New York City

Hello loves! I am fully vaccinated and back to being a travel bug ✈️ June has already been a whirlwind for me, kicking off with a Memorial Day Weekend trip to NYC! I just finished my next trip to Charlotte, NC (blog post to come) and am headed to Nashville/Clarksville, TN next weekend! Before I get ahead of myself I’m going to round up all of the fun and exciting things I did and saw in Hoboken, NJ and NYC!

My two friends and I headed out from Pittsburgh around 10am on Friday for our MDW adventure. Our roommate from college lives in Hoboken so it was a no brainer to visit her for the long weekend and explore the city! We visited her two years ago when she lived in DC for MDW so we’ve decided it’s a tradition for us all to be together. When we arrived, we grabbed a quick bite at the Black Bear Bar & Grill in Hoboken which is a sports bar with tons and tons of large TVs. This made it perfect for watching the Knicks game, because ya know New York. I decided to bet on the Knicks because I was feeling the vibes (bad call lol). After dinner we headed to a local liquor and beer store to stock up for the weekend. Some beverages we ordered that I haven’t seen in Pittsburgh yet are the JuneShine Hard Kombucha and the Owl’s Brew Hard Boozy Teas. I cannot wait til they make their way because LOVE.

After pregaming a bit and glamming up, we SPRINTED through the rain a few blocks to party it up at the Wicked Wolf Tavern in Hoboken. Even looking like a wet dog, I met the most friendly people ever here and exchanged info because who doesn’t love new friends?! The vibes were great with the DJ and you could have a lower key night in a booth or party it up on the dance floor!

The next morning we decided on a classic Jersey bagel breakfast at JP’s Bagel Express. The bagels were made right there in their little shop and they had over 20 flavors! Blueberry, sesame, onion, rainbow, and more! I naturally went with the everything bagel and got it as a sandwich with eggs, cheese and sausage. You know how when you order a cheeseburger it’s always ketchup, mustard, pickles? Well on a Jersey breakfast sandwich at JP’s it’s ketchup, salt, pepper? The sandwich was so thick and filling I almost couldn’t finish the entire thing, but I powered through because I wasn’t letting any of that bagel go to waste.

It was a rainy day so our plan to take a walk around the riverfront walk and picnic on Pier A was foiled by the weather. Our friend claimed Pier A was the best view of NYC so we bundled up in our rain coats and gave the walk a go. Pier A is home to the Hoboken 9/11 Memorial which honors the 57 people from Hoboken that lost their lives in 9/11. We stopped to read each name and then continued on our walk to see the “best view of NYC” and boy did it live up to the hype. This view was incredible day and night! After our walk we went back to my friends and had an indoor picnic and played card games.

That evening we took the subway over to the city to see Times Square at night before heading to our nighttime cocktail reservation. Times Square at night is everything you think it will be and more. It truly gives off the vibe of “the city that never sleeps.” There are caricatures, street vendors, and thousands of people dressed for dinner or dressed in fun costumes! We spent about 30-45 minutes walking around and admiring its beauty, and of course snapping some pics.

Our cocktail reservations were at Elsie’s Rooftop. This rooftop had great music and pristine vibes. Everyone was sipping on their cocktails and bopping to their music at their lounge-like tables. I ordered the Colony Club which was basically a spicy pineapple marg! My second drink was the Paloma Passion. Also pictured is my friend’s drink the Bellini Basil Smash. Elsie’s closed around midnight so we headed to the West Village for some classic NY pizza.

The pizza spot we went to was Bleecker Street Pizza, which was mentioned on Jimmy Kimmel by Dax Shepard who said it was “the greatest slice of pizza [he] ever put in [his] mouth.” This thin crust, $3 cheese slice was everything I needed. Another friend was made here because I had to use the restroom and he offered to pay the pizza place $20 to let me use their restroom, I mean come on these people are awesome!

Sunday was a slow start just because we were up until after 3am the night before. Plus we knew we had bottomless brunch reservations at The Liberty NYC at 2:15pm and wanted to be ready to go for that. Instead of taking the subway over to the city, we opted for a ferry ride. The weekend tickets were only $6/person and I truly would’ve paid $40 if I knew the view we were getting. The ride over was absolutely STUNNING. This is a 100% MUST for anyone who is visiting NYC.

Once we arrived across the Hudson, we stopped to see Oculus, the uniquely shaped transportation hub next to the World Trade Center. This was also right next to the 9/11 memorial. We went over to remember those whose lives were lost in this American tragedy. One thing that stood out to me was the fact that there was a singular white rose next to someone’s name at the memorial. I wasn’t sure what this meant because there were thousands of names, but this was the only one I saw with a white rose. There was a sign that my friend saw that stated the white rose signified someone’s birthday. Such a remarkable way to honor those who were lost in a truly personal way.

Next up, brunch! When we arrived to The Liberty NYC we found out the $25 bottomless special included mix-and-match screwdrivers, mimosas, bloody Mary’s, champagne, light beer, and lager beer. As you can imagine we knew we were in for a DAY. In the 90 minutes we were allotted to drink, we got to enjoy the cozy heated and covered outdoor lounge area sheltered from the rain. For my meal, I got the chicken and waffles (my first chicken and waffles experience)!!! The spiciness of the breading on the chicken tenders and sweetness of the waffle and syrup was the perfect sweet and savory combo.

We ventured out into the rain and found our way back to Hoboken via subway. We knew if we napped it was game over so we powered through and made it to the evening. Our original plan was to wait in line to get walk-in admission to the Comedy Cellar, but unfortunately the line was too long and we were not able to get in. Instead we headed around the corner to Shade Bar NYC. This quiet lounge was turned into quite the opposite when my crew arrived. We met up with my friend from high school and his girlfriend for drinks. Keep in mind bottomless brunch was just a few hours earlier and there was no lull in the drinking. Shots and drinks were had and of course another friend was made! This friend’s father owned a business nearby and he treated us to a round of shots. Seriously, the people of NJ and NYC are my PEOPLE.

After waking up on the last morning of our trip, we knew we had some last minute things we wanted to do/see. We took the subway up to the Upper West Side to visit the iconic Tom’s Restaurant from Seinfeld. Unfortunately the scaffoldings outside ruined a bit of the ambiance, but we still managed to get some pics. We went in for a quick bite and this was one of my favorite spots we went. The wait and kitchen staff were all so authentically New York and who doesn’t love a diner vibe? I got a plain cheeseburger and it was BOMB. Exactly what I needed to revive me from the night before. After leaving Tom’s we took a quick stroll through the north area of Central Park. This area wasn’t anything crazy just some open fields with families and friends picnicking for the holiday and a lot of runners/bikers.

MDW SQUAD

We headed back towards Hoboken and got ready to roll out after a super successful MDW. If you’re headed to NYC or Hoboken anytime in the future I HIGHLY recommend all of the above mentioned places and activities. My friend planned the perfect MDW for us. Oh and get your own Metro Card for the mems 😉 Til next adventure!

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