Getting there: Air Canada on points
Where we stayed: This was a pseudo-last minute trip – we booked it 2 weeks before Christmas. We booked our hotel on Jetsetter, which I’d never used before, but we got a good deal on the Standard High Line hotel, in the meatpacking district of Manhattan. (Note: good deal is all relative for Manhattan, but it seemed the hotel prices were pretty good there for the week of Christmas and notably higher for New Year’s.) The hotel is definitely a hipster boutique hotel – rooms are a good size for New York (with a king bed), the tub is huge, and there’s a window between the shower and the bedroom section (hope you’re not shy!), floor to ceiling windows in the room (which everyone from the street can see in to – but there’s a blackout shade), free wifi and gym (good fitness centre with a great view), ok service (they forgot to bring our bags up but when we called to remind them, they were up pretty fast), and in the winter there’s an outdoor skating rink for use, too. The hotel is about 2 blocks from a subway, same to Chelsea Market (in a cool old brick building – all kinds of shops and food places), straddles the High Line trail (love this park – it’s built on an old elevated rail line – the view of the city is really cool from here since you’re a couple storeys above street level), and close to all kinds of shops and restaurants.
Fun: We met the 2ds from Boston here first for the weekend, and unfortunately one of them wasn’t feeling too well, but we tried to make the most of our time together. We did a lot of walking, eating (Donut Plant! The Burger Joint! Bali Nusa Indah for amazing Indonesian food again!) and visiting. After the Boston 2ds left, we went to work on the before Christmas sales, hitting up shops in Soho and in Union Square, and we even ventured to Brooklyn (and stopped in at the Momofuku Milk Bar for the best bought cookies I’ve ever had!). We also lucked out and went to see the Leafs and Rangers play at Madison Square Garden, skated in Central Park on Christmas Day (what a total rip off! But how super fun!), took the Staten Island Ferry on Christmas Day (can you believe it was free? It had spectacular views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty), and ate at a wonderful Turkish restaurant that was a totally delicious hole in the wall for Christmas Dinner (Istanbul Grill). Our last day was mostly spent shopping and wandering around again – our usual while in NYC.
We usually only get to NYC for a long weekend, so this time it was fun to hang out for a few extra days. We also had incredible very un-December weather – with three days above +13 Celsius (in fact, one day was +18 and we got away with only sweaters the whole day), and when the temperature did drop, it was barely below freezing. I can’t wait to go back in 2014 :o)