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I spent a weekend in New York with my new friend Cassie. Having spent a little over two years being based in the Big Apple as a flight attendant, I have picked up a thing or two when it comes to navigating the city. I had the opportunity to play tour guide as well as explore some cool bars and restaurants unfamiliar to me that I had come across through social media. We pretty much hit the big tourist spots from Times Square to the Brooklyn Bridge to the top of the Empire State Building and paid our respects at the One World Trade Center, but also stopped to enjoy some good eats and treats along the way.  Below I listed all the sites and bites (if you will), from our mini vacation, and trust me you'll need more than a New York minute to really experience all this amazing city has to offer! (I won't provide too much detail on the Tourist spots, as most of the locations are self-explanatory, but I did include some fun facts of each of the sites.)

click this site Tourist Spots:

Central Park 

  • Central Park was the first public landscaped park in the United States.
  • Up until 1934, Central Park was grazed by sheep
  • The lamp posts contain numbers on them that correspond to where you are in the park. Ex: 8316 means you're near 83rd on the East side. The first number tells you the street you are closest too and the second tells you how far East or West you are. Even numbers represent distances East, and odd numbers represent West.

(Photo from web; not mine).

Time Square

  • The first Times Square New Year's Eve celebration was held in 1903 when a New York Times newspaper office decided to celebrate the company's opening in Times Square.
  • It's not a square. The area is actually a triangle because Broadway intersects the grid on a diagonal.
  • Times Square used to be called Longacre Square, but got its its name from the New York Time's headquarters and has officially been called "Times Square" since 1904.

Grand Central Station

  • Roughly 750,000 visitors pass through Grand Central every day
  • The departures are always listed as one minute earlier than their actual departure time, giving commuters from the subway an extra 60 secs to reach their platforms
  • About 19,000 items wind up in lost and found each year

Brooklyn Bridge

  • The bridge officially opened to the public on May 24th, 1883.
  • It wasn't called the Brooklyn Bridge until 1915. In it's earlier days it was referred to as the "Great East River Bridge," as well as the "Great East River Suspension Bridge," and in 1883 it was called the "New York and Brooklyn Bridge."
  • In 1884 P.T. Barnum was called upon by the city to march 21 elephants across the bridge to show how sturdy the span was/safe to transport New York's many commuters.

Empire State Building

  • The Empire State Building attracts around four million visitors a year
  • Couples can sometimes see sparks when they kiss due to static electricity at the top of the building
  • Served as the tallest building in NYC until 1973 when the (original) World Trade Center was constructed

One World Trade

  • The New One World Trade Center reclaims the title of the tallest building in New York City
  • The building stands at 1,776 feet, a direct reference to the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.
  • The tower's observation deck was constructed with the memory of the Twin Towers in mind. The deck itself begins at 1,362 feet, and a glass parapet extends to 1,368 feet, which was the exact height of the South and North towers.

New York Public Library

  • It opened in 1911 and back then it was the largest marble building ever built in the United States
  • Books were originally delivered by horse-drawn carts
  • Maps reveal that the site where the Library now stands, was also the location of a battle that George Washington and his troops fought against the British during the Revolutionary War

Chelsea Market 

  • Used to be the factory for the National Biscuit Company, which we know as Nabisco
  • In it's early days this building brought out products such as saltines, vanilla wafers, fig newtons, and the oreo (originally Oreo biscuit)

(Photo from the web; not mine) 

Museum of Sex 

  • Opened October 5th, 2002
  • The museum itself gives you a lot of history and interesting facts about the evolution of sex
  • No one under the age of 18 is allowed to enter

(Photo from the web; not mine) 

Restaurants:

Set L.E.S - 127 Ludlow St. 

I came across this restaurant on Instagram. With photos of tasty-looking tacos and mouth-watering burgers, I was dying to test my taste buds at this place! We ordered tacos with a side of tater tots and washed it down with some spicy margaritas. While we dug in, I had forgotten to take a picture beforehand, so I'll post one from their IG @Set_Les so you can see what I mean, but to taste what i mean (if that's a thing), you'll have to visit this place located on the Lower East Side for yourself!

Spot Dessert Bar - 11 W 32nd Street

With a few different locations this restaurant offers unique desserts, with some items on the menu that change by the season. We opted for a special tapas set where you can order 3 desserts for $27. The orange-look-alike dessert was filled with cheesecake/mousse texture and had a graham cracker crust. The one topped with vanilla ice cream was was on top of a warm chocolate chip cookie texture except it was a pecan flavored and filled with yummy gooey melted chocolate! I believe the third tapa is a standard on their menu. It's called Yuzu Eskimo - a frozen Japanese citrus cream car with chocolate ganache and oreo crumbs. Ours was served with like a raspberry sorbet.

Blue Stone Lane Coffee Shop - Bryant Park, 1114 6th Ave

If your looking for a coffee shop, other than the Starbucks on every corner, try Blue Stone Lane. I also found this place on Instagram as well. Their menu varies from juice presses, coffees and cappuccinos to breakfast pastries and quick bites. We stopped in for breakfast on our way to Times Square and both opted to have the salmon toast (pictured below) which was delicious!

Cafeteria Restaurant - 1802, 119 7th Ave S

Take the simple idea of a school lunchroom aka cafeteria and turn it into a swanky diner and you'll find yourself at this place. Cafeteria Restaurant offers American comfort food, but in their own unique way. We chose to order from the Mac & Cheese selection of their menu, and ended up trying the "Mac Attack" - a tasting of all three of the mac & cheese they had to offer! I think both of our favorite was the Cheddar and Fontina on the left!

The Park - 118 10th Ave

We stumbled upon this place as we were trying to dodge the rain after exploring Chelsea Market and attempting to walk to high line, but it was pouring outside. The Park feels just like its name describes. We had some appetizers (calamari and a charcuterie board) with a couple glasses of wine in their glassed-in garden with real birds nesting and chirping above us. The patio was decorated with strings of lights, and there is also a rooftop patio overlooking the High Line, but wasn't open at the time. I can see it being a fun spot during the summer and one we'll have to revisit!

 

Bars:

Lillie's Victorian Establishment - 249 West 49th Street

A Victorian style bar serving cocktails and food. You can stop in for brunch, lunch, happy hour, high tea or dinner! The bar was named after Lillie Langtry, a highly successful British actress and socialite of the late 19th century. Once inside you feel like you stepped back in time with the amazing decor from the furnishings around the bar to the photographs and paintings on the walls including decor all the way up on the ceiling.

The Back Room - 102 Norfolk St.

One of the only two speakeasies in New York that operated during the Prohibition Era and still in existence today, the Back Room is a hidden speakeasy tucked away down a dark alley with an atmosphere that boasts all the glamour and "coolness" of the 1920's. You can order cocktails served in teacups or beer covered in a brown paper bag. How cool is that?

Rye House - 11 W 17th St. 

We stopped in this bar while waiting to get into another speakeasy (listed below). The Rye House was a neat upscale bar with an old-timey, old-fashioned New York feel (photo from The Rye House website).

The Raines Law Room - 48 W 17th St

Another Speakeasy with prohibition-era drinks, The Raines Law Room is located down a flight of stairs with a small sign letting you know you're at the right spot. Ring the doorbell and you'll be greeted by a hostess. We had to wait an hour and a half as it was a busy Friday night. Inside it's decorated like an old-fashioned club with couches in a dark atmosphere and has a very jazz-like/intimate vibe.

Tanner Smith's - 204 W 55th St

Another Prohibition themed bar that serves craft cocktails, wine, beer and bar food. The bar was named after Thomas F. "Tanner" Smith - an American criminal and gang leader in New York City during the early 20th century (photo from website).

 

What are some of you favorite spots you've come across in New York City? Leave comments or follow my Instagram @TheFitFlight_Attendant.