How to Spend 36 Hours in NYC

I try my hardest to visit my best friend Erin in New York City once every fall. This past weekend was a quick trip, but we definitely made the most of the 36 hours we had in the city.

In the past, I always took Amtrak into the city, but recently, I’ve found it so much easier to drive to Connecticut and take Metro North into Grand Central. It’s a much less expensive trip and very simple travel. Plus, it’s always fun entering NYC through Grand Central.

Erin and her college friends had reserved us tickets for the last weekend of New York’s Octoberfest. We spent our Saturday afternoon drinking Hofbrauhaus on the pier, looking out at the Brooklyn Bridge. I have to admit, it wasn’t my typical scene (big crowds, lots of drinking) but it was certainly an experience. Plus, when you’re with a great group of people, things are a lot more fun.

The last time Erin and I were in the city together, I wrote us a two page itinerary. We were out until 4am and up at noon the next day. However, this trip, we were fine keeping our evening a little more low-key. After some food at the bar she works at, we hung out at her apartment for awhile and the called it an early night.

Sunday morning we were up early, grabbing coffees and heading up to the rooftop of Erin’s building. It has a 360 view of the city which blew my mind. I’m pretty sure if I lived there, I would spend all my free time just watching things happening below.

We had a 10:45 brunch reservation at Hotel Chantelle and because it was such a beautiful day, we walked there. It was really fun to pass through Chinatown and Little Italy, observing everything as we went.

Hotel Chantelle was an awesome spot for brunch. The atmosphere is fun and unique and the food was amazing. I got the best stuffed French toast I’ve probably ever had.

My one request for the weekend was a stroll through Central Park. I was hoping the leaves might be changing, but alas, they aren’t yet. Central Park is hands down my favorite spot. Walking through and people watching is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, especially when the sun is out and warm.

After a relaxing afternoon, we went back down to Erin’s apartment in the Financial District. She lives a block or two away from the Freedom Tower, so we stopped by on our walk home.

I’m always surprised to find how emotional I feel when walking through the 9/11 Memorial. I, like many, have a handful of personal connections to that day and it’s hard to think about what occurred on the ground you’re standing on. I do, however, like that the Freedom Tower is a functioning building- it’s kind of like people are continuing to live lives for those who can’t.

New York City will always have a special place in my heart. As I get older, the crowds aren’t as entertaining and the romance has faded a bit, but there is still something enthralling about the hustle and bustle of it all. There’s a little something new every time I visit and I’m already looking forward to next time.

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