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Trip Recap: 5 Days in New York City

Welcome to New York! I've honestly been really hesitant to post this due to the current events that are going on in the world right now. When we landed back in DFW, there was a press briefing declaring COVID a…

5 Days in New York City -

New York City, NY

Welcome to New York! I’ve honestly been really hesitant to post this due to the current events that are going on in the world right now.

When we landed back in DFW, there was a press briefing declaring COVID a global pandemic and New York Shut down just days later. However, I want to get this post out there for when everything, hopefully, starts to get better and people can start traveling again.

5 Days In New York City Header

We had such a blast in NYC with friends for a conference for the hubby. Even though we spent 5 days in New York City, I still don’t feel like we saw even a fraction of what the city has to offer. I also did 90% of this stuff on my own so we’ll for sure be planning a trip back so we can enjoy more things together.

Getting There

First day of vacation is always usually a travel day for us and we book either early morning flights or mid-morning flights. We like to get there early and have time for lunch/dinner and exploring a little.

We flew into LaGuardia Airport and chose to take an Uber to our hotel as opposed to the subway. The hubs thought it would be difficult to navigate the subway with luggage and I didn’t object.

Where We Stayed

New York Hilton Midtown

We booked a room at the Hilton Midtown because it was where the conference was being held. I don’t like to have the hubby have to get up any earlier then he needs just to travel to the conference venue.

The hotel was decent and had a great location right in the middle of downtown Manhattan. Personally, it wouldn’t have been my first choice but was great, nonetheless. The beds were comfortable and it had a good view of downtown.

A few of our friends stayed at a hotel around the corner but I was hesitant to book not knowing the layout of New York. However, now having been, we have a better sense of where things are in relation so we can choose something different next time we go.

What We Did

Times Square

5 Days In New York City - Times Square

After our first breakfast we walked right to Times Square. It was just around the corner so figured we should get it checked off the list early. To be honest, Times Square is a little underwhelming for me. It’s just a big square filled with giant ads for brands and that’s about it. It is colorful and large and always ridiculously crowed.

Brooklyn Bridge

After taking a few pics in Times Square we headed down to the subway and made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge. We bought the weekly subway pass since it was cheaper then each individual ride, especially not knowing how many times you might or might not ride the subway.

We got off at Canal Street and did a little exploring before making it to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was super crowded but beautiful and we walked across to get some nice pics of the NY skyline.

DUMBO - Manhattan Bridge

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge brings you right into DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and we went to the insta-famous street to see what all the hype was about.

The street was ridiculously crowded and I can see why everyone that gets an “empty” picture goes right at dawn. It was fun to see all the people trying to get that perfect shot.

The Oculus

While on our way to the World Trade Center this is the hub that the subway dropped us off at. The architecture inside and out are gorgeous and such a feet of engineering. Beautiful to see right before heading out to Ground Zero.

World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial

This was the top thing on the hubs “want to see list.” Since our first day was the only full day he had, we had to fit it in.

It was a super humbling experience and a beautiful memorial built for all the people that lost their lives that day. We just stood at the memorial for a while reading all the names and taking in the sacredness of the space.

Unfortunately, we didn’t make into the museum as it closed early that day, but we make the most of the experience by taking in everything else that was there.

Flatiron Building

5 Days In New York City - Flatiron Building

Started the day at the Flatiron Building. I was very disappointed when I stepped off the subway platform as the entire building was covered in scaffolding and tarps. However, the little park in front was a nice place to sit and drink a coffee and take in some city views and people watching.

Washington Square Park

5 Days In New York City - Washington Square Park

Walked here from the Flatiron building and got a few pictures of the park. It was still winter when we were there and the fountain was off and drained.

"Friends" Apartment

5 Days In New York City - &Quot;Friends&Quot; Apartment

While in Washington Square Park I realized that the Friends apartment was just a few blocks away so I figured I head over there. I was always a big fan of Friends and still watch it when it comes on TBS. It was cute to see and the little Owl Café on the corner.

Carrie Bradshaw Apartment

I’ve never seen an episode of Sex in the City in my life but I figured I was right around the corner so why not stop? The houses down this street were gorgeous and there were a bunch of people stopping and taking pictures in front of the house. So many, that I just took a picture of the homes next door instead of waiting for my turn.

Chelsea Market

After walking around in the cold for a while I stopped in the Chelsea Market to warm up and get some food. I absolutely loved this place and would highly recommend checking it out. It has a bunch of little shops inside and a bunch of different food places. I ended up getting pizza from Filaga and it was delicious. I would for sure come back here to try some more of the different food options and get a couple drinks.


The highline is an old abandoned rail line that they converted into walking park area. It was fun to walk across and see the city from a different angle than below all the buildings.

Grand Central Station

This place is massive and beautiful. The TV and movies don’t do it justice and it was fun to see everyone coming and going on all the train platforms.

There is also a small market and a few shops inside that you can stop to get some food or souvenirs or whatever while you’re waiting for your train.

Central Park

Central park is huge and there is no way I would have been able to walk around the entire thing in a day. I did just wander down some of the streets and stop at some of the benches and people watch while the hubs was in his conference. This day turned out to be sunny, beautiful, and the warmest so I’m glad I chose to go to the park.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Pictures of this church do not do it justice. It is massive and has such intricate detail. When I first saw it among all the modern high-rises I was taken aback and actually had to google to see what it was. What a beautiful church in the middle of New York.

Rockefeller Center

I was slightly underwhelmed by Rockefeller Center. It was much smaller than I anticipated and I actually almost walked right by it on my way to Grand Central Station without even realizing. So if you’re not specifically seeking it out, you might miss it.

It was fun to see people ice skating still and walk around all the super high-end stores and TV studios.

New York Public Library

This is probably the most beautiful library I have ever been in. It was so intricately detailed and decorated. It did feel a little weird walking around as a tourist while people were trying to study but we weren’t the only ones, of course. Also, most of the library is closed off to the public so you can really only see one of the main study areas and that’s about it.

Bryant Park

5 Days In New York City - Bryant Park

Right around the corner from the New York Public Library and a cute little park to sit and people watch. I grabbed a coffee and sat down at a little table for a while to just relax and take in the views. There’s always something to see and watch while in New York.

The Vessel

5 Days In New York City - The Vessel

What a random structure in the middle of Hudson Yards and to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what the purpose of it is. It was beautiful to see from the outside as we didn’t get to go inside. They have a ticket waiting system that had a 4 hours wait and we didn’t feel it was necessary even if it was free.

Where We Ate


100 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Stefan loves Asian food so he chose this cute little place right around the corner from our hotel. The food was great and I loved everything that we ordered. The place was really busy but we were able to get a shared table within  just a few minutes.

We actually ate here twice during the trip, once the first night then again with a big party of almost everyone we went on the trip with.

Stagecoach Tavern

834 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

This was our first breakfast stop of the trip and it was a great Irish breakfast place. I don’t even remember what I ordered and apparently it was so good I forgot to take pictures, too. I’m sure the hubby ordered a traditional Irish Breakfast though.

Katz's Deli

205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

We got a call from friends while in DUMBO and they wanted us to meet them at Katz’s so we hopped the subway and away we went. This place for sure lives up to the hype! The lines were super long, around the corner, but it moved fast.

Once we were inside we decided on table service to rest for a while from all the walking and ordered one sandwich to share – the pastrami sandwich. It was so big when it came out that I was super thankful that we ordered one to share because I would not have been able to eat it on my own.

Dutch Fred's

307 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
5 Days In New York City - Dutch Fred'S

This was a great little restaurant for tapas style food. We met up with 3 of our friends and all ordered a bunch of food to share. It was all so delicious. They were also a speakeasy style bar with a bunch of craft cocktails so I had to order a couple. They were beautifully balanced flavors and spirit combinations and I would highly recommend going here.

Tanner Smith's Speakeasy

204 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

After dinner with friends we all decided to keep the party going and found a cute little speakeasy in a basement around the corner from Dutch Fred’s. For a Saturday night, it was surprisingly empty and we were able to get a table for 6 without any wait.

The guys ended up ordering just beers, which I don’t understand, haha, but I kept it going with the craft cocktails. When you’re in a speakeasy style bar with craft cocktail bartenders, you order craft cocktails. I don’t remember how many I ordered but they were all delicious.


75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Inside the Chelsea Market, this was a little stop for me to warm up and grab a bite to eat. I ordered a spinach artichoke pizza that was delicious.

Halal Guys Streetfood

6th Avenue &, W 53rd St, New York, 10019

When in New York you’ve got to have some street food and one of their carts was right outside our hotel so we stopped. I don’t exactly remember what we got but we took it back to the room and chowed. It was so good and I would go here again and again.

Black Tap

136 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
5 Days In New York City - Black Tap

Cute little burger place right next to Central Park. All of their burgers were huge and we should have just ordered one to share. Then we each had a beer and I took him back to Central Park for a while before he had to go back to lectures.

Heartland Brewery

127 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
5 Days In New York City - Hartland Brewery

This was a stop for a couple drinks before we had to head to the big residency dinner with everyone. I had a pale ale and an IPA before heading to dinner. The food menu looked good so will have to go back for food sometime.

Tony's Di Napoli

147 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

This place was amazing! I don’t know if it was because we had such a huge party and free food and drinks but it was good. They had about 8 different pasta dishes that they brought out for us, along with a few salad options, and desserts for the whole table – I think there were 24 of us? And of course the wine and sangria were flowing. Ha!

Refinery Rooftop

63 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018

Sitting in a rooftop restaurant is always at the top of my list when I visit somewhere. I love seeing cities from above and taking in a cocktail while looking out over a skyline. I had planned on a few other rooftops but this was the only one we made it to with the hubby’s busy and ever changing schedule.

We did meet some old friends from Michigan here and it was nice catching up with them and spending time. The food was also divine and I would love to go back again.

Blue Seafood Bar

856 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
5 Days In New York City - Blue Seafood Bar

Our last dinner together before heading home the next day. We wanted something low key and just the two of us since we spent nearly the entire time with everyone else – or I was alone. This was the perfect little seafood bar not far from our hotel. We ordered octopus, oysters, and a couple fish dishes to share.


891 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019
5 Days In New York City - Pick-A-Bagel

The first and only bagel shop we stopped at. I had the lox bagel with a coffee and so did the hubs. It was a great ending to a great trip right before heading to the airport.

I know that we only scratched the surface of what New York has to offer and I cannot wait to go back and explore more with the hubby. I also need to get better at writing down what we eat at restaurants and not just the restaurant itself. We are foodies and love to try all different kinds of things.

In the meantime, what are some of your favorite places to eat and things to do in New York? I’d love to add them to the list for next time!

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