If you follow me on Instagram you may have spotted that I was back in New York recently. I know, I know, I just can’t get enough of the place! This time it was to visit my parents, who were out there celebrating Mama Ship-Shape’s birthday. I flew out to surprise them, staying for a grand total of 48 hours. It was the very definition of a whirlwind trip, but worth every penny to spend time with them.
I recently posted a mini guide to Brooklyn, so I wanted to follow up with some suggestions for what to do in Manhattan, as that’s where I spent the majority of my time on this trip.
Oh, Norma’s! You were on my breakfast wish list when we went to Palm Springs in May, as there’s a second outpost at The Parker that gets namechecked in every Palm Springs guide. It never quite happened but when I realised my parents were staying in the NYC version of The Parker, I took it as a sign. Between us we ordered blueberry pancakes, eggs Benedict and crab cakes. It’s not a cheap breakfast stop but those were some of the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever tried, so in my book it was worth the splurge.
Visiting the most popular museum in the United States is a no-brainer, but if you’re there between May and early September you get to enjoy not only Ancient Egyptian artifacts and modern art but also their annual Costume Institute exhibition. This year it’s Manus x Machina, a look at the relationship between handmade and technological techniques within fashion. Designs include perfect pleats from Raf Simons, magnetic rubber creations by Iris van Hapen and old-school embroidered Dior gowns.
Queue for cookies at Levain Bakery*
As a Brit I can’t help but see a queue and join the back politely, without necessarily knowing what awaits. When we were in New York last month, my friend P convinced us to wait in line for Levain’s cookies. For 30 minutes. Was one of their humongous, gooey oatmeal and raisin cookies worth the wait? Yes. Yes it was. *No photos as I wolfed down said cookie before I had the chance, but Google ‘Levain cookies’ and you’ll get the gooey gist.
I fell in love with this former elevated railway last year in a big way and it’s my go-to suggestion for anyone I know planning a trip to New York. This 12ft wide, mile long public park snakes between Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, offering views of the neighborhoods below. The park only opened in 2011 so the plants and wildlife that line it are constantly evolving.
If you can get beyond the throng of inappropriate selfie stick moments, the Financial District’s memorial and accompanying museum are are well worth a visit. Granted, you’re unlikely to feel uplifted after this somber experience, but the museum is incredibly well thought out and offers an emotional look back at one of the country’s formative 21st century moments.
Have you been to NYC? What are your must-see/eat/do suggestions?