Eataly is an indoor Italian market/restaurant/cooking school/wine shop/all around fun place to hang out. The original is located at 200 5th Avenue (at 23rd) in NYC and has become one of my new favorite places to spend time in Manhattan when I find myself with a bit of spare time on my travels there.
Last time I went, I entered through the small door on 23rd Street that led into the huge open space humming with 100’s of people perusing the markets filled with gorgeous fruits and veggies, mozzeralla cheese, pasta, rice and fresh baked breads,coffee and gelato, and sitting at tables or standing at long wooden counters after ordering from one of the dozen or so restaurants that are housed in this fantastic space. According to its website, the goal of Eataly is to “challenge the idea that quality products are accessible only to a select few”
It’s fun just to wander through and look and get caught up in the crowd of people and the buzz of the markets, but if you can find a table or space at a counter and have time for a meal or a snack, it’s also fabulous for the solo diner (I can’t image that you’d be alone for long.) I’ve been to Eataly many times and every time I go, I find something else to love about it!
There are now several Eataly markets throughout the US. including 2 in NYC, Chicago, Boston, LA and Las Vegas.
If you’re ever in NYC over a Friday and you find yourself with some open time in the evening, you can head to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) for UNIQLO Free Friday nights from 4:00pm – 8:00pm. You can’t buy tickets in advance so you have to go there and get in line – but I promise-even if it looks monstrous-the line moves pretty quickly once the doors open (or you can just get there a little later and miss the opening “rush”)
It’s terrific to be able to go and wander through the different galleries – Or you can just walk around inside the building and admire the architecture. You can even get a free headset (or download an app to your smartphone) if you’d like to hear excerpts about some of the pieces that you’re looking at. And because it’s all free,(usual cost is $25), you don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t have a lot of time to spare and just want a brief visit.
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY
Note: There is another location in Queens
Tip: If you can’t get to the museum on Friday evening, you can go to the MOMA design/gift store directly across the street anytime for free (44 West 53rd Street) It’s a great place to browse and find jewelry, furniture, accessories and gifts that reflect pieces from the museum.
If you’re in NYC staying somewhere above 56th for work and you happen to find yourself with that elusive 1/2 hour or hour before your next meeting or dinner, take a walk in the park. Central Park provides a haven away from the frantic bustle and noise of Manhattan and no matter where you enter, there is something wonderful to explore.
- If you enter more toward the south end of the park you can wander to the carousel which has been a park attraction since 1861.
- Toward the center of the park – you’ll find the Belvidere Castle with its two balconies, giving you a birds eye view of the Great Lawn, Turtle Pond and Delacorte Theater
- The Imagine mosaic-honoring John Lenno- is located in Strawberry Fields near 72nd on the West side
- if you’re way up in the Upper East side, you can roam the Conservatory Gardens.
There are hundreds of things to see in the park, but you don’t need to have an attraction in mind, just get out of the hotel, put on your walking shoes and enter the magic of Central Park. Wherever you roam, you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from your hectic day and be prepared for the next meeting.
The ABC Carpet and Home Store near Union Square in downtown Manhattan is one of my favorite places to hang out if I have a little bit of time. From the outside, the store looks unremarkable, but once through the door you feel like Dorothy stepping out into Oz. Bright-colored oriental rugs and crystal chandeliers of various sizes and heights hang from the tall, six story ceilings making it a feast for the eyes. The open construction, and separate shop stalls give the whole space the feel of an upscale, indoor bazaar. Each shop is filled to the brim with eclectic and beautiful housewares, textiles, jewelry, rugs and more, from all around the world.
One-of-a-kind shops like ABC Carpet and Home are just one of the many things that I love about New York City. At any given moment you can step through any seemingly ordinary door and feel like you’ve spent a few minutes “somewhere over the rainbow”.
The ABC Home and Carpet Store
881 and 888 Broadway
Hours: Mon-Sat: 10-7, Sun: 11-6:30
I had about an hour and a half after my last meeting ended and before my colleague was meeting me for dinner so I answered a few quick emails, put my cell phone in my pocket and headed out of my mid-town hotel. Since I didn’t have a lot of time I decided to make Bryant Park my destination and so I headed off toward Times Square, took a left on 42nd Street and made my way over to the park.
For those who’ve never been, Bryant Park is a lovely mid-town oasis between 5th and 6th Avenue and 42nd and 44th Street. There are numerous tables and chairs scattered throughout the park where you can unwind with goodies from one of the 4 ‘wichcraft kiosks (each kiosk carries different items from sweets and coffee, to sandwiches etc.)
There are also events in the park year round – concerts, theater in the park, ice skating and from early November – early January you’ll find “The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park” which features over 100 boutiques, artisans, designers and food merchants from around the world.
You can go online http://www.bryantpark.org/ or you can follow them on Twitter (BryantParkNYC) to see how to get to the park, find out what’s going on and where you can grab a drink or a bite to eat and then next time you’re in mid-town and find yourself with a few spare minutes — take a walk and experience this lovely NYC park.