New York City: Weekend Trip Recommendations

I was in the Big Apple last Thursday-Sunday, and it was an amazing solo adventure!  I was there primarily for a work trip, but in my free time I was able to do some fun sightseeing, and of course get my shop on. Check out some of my photos and recommendations of must-do adventures if you ever spend a long weekend in the city.

Here are some highlights of my trip:

  • I shopped...and shopped, and shopped!  I picked up some great fall wardrobe additions from some of my favorite stores: Lou & Grey, a subsidiary of Ann Taylor, Sephora, Macy's on 34th Street, and Zara.
  • I was on TV.  ESPN's College Gameday just so happened to broadcast in Times Square on the same Saturday I was there. The cameras used to catch me on Gameday when I cheered for Michigan in Ann Arbor, and this time around I still repped my alma mater (even though I was sandwiched between some Syracuse fans)!
  • I met celebrities.  I travelled to NYC for a work trip, and the company I work for has a partnership with the FOX TV show Empire.  I got to snag a few photos with some of the stars of the show!  I won't fan-girl too hard, but here are two highlights:
    • Queen Latifah stopped and told me I looked beautiful when she was exiting the red carpet.  How cool!!!
    • Terrence Howard came up to me inside the party; after we had made eye contact approached me and said that, "our auras were connecting". WHAT!?! We chatted for a few minutes, and of course I snapped a picture with him!

My Recommendations:

  • SoHo.  This charming neighborhood, with it's cobblestone streets and shopping options galore, is my favorite area of New York.  There's tons of bespoke boutiques and pop-up shops to find a unique souvenir or addition to your wardrobe, and lots of streetside cafes to grab tapas with friends!
  • Bite Beauty Lip Lab.  For all of my beauty-lovers out there, the Lip Lab is a one-of-a-kind experience that is 110% worth the investment.  You're actually able to customize two lipstick shades - color, finish, and scent. Watch the entire process from start-to-finish, as your colors are mixed, melted, molded and packaged before your very eyes. The beauty consultant I worked with helped me nail the perfect fuchsia and deep oxblood shade, and didn't care that it took a few tries to get my desired outcome.  What's cool too is that they save your "recipes" - so you can re-order your colors if you run out!
  • World Trade Center Memorial.  I didn't get a chance to do the official tour, but the attention to detail and respect paid to those who lost their lives on 9/11 was so powerful. From the fountain with victims names, to the beautiful One World Trade building, it's a sight to see for any American. The Empire premiere event was held on the 102nd floor of the One World Trade building, so if you get a chance to go to the observatory floor, you're in for a treat to see NYC from high above.
  • Broadway Show.  Head to Times Square and look for the red booths selling Broadway show tickets for up to 50% box office prices.  I was alone, so I had a wonderful seat to Kinky Boots, which I had never seen and absolutely LOVED.  Other recommendations to see:  The Lion King, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Waitress, Aladdin and Phantom of the Opera.
  • Times Square.  Just go and take in the madness for yourself!  You can get lost just looking up and seeing the neon billboards illuminate with ads, and let me tell you...the people watching is PRIME.  There are tons of stores, so it's a great place to start your shopping expedition to grab some I<3NY souvineers!
  • Macy's on 34th Street.  It's the world's largest store...need I say more?  From the Gucci and Louis Vuitton boutiques built-in, to the multiple Starbucks and endless floors of shopping mayhem, it's a sight to see.  Plus, if you loved the holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Street, as much as me, it's totally worth a walk-through for nostalgia's sake.

Video Recaps:

In case you don't follow me on Instagram (which you totally should here!), I 'vlogged' my time in NYC through there since I was solo, and didn't want to lug a bunch of camera equipment to NYC on top of my TWO work computers!  I saved my stories, and will throw them down here in case you want to re-live my journey a bit!

Day 1:

Day 3:

Day 2:

Day 4:

I cannot wait to go back to NYC and spend some more time exploring and trying new restaurants.  What are some of your recommendations for my next trip there?

Emily Essentially