Girls Getaways is excited to extend to NYC! It's the city that never sleeps, with its vivacious atmosphere that draws you into the frenetic and exciting world.
Last year, my colleague, Kath and I, spent 5 days nutting out an itinerary for upcoming GG groups. This May, Kath took a group of 11 to exact that itinerary for seven days. What and awesome job! The girls loved it and experienced a bit of everything - baseball, Broadway, Empire State Building, and an eclectic tour by our very own Emily, a native New Yorker, who has a passion for finding the impossible.
Emily's tour encompassed some Sex and the City icons, as well as a shopping tour. But we're not talking about the big outlets, but where you might find something a little more unusual, or a special consignment store where you might nab a pair of Manolo Blahniks for under $200. (I did!)
Staying in a traditional brownstone in the village area was the place to be, to live and breathe as a New Yorker does. With cool stores along the tree-lined streets, parks, great cafes and restaurants, chances are you might see a celeb in these parts... Maybe even SJP herself - apparently she lives there!
I've just visited New York in July, having the most wonderful five nights, with lots of cycling in Central Park and across the Brooklyn Bridge. There was the obligatory stop at the Shake Shack, lots of walking (sometimes it's quicker than the yellow taxi!) and rides on the subway. One highlight was a window dresser tour, along 5th Avenue, culminating in hanging around outside Bergman & Goodman, the iconic NYC store.
During my visit, I caught up with Emily in the village to share our thoughts on our NYC venture. Let me tell you, this girl can get that impossible seat at a table in a restaurant you would never have thought existed (maybe behind a butcher shop, or something completely random), with Leonardo just seats away. I asked Emily to share...
...Fave Five Girly Things to Do in NYC!
1. Get a martini and Manicure at the same time!
Beauty Bar is a salon turned saloon, where the drinks come with a manicure, and for $10 only!
2. fall down the rabbit hole...
Then She Fell at 95 Maujer St, Brooklyn, offers and immersive Alice in Wonderland-themed theatrical experience. Cocktails, little nibbles... very intriguing. Only 15 people allowed per night. Will you play croquet with the Queen or have tea with the Mad Hatter? Going with friends increases the fun because there are different 'tracks' and everyone has a slightly different show, so it's great fun to compare what you saw and did with a friend afterwards.
3. Be a model for the night
Dress the part for a big night out with the girls. At Rent The Runway, 163 Varick St (4th floor), you can book a styling session for your group and try on great designer dresses, jewellery and accessories, all while sipping champagne. The items can be rented for a four or eight-day period, and to return them you simply mail them back with the pre-paid and pre-addressed shipper they come with.
4. Go to an NYC piano bar
Head up to the Upper East Side, where Brandy's Piano Bar (285 East 84th St) lies. This gem of a piano bar sits tucked away on an unassuming little side street. Here you can have a few drinks and listen to your favourite tunes, plus sing-along if you like! The very friendly and talented staff will show you a great time, and unlike many piano bars in the theatre district, Brandy's remains a local's spot and lacks any sort of touristy or forced atmosphere.
5. Play Bingo - old-school NYC style!
On Sunday nights, The Grill at The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District throws a very unique party. Yes, it is bingo, but bingo served with crystal bowls filled with champagne punch! There are dance breaks, karaoke challenges and dance-offs. It's a wild party and lots of fun, plus a very unique nightlife choice and great for a group of girls.
"My New Year's resolution three years ago was to take advantage of the city and do something unique to New York at least once a month. I've stuck to that pretty well. It's not hard to do, with all of the amazing restaurants and cocktail spots, not to mention wonderful plays and music venues, etc. I've had the travel bug my entire life and feel the most like my true self when I am immersed in a new or different place enjoying the anonymity of it. No one caught up in where I'm from, what I do, where I attended college... I love the blank slate that comes with traveling!
I love bringing New York visitors to places they might not have known about on their own, and doing so in a seamless and relaxing way, no looking at maps or being on a crowded bus with other tourists. I cater the time to each small group, but try and incorporate multiple things, a little history, some delicious food, maybe a cool exhibit and often some great libations. It all depends on the interest of the group. I don't overdo any one thing so that it's not monotonous. I tend to end the time together by dropping the group off at a restaurant where I've made reservations for them. Whether someone is looking for a very old-school Italian dinner at a local trattoria, or a hidden steak house that is hard to get a table in, I have it set up in advance, based on what I think the group would prefer and never take anyone anywhereI haven't been myself!"
We're collecting moments, not things!