NYC Girls' Weekend Trip Report

Old Dec 9th, 2016, 06:18 AM
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NYC Girls' Weekend Trip Report

Long-time lurker, infrequent poster here. I have learned so much from this forum over the years that I thought maybe I should report back for once

Details: Two ladies in our 40s (friends for 25+ years) headed to NYC for a quick 48-hour trip to see Hamilton and experience the city in all her holiday glory. Our “must-do list” included wandering by the department store holiday windows, eating good food, and laughing as much as possible.

Thanks for reading!

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Old Dec 9th, 2016, 06:20 AM
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Day One:
Flew in to LGA midday. Used Uber (after a promo code, our ride ended up being free) and arrived at our hotel by 1pm. Could not have asked for an easier/cheaper start to our trip.

I used points for our room at the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Times Square Central (136 W 42nd). Checked in, dropped our bags and we were off to explore. We walked through Times Square, passed by the Richard Rodgers Theatre to buy some Hamilton merchandise, and then made our way to Central Park. We passed the afternoon in the Park (and the holiday vendor stalls in Columbus Circle) and along 5th avenue, just meandering and talking. It was lovely.

Thanks to Fodorite recommendations, we had an early reservation at Basso56 (234 W 56th) for dinner. It was a wonderful spot. My friend had the lamb ragu and I had the gnocchi – both excellent. We enjoyed a bottle of Montepulciano and the time off our feet.
After dinner we walked up to the Neue Gallerie since the first Friday of the month is free from 6-8p, but discovered several hundred other people had the same idea we did. Instead of joining the line around the block, we hopped on the Subway to Rockefeller Plaza to enjoy more holiday store windows and the Christmas Tree. It was busy, but not overly crowded. We easily found open spots to take the requisite selfies.

We hiked down to Lord & Taylor to continue our holiday window scouting and then wrapped up the night with drinks. We intended to pop into The Lantern’s Keep (49 W 44th), but they were closed for a private event. The front desk sent us across the street to the Royalton Hotel (44 W 44th) and they took great care of us. The atmosphere was just right – good mix of seating options (we chose two comfy chairs off to one side); good music, but not too loud; busy, but not packed. It was a quick walk back to the Hilton. All in all, a great day in NYC.
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Old Dec 9th, 2016, 06:22 AM
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Day Two:
We set off towards Brooklyn (via subway) after the complimentary breakfast at the Hilton. Once there, we walked to Brooklyn Bridge Park (highly recommend for the views of the Bridge and Manhattan skyline) and then trekked to the Brooklyn Flea ( at Skylight One Hanson. If you like wandering through vintage vendors in a lovely old building, this is a great thing to do on a cold winter morning. It didn’t hurt that I scored some amazing earrings for $12. Highly recommend grabbing a cup of coffee from Stand Coffee as you enter. It was so good and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get the roast info.

We headed back to Manhattan and made our way to the Russ & Daughters shop (179 E Houston) for lunch. We waited about 30 minutes, but it was worth it. Note to self: buy more than one bagel next time. The weather was just warm enough to enjoy our food outside in First Park down the street.

After walking 8 miles on day one, and 3 miles by lunch today, we decided to catch the subway back to the hotel put our feet up and catch a pre-show nap.

After recharging, we walked back through Times Square (holy hell – where did all of these people come from??) to dinner. We’d made reservations at Toloache (251 W 50th) for 6:15p and arrived to find the place filled to overflowing with people. Luckily everyone was in a great mood and we enjoyed a pre-dinner margarita while waiting for our table. I was a little nervous that we were cutting it close with an 8pm show, but they knew what they were doing. The food was very good (I highly recommend the guacamole and tacos de lechon). Our waiter was friendly and attentive and had us out by 7:30pm to make the quick walk to Richard Rodgers Theatre.

We arrived at the theatre and were swept up in the line to enter. There was barely time to squeal in delight at seeing a show on Broadway (my first!) before we were handing over our tickets to be scanned. [side note: the people in front of us had counterfeit tickets and were turned away. I can’t imagine!]. We had rear mezzanine seats (row E), but the theatre is so small I felt right on top of the stage.

What to say about the show itself? I went into the show with the entire cast recording memorized, while my friend had purposefully stayed away from any songs/soundbites to see it fresh (how she managed this is a mystery!). We both loved it. Javier Muñoz and Brandon Dixon were excellent, and I’m so glad I got to see the staging and choreography in an intimate theatre. I’ll be very curious to see how the show translates across the country in larger theatre spaces. Following the show, the cast led a spirited auction to raise money for Broadway Cares “Gypsy of the Year” which was delightful. ( )

We capped off the perfect theatre experience with drinks at The Lamb’s Club (132 W 44th) and hobbled back to our hotel to collapse.

What a day! How lucky we are to be alive right now! (sorry - couldn't resist the Hamilton reference).
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Old Dec 9th, 2016, 06:24 AM
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Day Three:

After chugging coffee with our ibuprofen, we set out to explore Macy’s holiday windows and then walked back to Rockefeller Plaza for a daytime tree viewing. We stopped for a completely forgettable slice of pizza somewhere (honestly the only bad food experience of the trip) and then caught one last NYC drink at the Algonquin (59 W 44th) before packing up and catching an Uber back to LGA (with another promo code, our ride came to $28).

This was my first trip to NYC at the holidays, and my first Broadway experience. I wouldn’t change anything…but I definitely have a list of things to see/do for next time.
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Old Dec 9th, 2016, 06:34 AM
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That's sounds like a perfect NYC trip, and I agree with many of your choices. Thanks for posting!
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Old Dec 9th, 2016, 09:45 AM
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This does sound like a wonderful trip. I'm glad you had a good time and hope you'll come back when the city isn't so packed for the holidays. Try us again in May and try another show.
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Old Dec 11th, 2016, 12:23 PM
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Wow--Your first Broadway show was Hamilton? Good for you! I live here and only know one person that has been able to get tickets.

You sure walked a lot! Good for you. Come back soon.
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Old Dec 13th, 2016, 03:29 AM
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Sounds like you covered a lot of ground and like it was a good trip. Good for you! Do try to get back to Lantern's Keep -- it is a gem. But so is the Royalton
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Old Dec 14th, 2016, 08:11 AM
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I loved your report! Hamilton was my first Broadway show, too. My husband and I went in January; it was also our first trip to NYC. We had so much fun!
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Old Dec 14th, 2016, 11:22 AM
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Nice report. You certainly were able to get a good numbers of things in during 48 years.

Hopefully your next visit to NYC will be a bit longer.
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Old Dec 21st, 2016, 12:22 PM
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That sounds like a wonderful trip. I have never been to New York, but it sounds like you packed a lot of sights into a great weekend.
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