Monday, 9 July 2012

New York in style


As I mentioned a few posts ago, the last time The Doctor and I spent a night in Manhattan was in 1995. En route to stay with his relatives in Virginia and on a student budget, we stayed at the YMCA, sleeping in bunk beds and breakfasting on blueberry pancakes downstairs. Our evening meal out was at a greasy diner off Times Square (which was still quite run down in those days); all I really remember about the meal is spotting a cockroach cross the floor.

Fast forward almost 20 years (gulp) and I still have a relationship with the YMCA (or the Y, as you call it round here. And you definitely don't start singing the Village People song when you mention it - that joke is far too old). But now my children go to summer camp there, and when I was booking a night in the city for my husband's fortieth birthday, I thought I'd go slightly more stylish.

Ever since seeing an episode of Sex and the City in which Samantha (I seem to recall) tries to get access to an exclusive rooftop pool, I've had a yearning to take a dip in one of these. So I picked our hotel on that basis - the James, in Soho, whose rooftop splash pool becomes a trendy bar by night. Both experiences were equally memorable; sipping cocktails overlooking the roofs of Manhattan as the sun set over the Hudson, and taking a surprisingly cool plunge the next morning on a steaming day when temperatures topped 95 F.

I loved the hotel and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone planning a trip to NYC as a couple. (It says it's child friendly, but I'd have liked to see what our fellow guests would made of us had we pitched up at the chilled-out pool with the Littleboys). As usual with boutique hotels, the room was small, but beautifully decorated. The dark wood bathroom, complete with organic toiletries, and the square, light filled bedroom with its huge windows opening onto the Cityscape (see below - with Wimbledon on the TV) appealed to me far more than a massive Marriott bedroom (although eating our room service breakfast on the teeny table the next morning was quite 'cozy'.) There were other good touches such as free wine or coffee in the lobby, and bike rentals.


For our evening meal, we went to the Union Square Cafe, a real New York foodie destination recommended by several friends. From the superb bread and olives, to my soft shell crab and the panna cotta we shared for dessert, all was utterly delicious.

Walking back downtown to our hotel, we sauntered carefree past tree-lined residential streets, hip boutiques and cool bars. As walks through the city for us normally involve trying to coax Littleboy 2 to walk, and preventing Littleboy 1 from ordering a hotdog from every street cart, this was one of the highlights of the evening, right up there with the rooftop margarita.

We had less than 24 hours in the city, before rushing back to Long Island to pick up the boys from their sleepover, but for once, we had done New York in style. And, while he may be turning 40, (and it's not long for me either), for a moment it was as if we were both wide-eyed twenty year olds again.

14 comments:

Bush Mummy said...

Ah that sounds lovely.. I can just imagine it.. lucky you. Well deserved, we all need to escape the madness from time to time and a little bit of luxury never goes amiss..

Hmmm I might just check out flights to NY.. sounds bliss!

BM xx

Iota said...

Wonderful!

Nota Bene said...

How lovely...and romantic too!

Knackered Mother said...

I'm there for a day on Sunday! Def going to do the walkway/highway thingy...sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Jay said...

Sounds wondefful, and time alone without children should be treasured! (I do treasure moments with the children too!!)

Metropolitan Mum said...

One word: JEALOUS!!

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

Idyllic. Oh to walk down Manhattan streets with similar abandon! I love Union Square.

geekymummy said...

Sounds completely perfect!

Cristeen said...

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Rainbow Prams said...

Aw that's so lovely, I know what you mean about the rooftop pool! Must check out the hotel next time I go xx

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

Oooooo!!!! I am CRAVING something like that! Lucky you! And good for you. Us parents need more couple time I am sure--it only makes us better parents :)

nappy valley girl said...

Thanks all. It WAS lovely, but over far too soon...

About Last Weekend said...

40! You youngies! Wow, that rooftop pool is so stylish, bet it was great people watching too. I bet you treasured that 24 hours, the time we spent away from the kids, every minute is savoured.

The Reluctant Launderer said...

Funny -we celebrated my 40th there in December. No pool-side activities, alas, but recommend the roof-top bar (the little I can remember of it...)