New York City for Thanksgiving

This past Thanksgiving Luke and I spent some time in NYC. My cousin lives on the Lower East Side and we thought it would be fun to spend the holiday weekend with her. She graciously hosted us in her tiny (yet very comfortable and cozy apartment) and even played tour guide for us – ensuring we saw everything we haven’t already seen in the city. I’ve been to NYC a handful of times and so has Luke so our main goal of this trip was to just relax, take our time and hang out. I was coming straight off my Uganda trip, so my body legitimately had no idea what time it was or where in the world I was. It took me a solid two days to finally catch up to everyone else, haha. It was a fun trip, but my bank account would tell you otherwise.

In my eyes, New York City is always a good idea and visiting this magical place will never get old.

Where we ate:
Bistrot Leo (They had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu and it was delicious)
Russ and Daughters (My first Jewish deli and definitely not my last)
Uncle Boon’s (Some of the best Thai food outside of Thailand)
Chelsea Market (It’s fun to walk through Chelsea Market and grab a bite to eat amongst the crowds)
Egg Shop (A delicious eggy breakfast spot)
Frank (We had a fun group dinner here and some of the best gnocchi I’ve ever had)
Emmy Squared (We split a Detroit-style pizza, burger and Brussels sprouts salad – and it was SO GOOD!)
Bluestone Lane (We stopped in here for some chais and ricotta-strawberry toast)
Levain Bakery (Fueled up on cookies and baked goods after a sunny walk through Central Park)

Where we drank:
Grey Lady ($1 oysters and beers from Nantucket)
Amsterdam Ale House (A cozy spot for beers after walking through Central Park)
Skinny Dennis (We stopped in here after the basketball game and was blown away by the whiskey/coffee drink)
Three’s (Amazing brewery in Brooklyn with very creative IPA’s)
Strong Rope (Another Brooklyn brewery)

What we did:
Chelsea Piers Driving Range (On our last day it started snowing during a walk so we hopped over to Chelsea Piers to hit a few buckets of golfballs)
Union Square (There was a Christmas Market going on here!)
5th Avenue Shopping
Central Park (You can’t visit the city without a walk through this beautiful park)
MoMA (We got lucky and enjoyed free admission on Friday night. Although it was admittedly very chaotic with so many people in attendance.)
Vessel @ Hudson Yards (A few years ago when I first took Luke to NYC this area didn’t even exist!)
The High Line (A walk along the High Line is always fun in my book)
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Nets vs Miami Heat game @ Barclay’s Center

Airbnb Adventures: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

So, this is the building that we stayed in during the NYC leg of our east coast trip. Another Airbnb gem. It’s funny, when you see a place on Airbnb, you don’t see the neighborhood, the outside of the building, or even the inside of the building. You just kind of assume that since the pictures of nice, everything else will be, too, right?! Well… walking up we were extremely underwhelmed. The closer you got the worse it looked, haha. Once you got inside the building it was one fire code violation after another (we know this because Fire Marshal Mark Carman was with us…). The walls of the building were covered in graffiti and the place looked like its most recent cleaning was about 5 years ago. Panic set in for a minute. We made our way up to our studio loft and it was just as the pictures provided (whew!). We chatted with someone in the elevator and they told us to head up to the rooftop. Once we got up there saw the most incredible views of Manhattan. Okay, so this place isn’t as bad as it looks.
Later in the week we chatted with a tenant that said Bill Murray sublets an apartment in the building and has been known to randomly waltz into parties in the building. We also found out that there used to be an illegal matzo ball factory in the basement of the building and the fire department shut the building down for 3 months to destroy the factory and bring the building back up to code. So it turns out that our funky little building has become a bit of a landmark for controversy and celebrities. Who knew?!
– Photos © Holly Copeland –

New York, NY

We walked around NYC like it was our job. Serious. Never in my life have I walked so much. It felt good. Especially with all the bad for you good food we were eating. I like to think that all the walking we did cancelled out all the food we ate. That’s a thing, right?!
I’ve been to NYC a few times in the past, but this was Luke’s first time to the big city, so I happily re-saw everything I’d already seen 🙂 When we weren’t walking from site to site we were making friends at every bar we stopped at and restaurant we ate at. We had Mark Carman with us (my dad) and he likes to make new friends everywhere he goes, so it made for a lot of good and interesting conversations all over the city, all week long. We did our best to find the tastiest food and the best east coast beers in the city… See the end of this post for links to everywhere we ate and everywhere we visited. Like I did with my Boston post from yesterday, I also Instagramed my way around NYC with my own little hashtag #hollslovesnyc
^The view from our Airbnb loft. More on this in tomorrow’s post… ^
^Take a picture of your name so you don’t have to buy the license plate…^
^ Lemon ricotta pancakes @ Cafeteria, a little slice of heaven ^
^ $1 oysters @ The Lobster Joint, highly recommend ^
^ Happy Hour Sliders (Lobster & Crab Cake) @ The Lobster Joint ^
^The Bowery Wall Mural. I’d been dying to see this wall for months and months.
I was beyond disappointed to see it covered in graffiti ^
^ Cabs for days ^
^ A walk along The High Line. Definitely recommend doing this! ^

Bella Napoli (a delicious slice of NYC pizza)
Dunkin Donuts (DUH!)
Cafeteria (amazing brunch. we had lemon-ricotta pancakes, cheddar & tomato omelette, and eggs benedict with grit cakes, mmm)
S’Mac (way too much mac, way to much. good, but way toooo much)
Mulhollands Bar (a divey little bar that we frequented in Brooklyn. met a lot of people from Portland here.)
Lobster Joint ($1 oysters during happy hour. highly recommend stopping in here for a snack and a beer)
Luke’s Lobster (overpriced but we had to try the Maine trio, plus it’s called Luke’s Lobster!)
Shake Shack (might have eaten here twice, might think it’s better than In n Out…)
Chelsea Market (fantastic place for lunch)
Carnegie Deli (kind of got tricked into this one by Yelp. way too overpriced & touristy – we just wanted a simple deli sandwich)
The Italian Food Center (we stopped in here for a few beers & chatted with the bartender for a while… we didn’t eat here, although the food looked amazing)
Street hot dogs (bleh, but we had to)

The High Line (a highlight of the trip for me – must do this if you’re visiting the city)
Chelsea Market (fun place to wander around and grab lunch)
Central Park (a great place to take a break from the hustle of the city)
New York City Fire Museum (my dad was a firefighter for 33 years, so this was a “must see” for us)
Staten island Ferry (a FREE view of Lady Liberty)
Houston Bowery Wall (I HAD to see the Maya wall, but some jerk tagged it. It’s gone now, a new design is up – so check back for more cool art installations)

– Photos © Holly Copeland –