I titled this blog post “Magical NYC” because I’ve never been to a more magical place, besides maybe Disneyland. The streets are lit up, the vibe is unmatched and every corner is like a scene straight out of Elf. I have always wanted to go to New York during the holidays and I finally had the chance. I managed to knock out everything on my “NYC Christmas List.” I’ll take you throughout my entire trip in this post.
I booked my flight to NYC 8 days before going. My best friend, Myrinda, lives in NYC and we had been chatting about me coming for the holidays to visit her this year. I looked up flights before Thanksgiving and round trip tickets from LAX to JFK were only $200. I thought there was a mistake. I didn’t actually book my ticket then and waited and checked prices over the next week. I finally decided 8 days before that I was for sure going and booked my ticket. My flight round trip was only about $230 on JetBlue - which is one of my favorite airlines, AMAZING!
I left to NYC on Friday December 7th at 3:30pm and got into JFK at 11:15pm. The flight left on time and went smooth and I made it to the Upper East Side, where Myrinda lives, by around 12:00am. Myrinda was my roommate in college and we became absolute best friends. We were finally reunited and it felt so good!
My first day in NYC was SantaCon. Myrinda and I traditionally went to SantaCon in San Francisco during college so we knew we had to make an appearance at the NYC SantaCon. We went to a few bars in Midtown and ended the night with the amazing Prince St. Pizza, which is apparently the best. We stood in line for about 30-45 minutes (in the freezing cold) but once I had a bite of the pizza I decided it was worth it. I had two pieces actually and had zero regrets.
My second day in NYC was dedicated to shooting all the content I wanted to get while I was there. Before I flew to NYC I was looking up and contacting photographers I found on instgram to shoot with me when I was there. Luckily, I found the best photographer, May Minard, and we spent most of Sunday shooting in the Upper East Side, Central Park and Soho. I had so many saved inspo pics for the shots I wanted to get when I was in NYC and May KILLED IT. Literally still unsure how that happened, but every shot I wanted, she got. (For those of you who don’t know why I’m so shocked - it takes years to connect with photographers to get “the shot,” for them to know and understand your angles, for both of you to learn how to work together and be comfortable around each other, but we met that day and created the most amazing content) I’ll add some of my favorite shoes below. And if you’re ever in NYC and need a photographer I highly HIGHY recommend her! Check out her Instagram here and website here.
After shooting, Myrinda and I met up with my other roommate from college, Julia, and her roommate from when she lived in Spain, Noelle, in Soho. (both girls pictured above at SantaCon) We had lunch at Cafe Select, which was beautiful inside. I got avocado toast, of course, and we all split a bottle of wine. We then proceeded to shop and walk the streets of Soho. We then settled for some more wine at 8th Street Winecellar in Greenwich Village. We had dinner at Olio e Piú which was amazing! I didn’t take any photos when during dinner (so unlike me, I know) but the Tagliatelle Bolognese will change your life, so I HIGHLY recommend coming here.
This was the day of the most waking. Noelle and I explored with one of her friends, Gabrielle, while Myrinda and Julia worked. We walked the Brooklyn Bridge, had a yummy lunch at Westville and grabbed coffee at Butler in Dumbo and made our way back to Soho. We went to the Glossier flagship, some cute thrift shops and ended our day of exploring at a place I’ve been wanting to go for awhile: Dominique Ansel Bakery. Although they were sold out of cronuts for the day, I did manage to get my hands on a “cookie shot” which is a cookie formed into the shape of a shot glass and has milk inside. You take the “shot” of milk and eat the cookie after. This was probably the best thing I have ever eaten. The cookie melted in my mouth, was served warm and so delicious. Noelle and Gabrielle ended up buying their own after tasting mine. I then met up with Myrinda after worked, we had amazing sushi in the Upper East Side at Ishohama and grabbed a drink at her local bar. We kept it chill because we had a packed day ahead of us on Day 4.
This was my final full day in NYC and probably my favorite. This day was dedicated to all things NYC Christmas. We waited until Tuesday because the weekend crowds died down and it was easier to see all the sights without there being a million people everywhere. We started the day off with brunch at the famous Sarabeth’s in the Upper East Side. The Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are a must, as well as a Four Flower Mimosa. We then headed to the Rockefeller Ice Rink. The highlight of my trip was ice skating at the world famous Rockefeller Ice Rink. There was something so magical about skating there, maybe because it’s something that I have wanted to do since I was little, but it was pure magic. I was smiling ear to ear and ugh it was just so great. I could have skated there all day but we decided to head out to Bryant Park and see the cute little Christmas Market they have set up there. There were a bunch a cute vendors, another ice skating rink, and food and drink options as well. We walked to shops, grabbed some truffle fries and sat down and enjoyed a spiked apple cider, a “Hot Toddy” if you will. We didn’t rest for too long because Myrinda and I had tickets to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. This has been on my bucket list since I was little. Keep in mind, I grew up dancing and as a little girl I remember seeing the Rockettes perform on TV during the Thanksgiving Day parade and I would fantasize about becoming one or at least seeing them live one day. That one day finally came and the show was phenomenal. The toy solider skit where all the girls lock arms and slowly fall down was so cool to see live. And the synchronization throughout the show was flawless. I highly recommend seeing the Rockettes if you’re in the city for the holidays. From there we stepped outside and were greeted by the Saks 5th Ave light show. The entire side of Saks is decorate with lights and goes to the music playing outside. That was also so cool to see in person. I definitely recommend seeing the light show and the window displays - the windows are truly amazing to see.
Day 4 cont.
We then took the subway to Gramercy to go to the German restaurant Rolf’s which is super done up for Christmas. We waited about 30 minutes to get into the standing area for the bar. I think it was worth it to see it and snag some photos. The girls and I had dinner at Midwinter Kitchen and that meal was amazing as well. I didn’t have one bad meal in New York, which is expected, but I was thoroughly happy with all of the restaurant choices - most were chosen by looking at yelp. To end the night we went to check out the “Igloo Bar” at the rooftop bar 230 Fifth. During the holidays they have heated igloos on the rooftop and you can grab a drink and socialize with people inside a warm igloo. There was no cover and no line! It was super cool to experience. From there we headed to another decorated spot in Gramercy, Oscar Wilde. This bar was the cutest vibe - marble bartops, 20s inspired and garland and decor everywhere. I loved it. Myrinda and I ended our night with a some hookah at Pergola and Insomnia Cookie then headed back to her place.
On day 5, I headed back to LA. I had the absolute best time in NYC, despite being freezing 99% of the time. (Pack a lot of layers if you’re going during winter! Gloves, scarfs beanies, coats and turtlenecks) NYC was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. If you ever get the chance to go to NYC during the holidays DO IT. I think experiencing all the sights, especially during the holidays, is something you have to do at least once in your life. I loved experiencing everything with my bestie and some of our friends and friends of friends. NYC, you truly outdid yourself and I’ll be back soon.
Have you been to NYC during the holidays? Let me know about your experience in the comments below!
S H O P M Y N Y C L O O K S