Spring Scenes from New York City

By Kate Riley May 22, 2012

I’ve been to New York City about a dozen times in my life and each time I leave a little piece of my heart there.  With each new neighborhood I explore I fall in love with that amazing city more and more. 

Last week I was invited by Lowe’s to an event (more on that later) and also had the chance to hang out with blog buddy Melissa from The Inspired Room.  We had our own ‘girl’s day out’ in the city, she Instagramed some of our adventures like this crazy pedicab ride down the middle of Broadway.  There’s something about the pulse of New York City I find so incredible, and it’s especially appealing on a beautiful day in May. 

downtown nyc


Our hotel was in the Fashion District so Melissa and I headed out first on foot to Bryant Park which has one of the most beautiful canopy of trees in the entire metropolis. 

bryant park 2


We took a quick jaunt through the park and loved this restaurant’s exterior covered in repeating trellises and ivy – how charming is the old fashioned streetlight? 

bryant park ivy covered restaurant


The huge lawn is as big as a football field and is surrounded by skyscrapers, the ultimate juxtaposition of man versus nature, right?  According to Bryant Park’s own website, it’s where “thousands of nature-starved office workers gather for lunch on any fine weekday”.  True!

nyc bryant park


The park is filled with classical urns and monuments and a piano player entertained the lunching crowd with live music.  Seriously enchanting!

bryant park statue


Next we headed to the New York Public Library on the backside of the park, another favorite landmark I love to visit.

ny public library


I can’t get enough of amazing architecture like this, the building is 100 years old and I find the detail in the arches and fixtures so inspiring.  

entry arches ny public library


Hello beautiful bronze medallion door! 

bronze medallion pattern


Around the corner is a view of the Chrysler Building, which if you had to pin me down, it’s my favorite skyscraper in this town. The Art Deco design just kills it for me.  Did you know that it held the record for world’s tallest building for almost a year at one point in history? 

chrysler building nyc


Just down the street is Grand Central Terminal – I adore that blue constellation ceiling and those windows are amazing.  Call me crazy, but the smell of a train station is one of my favorite smells in all the world and if you head downstairs, you can smell it too.

grand central blue ceiling 2


Grand Central Terminal always reminds me of Cary Grant and Eva Marie-Saint in Hitchcock’s ‘North by Northwest’ (love that movie!) and is one of those places that looks truly amazing when rendered in black and white.  What do you think?

grand central station clock black and white

 grand central in black and white

 black and white ceiling grand central station

Stunning right? 

Yet another “must see” for NYC tourists!

We had lunch at the famous Oyster Bar inside and the list of “fresh catch of the day” was a foot long.  After lunch we headed out to walk off lunch through the Fashion (or Garment) District.  This gown in a shop window caught my eye, I loved all the detail and the dusty salmon color too.

feather and beaded gown


Our last stop was Mood Fabrics which I’ve wanted to visit for years.  Three floors filled with bolts and bolts and bolts of fabric and embellishments.

mood fabrics new york city


Seriously people, three entire floors of this in every kind of fabric that exists.

mood fabrics nyc


Even faux fur, reowr!

fur mood fabrics


I might have gone a teensy bit crazy obsessing over all the fabrics and secretly wishing I could bring a dozen bolts back home with me.  Is that too much to ask?  

nyc mood fabrics 1

mod green floral

blue medallion fabric

mood waverly fabrics

ba da blingy chain

modern indigo fabric

pink ikat 2

I know, right? 

That’s not even a drop in the bucket!  If you love fabric too, it’s definitely worth your visit. 

And what is a spring walk in the city without a visit to a local flower shop? 

flower shop

flowers in urn


After our day on the streets we headed to an evening event, the Lowe’s Designer Challenge – three completely different outdoors spaces designed by three designers competing to win for their favorite charity, I’ve got some pictures of those spaces to share next! 

So long NYC, I miss ya already.

nyc farewell


Ever been?  What are your favorite spots to visit in the Big Apple?



  1. You made me homesick for my town. I was born and raise there and I still miss living there. I wish I could go back every few months to get my fix. LOL Great pictures.


  2. I’ve been to NYC nearly 10 times, and adore it. There’s a quaint little creperie in St. Mark’s Place called The Crooked Tree that I loved {before I was gluten-free}. Nutella and banana, yes please.

    Just the energy of that city always left me inspired for months.

    Lovely, pics..Kate! Thanks for taking me back, esp to Bryant Park. Sigh.

  3. Did you happen to stay at Staybridge Suites? I stayed there recently, such a nice hotel and area. Staying in the fashion district and all of the fabric stores was AMAZING! Wish i woulda had more room in my suitcase!

  4. There is no place like NYC. I’m only 3 hours away and don’t get there enough that is for sure. I cannot even pick a favorite place, I love it all. Every time I go, I see something new and exciting. Many of my friends still live in the city and they refuse to leave :) Sounds like you had a fun trip!

  5. I’m a county girl that loves NYC. I’ve been a few times but have to say my all-time favorite was last year with my 8yo son. We had two days on our own while my husband was in a conference. We headed up to Central Park, bought hot dogs, and had a picnic in the park. I have to say it was amazing. I loved it more than any other experience I’ve had there!

  6. Wonderful pictures! It looks like you had a fabulous time.
    I have too many favorites to name but The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Boathouse in Central Park, and the Rainbow Room at the Rockefeller Center hold great memories. (Is the Rainbow Room still open?)…M

  7. I have never been to New York, but this just makes me want to go all that much more! Thanks for sharing the awesome pics!

  8. I love New York, too. I tell some people that and they don’t get it. It’s so fun when I find someone who thinks about it the way I do. My niece and her husband just surprised me when they chose to visit New York…now I have her on my team of New York lovers. I love especially that they took a Wright house and placed it in the Metropolitian.

  9. This reminds me of Americans who think France and Paris are synonymous. NYC is more than just Manhattan, there are five boroughs, and NYC is definitely more than midtown Manhattan.

    I’d never place my “favorite places” here or it would be overrun with tourists and NY transplants. The best places in NY are kept quiet!

    • Agreed L, the bouroughs make NY what it is, so much to see!!!

  10. I am going to be 65 in a couple of days and never had the courage for visiting the “Big Apple” but thru your eyes it didn’t look so scarey…I would love to see more! That Chrysler Building and three floors of fabric and notions almost made me pack my bags! Thank you for the wonderful pictures and for brightening my mornings with your newsletter.

  11. Beautiful pictures. You have my favorite in there, the Chrysler building. That is my favorite buldg in the City.


  12. I enjoyed your pictures as I’ve never been to NYC. Thanks! (PS- “North by Northwest” is a classic! Loved that movie!)

  13. New York is the BEST! we are about half way between Boston and NYC, bean town is beautiful, but something about NYC. You can feel the energy – love times square – I try to hit every sephora! I think my favorite is South Street Seaport and the boat ride over to the Statue of Liberty. I always get a little tearily patriotic looking at her knowing what she means to so many people all over the world.

  14. I’ve always feared that the fabrigasm I’d have upon entering Mood would make Meg Ryan jealous. Honestly, I have too many favorites to pick!

  15. Fun post! I love visiting NYC, but really only get to go in December. It is really reaaaaallly cold then, but so much fun to see the shop windows. :) I love all the cool restaurants in NYC. We try to steer clear of tourist traps, but we did try Carnegie Deli last time, and it was great. :)

  16. I’m a native NYC gal, born and raised up in the Boogie Down Bx. I moved to the Upper Hudson Valley 5 yrs ago but I still drive down 50 miles to NYC because it is my heart and soul. If you ever need a tour guide of the BX or any of the five boroughs..just let me know..We’ll have hot dogs at Yankee Stadium, tour NYBG and visit Wave Hill.. You’ll find inspiration everywhere.

  17. interesting. I am a Cali girl living in NYC and miss California TERRIBLY!!!! Nice to see NYC from the eyes of someone who is excited (like I used to be!!)

  18. I’ve really been wanting to take a trip to New York for a while now, and this post has definitely made me want to go even more! I see a lot of Googling of trip info in my future….I can’t wait to see the pictures from the Lowe’s Designer Challenge!

  19. I love NYC – went for the first time last year and ended going 3 times for work. I have done some fine exploring, but still so much to see – guess I will have to go back. So jealous you got to go to Mood – did you say, “Thank you Mood” when you left ala Tim Gunn? LOL. And I agree about the Chrysler Building, so pretty – I was giddy that our new client had their offices in there. It’s awesome on the inside too – real wood windows that open and the whole 9 yards. If you’ve not been inside above the lobby floor, you must try someday. With your eye for design, you would truly appreciate it.

  20. BEAUTIFUL shots… I always drool over Mood in Project Runway, what a fun check off your list!

  21. I’m there right now! Actually, I live in NYC, so that’s no big feat. ;) I can’t quite understand why tourists love it so much – I’m a country girl at heart and can’t wait to be able to buy a house in the ‘burbs and get out – but your photos are fab and really capture a lot of the good stuff about the city. I love Bryant Park, especially – you should eat at the cafe there the next time you visit, the food is great and you can’t beat the atmosphere that a big green space surrounded by tall buildings creates. Glad you had fun!

  22. I’ve now added a trip to NYC and that fabric store to my Bucket list :)

    I have to ask though – In the pic of everyone eating lunch in Bryant park, Is the guy to the right side of the picture naked?!?! Check it out, hopefully it gives you a laugh as it did me!!

    • Ha ha Jenny that’s so funny, didn’t even notice that till you pointed it out! I think, er, I hope he just has his shirt off… :)

  23. Such an eclectic place…so much culture!! My visit there was TOO short and I can’t wait to return! You’ve captured the essence of it here!!

  24. I love the Fashion District and Noho. We went to a delicious rice pudding place (Rice to Riches) right near Little Italy a few weeks ago. It was so yummy!

  25. Thank you for visiting us! We hope you will come back soon. So happy the weather cooperated for you. —Meg @ Mood

  26. Wow! Fantastic photos! Especially the outside of the restaurant and the b&w Grand Central Terminal. I’ve never been to NYC, but it’s on my travel list. I didn’t know Bryant Park was like that at lunch time. I’ve never seen a park that crowded except at festivals in Japan.

  27. Great photos! I love NYC and yes, Grand Central is awesome and North by Northwest is an amazing movie!!! Bryant Park is fantastic. We walk through it several times when we are in NYC. One late evening DH, Phoebe (11yo daughter) and I had a late dinner at an outdoor cafe in Bryant Park. It was amazing.

    Thanks for the tip on the fabric shop. I didn’t know about that one and it looks right up my alley!!!

  28. Going to New York for the first time next Christmas (a long way off I know!). Can’t wait to get my teeth in to some traditional NY pancakes :) Even more excited after reading your post!

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