If you are lucky enough to be in New York
in October and experience some luxurious, late Indian Summer like conditions, then hop the B train to Brooklyn, exit at Flatbush and enter into Prospect Park where you can join the nannies with their strollers, the zealous joggers and cyclists or pack a late Fall picnic and fall in love with the many paths and forested walkways of this Brooklyn oasis.
Take a detour into the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens or stop at BAM for a concert or lecture on your way in or out of this lush and lovely green space that Frederick Law Olmsted, the renowned designer of Central Park and Montreal's Parc Mont Royal, thought to be his most successful and accomplished park design. Walk down Carroll Street through Park Slope and experience some of the neighborhoods’ exquisite Brownstones and some 40 minutes later, find yourself on trendy Court Street in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill, next door to Historic Brooklyn Heights.
New York Lunch Tip: Stop at MOOBURGER an organic resto serving American Food with an organic, healthy, local twist. Chef Marc Anthony Bynum, who recently claimed two victories on the Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ series, provides a warm, barn board room with an open kitchen and family-style dining at big, wide-planked and welcoming table, serving an excellent choice of organic beers and wines as well. The organic onion rings are to die for!
Head back into Manhattan after lunch to Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library and do some early Christmas shopping at the Holiday Shops of Bryant Park. Peruse the stalls of handcrafted jewelry, handmade soaps, scarves, hand warmers, unique small pieces of photography and paintings and of course, your requisite NYC souvenir. Or strap on some skates and try the ice out on the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. There are lots of food kiosks ringing Bryant Park should you or the kids need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
After your skate, wander into the New York Public Library for their Centenary Celebration and view a similarly themed, free exhibition of their private collections: Kerouac’s diaries, Virginia Wolfe's notes and an exhibit on Malcolm X are some of the many collections filling the main lobbies. Don't forget to go upstairs and visit the reading rooms and check out the beautiful ceilings and 'shhhhhh!'- people-watch some studious New Yorkers. Carrie Bradshaw NYC moment: As we exited the library, an ardent lover fell to his knee on the steps of the now legendary Schwarzman Building and proposed to his beloved to standing applause and the raucous sounds of a rented Mariachi Band. Only in New York!
Head north to Harlem and keep your eyes peeled for The Hispanic Society of America, a free museum and reference library for the study of the arts and cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America and their incredibly beautiful Beaux- Arts building. Located on Audubon Terrace, at Broadway between 155 and 156 streets, The Society offers a comprehensive survey of Spanish painting and drawing from the Middle Ages to the present, with particular strengths in the Spanish Golden Age. Paintings by Sorolla, ceramics, glass and furniture, extensive collections of prints and photographs and a resource library offering unique research opportunities will keep you enthralled for hours. Still in Harlem, grab lunch at the very un-fancy yet welcoming Charles' Southern Style Kitchen chef-owner Charles Gabriel's claim to soul-food fame. Inside the cramped 10 seat hole in the wall are substantial offerings of moist cornbread, sweet lemonade, smothered steak; okra succotash; a fine mac 'n cheese; candied yams; first-rate collard greens tinged with a lovely smokiness and barbecued ribs in a splendid sweet sauce that gives the signature fried chicken a definite run for your all you can eat, incredibly reasonable investment. I think I paid no more 11 + change for my lunch! (UPDATE: Charles has moved soul-food fame to a new location on 137th Street, closer to the CUNY campus: lucky students!)
New York Budget Tip: The Morgan Library is free on Tuesdays afternoons and Friday evenings where you can view J. Pierpont’s opulent personal library and collection of books covering Dante to Balzac, a multi-language Bible collection, and a vast array of children's books. Rotating exhibitions of original manuscripts by Jane Austen, Thoreau and sheet music by Chopin, Debussy, Mozart, and Schubert will keep you enthralled.
Looking for an intimate NYC Power Lunch? Book a table at the Relais & Chateaux's Eleven Madison Park and experience this Modernist shrine to sous-vide cookery and flavored foams at its best. The multi-award winning restaurant was recently named the Sunday Times Magazine’s ‘most beautiful restaurants in the world’. But make sure you are power dressed as well!
Eataly is a raucous, bustling, busy bite of Italy located at 200 5th Avenue with
entrances on 23rd Street between 5th & 6th Avenue. We grabbed a quick lunch on the Market Floor at the veggie-inspired Le Verdure. You can try to book a table at the other three traditional restaurants on site but good luck! The Joint is Jumping!
Fall in love with New York in October, my friends! And if you like this followsummer itinerary, just click on the link below and let Postcard Travel help you plan and book your next trip to New York!