The past couple of Labor Day Weekends, I’ve gone on road trips through the South. This year, I mixed things up a little bit and went north to New York City to celebrate my friend Laura Lehman’s bachelorette party!
I remember when Laura texted me to invite me and get the date on my radar—it was still really cold outside, vaccine rollout was not anywhere near promising, and my calendar for the year was legitimately empty. I immediately said yes—it’s so important to have things to look forward to!—and kept my fingers crossed that it would be safe enough for us to go come early September. Luckily, it all worked out and we were able to go!
While we technically went before NYC’s vaccine mandate that was rolled out just a few days later, most of the establishments we went to did check our vaccine cards at the door if we were going to be inside. (I brought my physical vaccine card, but places would also accept a photo of your card; most also matched the name on your vaccine card to the name on your legal identification.)
While I’ve written about New York City several times here on A Touch of Teal before, one of the cool things about New York City, I think, is that you can visit dozens of times and never run out of things to do. Prior to the pandemic, I went to NYC for work on average once a month and frequently visited friends, too. I also lived there for a summer—so needless to say, I’ve done a lot in New York. And yet, this trip was entirely new for me—which is why I wanted to write a post about everything we did! I also thought it might be helpful if you’re also planning a bachelorette in the Big Apple.
Friday morning, I had to work, so Kristyn and I caught a 1:30pm Northeast Regional from Union Station. The day prior, the torrential downpour from Hurricane Ida had ripped through the Tri-State area, causing massive flooding and other issues. Amtrak suspended service in the BosWash corridor—and in true Amtrak fashion, was not very communicative about when to expect service to return as normal. As such, the night before we started strategizing backup plans for how to get there if trains were canceled, but luckily, while we were in the middle of researching flights and car rentals, Amtrak put out a statement that things would be back on track the following day.
Kristyn’s and my train was delayed—something that actually had never happened to me before!—but luckily, only for about half an hour. When we arrived to New York, it was about 5:30pm, so we grabbed a cab right over to our hotel to check in and freshen up before dinner.
While y’all know I am usually a Marriott loyalist, I wanted to stay near the rest of the bachelorette party, so we all booked rooms at the Nomo Soho. Given our penchant for sleep and how small NYC hotel rooms are (#iykyk), Kristyn and I decided to get our own room so we could each have our own bed—she was an awesome roommate for the weekend!
From the moment we got out of the cab at Nomo Soho, I was impressed—you walk into the hotel via this beautiful archway that’s adorned with greenery and lights. We checked in, and when we got off on the 22nd floor, spent like five minutes taking pictures of the view from the window near the elevator, thinking that would be the best shot we’d get.
I was so wrong!
When we walked into our room, our jaws might have hit the floor. We had a corner room with windows that were almost-floor-to-ceiling, giving way to the most incredible views of New York City at golden hour. We could see the Freedom Tower, the Empire State Building, the Hudson, and so much more. Then we walked into the bathroom and realized we even had a view from our shower! It was all incredible—and those views definitely did not get old all weekend.
The two things I’ll flag about Nomo Soho that were kind of meh—one, their system was down when we checked in, so we had to hand-write a credit card authorization form and then weren’t able to get a receipt upon checkout. Two, the mini fridge in our room didn’t work. All in all though, I would definitely stay at the Nomo Soho again!
For our first night in town, we had reservations at Locanda Verde, a delicious Italian spot. We sat outside and were blessed with near-perfect weather, but the bar inside also looked really fun. To start, our table did whipped ricotta and burrata, and then I did cheese + spinach ravioli as my main. We really enjoyed this spot and I would definitely go back. Following dinner, we wanted to keep the party going—we originally tried going to Employee’s Only, but since we had a larger group and it’s a better spot for smaller parties, we decided to move on. We stumbled across Wilfie & Nell, which was super lively, and decided to stay. We were lucky enough to snag a table—and I think we ended up staying out until close to 2AM, which is definitely the latest I’d been out since the pandemic started. (And probably for a while before that, if we’re being honest, hah! I can’t hang like I used to.)
On Saturday morning, Kristyn and I got off to a somewhat lazy start, which was perfect after our night out. We woke up and decided it would be the perfect morning to get NY bagels, so we found Baz Bagel right near our hotel, which was a super cute—and delicious—spot.
Once we were revived, we decided to do some shopping in Soho! I honestly hadn’t been shopping in Soho in years, and quite honestly, I forgot how fun it was. NYC really is at the cutting edge of trends in the country, and the shopping and people watching you can do in Soho are really evidence of that! Some of the places we popped into included Wolf & Badger, Farm Rio (this place was so cool—they had sand in the store!), Ralph Lauren, Veronica Beard, Alice & Olivia, The Real Real, and Stuart Weitzman.
We then headed uptown to the Upper West Side to meet my best friend Emma for brunch at Maison Pickle. Sometimes when I’ve eaten out in NYC, I’ve definitely gotten super small portions that I’ve overpaid for. Maison Pickle was the opposite of that experience—the portions were huge and the prices were super great for what you’re getting. We definitely could have split entrees because once we were done, it looked like we hadn’t eaten anything. We started with pull-apart cinnamon rolls for the table and then I did the patty melt. Emma swears their fried chicken caesar salad is the best in the city, and they’re known for the French Dip.
After brunch, we took a walk through the UWS and ended up walking right next to the Hudson River for a while by walking through Riverside Park, which I had never been to. If you’re looking for a beautiful park an alternate to Central Park, definitely check it out! We got our steps in and then went back to Emma’s for a little happy hour before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
Once we were back at the hotel, we decided to get a glass of wine at Nomo Kitchen, the restaurant in the lobby of the hotel, to enjoy in our room while we were getting ready. When we got the bill for our two glasses of wine—it was $48! We were expecting more like, $30. So, if you too want to enjoy a glass of wine in your room at Nomo Soho, learn from our mistakes and buy a bottle elsewhere.
Prior to dinner, we did a little shower for Laura on the terrace of one of the suites several other girls on the bachelorette party and then we went to Catch in the Meatpacking District. A place to see and be seen for sure, it was a very lively atmosphere with excellent service. We loved the crispy shrimp, which were very similar to the bang bang shrimp they do at Bonefish. Kristyn and I split a bunch of items—the lobster mac and cheese, several delicious sushi rolls, the filet skewers, and the spicy cauliflower. It was all delicious! Several desserts were also ordered for the table, but truthfully, I was so stuffed by that point I skipped it. After dinner, we went to Common Ground for more drinks and dancing—they had an amazing playlist going!
On Sunday, we did brunch at noon at Laduree. I was really excited about going and checking it out since Meghan Markle had her baby shower there! It certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of decor, and would be a great place for a special occasion—or just because. We ended up getting a table out on their back patio, which was super dreamy. What I loved about all their entrees was that they came with both a side salad and French fries, so you didn’t have to pick! I did the quiche and it was great. We also split a bunch of different types of croissants for the table, which I’d highly recommend.
After brunch, many of the girls went back to the hotel to tap a nap after our big night out, but Kristyn and I decided to walk around Soho, Little Italy, and Houston Street to explore a bit. We walked around for about an hour and then went back to O’Nieals near the hotel because we had seen a sign that they were running a special—$8 for a glass of rosé. Sometimes on deals like that, you get really shitty wine—but this was actually a great, crisp glass of dry rosé, so the perfect way to cap off our afternoon.
Before dinner, we grabbed a drink at the Galway Hooker, which was an awesome, unpretentious spot with great service. I’ve heard it’s really fun at night, too!
For dinner, we did The Waverly Inn and omg, I am not exaggerating when I say this was one of the best meals of my life! I highly, highly recommend adding this to your NYC bucket list. This was such a cozy, romantic spot with a fireplace going—I bet it is just magical in the wintertime. We split a cheese and charcuterie board and burrata and heirloom tomatoes for the table. For my main, I did the NY Strip, which came with broccolini and a potato cake. We also did the truffle mac and cheese for the table and y’all—that was so, so amazing. We did not save room for dessert, but those looked, amazing, too.
The older I’ve gotten, the more I prioritize getting home earlier in the day on a trip—when it’s over, it’s over, you know? I always love some time at home, especially before a work day, to decompress and get my life in order after being away. So that’s what we did on Monday—we got up, packed our suitcases, and headed to Penn Station to catch our train home and were back by early afternoon. The new Penn Station is amazing—it’s so clean and much brighter than the old one! You can see pictures of it from my trip over Presidents’ Day here. Right now, besides a Starbucks, there isn’t much open in terms of food—but it looks like a lot of other places are set to open this fall, so hopefully this changes soon.
Before I close out this post, I wanted to share that Kristyn brought this portable white noise machine with her for our trip and I ordered one on the spot. At home, I sleep with a fan for noise and can sometimes struggle sleeping in hotel rooms if there’s not a loud enough fan—so this machine was perfect. Additionally, if you’ve spent any time in NYC, you know that no matter how nice the room is, there’s always noise and sirens. With this white noise machine, we didn’t hear anything from the city streets 22 floors below our room. Highly, highly recommend!
I had the best time in NYC over LDW celebrating Laura, and already can’t wait for my next trip to the city! x