The Big Apple

By Kate Riley September 20, 2010

Well friends, today’s the day!  I’m off to New York City to meet up with some blogger friends and attend The Nate Show on Tuesday thanks to an extra ticket provided by the very gracious Janell.  I’m flying out and bunking with fellow Bay Area blogger Cristin, and we are going to have a ball!  I haven’t been to New York City in four years, so today I’m absolutely grinning from ear to ear because I get to spend a few days in one of my favorite places on earth! 

My first trip to NYC was in 2001, just two months after 9/11.  What I still find eerie is we had plans to be in NYC during that fateful week in September, but for various reasons switched our plans at the last minute and postponed our trip until November, not knowing that NYC would suffer the incredibly tragedy it did that day.

I have loved NYC ever since I first set foot in this marvelous metropolis.  On our first trip, we did all the touristy things.  We visited all the museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art; we walked Fifth Avenue and browsed at Tiffanys; we visited Times Square, the New York Stock Exchange and Greenwich Village, we ate a famous restaurants; we visited Radio City Music Hall and climbed to the top of the Empire State Building.  

Central Park in fall is like living in a Nora Ephron movie!

cg new york

I remember how often I would crane my neck to the sky.  I couldn’t believe so many skyscrapers stood next to each other, block after block after city block.  San Francisco has its financial district and its own landmarks, but there’s nothing quite like the famous buildings of New York.  Such history, such architecture!  From left to right, Empire State, Flatiron, Chrysler buildings. 

ny famous skyscrapers   

We saw several Broadway shows our first year, like the original ‘The Producers’ with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, what a show!  We loved how magical the city was all decked out for the holidays.


We had cocktails at the shmancy Plaza Hotel ~ of course this was before the munchkins came along, when I actually drank martinis and wore high heels on Friday nights.  

  the plaza

We loved New York so much, we went back the very next year in 2002 for a few days of holiday shopping.  That year, it snowed the last week of November, which turned the City into a a winter wonderland, compared to the beautiful autumn we experienced the year before.   

ny carriage ride

Central Park is oh-so-magical when covered with snow. 

nyc photo0008

In 2004, we traveled to NYC with my parents and with my infant daughter on our way to New England.  In hindsight, I realize that traveling with a baby is ten times easier than with a wiggly toddler.  Oh my word, I barely remember her being that small.  And I so miss those squeezable cheeks and that double chin! 

  baby and taxis

My last visit to NYC was with my sister in 2006, when I was just pregnant with my son, but ya can’t quite tell yet!  I’m four months pregnant and strutting around in boots, but hey, it’s New York !   I may or may not have suffered several blisters for the sake of fashion. 

me and sis

I took my sister to Tiffanys where she was seduced by the dark side and therefore handed over her credit card.  Let it be said, that robin’s egg blue bag is a powerful force indeed.

sis at tiffanys

Through the magic of travel websites, that year we scored cheap rooms at The Waldorf Astoria, which was amazing because it was where all the diplomats from the UN were staying for a conference and security was tight!  

waldorf hotel

And the fashion. . . oh the fashion of NYC!  I have to physically restrain myself at all times.   To quote Rachel, “I die”. 

ny fashion

sister and I had so much fun that year that my cheeks hurt for weeks from laughing.  Does your sister have this effect on you?   No one can make me laugh out loud till I cry like my baby sister. 

I highly recommend a ferry ride around Manhattan for a view of the skyline and the Statue of Liberty.  It gives you that ‘proud to be an American’ feeling. 


So for the next few days, I’ll be running around The Big Apple with some blogger friends, getting my NYC fix.  And this week is my birthday, so I couldn’t ask for a better present than a trip to New York.  I just hope I don’t see anymore thermal underwear/fanny pack combos on the streets.   I’ve left my kids and my laptop for a gal pal week in the City!  It’s a little bit “SATC” but without all the “S”.   Bonus points if you know of what I speak. 

Have you ever visited New York City?  If so, what did you love most about it ?



  1. New York is the only part of America I’ve visited. I imagine the whole of America like that – huge, tall skyscrapers, wide,clean screets and busy, busy, busy…..but I am coming to realise how wrong this presupposition is! I suppose it must be like imagining England is like London all over. Errrr…….no!

    I absolutely loved NYC. I’ve been twice. Once was just after 9/11 whenI was struck by how incredibly friendly everyone was.

    It was a magical city to be in. Your post makes me want to fly back this instant!

    Have a FAB time.


  2. I love NYC. I’ve only been during the spring and summer, but I long to go around the holidays. There is something about getting to see that ginormous tree at the Roc that excites me to my Christmas-loving core.
    And, P.S. The last time I was there, I snapped a pic of a girl walking in front of me wearing some truly heinous, metallic silver MC Hammer pants. It was pretty epic.

  3. ahhhhhh! can I BE anymore jealous!? probably not. LOVE that she sends you pics like that just for the heck of it. my kinda humor, right der!!!! have fun and be safe! and if you get the chance to jump nate and give him a non solicited hug, DO IT.

  4. I live right outside the city–like, we can walk to the bridge, its that close. My favorite thing about the city–awesome food, best restaurants anywhere. Least favorite–the traffic. The traffic here is horrible.

  5. I love NYC. I made my first trip last year at this time. I love everything. I especially loved taking my then 6 year old daughter to American Girl Place. I can’t wait to go again. : )

  6. Have a great time! I’m hoping to visit NYC for the first time in my life sometime in the next year.

  7. Have a great time! My husband worked in NYC for 5 years and we were spoiled with a fabulous apartment. Loved loved loved it! Your photos bring back memories. I adored Christmas there with all of the holiday decorations, the shopiing, the holiday spirit, snow and the Rockettes. NYC is a fun place! Enjoy! Happy Birthday!

  8. I have been to NYC three times!! Once for Thanksgiving, New Years and then once during the summer. I find every time I go I see new and exciting things!!! Also, its fun to go and meet up with friends that live there, like I did when I went during the summer. My husbands best friend from high school lives there and we were able to see a whole different side of NYC then when I had gone with my family and didn’t know anyone. I find myself at least once everyday wishing I could go again, but no trips planned currently!

  9. I grew up about 20 minutes north of Manhattan and I love the city! I’ve since moved and go back about once a year to visit family and friends. It is my dream to visit NYC as a tourist (and not tell any of my family or friends). I think it would be a great adventure….

  10. Thanks for sharing the great pictures. I hope you have a blast! New York is one of the cities I’ve get to go, but plan to. Come back soon and share your adventures with us. :)

  11. I love the picture of you in Central Park- so pretty! What a great birthday present to get to go to NY + with fellow bloggers + see Nate! I think I would die of excitement:) SATC- are you cheating on fashion with furniture?

  12. I hope you have a wonderful trip and a great birthday! I live about 3 hours out of NY city, in Albany and have been to the city many times- but I must say that my absolute favorite time to go is around Christmas. There is just this feeling that I get that can’t be described! The decorations, the smells, the shopping, the people…it’s something special :)

  13. p.s. I love the new “print friendly” option (at least new to me, I just saw it). I have bookmarked so many of your posts, but it’s a great option to just print the post you want to save or carry to the hardware store with you!

  14. So, will you be Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, or Samantha? ;) I think I must be a bit of them all.

    Have a wonderful trip. NYC is my fave–counting down the days until my annual girls’ Christmas day up there. :)

  15. Just visited NYC in August. I am ready to go back! I also stayed at the Waldorf but I am thinking it could use a little of your magic to bring it back to it’s glory. Can’t wait for you to blog this trip. Enjoy your visit.

  16. How much fun you will have! I’ve seen a few other bloggers mention their trip-can’t wait to see it on air-NYC in the fall is magnifique! My daughter lives there so I get to visit alot and stay over with her! Love it when its cool! Have a ball!

  17. Thank you so much for sharing your post and have a wonderful trip! You and your sister’s relationship sound like me and my sisters:) nothing better than having a sister! Love your pics, expecially of central park, funny thing everytime I go to NYC it’s to go shopping! I’ve never even seen the statue of liberty! and I agree there is something magical about the city

  18. My baby sister and I have the same relationship! We’ve just started a yearly girls’ weekend. Last year was SF, this year was SD, not sure what 2011 will bring but I know I’ll laugh laugh laugh!

  19. I am a devoted reader of your blog and live on Long Island, just a short train ride away from the city…how I wish I could join you for a little SATC-sans-S fun! Since we’ve had many family members from out of town visit NY, I’ve had the opportunity to do the touristy things several times and I never tire of it. Enjoy and Happy Bday!

  20. I live in NYC! and I love it…i moved here 5 years ago from Houston, texas and fell in love! Enjoy your stay, NYC weather has been beautiful the last few days! I’m excited..Centsational girl will be in my city!! yay!!!

  21. Jealous!!!!! I just told my hubby that for my 30th I want a girls weekend in NYC. I’ve got 1 1/2 years to save up so maybe I’ll get to go. Hope you have a blast! There is nothing like New York!

  22. I live in Midtown Manhattan and it’s always so wonderful to hear someone singing my hometown’s praises. WELCOME!! (I love it here too and could never leave)

  23. I have been lucky enough to have visited New York once and it was love at first sight. The city is absolutely perfection! It makes me all giddy just thinking about it; I can’t wait to go back. Congrats on the wonderful trip and Happy Birthday! Enjoy your SATC sans the ‘S’ moment in New York and I can’t wait to read about the trip soon.

  24. Happy Birthday! My daughter and I went last summer. She had to go on auditions all over the city. It was beautiful, we enjoyed taking the subway, riding the ferry and going to the top of the empire state building. NYC is magical. I think my favorite part was Central Park. I would move to NYC if I could, unfortunately…my hubby doesn’t feel the same way. Have a wonderful trip!

  25. Welcome back to NYC…. I live and work in NYC so I know you will have a blast. Love the pictures.

    Oh, the president is coming into town so traffic will be pretty crazy and security will be tight all over.

  26. I made my first trip to NYC last spring and it was a great trip! We were there for almost 2 weeks and I loved all the amazing food! Meal after meal of delicious dishes. And the best part was that I didn’t gain a single pound because I walked all the decadent calories off exploring the city! There is just such a hugeness and energy in the city that is so unique and fun.

  27. Sounds like a great birthday week. I loved the pictures. I’ve been, but not since I was a child…I barely remember it. It is on the list!

  28. Referencing Rachel Zoe and SATC in the same post? I heart you:) Have a blast in New York and have a wonderful birthday!

  29. Have a wonderful birthday blast in NYC, and also time with your superstar blogger pals you will get to enjoy at the Nate show…. can’t wait for the date we can see you all…..
    thanks for the look back in pics of your previous trips…. I have had a few trips there…. and definitely preferred the fall or winter….. didn’t know it could be as muggy and hot there as here in the Southwest… hope it’s perfect!

  30. FANTASTIC shots!! Have a WONDERFUL time in the Big Apple… and please give NYC my love…
    Thanks for sharing and I can’t WAIT to see your new pics of the City I heart…

    :D Lynda (aka nyclq)

  31. Oh, yes I love NYC! I love the activity and hub of the city! I love how open the people are there to talking about ideas. And I love Broadway!

  32. I grew up outside of NYC and went to college at NYU. Best 4 years of my life! There’s always something to do. It’s so full of life! My heart ached on Sept. 11, 2001. I worked at the WTC during for an internship at the Port Authority. I’ve lived in the Midwest, New England, Upstate NY and NJ, but there’s no place like Manhattan. Enjoy your time there!

  33. Oh very, very jealous right now! I received that invite last week and wondered how they heck they expected all of us to gather from across the nation in just seven short days! But you’re doing it!! Tell us all about it :).

  34. Living the Sex and the City getaway fantasy are you now??? How grand! Love to see the end photos.

  35. I’ve just been to NYC once — last year, a few days before Thanksgiving, with my boyfriend on a drive back from Maine (I had been working there for a few months). It was *amazing* Mostly, we just walked around and marveled at everything. What I loved best was encountering random farmer’s markets in little parks. One of my favorite memories is buying hot apple cider at one of those little parks and then walking around the city. We walked from Rockefeller Center to Ground Zero (oh, my poor feet). I can’t wait to go back, take in some Broadway shows, and enjoy the city more.

  36. I love seeing manhattan through new eyes and reading your nostalgic treks to the city did just that for me &brought back nostalgia of my own. I grew up across the river from NYC, never more than 20 or so minutes by car, train, or subway from downtown. NYC was my vast &never-ending playground and inspiration for “anything can happen”: just take a few subway rides & you can experience the best and worst of that statement :).

    Sometimes I wish I had taken advantage of some of the more toiristy things I forgot to so. I loved to spend days wandering around the met or the gugenheim museums but never could muster the patience to wIt on the line for the empire state building or pay the money to take a carriage ride around central parrk. In retrospect, now living besides a lovely beach in a warm climate, when I get nostalgic o want to do the quintessential NYC tourist things just to do it :).

    Enjoy your trip! A few days inanhattan is always a weeksprong of isnoiration!

  37. Sorry: typing on my cellphone has never been great…meant to say a “wellspring of inspiration” :).
    Enjoy your in the city time without all the “s” :).

  38. Oh, my! There’s a finnish flag! Finland is famous… not. :D I absolutely l-o-v-e your blog, you’re the best! :)

    Greetings from snowy finland,

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