My sister, Suzanne, and I had a truly amazing girls’ weekend in New York City! We went for the surprise birthday party of one of our friends from college, Monica. The party was Friday night and definitely the highlight of the weekend. The birthday girl was thrilled to see everyone; she even started crying when she realized that so many of her out-of-town friends had made the journey. The rest of the weekend was filled with sightseeing, shopping, new friends, and great food. Here are some of my favorites from the trip –
The Vault at Pfaff’s – The surprise party was at The Vault at Pfaff’s in Greenwich Village. Originally a 19th century beer cellar made famous by Mark Twain and Walt Whitman, the re-imagined speakeasy is dark and intimate, with beautiful vintage décor, corset-laced waitresses and menus printed on newspapers. The cocktail names even pay homage to the 1850’s artistic culture of the city – Leaves of Grass, Bohemian, Smoking Revolver. I was easily transported into history…that is, until my bill came. Definitely worth it though!
The Park – We ventured over to Chelsea on Saturday night for a late dinner at The Park. Described as ingredient-based Mediterranean, the cuisine seemed more American to me but delicious, nonetheless. (I ordered potato gnocchi with arugula, pancetta, and pecorino.) While the food was great, the ambiance of the restaurant was even better. We sat in the Garden Room, which was a patio (covered in the winter) full of Japanese maple tress decorated with tiny orange lights and bird feeders. It all felt very New York.
Magnolia Bakery – Suzanne and I went on a bit of a cupcake binge, going to three different cupcakes shops in three days. And while my sister would argue that Sprinkles was the best (although not truly a New York bakery) I thought Magnolia Bakery took the cake (get it?) The classic buttercream frosting that made the bakery a tourist mecca is to die for. I’d skip the red velvet next time though – without any cream cheese frosting, it clearly lacked the calories I was looking for.
Bloomingdale’s – From the first time I ever set foot in a Bloomingdale’s, I was in love. (The absence of Bloomingdale stores in Ohio has only made my heart grow fonder.) And the flagship store on Third Avenue is certainly worth the trip. I could spend all day browsing the displays of brightly colored baubles, handbags, and designer pieces (that I can’t afford). In terms of what I can afford – I adore the Aqua line, exclusive to Bloomingdale’s. The pieces are well made and reasonably priced. My sister and I spent a few glorious hours there shortly after we arrived in the city on Friday. I didn’t end up buying anything – I wasn’t quite ready to indulge myself in the spring pieces when it was below 20 degrees outside but Suzanne got a gorgeous lime-colored Yumi Kim top that I most definitely will be borrowing.
Despite all of the celebrating, fun, and food, what really made my weekend was experiencing it all with my sister. We only live two hours apart, but our schedules don’t allow many visits, and it’s rarely just the two of us. This weekend gave us a much needed opportunity to spend some quality time and catch up. And even though our bank accounts are suffering the effects of the weekend, the sisterly bonding time was priceless.
Vintage newspaper menu at the Vault at Pfaff’s
Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery
Suzanne (left) in her new shirt (!) and me at Pfaff’s
Ice skaters at Rockefeller Center