Springtime In New York

By Kate Riley May 12, 2011

Hey all, I’m finally feeling like I’m back on California time after a quick trip to New York City earlier this week, and what a fabulous place to visit this time of year.  I was there for an event sponsored by Lowes (yes, Nate was there!) and I’ll be sharing a few pics of the event tomorrow (plus . . . you know there’s a great giveaway coming!)

I’ve been to NYC many times in the fall and winter, but never in the spring, so when the invitation arrived in my inbox, I instantly hollered “Yes, count me in!”  I had the opportunity to explore the downtown area plus later hang with my pal Melissa from The Inspired Room, which made for the most perfect day.

Wanna take a walk with me?  Here’s a glimpse of what I saw as I walked for hours and hours through two of my favorite neighborhoods: SoHo and Greenwich Village.

The morning started with a quick jaunt through SoHo (South of Houston).  Wow, what a chic place, there were movie crews and models everywhere, making me feel like an extra short girl from a very small town.

I dare you to resist stepping inside here.

anthropologie soho

anthro in store

anthro clock headboard

Plenty of other high end shops in SoHo too.

kate spade soho


I hoofed it over to Broadway to head north from my hotel, and I just had to pop into a place I’ve never been for caffeine: Dean & Deluca.  What a gourmet paradise, filled with fresh flowers, seafood, freshly baked breads, amazing chocolates, and all sorts of imported goodies.

purple prom dresses

I grabbed a cup of coffee and “breakfast’” which was a lemon bombolone, otherwise known as a custard filled doughnut.  Allow me to translate.  Bombolone is Italian for irresistible decadent delight.



I walked all along Broadway to see all the shops and take in the window displays.  I was loving both the bold spring colors and summer neutrals this season.

spring dresses

summer neutrals


I made my way toward Washington Square Park, this is the landmark arch, I just love it, isn’t it beautiful?

washington square arch


There were a ton of students from the adjacent NYU milling around, soaking up the sun, enjoying the flowers, and perhaps playing hooky from class, I wouldn’t blame them with these blue skies.

washington square in spring

tulips in washington square

I can’t believe how social these little park critters are, they come right up to you and beg for food.



I loved these brick buildings just north of the square, I believe they’re student housing, lucky kids.

brick housing nyu

flower pots on stoop


I made my way up to Union Square to walk around and visit the farmer’s market. I love a beautiful park right in the middle of a big city like this!

spring union square


Even on a Monday, it was packed with people shopping for plants, vegetables, and  gourmet foods.

union square farmers market

farmers market flowers

Union Square is also filled with all kinds of street artists and musicians.

street artist


I wanted to see so much more, so instead of sitting down at a café for lunch, I grabbed some food at this market around the corner, then sat down in the park to eat and rest my feet before I continued my walk through Greenwich Village.

garden of eden

You’ll see so many great shops in the west village, some small businesses, but many of them high end too.

village stores

rl store bleeker

I couldn’t resist popping into this one for some eye candy.

jonathan adler store

adler store


Everywhere you turn in this neighborhood are little flower shops filled with spring blooms.

hudson river flower shop

My favorites are the buckets and buckets of peonies.

bucket of peonies


I walked along 11th Street and decided yes, I could live right here in one of these townhomes, if I only had a few million to spare.

townhouses village

I love how each stoop is similar, but the iron railings are not the same, the designs are all slightly different.  Such gorgeous attention to detail.

11th ave

ironwork 11th ave

window boxes 11th ave


This is the beautiful First Presbyterian Church, the façade and iron gates are amazing.  See those blue skies?  I’m telling you, the weather was unbelievable this week.

presbyterian church 2

After walking for miles, I headed back to my hotel and then attended the Lowe’s event, will share that tomorrow, it was a really fun time.  After the event Melissa and I went out to dinner, which was the perfect ending to a glorious spring day in New York.

My last morning before my flight, I headed straight back to SoHo where I grabbed a bite at this fabulous French bistro I really wanted to try.


Felix Bar was a great stop for relaxing and people watching, and where I gobbled up a classic croque monsieur with a café au lait.  Heaven!

felix bar soho

Spring in New York City is just so incredible.  This trip truly was one of my best travel experiences yet, and all of it seen in a 24 hour period!

I was reminded of that line by Tom Hanks in the film You’ve Got Mail  when he says to Meg Ryan “It would be a shame to miss New York in the springtime”.   I just couldn’t agree more.

What’s your favorite thing about New York City?



  1. Gorgeous photos! I was in NYC in the spring three years ago and this makes me want to go do it all again! What’s not to love about New York?

  2. I haven’t done NYC in the Spring yet…only in the Fall and Winter. Love that shot of the peonies in the bucket…so pretty. I could hang out in The Village for hours. It always feel like the set of Friends. ;)

  3. It looks like you had such a nice tip! I love New York in the Spring before it gets too crazy and too hot! :)

    Perfect place for eating and window shopping which it looks like you did your fair share of!!

  4. Absolutely beautiful. I’ve only been once (so far) and it was in the Winter however, the best part of NYC is being able to immerse yourself so that you feel like you are a local and belong. Also the wonderful architecture is another fav of mine.

  5. Absolutely beautiful! Did you know there’s a Dean & Deluca in St. Helena? I haven’t been, but drove by once. Thank you for the look at NYC for those of us who have never been. :)

  6. I miss NYC during the spring too! I used to live on the Upper East Side only a few block from Central Park. Beautiful sunny days at the park were the best! I visited the farmer’s marker in Union Square many, many times too! My favorite restaurant was Tony’s Dinapoli at 83rd and 2nd. Papaya King was awesome (even if they did get shut down for a short time) haha! Thank you for sharing the photos. It makes me want to go back for a visit!

  7. Hi Kate-

    Wonderful pics – Can’t wait to check out Felix Bar -looks like a place I would enjoy. New York most definitely looks best in the spring – color, not sweltering, no slush or ice. Glad you got to see it in all it’s glory. Looking forward to your next post – sounds fun!

    My best – Diane

  8. I hate to admit it, but I’ve never been to NYC! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, though!

  9. Hi Kate

    So glad you did our town…I really thought you might hit EATALY while you were milling around…just fabulous! We love visiting my son at FIT and sauntering in the village–the next time, hit the Grey Dog–voted best coffee by zagat

  10. It’s so funny but living so close to NYC I have come to take it for granted. I have been to most of those stores. I’ve walked those streets in a rush to get to my destination. You photos reminded me of how awesome it really is.

  11. That’s the first Anthropologie I ever shopped at….my father-in-law took me there while we were visiting New York over 15 years ago…Holy Cow! That’s a long time ago. ;-)

  12. I went to NYC the year before I got married with a bunch of friends for a choir tour and ended up buying my wedding dress and shoes there! I was there in the winter so it was really cold but we were there over Valentine’s Day (without my fiance) – I will never forget taking a carriage ride and having cocktails in the Rainbow Room lounge that night. It is a magical place!

  13. I love that photo of all the pots of flowers on the steps! Inspiration for my back steps, which can always use some sprucing!!! Love it!!!!

  14. Never been to NYC, but my sister is a student at Columbia. I’ve always been hoping to find cheap plane tickets for a visit – now I know I’ll need to go in the Spring!

  15. Kate, I love these pictures! I have only been in the summer (when it is pretty hot), so I would love to see it at this time of year. I just wanted to thank you for your great tutorial on how to paint furniture. I have been studying it :) and making my list of supplies for my first DIY painting project. I’m happy to report I bought my first can of Zinsser primer last night! I thought, “Kate would be so proud!” Today I sanded and primed all of my dining room chairs and tomorrow I will start on the table. (It’s hard work, but I know it will be worth it!) Thanks again for all your help :)

  16. Gorgeous pics! Those peonies are to die for! I’ve only been to NYC in the Fall… now I really want to go in the Spring!

  17. I am absolutely salivating over your beautiful pictures. I’ve been to NYC at Christmas time (which was magical) and in the summer but, never in the spring. I now believe that I must put that on my to-do list. Thank you for sharing. You’re blog is just great.

  18. I miss NY. My husband and I lived ther for four years just recently. It’s a fantastic city so full of culture. I think the part I miss the most is being there at Christmas time. To me there is nothing like it with the magical wonderful decor in the shop windows, the chilly weather and sometimes snow, bundling up in sweaters, coats, boots and gloves, shopping during the holidays and stopping for hot chocolate. It really put me in a magical holiday spirit. So glad you had a great trip. Beautiful photos, Kate. Spring is so lovely there, too. I look forward to hearing more about your trip.

  19. I’ve only ever been in summer but your photos brought back lovely memories of happy times wandering the streets, parks and shops of NYC and seeing many of the same places. Can’t wait to go back one day with my little family!

  20. Fun to see our fabulous city through the eyes of a non-dweller. You hit some lovely parts of town.
    Since you referenced, “You’ve Got Mail,” next time come see the Upper West Side where the story takes place. All of those stores did exist at the time, though sadly, some are now gone. You can stroll along the Hudson through Riverside Park and see the garden (which is actually tended to by locals) where “Joe Fox” finally reveals himself to “Kathleen Kelly.”

  21. I love everything about NYC. I worked there for 10 years in three different neighborhoods. I would spend my lunch breaks roaming the streets and the parks, absorbing as much as I could in 1 hour. I was not one to sit at my desk and eat lunch. I do love Lincoln Center in the early morning you can easily sit at the fountain, eat breakfast and read.

  22. Great photos! You definitely made me want to take a weekend trip up there… I’m in Maryland just 3 hours south by train, but I haven’t been in a few years. I miss it!

  23. My husband and I spent a long weekend in NYC in April several years ago. We loved every minute of it. Thanks for sharing your pics.

  24. Thanks for the great photo tour! I love the photo you took of the arch at Washington Sq. Park. I went to NYU and spent so much time cutting through that park to go to classes etc… It’s so much fun to watch people perform in the Park and to see the old timers playing chess. I love that area. Not to get all sentimental but I especially loved the Park at night, standing by the arch and looking directly south of 5th Ave. and admiring the office lights of the Twin Towers.

  25. I haven’t been in years, and an wait to go asap! My birthday is this weekend and I’m asking for this from my husband….a shopping trip to NY. I could spend all day in Jonathan Adler!

  26. Hey Susan, I absolutely LOVE the Upper West Side, it’s another favorite, you’re right, Riverside Park is so gorgeous! Every time I go to NYC, I discover something new, that’s the beauty of traveling there. I can’t get enough!

  27. Kate what a fabulous time!! Great places to go and such amazing architecture!

    Art by Karena

  28. You’ll undoubtedly be hearing a lot more about NYC in the spring from those of us lucky enough to attend Blogfest 2011 next week! I loved your tour. I did a quick list of my favorite spots on my blog and even though we have similar tastes, we didn’t cover the same places. Proof positive that the city provides endless entertainment opportunities!

  29. Aww Kate, so glad you posted this! I was in NYC in May, seven years ago. It was my last mother/daughter weekend getaway with my mom before she passed. At the time, she wasn’t sick, so we didn’t treat it like a sad/last vacation. It was actually one of the best weekends of my life; shopping, strolling, eating, relaxing! Those pictures bring back so many memories for me. :) Happy to say, my husband is going to NYC next week for business & he’s taking me WITH HIM! We’re leaving our three boys home with the grandparents for 4 days, and I could not be more excited. He has to work three mornings we’re there, so I am thrilled to be able to stroll along, at my leisure, until my heart’s content! I am going to bookmark some of your “photo tour” so I know where to go. I’ve forgotten so much in the past 7 years. Kids will do that to you… Now let me just hope for weather as good as what you had!

  30. I LOVE New York but I’ve never been in the spring either! Oh man, have I been missing out. And yes, those little NYC squirrels are super friendly! I had one come sit right by my shoulder in Central Park and wait for me to give it some of my granola bar!

    Great photos. Brings back lots of lovely memories. :)

    Stephanie (Big Mario)

  31. Wow! I’ve never been to NYC, but felt like I got to enjoy its beauty through your pictures! Gracias for sharing so much of what you know and love!

  32. Gorgeous pictures!! Thanks for bringing me along on your adventure. It looks like you had such a wonderful time.

  33. I was in New York last weekend and it was perfect weather!! My boyfriend and I discovered the best best best restaurant ever in the East Village, and it is now my favorite thing about New York City.

    Next time you’re there run, don’t walk, to The Redhead (http://www.theredheadnyc.com/) for dinner. It was so good I cannot stop talking about it: the ambiance was fabulous, the staff were friendly and unpretentious and the food. Oh. Emm. Gee. The food. SO SO SO good: we had the house made pretzels with beer cheese sauce, the Caesar, the buttermilk fried chicken, the blackened pork belly and the Strawberry-Rhubarb Clafoutis for dessert. Every single item was perfectly prepared and full of flavor.

    The only thing I don’t like about them is that they’re not where I live. Or maybe I don’t like that I don’t live in NYC. :) Either way, it was a great meal.

  34. My first comment, spurred by love of my home and your delight in it!

    Spring in NYC is the best. We all come out of hibernation, everyone is in a better mood, and everything seems beautiful and clean. You must walk the High Line Park, Hudson River Park, see a movie in Bryant Park on Monday night (more of a summer thing since it starts in June), go to Governor’s Island the second it opens….I LOVE living in New York, and the spring is an especially perfect time to visit.

    The best advice I can give someone visiting is to not be afraid to use public transportation, be willing to just wander, and never pay full price for theater tickets!

    PS I love your blog so much!

    PPS The scene at Felix gets outrageous at night and on the weekend. I’m talking dancing on tables and bottles of Prosecco spraying on everyone. If that’s not your scene, check it on a weekday morning like Kate!

  35. I love Spring in NYC. My best friend from childhood lived there for 10 years, and I do miss it terribly. {Haven’t been back there since she moved to LA in 2005}….

    Dean and Deluca. A little restaurant called The Crooked Tree that had killer crepes. Another lil restaurant RICE in Soho. Kate’ Papiere.

    Ah, I need a NYC fix soon!

    Great photos. It was like I was there again. Thanks for sharing!

  36. Love the NYC pics! I recently visited downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn back a few weeks ago (will post a few pictures on my blog soon) and I had a wonderful time!! I don’t know all the landmarks, but, I think the park in the middle of the city is the same one I visited. I look forward to going back this fall (my school offers the trip each semester)…!

  37. We have been to NYC a few times now and I just love walking and looking. You can spend all day walking and looking – and the best part is it is free! There is so much to see and discover!

  38. We just went to NYC over spring break with the kids and had a great time. Nothing better than their parks in the spring.

  39. I’ve been to NYC in the winter and in the spring (and might actually be going again this summer!) and the spring was by far my favorite time to visit. I love just wandering around and being able to say “I’m hungry” then turn to my right, and go into a fab restaurant. My favorite though is the garment district! Oh how I looooove wandering around the garment district :) I’m most excited to hopefully go back this summer to go to my favorite button store!

  40. Gorgeous photos! It really looks like spring there (spring has been very slow to arrive here in Maine). As crazy as it sounds, I’ve never been to New York City — but after seeing these photos, I really want to go. Like, now!

  41. I love the color, the culture and the feeling of cozy neighborhoods within this huge metropolis. My grandparents lived on Christopher Street in the W. Village, and I love that even now when I visit my aunt there, with all of its hipness, there is still some of that old New York character and charm, where people go about their day-to-day, working hard like everyone else. Oh and I LOVE that you can get a hot dog or slice of pizza on almost every street, anywhere at anytime of the day or night. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  42. Love all the flowers available at the shops! Walking in the parks is fun, too!

  43. Glad you enjoyed our great city. It really is a marvel sometimes isn’t it. I need to take some time out to enjoy it more.

  44. this was a great story to open up my friday with! i love this time of year in NYC. my mom and i always go to that Anthro on West Broadway first thing on our trips. thanks for making my day!

  45. WOW I have loved viewing your post on this beautiful Friday morning! It has me dreaming about NYC. See I’m in a small midwestern town in Indiana, and I dream about one day making it to NYC. So thank you for taking and posting photos of your trip, I loved “going along” with you on it. One day I will make it there…one day.


  46. Most of the places you mentioned and photographed in SoHo are my normal lunchtime haunts since I work in nearby TriBeCa :) You missed the Jonathan Adler showroom in SoHo which is the better one, unfortunately—-he stops in there pretty frequently himself…..but you definitely captured some good spots. Next time you come back to the area, check out Pearl River too—-lots of fun goodies in there. :)

  47. I just want to know what shoes you were wearing to do all that walking???

  48. Ahh! I LOVE NYC! My favorite party of the city is the night life – the bright lights + energy! Loved this post!

  49. Those are beautiful photos! I’m here in NYC now visiting our family and friends not to mention shopping and we are loving it! We’re from NYC, so going back is always such a treat for us.

  50. What beautiful pics! Springtime is DEFINITELY my favorite time of year in NYC and man do I miss it! I used to live a block from Washington Square Park, so you were right in my old hood, oh how I wish I was back there now!

  51. Thanks for the pics! I’m originally from NJ/NYC so it feels good to see some of my familiar stompin’ grounds. :)

  52. I’ve never been to New York, and really enjoyed the pictures and descriptions. What beautiful weather for your visit!

  53. Hi! I really enjoyed all the pics! The colors are just beautiful! AND you got to work alongside Nate?! So fun! Thanks for taking us along! :)

  54. Ooh! Pass the bombolone! I lived in Brooklyn for years and definitely miss Dean and Deluca. I miss Cosi too – their sandwiches….heaven!

  55. I actually live in New York and miss the opportuity to roam the streets of Soho. I own a boutique flower shop in Westchester and can’t get away much. so I felt I was living vicariously through you on this post. Glad you enjoyed the stay.

  56. Oh I adored these pictures. I am from New Zealand and read your blog often. I don’t know if I will ever go to New York, so just reading and looking at all your photos was a Saturday morning treat! Thank you!!

  57. I’ve been to NYC twice, and your photos take me back. I live in a city where you have to drive everywhere. My favorite thing about NYC is the ability to walk to so many places, or just to hop on the subway to quickly get from one area to a totally different area. Thanks for sharing your photos with us!

  58. Never been but am sooo inspired by your photography. That sounds pretty close to my dream day. Outdoor markets, window shopping, coffee, cafes. Mmmm! This blog is my inspiration and little pick-me-up. Thanks, Kate.

  59. I LOVE NYC but have never been in the spring time. We always go in early December and we’ve been 4 times now! Actually this past December we stayed in the meat packing district and I recognize a lot of your pictures! Hmmm…I guess I need to go in the spring next!

  60. Loved these photos. Going this area of NYC this Wednesday (May 18th) hoping for the kind of weather you had, but forecast is rain/ thunder showers.After seeing your pics I feel as though I’ve enjoyed a sunny, blue sky day. Thanks for posting , really enjoyed.

  61. Gorgeous photos! I’ve never been to NYC but it’s on my list! I love all the neutral outfits on those mannequins in the 2nd fashion pic!! What store was that? Must have!

  62. When my daughter went to school in NYC we would walk the neighborhoods photographing the iron railings. I have always thought about framing them in some sort of arrangement. I actually have some that you have in the post!!!

  63. How fun, Kate! Love your pictures (: I love NYC. It’s so beautiful. So jealous you got to hang out with Nate again!

  64. Oh man – beautiful! I work in the SoHo area and frequent the others in your photographs. This post is a reminder for me to not take it for granted. Looking forward to reading more from you!

  65. ahhhh… thank you for this virtual trip to NYC- you are so awesome to share this with us. Just what I needed!

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