I love NYC

I feel grateful. Full beyond full. Ready to share the goodness of New York City. The people, the sights, the sounds and the deliciousness that abounds. But it’s so much that I intend to share it in tiny bite size pieces because that’s truly the way to discover NYC. If you jump in and try to get it all at once, you’ll be like I was day one — overwhelmed. So for the next several days, I’ll post the fabulousness of NYC and our discoveries there one small piece at a time.

For weeks before we left, I worried about where to stay. People have lots of recommendations and truth be told, there are LOTS of options. I finally took the plunge and made a reservation at The Blakely on West 55th Street (between 5th and 6th). I decided on the Blakely because when I called to ask about the hotel, Michael answered. Michael is the night manager and he is wonderful. He immediately made me feel like this Texas homebody would feel right at home and he was right on. (He even patiently, politely handled my ‘bed bug’ inquiry … no, they haven’t had any!)

What you won’t find at the Blakely is a ginormous lobby. Or a snazzy display of sparkling overhead light fixtures. What you will find is a charming, impeccability kept hotel with excellent staff. (Our smilely housekeeper was my absolute favorite.) You’ll also find a room like this: Pretty, huh? And warm. Homey. I loved it. Now, you won’t necessarily find a fabulous basket full of fruit, flowers, cheese, crackers and wine waiting. If you’d like that, you need to meet and befriend the Kendrick’s. Joni and her husband Kevin are friends of ours — and they surprised me with that glamorous basket for my birthday.

I love those kinds of surprises. Thanks Joni and Kevin. It was perfect. We enjoyed it all week!

Now you’ve got to see the bathroom because by any NYC hotel standard, this one’s huge. And really pretty.

But beyond that … they supply endless Penhaligion products: Shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, and precious pleat wrapped soaps. Can’t tell you how happy I was to see a fresh supply every morning. Joy! Addiction! And the fragrance is Quercus which is “modern, light and very assured.” Glad for the confidence boost. And the extra soaps.

Also very glad for a king sized bed with freshly pressed sheets every morning. Luxury.

I slept well. Even with all the inevitable outside city noise. Speaks well of the bed.  And I woke up quite happy to find a personal size Keurig coffee make right there in the room. Ahhh. Good morning!

Though I thought my birthday In NYC couldn’t get much better — I was wrong. Because my sweet friend Karen and her daughter Claire not only stopped by pre-trip to load me up with shopping, museum tips and maps (see above) but she also made a reservation and treated us to a birthday dinner at Ze Cafe. It’s a small restaurant off the beaten path (our cabbie had a hard time finding it) — and a hidden delight.  Here’s the front entrance. I really don’t think they even had numbers out front. But please don’t miss it because …

when you walk in, you get this … and you see this …and hear this …

BUT mostly importantly, you eat deliciousness like this …

This is the BEST coconut cream pie I have ever tasted. (From the bottom of my heart, thank you Karen!!) I have never tasted a better piece of pie. And you know that I’m a such a pie snob. I even order it half half-heartedly thinking no east coast baker could top a southern pastry queen. I was wrong. So wrong. I want this pie. I dream about this pie. I wanted to go back to the restaurant again and again just to say hi to this pie.

Of course the entree was to die for too. I had the roasted chicken. Will had the NY strip. Both exquisite and we devoured them all the while sharing tastes. I think I out-ordered Will. He disagreed.  Check out menu here.

So there you go, just two little things for you to discover in NYC. but if you get to Ze Cafe  and have a piece of that pie, do me a favor and don’t let me know. I’ll be jealous for days.