Soul Adventure #7: New York City, my old and new friend

I have lived 18 of my 52 years on the planet in New York City and have been traveling there since I was a baby. My mother grew up in queens and the first time I lived there was the summer after sophomore year at Cornell when I was a waitress at Tavern on the Green. Last week I returned for the first time in over three years and spent five days meeting friends for wonderful meals and fabulous afternoon teas.

Many things in New York have stayed relatively the same for me my whole life such as the special buzzing energy, Broadway shows and the special smell of the city which is a weird blend of street ethnic food, exhaust, people and a few other things I will not mention.  It is comforting to know that you for the most part Central Park looks and feels the same and you can still get a great brunch on the upper west side’s Popover Café , a super-fast lunch at Grand Central’s Oyster Bar and the best fresh mint chip ice cream at the Chocolate Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

There were also many new things I got to see and taste on this visit and here are my top seven for you to consider for your own NYC adventures:

Eataly, is a collection of open restaurants, markets and specialty shops for people who love Italian food and may want to learn more about its nuances. Go and have the gelato or be more adventurous and sit at the smoked meat counter.

Café Grumpy, is a group of clean and artistic cafes around the city that brew each cup of heavenly coffee to order and do not allow laptops.

Bike Lanes are more plentiful. The City’s has made a real effort to make commuting by bike better and safer.

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. You have to see it in person to really appreciate its splendor. I am afraid pictures do not do it justice.

The Chatwal Hotel for afternoon tea.

Harlem is the most changed neighborhood since my last visit. Visit here for shopping, the arts, great food and hope for economic development.

Barclays Center in Brooklyn is the new home of the Nets basketball franchise, opening in September and has changed the landscape of the neighborhoods it touches including Carroll Gardens, Park Slope and Ft. Greene.

Laurel Donnellan

Founder and CEO


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