The past week has been overflowing with fun… beginning when my sister, Stephanie, came to visit from D.C. through last night when Rob and I went to the US Open in Queens. Here are some top things to do with your favorite people in New York City:
- Take a picnic dinner to Bryant Park. See the beautiful city lights against the dark blue night sky from the middle of a perfect park.
- Brunch at Alice’s Tea Cup. Set on a quiet street on the Upper East Side, this hidden gem is bustling on the weekends. We shared the almond tea, an omelette, chicken and hash, and French Toast & berries — cooked bread pudding style. Delish.
- Rent bicycles in Central Park. From the Loeb Boat House, you can begin your 6-mile trek around the biggest loop of Central Park. This is one of the best ways to grasp how big the park actually is! Warning: major hills included.
- Load up on sweets at Magnolia Bakery. In the heart of the West Village, this quaint bakery is a New York staple. Best known for its banana pudding, it also has an assortment of cupcakes, cakes, pies, and tarts. Can’t go wrong.
- Hit up the High Line via Chelsea Market. This indoor market, located in an old, renovated warehouse has everything from lobster vendors to art galleries to clothing stores to grocery stores. It empties into an entrance to the High Line, an elevated, urban park along an old transport line through the Meatpacking District and Chelsea.
- Eataly. Oh, Eataly. This enormous Italian food market that contains various restaurants, wine bars, cheese bars, and gelato bars (heaven) is so much goodness in one place. It’s okay that the restaurants don’t take reservations and the wait time is an hour — go grab a glass of wine and your favorite people. The food at the La Pizza and La Pasta restaurant is amazing. I highly recommend the Pansotti: housemade pasta with local ricotta, spinach, lemon butter, and pistachio. Throw in a bottle of wine for the table, and it’s a good night.
- Lunch at the Boat House in Central Park. If you don’t have time for the 1.5 hour wait for the fancier portion of the restaurant (like us), grab some delicious sandwiches for 1/3 the cost at the “quick counter,” then eat them by the windows inside the boat house and you have yourself a beautiful view for lunch at the boat house.
- Munch on macarons from Laduree. Located on Madison Ave., these Parisian delicacies are fun colors and fun flavors.
- See Brendan James at the Highline Ballroom. A fellow Tar Heel (albeit before my time), Brendan is my favorite musician. His music, lyrics, voice, keyboard playing… all incredible to listen to, but even more incredible to watch live. You can literally see the music coming from his soul as he plays and sings. Gets me every time.
- Go to a Central Park Summer Stage concert. Even better if Mat Kearney is playing! This makes for Kearney concert #5 for Rob and me. He opened for Train last Monday night, who was great… but Kearney’s better ;-).
- See Djokovic and Serena play on Arthur Ashe at the US Open. Last minute, a friend of a friend got me a ticket through his work for the matches Tuesday night, so my roommates and I got to go to the US Open together – such a cool experience!
- Sign up for a New York Road Runners race. I did the Back to Football Run along the 4-mile loop of Central Park on Thursday evening… which was a unique experience. Most races take place early in the morning and on the weekends, and to be quite honest… I’m not a morning person, and I’d rather not devote a Saturday morning to a race. So Thursday evening at dusk was perfect!
- See Andy Roddick play on Arthur Ashe at the US Open. Obviously it’s bittersweet that he announced his retirement after this tournament, but Roddick is someone I’ve been following since he started on the tour… way back when I was in middle school. I love cheering for my fellow American at all the Opens, and his tennis will certainly be missed.