Sunday, March 8, 2009

Key Learnings - NYC travel edition

Wow did I get lucky this weekend (not physically.) I left Saturday morning for NYC, when it was just raining moderately in Chicago and now it's a full, blown storm. I've been reading tweets from Chicagoans and it's crazy! Fortunately, the weather in NYC has been 60 and mild the last two days...and I am loving it!

Being in New York has been great, but before we get to that, let's hit the key learnings.

Key Learnings:
  • Everything in NYC is more expensive. Everything

  • Cab drivers are much nicer about paying by credit cards than Chicago drivers (Chicago cabbies should take note)

  • Being awake for nearly 24 hours can start to mess with your head, especially with daylight savings added on
  • Eating a cupcake made from pure sugar will help keep you awake
  • Walking is the best way to see New York, but be sure to take breaks and don't walk 60+ blocks in one trip
  • When an "unmarked" cab driver asks if you want to ride share with a guy who is "out for a smoke," say no
  • Eating with bloggers is the best because everyone takes pictures before we eat
  • Asking me what I "wish" for will automatically get a response of, "a pretty pony"
  • Every accessory you could need can be bought on the street, especially $5 wraps (bought four this weekend. Someone stop me)
  • Snapple is more readily available in NYC than anything else, even water
  • A pet store and bong shop make for interesting retail neighbors. Get baked and then get a dog 50 percent off!
  • Hint: when someone tells you not to take a picture, that doesn't dissuade me, it makes me more determined

Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to upload any of my pictures from this weekend because Lulu didn't come with me, so those will be coming soon. I got some great photos.

When tourists come to Chicago, we residents are not always the nicest when we talk about them. They flood the sidewalks and ask dumb questions to the bus drivers. But, this time the shoe was on the other foot, as I was a tourist in NYC this weekend. But I like to think I was still "big city savvy" when maneuvering around.

It's late here and I have a big day Monday so here is another list, this time of things I did in NYC this weekend:

  • Met my friend Maris at the Empire State Building (very Sleepless in Seattle)

  • Walked from Midtown to West Village to Upper East Side back to Midtown (my legs were killing me)

  • Waited in line for a Magnolia cupcake (and then went back Sunday for another one)

  • Had an uncomfortably close encounter with a pigeon (I am scared of them)

  • Found my favorite candy at Dylan's Candy Bar and overpaid for it

  • Ate at Craftbar with Ashley and Maris (give it a grade of a B, but I do recommend the appetizers we had: crispy chicken wings with spiced creme fraiche, mushroom bruschetta and chickpea fries)

  • Celebrated Lacey's engagement with awesome New York bloggers and a retired Chicago blogger

  • Had bloggy brunch at SaraBeth's with lovely lady New York bloggers with salmon eggs Benedict

  • Acted like a total tourist, taking pictures of Times Square, Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center

  • Sat on a bench, watching a couple flirt on their first date and a man drink gin straight from the bottle

  • Dined at Perilla with Ashley (give it a grade of an A+++++) My pork loin, hanger steak with creamed spinach and mushrooms, risotto and apple bread pudding was just beyond words. But no Harold sighting (shoot!)

Tomorrow I head back to a flooded Chicago and I'm looking forward to it. But I guarantee I won't let another three years go by without a weekend out here. It was a lot of fun!

How was everyone else's weekend?


heels said...

I couldn't agree with you more about cab drivers in NYC and credit cards, they are such a breath of fresh air compared to Chicago drivers.

Arielle said...

It was great to meet you this weekend! =) Good luck with your event tomorrow.

Maris said...

60 + blocks!? I think you're underestimating us.

I want another cupcake!

Jamie said...

Sounds like a fun trip!

I am in Phoenix--so while everyone is battling the storms in the midwest, looks like we both lucked out! :) Safe travels.

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

sounds like a great trip!! it's making me even that much more excited for my trip there on wed.

Maki said...

Sounds like a fun trip!! I love NY!! And yes, walking is the best way to enjoy the city life there. And omg, the water there is awesome - so yummy (and yes, I'm talking about tap water..)

Have a safe trip back home!


insomniaclolita said...

Aww blogger meet ups. I wish I could attend one. Glad to know everyone has a splendid time.

SA said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Yay!

Is Magnolia Bakery really worth all the hype? I guess you going back on Sunday tells your answer, but we must know how good the cupcakes are.

Lil' Woman said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun!! I need to take my booty to NYC! : )

Allie said...

Yeah, you missed some massively crappy weather here in Chicago. I haven't seen rain like that in a long time.

On another note, you're making me want to visit NYC again.

A Super Girl said...

Sounds like you fit way more in your weekend there than I did back in January. And I'm wishing now I would have paid more attention to the street vendors. With the boyfriend in tow, it was hard to do though!

jenniferalaine said...

sounds like your weekend was AWESOME -- I'm so sad I missed out on the Big Apple! BUT -- I will be in Chicago for 10 days starting on Thursday, and I just got email about a certain 30% friends and family discount...

thatShortChick said...

PERILLA = YUM squared. That place is just divine.

glad you had a good weekend.

lucklys said...

i've never been to perilla, but now i'm going to have to check it out.

glad you had a good time! it was awesome getting to meet you :D

erin - heart in ireland said...

I love NYC. Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend! And the wraps on the streets are like crack to me, I have about 15 of them!

Travel Blog said...

From the sounds of things, I really think that you had a great time there at NYC. NYC is really the place to be, one can do so many fun things in NYC. I guess they really deserve the name, NYC- the city that never sleeps.

HBee said...

Sounds like a GREAT trip! I still need to visit NYC...someday.

Katelin said...

sounds like an awesome nyc trip! i'm so jealous. and those cupcakes, man i could go for one or ten right now, haha.

Classy in Philadelphia said...

Sounds like a great weekend! Jealous!

Megkathleen said...

My weekend wasn't nearly as much fun as yours! I desperately want to take a trip back to New York.

chitowndebutante said...

i havent been to new york in 4 years - i know the feeling and am desperately wanting to take a trip soon!

Lacey Bean said...

Yay!! So glad you had a good time, and so sorry I had to bail on brunch right after we got our food! I definitely went home and napped, and Dave didn't get up until 7pm!! Hope your event went well today!

Rosemarie said...

Sounds like you're having a great time! New York City is fantabulous! There is so much to do! I can't wait to see the pictures!

Miss Grace said...

Sounds like you're having a great time! The last time I was in NYC I had pneumonia, which was decidedly not awesome, but it sounds like your trip is fun! And whee!

Katie cat said...

What a great time! Here's to NYC & Chicago!

Maxie said...

I had salmon eggs Benedict this weekend too! SO GOOD.

Lily said...

Sounds like so much fun! And this makes me really want to get to NYC sometime.

Blaez said...

one of these days we'll go visit NY. its on my "todo" list of places to visit eventually.

sounds like you had a fabulous time!

The Modern Gal said...

No Harold? That is sooooo disappointing.