Friday, October 28, 2016

In which we make a dream come true.

Emma and I are going to New York city in two weeks.
We will hit the ground running...with tickets to see Seth Meyers the first night...
After that it will be museums, Brooklyn bridge, Empire State Building, Central Park,
Ground Zero, St. Patricks....

We will visit the You've Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, Elf and Sex and the City locations.

We do not really know where to eat.

We do not want to eat at very expensive restaurants and we do not want to eat at chains.
We are staying in lower Manhattan, kind of near Washington Square park.

So I would love to hear of your must visit places, restaurants, parks,  streets and churches.

I got the BEST food recommendations from the QL readers when we went to San Fran.

Emma and I are depending on you.

We are so excited.  Can't believe this is really happening.

Dream come true.

Donna Elsie


  1. Oh my goodness!! How exciting! I am SO happy for you two!! Recommendations to follow. xo

  2. OH MY GAWD!!!!!!! I am so excited for you!!! xoxoxo

  3. Go to Joey's Paesano in Little Italy. Get the baked ziti.

    This is going to be a fantastic trip!!!

  4. Claire and I will eagerly anticipate your experience. Someday we hope to do the same!



  5. Anonymous6:38 PM

    So EXCITING!!!!! Lucas is going to be in NYC this weekend and maybe next because Annie is doing her first weeks of training at her firm's NY office.

    SOO, some favorites I remember (it's been three years since I was last in the city!).

    You will be pretty close to Little Italy and Chinatown. Little Italy has many good and inexpensive places. We like LaMela on Mulberry St. We didn't have a favorite in Chinatown but you have to walk through there and look at the things in the windows. I liked the BBQ buns, but good luck ordering one. You basically have to point at a big ball of white doughy bread and hope it's got BBQ inside. Ha.
    For Chinese food, we liked Chef Yu on 8th Avenue at W. 36th. not too far from the Empire State Bldg.

    My favorite bagels are at Daniel's in the Murray Hill neighborhood, on 3rd Avenue between E. 37th and E. 38th. If you're feeling adventurous, try whitefish salad on an everything bagel. Delicious!!

    Our favorite pizza is at Grimaldi's in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn. It's a quick subway ride from where you will be staying but the line is often quite long. It's coal-fired pizza and worth the wait, in my opinion. The view from the line there (looking down the hill) is also the iconic Brooklyn bridge park and skyline across the river view as seen in so many movies. There's a cute little ice cream shop down the street, closer to the river, in an old fire station. (I googled it and it's called Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory).

    Shake shack is now a small chain, but the original one in Madison Square Park (Madison Avenue at E. 23rd St.) is an experience. The food is also quite good and the people watching in the park unparalleled. Burgers, hot dogs, fries, shakes. I can't remember what else but it was all quite good.

    The most authentic diner I ate at in Manhattan was the Tick Tock on 8th Avenue and W. 34th St., near Penn Station. Classic diner with delicious bakery cases. Open 24 hrs (one of Lucas's favorite study haunts his freshman year).

    Those are my favorites off the top of my head. If I think of any more I will add them later. I'm so excited for you!!!

    Sandy C.

    1. I agree with Sandy C. on the Shake Shack recommendation. This was a favorite of Steve's and he kept returning

  6. I am going to call one of my best friend's to ask. Maddy is a Jersey girl but she knows everything ther is to know about NYC. She just had the most beautiful baby boy.

    I couldn't be more excited for you. Don't forget your camera!!!!

  7. Anonymous10:58 PM

    I am so excited for you! A mother/daughter trip will be so wonderful. I know absolutely nothing about NYC. I have only lived it through the movies you named. Can't wait for your recap of your trip- and pictures! You will take some madly artistic New York photos, I just know. Can't wait.

    Debbie Z.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Donna,
    I've been to NYC twice--once in the fall and once in the summer. You will love it!! We stayed on the Upper West Side. Don't miss Zabars just to see all the delicious food. We found New Yorkers to be so kind. We had little, little kids at the time and complete strangers helped us lift their stroller up stairs. The city just glowed in late Oct. I hope you and Emma love every minute!

  10. So exciting! I'll have to save the comments for the "one day" when I will travel to NYC. ;)

  11. Soon fun talking to you yesterday to hear all about your up coming trip. :)

    Junior's for cheesecake.
    Chelsea Market: The Lobster Place. Yum

    We found the Seinfeld "no soup for you" deli. Look that up. It was fun seeing it. ;)

  12. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Hi Donna, I've lived in Brooklyn and the East Village up until 6 years ago (live in NJ now) and unfortunately, lots of the great little place close down because the rent is too high but I know these place are open and are where the locals go. In Tribeca for lunch or dinner go to Walker's - it's on 16 N. Moore Street in Tribeca, a real New York bar and restaurant and not too expensive.
    Bubby's is great for brunch, also in Tribeca - 120 Hudson Street.
    The East Village is great for small nice restaurants which is near Katz's deli (Harry met Sally) and also near Katz's you can walk down 2nd Avenue which has a ton of small mom and pop restaurants and shops. You HAVE to walk the High line park!! it is a must. It is on the West Side of Manhattan at about 33rd St and goes down to 14th Street. It is really awesome, you won't be disappointed! at 14th Street there are a lot of expensive shops but it's nice to walk around and right under the high line park at 14th Street there is a German beer garden that is really cool and they serve food too but I don't know if it's expensive (I sure it is) The Chelsea market is really cool too - food and shops it is at 75 Ninth Avenue between 15th & 16th Street which you could do after the high line. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn and walk around down there. You can go for a drink at The River Café - it is expensive to eat but you can have a drink and have the best views of Manhattan and take pictures and it has very pretty grounds. there is a Shake Shack down there that is a chain but everybody loves them. Jacques Torres have a chocolate store right around there too on Water Street and Grimaldi's Pizza is too - great place but usually a line to get in but it moves fast and the people are great and so is the pizza (I went with my best friend and our two kids and they gave them free t-shirts). Go to the empire state building early in the morning, like 9AM because there is hardly and line and don't let the people outside try to sell you tickets for some package - just go in the building and buy the ticket to go to the top and take pictures - that's all you need. tell them to hit the road! Also, if you want to go ice skating you can go to Rockerfeller Center across the street from St. Pat's or you can go ice skating at Central Park - both are a great experience but Central Park is cheaper and lots of fun too. Sorry I went on and on but you will have a blast! If you want to ask me anything thing about the city, here's my email: - will try and help the best I can. have a great time.
    Best, Bip

    1. Thank you so much for the GREAT advice!!!

  13. Hi Donna. You and Emma will have a wonderful time - no matter what you do in NYC you can't go wrong! I visit NYC as often as I can make it to see my brother and his wife who live there. I don't have many recommendations for where to eat because they are in charge of my cheap eateries (ha) but I would agree that Grimaldi's PIzza in Brooklyn is a great experience with the best pizza. We usually take the subway to the closest stop and walk just a couple blocks to them. Then we walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge which is always a lovely experience no matter how many times you do it! The one other recommendation I have is to eat at the Golden Unicorn in China town. The food is amazing - I love their dim sum - and pretty reasonable. But when I go to NYC I visit as many museums and Broadway shows I can manage. The one museum I would absolutely recommend is the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Their guided tours are amazing - and I'm pretty fussy about tours as I actually teach people how to conduct museum tours - and I learn so much every time I go. They have a wonderful gift shop too. You have to buy tickets ahead of time but can do that easily on your phone or computer. Broadway shows can be expensive I know but really, you only live once am I right? I have bought tickets at the ticket booth in Times Square - if you go early in the day you might get lucky and win the chance to buy super cheap tickets to the top shows. But I have had great luck going to the box office of the Theatres right at opening time and seeing if they have returned tickets for sale. I can usually get them for much cheaper than regular tickets. But you have to be able to just roll with that and go to any show that is available. Hope that was helpful.

  14. I live in Boston and visit NYC a few times each year; I love that city! Here are some of my faves: Dough (for the best donuts), Tacos No. 1 (in Chelsea Market), and I've heard Jacob's Pickles is great.

    Muji has really cool pens (I love writing letters) and Flying Tiger is a fun store.

    The last time I was there I took the tram to Roosevelt Island and that was really cool. And the Tenement Museum is fantastic.

    Enjoy your trip!!

  15. Anonymous7:12 PM

    We really enjoyed the Federal Reserve tour. It is free, but you have to make reservations in advance.

  16. We took our kids there two years ago and Shake Shake was amazing after a long cold day out sightseeing. All four of us also loved Eataly. We ate in the downstairs pizza/pasta part and all of our meals were delicious. The entire store is beautiful. Our best breakfast was from a little deli - we got bagels and rolls with butter to go and ate outside in the financial district watching everyone bustle to work. Hope you guys have a great time.

  17. How exciting! We live an hour away, but rarely get there, so recommendations for food. Do you have plans to see a show? Be sure to go look at the Macy's windows. Let us know if you come over to the Jersey side, you could have a meet and greet with your Jersey fans! Have a blast! Looking forward to reading all about your trip and seeing your pictures.

    1. Should have said, "NO recommendations for food." lol

  18. NYC resident here, admittedly one who does not eat out much.
    La Bonne Soupe on West 55 Street between Fifth and Sixth Aves is a wonderful and well-kept NYC secret. Reasonably priced, with delicious food. It always sees that most of the patrons are European.

    Katz's Deli on Houston (we pronounce it How-ston) Street is a wonderful experience. I recommend that you get waiter service (some of the waiters are very colorful), rather than fight the lines. They have the best hot dogs in NYC, delicious steak fries, and wonderful pickles (which are free with waiter service!). If you want a sandwich, definitely split one -- they are huge. Across the side street on Houston is il Laboratorio de Gelato, which is magical. I confess that I have shed tears over a few of their creations -- if they have the Prosecco sorbet, I recommend it highly. Best pizza in NYc is at Patsy's on First Ave between East 117 and 118 Streets. You can eat in or just buy slices and take in the sights in east Harlem.

    Best-kept secret in NYC (in my opinion) is te Frick Collection, which is held in Mr. Frick's mansion on Fifth Ave. The masterpieces are magificent, all hung in the home as Mr. Frick designated. Best vignette are two Holbeins -- one of St. Thomas More and one of a Cromwell -- hung across from one another, with only a mantelpiece separating them. It's free or pay as you wish on Sundays between 11am and 1pm. BTW, the Met and the Museum of natural History are also pay as you wish, but they don't advertise that.

    I hope that you have a wonderful time -- it really is such a special place -- we are so proud of our city!

  19. Debbie Camponovo11:57 AM

    Hi Donna, my older son Will lives in NYC. We love Chimichurri Grill in Hell's Kitchen for argentine food, Morandis for Italian, MarieBelle in Soho for lunch and chocolate, and Cafe Lalo on upper west side where meg ryan and tom Hanks ate in "you've got mail." The moon metro guide is great, dividing the city into neighborhoods. Bens Deli in the garment district is very authentic deli. Have a wonderful trip. Kinky boots is a great musical if you do a Broadway show.

  20. Anonymous6:20 PM

    Hi Donna,
    Bip again! I forgot to tell you the Tenement Museum which is near Katz's Deli and I see someone told you and it is awesome!! I don't know how much time you have in the city but I know you take amazing photos and you if you have the time, please take the Staten Island Ferry over to Staten Island - it is free and you will NOT be disappointed with the amazing views of the skyline. It's about a 20-25 minute ride over to Staten Island from downtown Manhattan and you just ride over and come right back (not much to do over in Staten Island where the ferry drops you off) but it's free and really great way to see the skyline. you will also get great pictures of the skyline if you walk over the Brooklyn Bridge too if you decide to do that. Have a blast!

  21. Hey Donna, Tilde asked me to reach out to you. I live in the city and she thought I might be able to offer some suggestions. You can email me at


Hello. So nice to see you. Would you like to leave a comment? Be very kind.