Top 10 Places for a Twenty-Something: New York Edition
Happy Friday, babes! We're getting down to the wire here for the holiday season and, for me, that means squeezing in as many festive events, treats, and adventures as I possibly can before the New Year. This past September on the blog, we featured one of my close friends in the blogging industry, Abbey from Twenty Something in the City. In our "Behind the Blog" series, Abbey shared her big move to New York City and what inspired it. So, today I've asked Abbey back to share her top 10 favorite places to visit as a Twenty Something in the city for those of you who are planning to travel this month:
"I’ve been living in New York City for over a year and half now. That means two out of the six seasons I’ve lived here have been Winter, and even in those six months, I haven’t been able to pinpoint all of my favorite locations, moments and memories. There are so many brilliant places to visit in the city and the boroughs; yet [somehow] I was able to narrow it down to 10.
1. The Best Place to Warm your Hands and Your Heart: City Bakery in Flatiron - If you are anything like me, then you are constantly craving a cup of cocoa once the temperature dips below 50 degrees (okay, maybe 40). This place is sure to warm up any snowy afternoon with it’s delectable hot chocolate and fluffy, homemade marshmallows. Yep, they are homemade, along with everything else in this place. Fair warning, though… This stuff is lethal. It’s so chocolaty I swear it probably has 4 melted chocolate bars in one cup. I always share with a friend or a date.
2. The Best Place for Stocking Stuffers: Winter Village in Bryant Park - If you live in New York City, Bryant Park (along with Time Square and Grand Central) is usually one of those places you go out of your way to avoid because of the crowd. That said, New Yorkers usually flock there for the few short weeks leading up to Christmas. This place is a gift-giving dream fully equipped with artist booths, food vendors, and the second largest Christmas Tree in NYC. If you have time, ice-skating may even be added to your itinerary. I’ve gotten countless gifts from this market for as long as I can remember.
3. The Best Place for Pies, Puppies and Pine: Union Square Green Market - This hidden gem isn’t so hidden anymore. After living in the East Village for a year, this was a place I frequented often in the Summer. Now that the Winter has rolled around, the farmers' market has become a haven for aspiring chefs, dog-walkers and tourists alike. All of the produce is fresh and in-season and all of the locals bring their dogs along for a Winter’s walk. I don’t think there is anything better than walking around and enjoying the people, food and scenery while sipping on a large cup of hot apple cider. Pro-tip: The Union Square holiday market is open as an extension to the farmers' market for the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years.
4. The Best Place for Foodies: Todd English Food Hall at The Plaza Hotel - With food vendors like Luke’s Lobster, Lady M and Todd English, it’s hard to believe that many people don’t even know that this place exists. Think -- any kind of food you could possibly imagine: Ice Cream, Caviar, Tacos, Sub Sandwiches, Pho, Pasta, and Lobster Rolls. While some of the vendors can cost a pretty penny, it’s a casual atmosphere and the food quality is literally out of this world. Funny story - the last time I was here I got a picture with Santa Claus and Dr. Oz…. In the same photo. How random!
5. The Best Place to Relive Your Childhood: The Plaza Hotel - Whether you were an Eloise fan or a Home Alone fanatic, this place is legendary. When I walk in, I can’t help say to myself, “Credit Card? You got it.” (see: Home Alone, Lost in New York). The lobby is covered in Christmas cheer, and don’t forget to have a drink at the Rose bar. It’s incredibly romantic. Not to mention, the last time I was here I saw Miley Cyrus, Bill Murray and a Yankee’s Player that I couldn’t recognize.
6. The Best Place for a Photo Op: The Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park - If venturing into Central Park scares you (and it scares everyone because it’s so huge!) simply visit the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. This is the most iconic area of Central park and so quintessentially New York that you will feel like you’ve been painted into a perfect picture. When it snows, it’s as if you’re in a snow globe surrounded by street lanterns, large ascending staircases, a frozen pond, and of course, pure nature. I’m smiling just thinking about this perfect spot now. To reference #5, a couple of scenes in Home Alone 2 were shot in this very area.
7. The Best Place for a View of NYC: The Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Park - If you haven’t walked the Brooklyn Bridge, now is the time to do so. With the weather a little cooler than some folks enjoy, it’s slightly less crowded and the crisp air is so silent when you get to the middle of the Bridge, it’s breathtaking. I would suggest taking a walk at night, to see the city light up the night. Finishing your evening all bundled up in a cozy bar in the outskirts of Brooklyn Heights while enjoying the view of this incredible city.
8. The Best Place to Go Sledding: Prospect Park, Brooklyn - While this one only applies for when there is enough snow on the ground to go sledding, it’s one of my favorites. Surrounded by kids of all ages (5-95), everyone treats each other as equal as they sled down the giant hill. Last year, we had a record breaking snowfall in New York and let me tell you, did we take advantage of it! Snowmen, snowball fights and sledding everywhere. I think Lorelai Gilmore said this one best, “Everything’s magical when it snows.”
9. The Best Place to See a Christmas Tree: Houston Street, Lower East Side - This one may seem a little odd, but I have never been surrounded by so many Christmas trees than walking east down Houston. While these Christmas trees are naked, and waiting to be bought, the smell of pine is overwhelmingly sweet and whisks you away into a Winter wonderland. At night, the signs for the tree stands lit up the sidewalk and it makes you feel like you’re home.
10. The Best Place for Christmas Caroling: 14th Street, Union Square Subway Station - This subway station is pretty legendary due to its roles in movies and a wall of post-it's past election season. While generally, this place is pretty quiet, around Christmas time the halls are filled with familiar Christmas tunes by soloist, guitarists, bands, quartets and even church choirs. You can't help but get in the holiday mood and want to sing along.