Even the most intrepid visitors are incapable of covering every inch of New York City in a single trip. However, 24 hours in this vibrant city should be seen as a feasible challenge — assuming you have a little help from the experts. Walking the eccentric streets from one neighborhood to the next is one of the many joys of visiting. Having grown up nearby, trips to New York were almost as common as trips to the beach. And on weekends like Memorial Day, the city is a great place to spend time and try new things.
Manhattan is well known for its towering skyscrapers and the "wow" factors of big-city living. However, my husband and I often take day/weekend trips to New York and seek out the smaller, quieter bars, cozier restaurants, and less frequented parks. I know, as an outsider looking in, the relentless hustle and bustle of the big city can seem overwhelming. However, exploring the maze of streets and avenues is addictive. I find that every sidewalk is lined with treasures to explore.
Home to Carrie Bradshaw, Michael Corleone, and Eloise at the Plaza, New York's iconic identity has been portrayed in thousands of movies, books, and TV series. This has captivated the imagination of travellers from all walks of life. Brant and I are no stranger to this love affair with New York City as we have long loved spending weekends exploring the boroughs. There is so much to see, so much culture at every turn, and quite frankly something for everyone. This Memorial Day weekend we spent the day downtown in Soho/Lower Manhattan. Here are a few highlights from our trip.
We arrived on Sunday morning and had breakfast at my favorite/everyone's favorite french patisserie in Soho, Ladurée. The Maison was founded in 1862, and is one of the world's premier sellers of the double-decker macaron. Ladurée has become known for a delicate, aerated meringue shell and jammy textured filling in unique flavours such as rose petal, pistachio and my personal favorite, orange blossom. The interior of the boutique is stunning and is beautifully decorated in a refined French tea salon style. Personally, it is a highlight for me. Having breakfast at their restaurant in Soho takes me back to Paris, even if it is for a brief moment. While we were there I ordered a walnut croissant and the toast brioché, ecrasé d'avocat et oeuf poché* with a side of bacon (toasted brioche, crushed avocado, poached egg and pumpkin seeds). Brant had the le pain perdu à la rose (warm french toast served with raspberry coulis, rose whipped cream and fresh raspberries). Both dishes were outstanding. After enjoying a caffe latte and caramel macchiato, we were on our way with a box of eight macarons in tow.
Afterward we walked around the Soho/Noho area and shopped around. I stopped into my favorite boutique, Mansur Gavriel on Wooster Street. Mansur Gavriel presents their clients with high quality, Italian made products with great attention to material, color, and detail. All items are designed in New York City and produced in Italy. The brand was founded by Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel in 2012. Perusing the boutique did in fact lead me to buy something. No surprise there for those of you that know me well! I bought the mini mini bucket bag in black in the Italian vegetable tanned leather with a raw interior. The bag also has an adjustable strap and is made in Italy. The shop also boasts an array of fresh flowers (which you can buy) displayed prominently against their pinkish orange walls.
Afterward, Brant and I took a walk around the area and stopped in a few more shops along the way. Around 5:15 PM, we headed over to Il Buco on Bond Street for dinner. The menu is a mix of Mediterranean flavors and they pride themselves on farm to table service. The wine list spans the globe while maintaining a focus on small boutique producers whose bottles adorn the intimate walls of the underground wine cellar. The menu also boasts colorful cocktails. Try the Sardinian Mule... it's one of my favorites!
This place is superb. It truly is an under-the-radar gathering spot for food lovers alike. Brant and I ordered the croquettes and kale caesar salad to start and shared the tagliatelle pasta and mahi mahi for dinner. For dessert we ordered the torta clementina and the panna cotta. What I absolutely love about this restaurant is that their menus change daily. The server also encouraged us to share plates to experience all of the flavors offered by each dish. The serving sizes were plentiful and there was no shortage of choice! Definitely give it a try, you won't be disappointed!
After dinner we whisked ourselves back to quiet refuge and retired for the evening. It was a lovely day and perfect 24 hours in the city .
If you had just 24 hours in New York what would be first on your itinerary?