Girlfriends’ Guide to NYC
Sometimes all that’s needed for a perfect weekend with your friends is a night out, a little shopping spree, and, of course, the city that never sleeps.
Maybe it’s because of the hours we’ve spent binge-watching Gossip Girl, maybe it’s the allure of 5th Avenue, which contains all the clothes and jewelry we could ever hope to own, maybe it’s even the idea that between the hustle and bustle and bright lights, we can become the women we’ve always wanted to be, even if it’s just for the weekend. Whatever the reason, New York City has become a sort of mecca for young women looking to spend a classy weekend with their best friends. So, when my best friend Natalie and I had the opportunity to spend a weekend together, we jumped at the chance to fly up to the Big Apple, intending to do as much damage as we could in the short 48 hours that we had.
Warning: Natalie and I both love theater, food, and art, so for us it made sense to save money on alcohol in order to be able to afford seeing a Broadway show, and we generally skimped on food during the day in order to really enjoy ourselves at fabulous restaurants once the sun went down. For you, it might make sense to skip shows completely in lieu of being able to spend the night at the hippest club, or to actually shop at 5th Avenue instead of, you know, salivating at windows.
After a quick flight from Miami and a little freshening up, Natalie and I decided to hit the town. At the recommendation of a friend, we headed to the East Village to find Ippudo, a trendy restaurant that served ramen noodles. Ippudo’s storefront was incredibly unassuming (the restaurant’s name was on a tiny billboard/plaque/idk in what I assume is its Korean spelling), but this shouldn’t deter you, as a quick turn behind the hostess stand revels a beautifully decorated restaurant with fantastic food. The Hirata Pork Buns were an absolute hit, and that’s saying a lot in a city where Asian pork buns are the new “it” food. For entrees, I ordered the Karaka Men, which honestly rivaled the pork buns. With full bellies, Natalie and returned to our hotel, where we rested to prepare for the full day we had ahead of us.
If you drink: Please Don’t Tell (PDT) is an old-fashioned speakeasy hidden behind a telephone booth that can only be accessed by a previously set reservation. To make one, visit their site.
Dominique Ansel, the bakery that created the infamous Cronut, was the place where Natalie and I started off our first official day in New York. Luckily, we were able to order our Cronuts in advance, meaning we didn’t have to wait in the long line that begins a good half hour before the bakery even opens. If you really want a Cronut, your best bet is to order in advance online like we did, or wait in line before the bakery opens its doors. Either way, it’s definitely worth the hassle.
Hoping to burn the ridiculous amount of calories we ingested, the next part of our day was a stroll through Central Park, with the intent of visiting the MET. We entered the park on its south side, meaning we were able to visit the Hallet Nature Sanctuary, the famous carousel, the Alice in Wonderland Statue, Shakespeare Garden, the Belvedere Castle, and, of course, the Boathouse. The Boathouse is a fantastic place to have lunch, however it is a little pricey. Natalie and I opted to eat at their quick-serve kiosk, meaning we were able to benefit from the Boathouse’s view and service without having to spend too much.
Finally, after spending a solid amount of time exploring NYC’s biggest park, we headed to the MET. Some of the highlights of our quick tour came from the temporary exhibitions, since they held pieces we definitely were not expecting to see, such as Piotr Uklanski’s photographs, as well as Van Gogh’s famous Irises. My advice to those visiting is to check out current exhibits, since they’re often overlooked but sometimes hold the greatest treasures.
If you’re not into art: Shop! Central Park is located right next to some of NYC’s biggest and best department stores, most noticeably Bergdorf Goodman. If you can’t afford 5th Avenue’s prices, you can certainly dream of the day you will eventually be able to walk into Van Cleef and Arpels on a random afternoon and buy a ten thousand dollar necklace (we actually saw a woman do this on our way back to the hotel, it made us want to cry).
Balthazar, a restaurant located in SoHo, has all the trappings of an old timey Parisian café. Undeniably romantic, the restaurant has an unbelievably delicious menu. Our favorite item was definitely the Goat Cheese tart we shared as an appetizer. Visit here with your girls if you want to wind down after a long day with delicious bread, a lot of cheese, and maybe even some wine.
For an after dinner cocktail: Marie’s Crisis Café, a gay bar that’s friendly to all, is a hub for Broadway hopefuls looking for a place to unwind and sing show tunes after a long day of auditions. If you’re looking for a Broadway experience without the pricey ticket, look no further.
For those unfamiliar with TKTS, it’s basically Black Friday for theater geeks. Visit the Times Square location on the day you plan on watching your play a decent amount of hours before show time, make the hectic, never-ending line, and pray that you’ll grab a discounted ticket as you guard your place in line like a new mother guards her infant.
Luckily, Natalie and I managed to get cheap tickets to the ultimate girl’s weekend Broadway show – Wicked. This tale of two completely opposite best friends made us laugh and cry, ending our trip on a high note. With heavy hearts, we packed up our things and headed to the airport, saying our last goodbyes to the city that stole our hearts.