Here are a few of my favorite ways to navigate choice bites of the Big Apple:
Go High: It doesn’t matter if it’s the the Empire State Building, Rainbow Room, or the High Line – get yourself a bird’s eye view.Surprise! Examine the orderly grid of streets and wealth of building styles – many can’t be seen from the street.
Stay Up: Get yourself some nightlife in bars, restaurants or clubs. I’m not a night person, but this friendly city has always rewarded my efforts to stay awake.
Savor: Casa Mono is our go-to in Union Square. We huddle at a small table and order the delicate dish we have come all this way for – creamy scrambled eggs with sea urchin, walnuts, and ancient anchovy oil. Maybe it’s the word “ancient” that gets us.Sip: We share a Spanish red that’s too robust for the dish but abundantly satisfying. It’s not about what’s correct, it’s about what we like – we’re mad for the first bottle, so we order a second.
We go a little small-plate crazy with a gorgeous pork medallions followed by seared scallops. Mono’s Brussels sprouts are spot-on. Baccalá fritters arrive, stacked like Lincoln Logs in a puddle of too sweet orange aoli, but who cares? We blow through several bowls of olives, eat all the bread, and beg for more.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Very important.
Get Up Early. Grab the Staten Island Ferry, cruise Lady Liberty and Ellis Island while enjoying stellar views of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Disembark briefly on the island. Don’t miss museum portraits and botanical gardens. Return. Best of all, it’s free.
Highbrow: Check out the impressive public artwork throughout the city. Find your face.Lowbrow: Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of Big Apple kitch.Don’t Rush: Lose the agenda. Remember, “getting there is half the fun.” Pause as a random store window reveals a masterpiece.Snacktime: Chinatown’s Big Wong features roast ducks lacquered to mahogany and served lukewarm. Eggrolls are fresh, from carrots to cabbage, and a faint hint of jasmine. Go With It. A great find on Stanton Street.Retro: We savor shrimp cocktails and martinis at reverse-chic Donohue’s, as pale wedges of iceberg sail by awash in bleu cheese. Theater Boy is served a pork chop as big as his head. I get a drippy, messy cheeseburger. We share a dewy moment of mom’stalgia. Designing Women: I explore the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition of compact, ergonomic kitchens from the ’20s, a celebration of great women designers like Eileen Gray and Anni Albers. I am so proud, I return to for a second and a third look. Amazing.MoMA is the Mother Ship — Happy Mother’s Day!