Mini Adventures

Empire State of Mind – Part 1

(New York is so wonderful and magical that I had to write about my visit in 2 parts)

Welcome to NYC

New York City… where do I even begin with New York City?!
The city that never sleeps… This magical place I had been dreaming of visiting my entire life and now finally we were here!

As we drove Roxy into JFK Airport (and had a very emotional farewell with her) I got goose bumps… We were actually in New York City. The city we had come to know and love from various movies and TV shows like Friends, Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, Spin City, Frasier, 30 Rock and so many more.

I would really like to keep an air of mystery going about myself; really make you wonder “Who is Anamaria Slatinec?” “How would she react in this situation?” Although let’s be honest I’m a pretty open and shut case for overly emotional, ethereal weirdo with OCD tendencies… but you still love me right? So saying that I was close to tears is probably an understatement; I was all out bawling my eyes out. (From happiness, obviously…)

Read: I pretty much cry in every situation.

So after that slightly (read: overly) dramatic reaction to our arrival it was time to see the city.
Being my compulsively organised self I had already made a list of all the places we had to see and restaurants we had to try. Yes, I had been obsessing about this for a while. Luckily my best friend is good at mellowing me out and while also being able to cover my list of activities, we were also able to just spend time wandering around the city and really immersing ourselves in each diverse and equally wonderful neighborhood.

We started with the areas surrounding our hotel. We stayed just below Midtown in what’s known as Herald Square, right across the road from Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks. We took a walk around the neighborhood and starting heading south and got to the areas of Flatiron and Gramercy Park. Flatiron, known for and named after the captivating architectural spectacle that is the Flatiron building, is a great example of how eclectic New York really is. Old architecture meets new and Flatiron Park sits right in the middle of it all. During the time we were visiting they had set up tennis courts and 2 giant screens and projectors for people to play and/or watch some tennis. (I’m pretty sure it was around the time of Wimbledon…) Walking further south is Gramercy Park which is one of my favourite neighborhoods. More of a European feel and the gorgeous New York architecture still remains but you will find that most of the buildings are either townhouses or only a few stories high, giving it a really intimate and warm feel. There is also an actual park in the neighborhood which is surrounded by these gorgeous townhouses but it is a private park and only residents of the townhouses have a key. It’s all very posh and sophisticated. One of my absolute favourite restaurants that we tried in the city is also in Gramercy, the well-known Gramercy Tavern.
It is one of the highest ranking restaurants in New York and has been a New York fixture for nearly 20 years yet it remains unpretentious and really lives up to the hype and expectation. The food was impeccable and the service was even better! After our main course a lot of debate ensued over which dessert to try, (as they all sounded delicious) our waiter just smiled and waited for us to (finally) make up our minds and then when our dessert arrived they had thrown in a 3rd one for free. (Our waiter is basically the best human being ever) Now I’m not saying you’ll get free dessert or as awesome a waiter as we did but regardless Gramercy Tavern will not disappoint!

FlatironGramercy

The next day was our “lets be the biggest tourists possible” day. Short of wearing an “I heart New York” t-shirt, we really were quintessential tourists in comfy shoes with cameras in tow to see all the major New York City landmarks in the Midtown area. We saw the Naked Cowboy on Times Square, visited the stunning Rockefeller Plaza, did the NBC Studio Tour, went to the Top of the Rock and visited the Empire State building. All in a days work really…
I tried to have my Sleepless in Seattle moment at the Empire State building but for the most part I just ended up elbowing tourists out of the way so I could get good photos of the Chrysler Building…
Here I am looking for Tom Hanks…

TomHanks

One of the highlights of the day was definitely standing on the set of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (I cannot even begin to describe how much I love Jimmy Fallon. An entire blog post could be dedicated to that love and it still wouldn’t be enough. It’s an idea though…Stay tuned) and also doing a simulated weather forecast during the NBC Studio Tour.
Here is a picture of me as the weather girl. (Career change?)

NBC tour

That night it was time to kick it Broadway style. (And I don’t mean we ran down the streets swinging on lampposts, belting out “Singing in the Rain”… although, I won’t lie to you, the thought crossed my mind more than once…Luckily I decided against it… ok Tijana said she would leave me there alone if I did anything weird but mostly I decided against it all by myself)
We were going to see Jersey Boys!
Our first Broadway show and we were literally front and center! You could see the sweat! (That’s definitely something you want when you’re at a Broadway musical…)
It was by far the best live musical that I have ever seen! (I may or may not have been listening to my Jersey Boys CD while writing this blog post… and yes I still buy CD’s.)

To top off an absolutely amazing day, we had dinner at Da Marino’s which is only a few blocks away from the August Wilson theatre where Jersey Boys resides. For all you Sex and the City fans out there (hollaaaaa) this restaurant is owned by none other than Mr Big himself, Chris Noth. A little tip for you crazy fan girls (Note: I am a crazy fan girl) Chris Noth has been known to just turn up at the restaurant and jump behind the bar to serve customers. If that’s not reason enough to get your gorgeous behinds to Da Marino then simply go for the great food and amazing atmosphere. Its small and rustic, the waiters are phenomenal (they dance around and sing for most of the night) and there is a point in the night where everyone in the restaurant just breaks into song. Overall it just leaves you really glad that you decided to dine there.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my love letter to New York City with more about the lower part of Manhattan and the different tours that we tried, also probably one of my favourite parts of the whole city, Central Park.
You can check out more of my photos on instagram @miss_norton

Love
-A

Top of the Rock

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