It is hard to believe that we have been here almost a year. And yes, although there have been many adjustments moving from the ‘burbs to the big city, I guess I just feel lucky to have such an incredible opportunity to really get out and explore NYC and the surrounding area. I love where we are living. I know my neighborhood shopkeepers, the local doormen, the people I see on my dogwalks, the fruit guy, my fresh direct delivery man etc. I have favorite restaurants, food shops, clothing stores, delivery options etc. It feels comfortable, happy, safe… it feels like home =)
Ron and his girls relaxing at home!
Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!
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