Monday, August 6, 2018

A Sister Weekend in NYC | Day 1

July 26, 2018

"A sister weekend in [insert city]" is becoming a series now, it seems, after parts one and two in D.C., and I'm rolling with it.

When I was planning how to share my four-day weekend in NYC with my sister I considered breaking it up in multiple different ways, but it makes the most sense to me to do it day by day, so there will be four of these. I'm sure everyone is tired of seeing NYC posts, but I feel that, after having been a couple of times, I planned a trip that included a little of the standard touristy stuff as well as some lesser known gems, so hopefully readers will still find it interesting (and if not, I have a quick list of everything we did each day at the bottom of each post to quickly flick through).

Our first day was a wearying half day. After an hour drive to Dulles, a pleasant 45-minute flight to JFK, a short but chaotic AirTrain ride to Jamaica Center, and an hour-plus subway ride to Prospect Park, we were finally able to drop off our luggage and relax a little. We stayed in this lovely little Airbnb in Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn, which is a relatively untouched, quiet little family neighborhood not yet overrun by twentysomethings. After a quick lunch of shawarma and fries we took the Q train across the Manhattan Bridge and into the city to catch a few sights.

We stuck with seeing the big touristy places the first day, both as an anchoring point -- this is NYC! -- and to get them out of the way. Though there's not much to do on the street, we walked through Times Square to catch the lights and signs, then quickly got back on the subway to escape the street-to-wall crowds and noise. We stopped off at Serendipity 3 on the Upper East Side, the iconic -- and yes, overrated -- restaurant known for its frozen hot chocolate. The dining area is crammed with as many tables as the space can fit, and the staff is, I presume, used to dealing exclusively with tourists and so the service is not great, but the frozen hot chocolate is worth the otherwise mediocre experience.

We then walked through Central Park, passing by the Plaza Hotel on our way in (the Eloise Christmas movie is a seasonal favorite in our family, so the Plaza is a big deal). We meandered along the pathways, overcrowded with tourists and businesspeople and workers talking a shortcut on their way home. We arrived just as golden hour hit, so the sun was blinding when we turned the wrong way and the heat of the day had not yet burnt off so the air was oppressively heavy, but the park was, as always, beautiful and the views along Park Ave stunning. 

By the time we walked through Central Park and made our way out again, we were ready for dinner and space away from crowds, so we took the Q back to Brooklyn and bought sushi and tea at Silver Rice, a tiny shop recommended by our Airbnb host that was crammed in between a barber shop and a bar, before making our way back to our Airbnb to eat and sleep and ready ourselves for a full day in the city.

Kulushkät -- Mediterranean place in Lefferts Garden
Serendipity -- the iconic frozen hot chocolate
Silver Rice -- sushi place in Lefferts Garden

Central Park
Plaza Hotel
Times Square

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