A Thank You Note to NEW YORK CITY

Thank you Barrie for these warm boots!

Dear New York City,

Thank you for the years of entertainment, culture and excitement you’ve given me!  Thank you for enveloping me in your Broadway shows and diverse population.  Thank you for giving me winter and all that it entails!  …And thank you for taking care of my children, offering them jobs and wonderful relationships as they navigate their early adulthood.  You will always be part of my history and for that I am forever grateful! 


I’ve loved NYC for as long as I can remember.  My Dad was born in Manhattan, growing up in the Irish neighborhood known as Inwood, my Mom spent most of her childhood out on Long Island in Breezy Point, and both of my sisters lived there for about 10 years in the 80’s…not to mention the fact that all five of us were born in neighboring New Jersey.  It’s kind of been ingrained in my siblings and I from a young age that NYC was a great place.  Yes, California has amazing weather and I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else, but there is absolutely nothing like NYC….Paris is a close second!  When we took a family trip back in the late 90’s, Austin said “I’m going to live here some day!”  Right now both of my kid’s, and their fiancés, live on the east coast, working in New York City/Brooklyn (although my daughter is not really a fan of city life).


bought some much-needed NYC jammies at the airport on my way home

I’ve wanted to write a post about NYC many times, but there is soooo much to say and share about this great city that I’ve just procrastinated, hoping I would find the words to convey the enthusiasm I have and the energy you get when you visit.  I traveled back there last week and have been bursting to share everything NYC!  Because there’s so much to say about the city that never sleeps, I’ll do a mash-up of a few trips and share the things I love most about them….number one being the fact that I get to spend time with my kids and their fiancés!

Before the wheels even touch down at JFK, I crane my neck to catch a glimpse of the city lights through the tiny plane window.  The excitement builds as I take a taxi (…or the cheaper, convenient, A train if I’ve only got carry on luggage) over the bridge and see the lights of the Chrysler and Empire state buildings come into view.  The last couple of times I’ve visited I’ve stayed with the kids, but my sister’s were joining me this past week, so we stayed at a friend’s on Central Park West….amazing location and view!  It’s 11pm, but “it’s really only 8pm, right?” we all say and head over to Empire Szechuan on Columbus for their cold noodles with sesame sauce…my mouth is watering just thinking of them (we used to go back in the 80’s when my sisters lived there).  As we sit and order more delicacies people keep arriving…it’s midnight!…gotta love this city that never sleeps!  We leave around 12:30 am…as people continue to arrive and the delivery guy is heading out with an order (FYI….they’re open until 1:30am if you ever arrive on an evening flight…highly recommend).


Our  stunning morning view from the apartment

Wandering!…I’ve said it about Paris, but my love for wandering started in NYC.  There are so many unique neighborhoods, with their own distinct feeling and story, that you can be in Italy one minute, China in another, the 70’s in another…with a mix of poverty and opulence within blocks of one another.  There’s theater and museums to keep you occupied for months on end and if someone said they were “bored” in NYC I might have to slap them!  I was there last January for a week and I could have stayed a month….the train to adorable, very Mayberry-like, Cranford, NJ to stay with Taylor & Dan; seeing the incomparable Savion Glover at the intimate Joyce Theater was a treat; the train to Connecticut to stay with my childhood friend Kelley, & Justin; a few days with Austin and Kate in the very hip Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, including a fun cooking class and a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum; the MET; strolling through Central Park; window shopping on Madison Avenue (’cause it’s too damn expensive to buy anything there); The Mackenzie Child’s store on 57th….and so many amazing restaurants that it’s hard to pinpoint just one…although I’ll give a shout out to The Waverly Inn & Roberta’s…YUMMY!


Adorable Cranford Westfield

Adorable Cranford & Westfield

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield, CT


Jean Paul Gautier at the Brooklyn Museum (2014)


Fairfield Beach, CT

I started planning this past trip much the same as last year’s…just visiting the kids (I made the reservations the Tuesday after they left from their Thanksgiving visit out here).  I’ve gone in February the past few years because the flights are cheaper and I get a bit of much-needed winter weather…with coats, scarves, sweaters and boots!  It was quickly, and gratefully, transformed into so much more!  My two sister’s and my niece would join me and some neighbors would, coincidentally, be in NYC too.  Sounds like a party waiting to happen!  We, my sister’s and I, took the train out to Long Island and spent a long-overdue visit with our wonderful Aunt, my mother’s sister.  A large group of us invaded my neighbors stunning rental apartment and enjoyed cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres in the shadow of the Empire State Building.  We took in a few Broadway shows and threw a fun bridal shower for Kate, meeting more of her friends and extended family.  I didn’t get to wander much this trip because it was so f-ing cold, but it was a magical trip, just the same…as only NYC can offer!!  If you ever go, please contact me…I have a five page word document that I try to update periodically with  “Everything NYC!”

Here’s a visual storyboard of my favorite city & some special events…..


My sisters, niece and I


Kate’s Bridal Shower


greatest gift….customized corn-hole game…and the beautiful bride


the bridal shower



A gift from my sister…LOVE!!!


A Valentines Day toast!


Cherche Midi…french bistro…recommend!


It was cooooold!



Bryant Park fountain…did I mention it was cold?!


Bright lights, big city


Ice skating in Bryant Park


Welcome to Bryant Park Grill…who is that greeter in the doorway?


love this Central Park gazebo near Strawberry Fields memorial


amazing architectural stairways


Joe Allen…where Broadway stars go after their show


Washington Square Park…near NYU

Go see this musical!

Go see this musical!


Our last morning together…cozy on the couch
(Austin is taking the pic….& we missed Dan too)


Bryant Park merry-go-round

I can’t wait to go back!  So many more pictures I could share…but this post would be even longer than it already is….so, I’ll end it with this serendipitous fortune!

I got this last week...the day after I wrote my "Hope" post

I got this last week…the day after I wrote my “Hope” post…SO TRUE!!

    You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails! 


  1. Great Blog Jeanine. Well written and from the heart. I need that 5 page word document as we’ll be stopping in NY for 3 nites before we head to Budapest. Xxoo

  2. Hi Jeanine
    I am not sure you get my notes.
    But I want you to know how much I love your blog! Keep on writing you have a gift!

  3. I had the best time, too, Jeanine. In spite of the freezing cold! I was listening to the “This American Life” podcast on NPR yesterday and at the end among their thank you’s the host said “and also Aurora in Brooklyn”. Hey, I’ve been there! Wonderful restaurant.

  4. Jeanine, you have such a positive and engaging blog! Your adventures are marvelous to follow!!! Thank you so much and keep them coming!!

  5. I love your blog jeanine. I love your sense of adventure. By any chance do you have a suaru of your favorite things to do in Paris? I have your NYC highlights and found them very useful. Thanks Jeanine!

  6. Love all the pics and knowing how much you love NYC they were perfect. My favorite though was the gazebo in Central park. What a great pic…that needs to be blown up. Beautiful…thanks for sharing, what a great trip.

  7. WOW!!! You catapulted us all the way to the east coast and allowed us to share in the special, special time with your children and family. Happy memories in the making! So very happy for you!!

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