Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm In A New York State of Mind . . .

The last few "virtual weekends" have been spent in warm, tropic destinations - places where we can forget the ugly winter weather that has been plaguing us.  Not this weekend!  Today we are off to my favorite city in the world - New York!

Yes, the weather may be cold, there may be a little precipitation - but nothing can pale the excitement and pulse of this fabulous city.  There are hundreds of hotels to choose from in Manhattan; for me there is only one choice - The Waldorf-Astoria.  My favorite hotel since childhood,  the Waldorf occupies an entire city block between Park and Lexington Avenues and 49th and 50th Streets, and is within walking distance of most attractions.  Designed in the art deco style, it is the ultimate in luxury, complete with restaurants, bars, shopping (and a Starburck's!).  To see more of the Waldorf, click here!
(photo courtesy of The Waldorf-Astoria)

After checking in and having a relaxing martini at Sir Harry's in the lobby, let's walk over to Fifth Avenue and gaze in the windows of such legendary retailers as PradaLouis Vuitton  and Bergdorf Goodman - lots of window shopping, very little purchasing!  Once we arrive at the corner of 5th Avenue and 59th Street, a walk in the Park would seems to be in order.  Whether you visit the famous Central Park Zoo or stop by Strawberry Fields, a bit of the park dedicated John Lennon who lived nearby, visiting the park is a must for any visitor to New York City.

Time for an early dinner if we are going to make it to our theater reservations on time!  Too many choices - too little time!  There are hundreds of restaurants in New York - any type of cuisine that you desire is available here.  Let's keep it simple - meat, potatoes and a good glass of red wine.  A short cab ride from the hotel to Park Avenue South, and we arrive at Les Halles, a French inspired bistro made famous by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.  Les Halles has delicious food, great service (well, the service was great the time I went!) and a vast menu.  After ordering a bottle of pinot noir, start with the Croûtons de Coulommiers Rôtis (brie topped with honey & cracked black pepper) as an appetizer - delish!  For an entree, I will have the Filet de Boeuf, Béarnaise (a beef tenderloin with bearnaise sauce), as rare as the kitchen will serve it!  And for dessert, Crème Brulee - my favorite!

Now that we are gastronomically satisfied, let's move on to the "lullaby of Broadway".  A revival, a musical, a new show - the decisions are endless!  If there is a famous performer in a show, it is a chance to catch a bit of theater history.  A Little Night Music at the Walter Kerr Theatre is one of those opportunities!  Starring legendary actress Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music is a revival of a Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler production based on Bergman's film, Smiles of a Summer Night.

After the show, there is time for a short nightcap on the way back to the hotel.  Sadly, my first choice, The Rainbow Room atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza, is currently closed, so let's visit another long time New York hangout, the Bar Room at the famous 21 Club.  Known as the watering hole for celebrities and its famous toy collection, we can sit and enjoy a Bailey's on the rocks while pretending to be someone important!

Time to grab a cab and head back to the Waldorf.  Tomorrow morning will come early and it will be time to head back to the country - unless you want to spend the day looking at some pricey real estate to relocate to?  Wishful thinking . . . . maybe we will just stay long enough to sample some bagels from Zabar's while taking a stroll around Upper West Side!

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