In a New York state of mind


NewyorkmapbYup, you guessed it.  Very soon I will be off on holiday again – Saturday, in fact!  And, in what appears to be an annual event, we will once again be visiting the USA.  But unlike last year when we cruised around the laid back southwestern states, this time round we’re going to the east coast – New York City and Boston, to be precise, with a drive through Connecticut somewhere in the middle.

I have visited NYC once before, almost exactly nine years ago, and remember being totally gobsmacked.  I thought it was going to be dirty and scary and dangerous, but I ended up spending two solid days walking around Manhattan, mostly on my own, feeling as safe as I have felt in any city in the world.  So that was an eye-opener.  I was also amazed at how truly beautiful the architecture is.  Yes, everybody knows that the Empire State Building is tall and was featured in King Kong. But it’s only when you enter the foyer that you realise what an exuberant art deco flight of fancy it is.  And we won’t even mention the Chrysler building!  It really is an architecture fan’s dream city.

This time round, I will have Nick with me, and he’s never been to NYC, so what better excuse could I have to hit the tourist trail and hit it hard.  We have a couple of non-negotiables – a trip to Liberty & Ellis Islands, the Empire State building, MOMA, a sunset walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, to name but a few.  I also have some food non-negotiables – Dean & DeLuca, Luzzo’s pizza, Katz Deli, Bubby’s for brunch and dim sum in Chinatown.  And in Connecticut (Bridgeport and Stonington) and Boston I plan to eat seafood until I burst – clams, lobster, chowder, crab – you name it.

As it is, our dance card is going to be pretty full, what with 4 days in the City That Never Sleeps; visitng one set of friends and one set of relatives in Connecticut; and meeting up with an old university friend in Boston while watching the Head of the Charles regatta.  But if anybody out there has any best-kept-secret finds in either New York or Boston that they want to share with me – the best hot chocolate, the best clam chowder, the best ice cream, the best chopped liver, the best pancakes…  please do drop me a comment or an e-mail.  I have no idea at all about Boston restaurants, so any suggestion for our one night there would be appreciated (not fine dining please – rather a good neighbourhood place).

I can’t guarantee that I will have time for everything but I can give it my best shot!

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  1. Bonnie says

    Oh how I love New York… I went there for the first time in December for 3 days, by myself and had a wonderful time! Went to visit my favourite building in the whole world – the Guggenheim (and just stared at it). Then stumbled across Dean & Deluca, which I remember reading about in Australian Vogue…
    Enjoy yourself Jeanne, and I can’t wait to hear about it (hopefully) when you get back!

  2. says

    Hi Silverbrow
    I was actually meaning to check your site as Johanna and I were debating on Sunday whether you had recently been and posted about it. I will definitely head over there for a look – thanks for the link!
    Hi Bonnie
    The first time I went to NYC I also spent my time mostly alone (my friend Paul was jetlagged and had to fly our plane home again, so needed his rest!). I walked all the way from Penn Station on 34th Str to the Guggenheim on about 88th Str and loved every step of the way. It is a truly phenomenal building and I love it too, along with the Chrysler building, the Woolworth building and the Flatiron (which I finally hope to see this visit!)

  3. says

    Matt did his graduate work in Boston (BU), and one of our best friends just moved from a Boston suburb to Maine…so once he’s home from work, I’ll ask if he has any recommendations.
    Darn it all; next time, try to come a bit more South, ok? We have this guest ‘suite’ and everything!

  4. dilly says

    I’m a random foodie (currently blogless because I didn’t have the time to keep one up), and just had to comment about a few restaurants that I really enjoyed. Chikalicious in NY is a wonderful 3-course dessert stop (when I went, she was still relatively a secret, but now a lot of the blog world seems to have discovered her), and Neptune’s Oysters in Boston’s North End has a fabulous offering of assorted raw oysters (and flavor notes about them!) and a gargantuan, AWESOME lobster roll ($20, but it’s worth every penny, really) that’s leaps and bounds above any other lobster roll in the area (and I’ve tried quite a few in my 4 years there; I did my undergrad in Cambridge). But it’s small, and reputable, so either go at an off-hour (e.g. 3:30 PM) or be prepared to wait! (If you do have to wait, grab a tiramisu/cannoli from Mike’s Pastries a few blocks over to hold you over)
    Both Neptune’s and Mike’s are neighborhood places that I feel *totally* comfortable recommending. Avoid the typical tourist traps of Legal Seafood (good, but not incredible, although they’re known for providing the clam chowder for each presidential inaguration), Fanueil Hall (fun to wander through, but just a glorified food court), etc. I love Boston… be prepared to walk a lot; I recommend walking from Newbury Street (get off of the Boston MGH T-stop), down to Boston Commons (and see Frog Pond, a lovely outdoors ice-skating rink!), nab a cup of white hot chocolate and a triple-chocolate chip bagel from Finagel a Bagel right between Boston Commons and Downtown Crossing (I have a total sweet tooth, and both are lovely in the cold New England weather), wander through Downtown Crossing and follow the scent of sweet roasted nuts to Fanueil Hall, and then loop slightly around to North End, where you’ll have a wonderful seafood meal to look forward to! :)

  5. says

    Ok, forgot to ask him last night, so emailed him at work and this is what he had to say:
    “If she drinks beer, the Sunset Grill and Tap. More varieties of beer than
    any other bar in Boston, and that’s saying something. For good Italian
    food, there’s the North End, Boston’s old Italian neighborhood. Take the T
    to Government Center (or follow anybody else’s directions to Faneuil
    Hall/Quincy Market, which is a reasonably nice place in its own right) and
    keep heading more or less northerly towards the narrower streets and brick
    houses. There are a few duds (I distincly remember the cafe Vesuvius being
    a waste of time), but it’s otherwise hard to have a bad meal there.
    And if she’s more mobile (that is, if she has a car), I can recommend a
    stroll down Moody Street in Waltham. New Mother India (one of the oldest
    Indian restaurants in the US) and Erewan of Siam were both outstanding when
    I lived there, but that’s another neighborhood were it’s hard to find bad

  6. says

    Hi Stephanie
    Cool – thanks! And I’m sorry we aren’t heading your way :-( But we certainly will return to the US and if we’re in yuor neck of the woods you will be the FIRST to know!
    Hi Dilly
    Thanks for stopping by! Three-course dessert place?? OMG. Best I take some jeans with an elasticated waist! And thanks for all the Boston tips – I hope to gorge on seafood while we are there and Neptune’s sounds like the place. White hot chocolate! Woo hoo!
    Hi again Stephanie
    I think Nick is going to be sold on the beer place 😉 And I can never get enough of Italian – thanks for the tips!
    Hi Greg
    Thanks for stopping by & recommending Fat Dave’s site. Some good stuff there – NIck is going to love the idea of the eat all you can sushi places!

  7. says

    now im so hungry! im trying to work here guys! come on! nevermind i need to look in shape because im flying next week to nyc after i booked a ticket via last minute travel. maybe i wont eat