When Jamari received an assignment in NYC for a week, Audrey and I quickly volunteered to tag along. What could go wrong? A 5.5 hour flight cross country, staying in a hotel full of D.S. agents working round the clock shifts, a hotel room the size of my walk in closet, and the sights and smells of the Big City…sounds like a challenge to me! I knew Jamari would be working the entire time, so this was more of a vacation for just Audrey and I and I was pumped about showing her around, although I am fully aware she won’t remember a single thing. We did a lot of walking and less actual destinations. Taking a one year old to museums and roof top bars isn't exactly ideal, so we opted for more of a walking tour kind of trip.
Central Park- One of my favorite places. You still get the sounds of the big city, but the views and tranquility of the park is special. Audi and I trekked around the perimeter of the park, stopping for photos, meeting other Moms, and seeing all the main sights. It allowed her time to get out of the stroller while I could leisurely sip on my pumpkin spiced latte. There is an awesome zoo at the park but for the $20 ticket price and lack of interest on her part we skipped it this time. Who needs a zoo when you can count bird lady's, pigeons, selfie sticks, and nanny's for the rich and famous. The whole park is a zoo!
Times Square- If I never went back to Times Square again I'd be happy but I really wanted a pic of Audrey there. So I schlepped to 42nd and got my obigatory photo amongst every other tourist. This area is great for the photo (specifically at night), but snap your pic and get out! Everything here is overpriced and packed with tourists aimlessly blocking sidewalks trying to figure out where to go next, or holding phones up for selfies. Avoid the elbows and get out as soon as you get your pic. Honestly, most stores that you find here have another location elsewhere in the city that is less crowded. And I promise you that you can find superior food just blocks outside of this tourist trap.
Bryant Park- A beautiful, small park, with a European vibe. The day we came here was after a torrential rainstorm so the grassy lawn was closed for mud but it didn't take away from our fun. We watched a few table tennis tournaments We hopped on the carousel for $3 a ride. At different times of the year Bryant Park hosts various vendors selling cute boutique items. It turns into a Christmas Market late November-Christmas and is a must see if you're around the area.
Visiting Friends- Being from New Jersey means most of my friends are in the tri-state area. But, most of my friends have careers and aren't able to visit according to Audrey's nap schedule. We did however sneak in a few lunches with friends. I regretfully didn't see everyone I planned to, but that just means I need to plan another trip.
Food…oh the food- I ate my way through the city and defended the calories with the amount of walking I was doing. You name it, NYC has it and everyone can be happy; vegans, vegetarian, halal, carnivore, gluten free, every other speciality diet NYC will have a restaurant for you! I would pop in and out of restaurants as I was out exploring and order something easy to walk with or eat at a park. Most entertaining meal was stopping for lunch at The Original Soupman (Soup Nazi from Seinfeld) who jokes around with Audrey saying, "no soup for you". If you leave NYC and you had nothing satisfying to eat...you must've been on Staten Island 😂.
The Original Soupman
The Halal Guys
Walking- I walked so much and so far that I had to stop to buy sneakers because my Tom's weren't cutting it. NYC is such a walkable city it is nearly impossible to not go out an explore. No matter how many times I am there I find new things by way of walking. I wore Audrey in her carrier the first day and decided I had more seniority on the pavement if I had the stroller. She was such a trooper, for hours each day I'd strap her in and head out with no destination in mind.
NYC was a success. It's a special place to me and feels closer to home whenever I visit, it was definitely a different kind of NYC trip than I was used to having Audrey in tow, but still fun. Until next year's UNGA...