New York Travel

Summer NYC Travel Diary

July 3, 2018

NYC Travel Diary Top of the Rock

June flew by so quickly I cannot believe it! It’s already been a month since we went to NYC for a quick trip and I can’t wait to go back. As promised I finally have a NYC travel diary post and will have a separate packing post soon. We spent about a week in New York City and had so much fun. There’s so much to do in the city – I mapped out nearly 50 places I wanted to see, eat and shop. Of course we did not get to everything (not even half!). Looking back on our photos I can see that I was clearly most excited about the food. I had my fill of really good coffee, espresso, pastries and avocado toast. We walked nearly everywhere and had the best time exploring. (Top photo, embroidered tank is from Madewell, wallet on chain purse is by YSL, denim is by Frame, jacket is from Joie – old style).

Where We Stayed

For this trip we decided to try The Ludlow Hotel located in the Lower East Side. I picked this hotel because of the beautiful views and dreamy bathrooms! I always check and Trip Advisor first for prices and reviews but in terms of reserving a room, I’ve found booking direct is sometimes the best for customer service. I’ve learned the hard way using travel booking sites that often times I cannot make changes easily after the fact. Hotels are often happy to price match and in this case they did! I initially booked a Loft King but changed at the last minute to the Loft Queen because it had a bathtub. You can check their website to see all room descriptions. We were lucky to get a room on the 19th floor with some amazing views! The room we booked was very small at under 300 sq feet. It came with a windowed bathroom, separate soaking tub and shower. We had to request a separate clothing rack because the closet would only fit Andrew’s clothes. We had a pleasant stay, everything was really cozy and clean and quiet. They had a nice gym and terrace on the roof. We were planning to work out each night but were too exhausted to get any dedicated exercise in. We’d definitely stay here again. We liked the location and the rooms were nice. We would probably book a larger room next time though.

Ludlow Hotel NYC | The Beauty Look Book

View from the roof:

Ludlow Hotel Roof Terrace View | The Beauty Look Book

Sunglasses are from J.Crew (old style called Irving), top is by Madewell.

Where We Ate

The food stops were the highlights of my trip. I almost felt like I missed my calling as a food blogger but then realized I’m really not the most adventurous when it comes to trying certain kinds of foods. NYC truly has some of the most amazing pastry shops and really amazing coffee and espresso. Based on my food wish list I think it would most likely take at least a month to try all the places I’ve bookmarked!

NYC Eats: ABCV, Sweet Chick, La Mercerie, Katz Deli

Above clockwise from left:

  • ABCV – We ate here because the lovely Gothamista booked us reservations for breakfast! I was so thrilled to be able to meet her in person, she is truly a beautiful person inside and out. We clicked instantly and if you don’t follow her on YouTube definitely give her videos a look! She’s a skincare expert and whatever she uses I need to add to my routine. Her skin is glowing! ABCV has really incredible food. I wish we snapped a photo but we ate it all too quickly. Everything was phenomenal. We’d absolutely go back. ABC Kitchen is next door – hope to try this next time!
  • Sweet Chick: Lower East Side – This was right next to our hotel. We could not resist chicken and waffles. I ordered one of their kale salads to try and balance out the chicken, waffles and mac and cheese. LOL. Everything was delicious. We stopped by when there was no wait or line. Service was great and quick for us.
  • Katz Delicatessen – This was also next to our hotel. Andrew picked up a Pastrami Hot Sandwich late one night and brought it back to the hotel room for us to share. It was every bit as amazing as we had imagined after seeing this on a few food channels.
  • La Mercerie – I had a meeting here for lunch and the food was delicious! I ordered the Salade Verte and it made for a perfect light fresh kind of meal.

So happy to meet Renee aka Gothamista!

Beauty Look Book and Gothamista

Yet more eats below:

Dominique Ansel Bakery, Ippudo Ramen, Eataly, Rubirosa Pizza | NYC Eats

Above clockwise from left:

  • Dominique Ansel Bakery – I made Andrew wake up extra early so we would arrive when they opened. The wait for us was only about 5-10 minutes – no long lines like I had read about. I finally tried a Cronut and it was amazing! We also ordered a Little Egg Sandwich and Coconut Chocolate Croissant. Everything was really filling so we ended up taking most of it to-go back to our hotel. We went back again on our last day to buy some pastries to take home. I highly recommend this! Also the line is usually only for Cronuts. You can also order things to pick up in advance but double check the turnaround time as it will take some planning.
  • Ippudo Ramen – One of the best ramen places I’ve tried. We had a 20 minute wait but this wasn’t too bad considering the first time we tried the wait was 2 hours and we decided to try it another day. Glad that we did!
  • Eataly Flatiron – We stopped by one of the pizza counters and it did not disappoint!
  • Rubirosa Pizza – This was the most recommended pizza spot, we had about a 45 minute wait but it was 100% worth it. We shared the mini rice balls and a small Rubirosa Supreme pizza. There was nothing mini or small about any of it but I had no complaints!

Other eats we enjoyed included multiple cookie stops at Momofuku Milk Bar, two stops at Prince Street Pizza, quick lunch at Shake Shack, coffee and avocado toast at Bluestone Lane Coffee, a meeting Blank Slate Tea and a couple meetings a few different Maison Kayser places around the city. Andrew also stopped by Levain Bakery without me while I was in a few meetings. He brought me back part of some kind of chocolate fluffy kind of cake. He said he went to two different locations because the first one he went to had a long line, but down the street there was another location that had no wait. Someday I will finally make it there in person.

Places We Stopped to See

NYC Sights: Flatiron Building, Top of the Rock, Grand Central

A few touristy things we did included a walk around the Flatiron Building – so many fun places to see around the area, not to mention Eataly is right next to it. We went to the Top of the Rock which I’ve always wanted to do! We definitely want to go back since we went during a busy time. I’d recommend going early if you can and also buy your tickets online. During our stop we bought tickets at the digital kiosks but found we had to select a viewing time and the closest option for us was 45 minutes out. We picked something a couple hours later so we could walk around Rockefeller Center and grab a snack then go back. Mornings or early times in general are probably best if you want to get photos without crowds. A stop at Grand Central is always fun although it’s often really busy. There are lots of boutiques inside including a Diptyque store which I adore!

We took a nice stroll through Central Park on Memorial Day and it was so packed! We did some fun people watching and enjoyed the view. We walked by the Loeb Boathouse and Bethesda Terrace and Fountain which has some nice places for photos.

Summer in Central Park | The BeautY Look Book

Top from Treasure and Bond (I’d recommend sizing down), denim by Paige, Louis Vuitton Neverfull is the MM size.

Summer in Central Park | The BeautY Look Book

Where We Shopped

NYC Shopping | Bleecker Street NARS, Diptyque, The Daily Edited

I never plan enough time for shopping during my trips. There is so much to see and everything is spread out. Most of the time it’s a quick stop to take a super quick peek and then off to a meeting! I did have some time to walk along Bleecker Street and made a couple stops.

Top photo from left, clockwise:

  • NARS 413 Bleecker – finally stopped by! It’s so cute inside the store!
  • Diptyque 377 Bleecker – such a beautiful interior
  • The Daily Edited – They have a pop up shop in NYC and the interior has given me major organization inspo!
  • Bond No 9 and Amore Pacific – I didn’t have time to stop inside but I’ve book marked it for my next trip.

The Daily Edited Store NYC

I did make a full dedicated stop at Sisley at 343 Bleecker Street and they treated me to a luxurious facial! If you ever have a chance to stop by their stores I highly recommend it. Beauty boutiques often have a more intimate feel to me with less sales pressure (at least in my experience). I wish I had more time to play with their foundations. I use their Tinted Sunscreen Cream and have been dying to try more of their foundations. Next time! This was the first time I experienced a lymphatic drainage massage and it was truly amazing at how much of my face swelling was reduced!

Sisley Boutique NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Everything in Soho opens up a bit later than most retail stores, often around 11ish. We walked through in the mornings when everything was still closed but it was fun to explore without any traffic!

NYC Summer Travels | The Beauty Look Book

I had two facials in one week which is something I’ve never done before. My second one was later in the week at the L’Occitane Flatiron Flagship store. They used their Divine Collection which I already adore and my skin was left glowing. This was a completely relaxing experience. It’s been over a year since I’ve had any facials. I need to look into trying more of these. Another lymphatic drainage massage technique was used – I think from the weather changes and travels my face was extra prone to swelling. The massage definitely helped!

L'Occitane Flatiron Store NYC | The Beauty Look Book

On my priority list was a stop at Diptyque Grand Central. They have a super cute small space and it’s literally decor goals! I have yet to try their diffusers but am going to pick one to order soon. If you’ve tried them let me know what you think of them compared to the candles!

Diptyque Grand Central NYC

Last but not least was a stop at the Saks Fifth Avenue new beauty floor. I was completely overwhelmed so I didn’t buy anything. They seemed to have almost everything from Sisley, Aesop, Creed, Chanel, Armani, Tom Ford, Penhaligon’s, L’Artisan, Decorte and so much more.

Saks Beauty Floor NYC

A few more snapshots:

NYC Travels Soho

NYC Chanel Soho

Above top by Madewell, skirt by Free People.

Summer in Central Park | The BeautY Look Book

Overall we packed a lot into five days but I don’t think we overdid it and we had a lot of fun. The weather was unpredictable from humid highs to pretty low colds while we were there. It rained on and off a couple of our days but we were expecting it so we had our umbrellas. With a busy meeting schedule and lots of walking I got sick by the end of the trip and it took me a couple of weeks to recover at home. There’s still so much on our list to see, I’m hoping to make another trip soon. Thank you to everyone who messaged me food recommendations! We loved everything we tried. Each trip I’m partially torn between going back to favorite spots and trying new places. There’s usually not enough time to do both! I know many of you were expecting a mega haul post. Aside from pastries I bought two things: a Diptyque New York City Candle and The Daily Edited Transparent Case which is a $70 dupe for my Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case that cost me over $200 (reviewed here)!

Two things I would have done differently. The first is that I would have packed a couple more sweaters and also made sure to bring a tote with a top zipper. I had left my Longchamp Le Pliage Small Tote at home but this would have been more ideal and safer for city travel. The second thing would have been to be a little more organized with my purse swapping. On one morning I was rushing out the hotel to get to a meeting and decided to bring a small bag instead of the larger tote I had been using. I grabbed some cash, my ID, phone and metro card. I left my credit and debit cards in the hotel as I did not realize some cafes in the city are cashless! I stopped by one and sat down for a quick bite in between meetings but luckily realized it was cashless before I ordered.

Hope you enjoyed this NYC travel diary! If you have any NYC favorites let me know in the comments. Also hotel recommendations would be immensely appreciated! We are planning to go back and I want to know from you where I should stay next!


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