Manhattan is one of my favorite places in the world to visit. I can never quite reconcile my love of big cities with my love of the country so I just travel and visit to get my fill. You can read about my visits in 2011 and last year. Since it’s well known in my family that I love visiting Manhattan my sister purchased a stay in a Park Avenue penthouse apartment in a charity auction and gifted it to me this year. Since the apartment was four bedrooms I quickly invited my parents to make up for crashing their trip last year and extended the invite to friends and family. The panorama above is from one of the living room windows looking out on Central Park towards the Upper West Side. The HOA on this place was far more than my mortgage payment is in Washington 🙂
The weather was spectacular for October. It was sunny and clear most of the weekend. The first night my father found Rue 57 which claims to be “Brasserie Parisienne et Sushi Bar”… I couldn’t pass up the curiosity of it. A Parisian Bistro and Sushi Bar? So after everyone arrived on their respective flights and got settled in the apartment we headed out for a really remarkable evening. The food, wine, and cocktails were wonderful. The atmosphere was indeed very Parisian and our server was spectacular. It was a great start to the weekend with much laughter. Later that night I admired the Empire State Building lit in pink from the apartment kitchen window.
The next morning all of the ladies hit up Drybar for blow outs. That evening I sent the boys out to the New York City Food & Wine Festival Burger Bash event. Where they appeared to have a blast. Geoff got to talk to several celebrity chefs including one of my idols, Alex Guarnaschelli. Staying awake for two days finally caught up with Shar so she stayed in (for a little while) while Kristina and I had a really lovely girl date at David Burke Fishtail. I convinced Kristina to head to Knave at Le Parker Meridien which is one of my regular haunts. It was quiet and sophisticated… at first 😉 The boys decided to come meet us and fortunately, just before them was a large group of Irish folks. The place got a whole lot more boisterous which was good because so were the boys! Shar got summoned from the apartment and joined us as well. Fueled on St. Germain and coffee cocktails we took the party back to the apartment where there was a private dance party in the living room.
Saturday was a sort of “free” day, but the highlight for me was hitting up the new Birchbox SoHo with Kristina and Shar. We did some shopping in SoHo while we were at it.
Sunday I had made dinner reservations at Alex Guarnaschelli’s restaurant Butter and my sister had bought everyone tickets to see If/Then as an early birthday gift. We hit up the matinee of the musical and it seemed to go over well with everyone, even the ones that weren’t so sure about attending a Broadway musical. After the theatre and before dinner we wandered around Times Square and collectively helped Jake by a sweater 🙂 Then we headed over to Butter and I discovered that when Geoff had talked to Alex at the Burger Bash he’d asked about setting us up with a chef’s tasting menu. We were seated at big family style table and other than cocktails all of the food and wine pairings were made for us. The staff took amazing care of us and didn’t bat an eye at a last minute tweak to the plan to accommodate dietary needs. After dinner we sauntered from Midtown back to the Upper East Side by way of Grand Central Station. I almost made it back to the apartment before giving in to the blisters that were forming from wearing new shoes and grabbing a cab with Geoff.
Monday morning was pretty low key as everyone started packing up and getting ready to head back home. I could have stayed another week in the apartment! I was certainly tempted 🙂 I truly never get tired of visiting Manhattan.