I'm a neighborhood girl, meaning I've always preferred the NYC neighborhoods with quiet streets and old brownstones. That being said, I had something of an epiphany on this last trip.
Unless, of course, you are staying all the way downtown at the very tip of Manhattan.
All of New York's subway system converges in that tight little triangle. What this means, from a practical point of view, is no matter where you are in the city, when you and your kids hit fatigue overload all you need to do is locate the nearest subway stop and you can be back in your hotel room in approximately fifteen minutes.
"If we move back to the city I've decided I don't want a brownstone," I announced to my husband. "Instead I'm thinking a loft in Tribeca." He rolled his eyes and asked me if he should buy a lottery ticket.
Even though the West Village brownstone and Tribeca loft are pipe dreams, lunch at an iconic New York City restaurant was not. Thanks to prix fixe restaurant week, my daughter and husband had a date at Le Cirque. Afterwards she regaled me with details about the food, the flowers, the wonderful service. "It was a scene," said my husband, "and she fit right in."
While husband and daughter were dining with the 'ladies who lunch' crowd, my son and I were further downtown, standing on line at the original Danny Meyer's Shake Shack located in Madison Park. We had hot dogs and a Shack Attack. Chocolate ice cream, topped with chocolate, mixed with chocolate and delicious little chocolate crumbles on top.
We reconvened after our lunches at opposite ends of the price and service spectrum for a NYC tourism classic; The Empire State Building.
Nothing beats a view of New York from on high to get a real perspective of the city. Even though the day was overcast we could still pinpoint all the parks, landmark buildings and even the building where Child #1 spent the first two years of her life.
While I browsed, Child #1 discussed her fashion design ambitions with the store's stylist. By the time I emerged from the dressing room the two of them were inspecting window displays together and by the time we left the store Child #1 had a new friend and a job offer, which only makes sense when you're ten and know your Missoni from your Moschino.
I won't be here on Labor Day, but will be back on Wednesday....happy last weekend of summer to you all!