new york city in (mostly) photos

In October 2011, Sam and I were all set to take a trip to New York City over the weekend between our birthdays. About one week before we were to leave, my father fell and ended up being hospitalized. It was a complicated hospitalization, and one of a series of events that led to his rapid health decline. Needless to say, we cancelled that trip.

One year later, in 2012, we planned a make-up trip on a similar weekend in October. The goal this time was to celebrate my 40th birthday in the city, to really do it up. We bought tickets for a Broadway show, scored dinner reservations at Eleven Madison Park, and had dinners with good friends planned. And, just as the year before, another health issue  – my husband’s this time – prompted us to cancel the trip about a week before we were to leave.

I decided to try one last time. I booked airline tickets and made a hotel reservation. We would spend this year’s birthday – my 41st – in New York City. And if something happened to intervene, I knew that we would give up on ever trying to plan an October trip again, especially to New York.

The day before we were to leave, my son fell head first – face first, really – into the corner of the coffee table. His screams were awful to hear. I was certain that he’d fractured his skull. Once he calmed down, he seemed relatively okay, despite the immediate swelling around his nose and upper lip. We took him to the emergency room just in case. And selfishly, I thought, This is it. This is the event that will cause us to miss New York.

Because he is one lucky kid, though, he escaped without any broken bones or lost teeth. And because we are the luckiest of parents, we were able to leave Oliver and his sister with their Grammy for a glorious long weekend in Manhattan.

And this trip? It was a total splurge. Every bit of it.

(If you’re interested, I’ve listed the places we visited during the trip at the bottom of the post.)

empire state building

the nomad hotel

the nomad hotel

book of mormon

shake shack

central park, nyc

central park, nyc

central park, nyc

central park, nyc

tired feet

eleven madison park

trinity cemetery

The cemetery at Trinity Church in lower Manhattan, founded in 1842.

new york stock exchange

alexander hamilton us custom house

statue of liberty

pizza at lombardi's

birthday gelato

My birthday gelato at Barbuto.

*   *   *   *   *

The Details


The NoMad Hotel


Book of Mormon – Hysterical, just as everyone says. I’m not a fan of musicals, but this one was an exception. I still feel the tiniest bit guilty about laughing so loudly during certain parts.


The NoMad Bar – Appetizers and drinks. I highly recommend the brussels sprouts and the wonderful cocktail, Mother’s Little Helper.

The Breslin Bar & Dining Room – An impromptu breakfast with a dear friend.

Shake Shack – We had to try this, of course.

Eleven Madison Park – Complete splurge. Excellent meal. Sam nearly choked on a puntarella (an Italian bitter green). It was memorable, in so many ways.

Lombardi’s on Spring Street – Thin crust pizza cooked in a coal oven. It made for a fantastic lunch after walking all over downtown Manhattan.

Barbuto – Sam and I had the most wonderful dinner with Gail and Jackie and Olga and Andrew. The meal was perfect, but the conversation and company was even better.


Gotham Walking Tours – We took the Lower Manhattan tour, a three hour walking tour of the downtown area including NYC’s civic center, Wall Street, and the South Street Seaport. Lina was an excellent tour guide.

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9 Responses to “new york city in (mostly) photos”

  1. 1
    Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon — October 28, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    So glad the stars aligned and you finally made it. My fav photo is the one of your converse. Something really sweet about that.

  2. 2
    Kathryn — October 28, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    I’m so glad you finally were able to make the trip – your pictures really make me want to go back to NYC.

  3. 3

    so glad you were able to make this trip MJ. That hotel looks gorgeous.

  4. 4
    jwlucasnc — October 28, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

    Good for you. You both really deserved this trip.

  5. 5

    SO glad you and Sam got to enjoy this – enfin XO

  6. 6
    Rima — October 28, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

    Happy birthday, Merry Jennifer! Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday! 🙂

  7. 7
    Di — October 29, 2013 @ 11:22 am

    My city looks so much better through your lense than my everyday weary commuter eyes! So glad you got to enjoy it. It’s special this time of the year and especially what you needed!

  8. 8
    Michelle — October 29, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

    Happy birthday, MJ. So glad this trip worked out. Enjoyed your photos. They make me miss NYC.

  9. 9
    Paula — November 30, 2013 @ 11:39 am

    I’m happy that this long-planned trip finally came to pass for you and your husband. Your son was lucky not to have injured himself worse and I’m glad he was well enough to leave with his Grammy so you could travel.
    Your time in New York was very well spent, great photographs. I’ve never seen a hotel room decorated with so many pictures!

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