There are several cities my husband regularly visits for work. Depending on the level of interest and time he spends there I decide if I am going to tag along and take advantage of the hotel room. Believe me, I know how lucky that makes me. Its fabulous. I love it !!
And New York is a 'no brainer'.
Even more so since he was spending 2 weeks there, we had some friends from London in town for a few days AND one of my best girlfriends from Melbourne was also going to be there at the same time.
I booked myself a great priced premium Economy ticket with British Airways, and was lucky enough to get an upgrade to business class. I've mentioned before that I LOVE travelling with British Airways, I LOVE the champagne lounge at Heathrow and as a loyal Gold Card holder I get treated well and have a few nice upgrades. It makes a big difference to any trip.
I even managed to get an appointment for a facial in the complimentary Elemis spa at the lounge. This trip was off to a very good start...
As with a lot of my trips to NYC I do tend to make a lot of plans. There are lots of things I like to do and restaurants that I want to try, if I don't make the reservations I can't get tables where I want to or the spa I want to go to is full so to avoid disappointment I do make quite a few plans.. Also, this time around I was co-ordinating a few things with some friends and so being organised was important.
On this trip we were staying at Le Parker Meridian, an SPG hotel very close to Central Park. Its a great location for Shopping, the Metro, and Hubby can walk to the office. Its often quite expensive, but luckily this time, for whatever reason, their rate was very competitive. We use the SPG chain a lot and have lifetime platinum status, and they are quite good with rewarding their loyal guests. This time was no exception and we were up-graded to a suite which is great when you have 2 weeks of luggage and plan to do a lot of shopping. A review of the hotel and the restaurants we ate at will follow in the next post. 2 weeks in NYC - Part 2.
Top of my list of appointments in NYC is always a visit to the hairdresser for a cut.
I have naturally curly hair and there is a great company called Devachan who have 2 salons n NYC, and trained stylists all over the USA and even some in the UK.
If you have curly or even wavy hair check them out. Their cutting technique makes absolute sense and bad hair cuts will become a thing of the past. I discovered them whilst I was living in NY years ago and apart from a Deva trained stylist in London there is no-one else I let near my hair. I use their products (thank you Amazon) and my curls are happy, bouncy and I'm often complimented for them.
425 Broome St (At Crosby), New York, NY 10013
220 West 79th Street, New York, NY 10024
Next on the list of bookings was a spa day with my friend. We chose Great Jones Street Spa as it had been recommended by a friend. I don't have an photos from inside as its a full on spa with saunas steam rooms and jacuzzi as well as all the treatments a girl needs to make her feel beautiful and ready to face the world. Its spread over several floors and is very spacious, you would never be able to tell from the outside.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time there, I had a fabulous facial and a Mani-Pedi. It was a beautiful oasis in the city and I'd highly recommend it... not at the weekend when it gets crazy busy, but on the Tuesday afternoon in March, it was just perfect.
29 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012
My last booking was for a personal shopping experience at Macy's Department store.
This was lots of fun and a very good time and money saver.
I contacted them via email and sent a photo of myself with my clothing size and a brief explanation of what I was looking to buy. I decided this would be a great way to shake up my wardrobe and try some styles and colours that I wouldn't normally. It worked out very well and I arrived to find a whole room of outfits and accessories ready for me to try on.I found a few pieces that I loved and my personal shopper rushed away to find them in other colours for me. I didn't have to run around the worlds largest department store myself, instead I enjoyed my complimentary drinks and waited for the clothes to come to me. Perfect.
To add to the experience is the 20% discount offered on all the items you buy from the personal shoppers suggestions. On the day I was there some of the items already had a discount, and so the additional 20% really did bring the overall bill down considerably.
I left with some great jeans, a couple of pairs of cropped trousers for the summer, some tops and t-shirts in colours I would not normally choose and a beautiful wrap dress.
A very successful, stress free shopping trip I will definitely repeat.
151 West 34th Street NY 10001 4th Floor
I'll write a separate post about the restaurants we went to during our stay, some new ones, and an old favorite... READ THIS POST HERE
All in all the trip was a great success, a fabulous mixture of 'me time', catching up with friends and eating in some great restaurants, updating my wardrobe ready for spring and getting a haircut. What more could I ask for....
One of my new favourite things to do in NYC is to walk along the Highline. I try to get there early and avoid it at the weekend - its crazy busy then. Not only is it a great way to get down to Chelsea Market without the hold up of the traffic signals its a great way t get away from the noise and smells of the traffic on the streets.
For those who haven't been fortunate enough to read or even visit the Highline I've included lots of photos from a few of my trips there.
Its basically a walkway created along a disused elevated railway line. There are carefully cultivated plant borders along the route, lots of seating and even some food and drink outlets. For most of the Highline the rail tracks are still visible and even have a function allowing seats in some areas to be slid along them.
The people who come and use the Highline come from all walks of life from tourists enjoying seeing the city from a different angle, to people on their lunch break from nearby offices and then just about anyone in between.
Not only The Highline a great way to spend a few hours it has also given the area a great boost in terms of marketability and there are lost of new apartment developments springing up along the sides.
Although its not a whole day activity you can easily spend a few relaxing hours on the Highline. I walked along it, grabbed some sushi from Chelsea market and found myself a rolling bed where I put my feet up, enjoyed my lunch and read a few chapters of my latest book. It feels like you are miles away from the hustle and bustle that in reality is only a short distance away.
The Highline runs from the Meatpacking district to W34th Street between 10th and 12th Avenue.
It is conveniently at the end of the MTA line so we just climbed on and read out kindle until the end of the line and when we looked up it felt like we were a million miles away from NYC. The first thing we saw and indeed tried was the famous Nathan's Hot Dog. We have watched the hot dog eating competitions on the TV and were itching to try one of these. What a disappointment. I think it was fried as it was really greasy, which in my opinion a bizarre thing to do to a frankfurter. thankfully there were HUGE vats of ketchup and mustard - with pumps, to disguise the taste.
Coney Island was always on our to do list when we lived upstate but we never quite got around to it. On this trip we decided to head out to the beach on what was an amazing sunny weekend at the end of September.
So after getting the Hot Dog lunch ticked off the things to do list we went for a nice long walk along the coast. We were lucky and we had a beautiful sunny day in September.
It was out of season so not packed with people. Also the week before had been a little cold so I guess that put people off too. The fun fair was still open but again it wasn't at all busy. I can only imagine what this must be like in the middle of August and was glad of the space and quiet. With a blue sky we had a thoroughly enjoyable few hours.
If you are in New York and feel a bit overwhelmed by the chaos then head out to the coast for a few hours of calm and have a nice walk along the beach. As long as its not raining the beach is always a great place to go.
Another thing I decided to do during my time in NYC was to learn how to make pasta. I have a pasta roller and haven't actually used it yet. I have to admit I was a little worried I might be put off by an early failure so thought a cooking class was a great way to be able to learn what the dough was supposed to feel like during the process.
I found Sur La Table online. I have been in their stores before to buy gadgets but hadn't noticed the cooking classes before. They have a full calendar of classes all throughout the day and lots of locations around the US. There was a pasta making class at the Hells Kitchen branch during my second week in NYC so I signed up.
There were only 5 of us in the class and it was very hands-on so we shared out the tasks of chopping vegetables, cooking meat, making pesto and all had lots of practice rolling the pasta. We made loads of pasta, all flat noodles, and three sauces.
The teacher - Lynn - was very patient, answering all our questions, and stepping to help out just before things started to go a bit wrong !!
The best bit of all was getting to eat the fruits of our labour.. fresh pasta is truly amazing and well worth the effort.
I was surprised as how easy it is to make pasta but I know that if I had not done the class I would not of got the texture of the dough right. It needs to be much tougher before the rolling stage than I imagined. I can't wait to get home and get my machine out and give it a try now.
The class costs $69 normally, but luckily I was there when they had a sale so I only paid $33 AND you also get a 10% discount voucher to use in their shop after the class. Its a great way to spend a few hours in NYC and learn a new kitchen skill.
I wanted to share some of the great things I have been doing during my 6 weeks in NYC. I knew that my husband would be working during the six weeks we were going to spend in NYC so I decided to make good use of the time and find some things to do that I don't normally have easy access to in Switzerland...
I did a bit of research before we arrived and decided I was going to take some Pilates reformer classes. This was something I enjoyed doing when we lived in Upstate NY a few years ago and I certainly noticed a loss of strength since I stopped. Pilates Reforming NYC offers a free intro class and so with nothing to lose, I headed over there. They have three studios within the location that was only 5 block from where I was staying, and classes throughout the day - which was perfect for me.
I had an amazing intro class with a teacher called Ritchie, who was so passionate about Pilates it would be hard for anyone not to become addicted. The class was a good way for me to get back into Pilates and realise my muscles actually remembered what they were supposed to do !!
The Studio had a very attractive offer for new students so I signed up and booked myself up for the 8.30am classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Twice a week my classes were with Laura and once a week with Ritchie. Both teachers are excellent, explaining exactly how the muscles are supposed to be working and helping out with posture and getting into the right positions. Committing to these classes also gave my week some 'structure' and I slotted my treadmill runs in-between these days. I was really giving myself a kick start to get into shape....It also made sure I was out of the hotel and doing something instead of wasting time in bed !!
All the studio staff are lovely, very professional and helpful and they have an easy to use online booking system. The classes do have an expiry date, so if you are only visiting for a few weeks you really need to be able to commit yourself. but you can see online which are the busy classes and book yourself into the quieter ones where you get more one 2 one with the teacher. I'm definitely coming back whenever I am in NYC and if you are here for an extended stay I'd highly recommend these guys.
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