Nothing beats spending a weekend holiday in Manhattan followed by pleasant weather and a long list of things to do over two days. The crowds were intense, although the same could be said of most beaches during the Memorial weekend. Best part was not having to get into your car or hop on the train to get back home after a long day of visiting the Met, watching a musical, dining and drinking. If you are looking to plan a short weekend getaway, here is what we managed to do.
Both my sister and I started the day by catching an early morning train, stopping at the Marriot AC Hotel in the Broadway District, where we dropped off our luggage. We then headed to The Metropolitan Museum (MET) choosing to walk about 40 blocks with lunch along the way. The city is fully back to what it was pre-pandemic. To see this all-mighty city alive again was invigorating. We stopped at the Match 65 Brasserie, a French restaurant on 65th and Madison Ave. for lunch in time to both avoid a thunderstorm and feed our hungry stomachs. We both ordered a Salmon Tulum salad that consisted of quinoa, baby spinach, avocado, Southampton corn, heirloom cherry tomatoes and jalapeño dressing spread over the salad and the salmon. We gave it 5 stars. We didn’t stop there and decided to also split a delicious, decadent chocolate cake, rewarding ourselves for all the walking we were committing to do this weekend. Once the rain stopped, we headed to the MET. I have not been at the MET in over 15 + years; for my sister it was her first time. As expected, the MET is overwhelming and confusing to get around. It is hard to believe there is any other museum in the USA that is comparable to the MET. It is an iconic institution that defines both New York City and the art world. We were interested in seeing the exhibition In America: Anthology of Fashion, which did not disappoint, especially if you love history and fashion. This exhibition explores how both men and women dressed in the 19th -mid late 20th century and how they lived culturally. There are about a dozen rooms combining both furnishings and fashion of that period, giving you a perspective on what life was like without TV or streaming. I recently watched the new Gilded Age series on HBO and am blown away by the elegance, extravagance and ruthlessness of America’s booming years of wealth and opportunities. I must say, men dressed so much better in those days. We also visited The Costume Institute, which primarily focused on fashion as we know it today. We stuck around until 6 PM exploring other exhibits before taking an Uber back to our hotel. We had purchased tickets to see a musical play “The Americano” at the New World Stages Theater. This musical narrates an uplifting story about what it’s like to be a dreamer brought to this country as a child with no other roots than the US, yet is denied becoming a citizen. More on my review of this enlightening musical as a seperate story. There are dozens of Off-Broadway theaters with wonderful stories and great acting that will not require you to get a small loan. Some options for getting discounted tickets include heading early to TKTS and choose from what is available or you can go online to any of the following: TodayTix app, New York Show Tickets, Broadway Box Tickets and Goldstar. All offer a variety of shows that are both affordable and worthy of your time and money. After the play ending at 10pm, we headed to the roof top restaurant at our hotel where we ended the day with wine and appetizers, getting back to our room at midnight exhausted.
We slept in a bit late, getting up at 900 AM slacking off before getting dressed, packing our stuff and planning what to do for the day. My sister was persistent about taking a sightseeing boat ride on the East River and just booked it. I hate these sightseeing (packed sardine) boat rides, especially on a holiday weekend, but she was determined. Fortunately for me, she was unable to reserve a 90-minute ride and instead booked a 2:30 pm ride for 60-minutes. We stored our luggage and headed for brunch. The reality is that in the midtown section of NYC on a Sunday, there are very few options. My persistence required us to walk over 10 blocks to the Hudson Yards/ High Line area, where we came across the perfect place for brunch. I highly recommend visiting Mercado Little Spain, an amazing destination marketplace for eating a variety of food with a Spanish flare. More on this later.
We sat at one of the dining places at the Mercado for a hearty brunch and checked out the high-priced Hudson Yards mall before taking another Uber to Pier 36 to jump on this boat ride. It was everything I feared — packed with families with children, loud music and everyone crowding the open areas to take photos of the Statue of Liberty. Both of us, after 30 minutes, wanted to get off the boat once we caught some photos of Miss Liberty. Immediately leaving the boat, we took the subway and got off at 23rd street and walked on to the High Line. The High Line which never disappoints is a 2.5-mile conversion of an abandoned freight rail line into a walking park with over 1000 species of plants and rotating public art (sculptures and murals) while keeping most of its old rail tracks. It is a park in the sky surrounded by the city’s urban-industrial landscape. Be aware in order to control the crowds they now require that you make a reservation. Once we got to the Hudson Yards area, we headed back to Little Spain Mercado, our last stop, before picking up our luggage and heading home.
Little Spain Mercado is the brainchild of Chef José Andrés and his chef colleagues. I am an admirer of Chef Andre and his commitment to the World Central Kitchen feeding millions in crisis throughout the world. He is both an outstanding internationally recognized chef and humanitarian. The creation of Little Spain represents a unique opportunity to showcase the food culture of Spain’s diverse regions, including where Chef Andre is from. It has a combination of dining areas, bars, eateries and food shopping … everything from tapas to tortillas with a Spanish flare. The marketplace is several blocks behind Penn Station on 3Oth street. We sat down at the one of their bars and tried some new cocktails with several tapas plates. Enjoying a nice buzz, we headed back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and catch the 8:11 PM train arriving home by 9:30 PM ranking it a worthy weekend venture without catching a plane or driving a car, having walked 46,000 steps (18 miles). We have the screenshots to prove it.
Photos are of all of our sightseeing. Click the center of the photo to see the full view.