Our first full day in New York City was a rainy one, but we wanted to make sure we got out to enjoy the city, with or without rain in the forecast. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt right next to Grand Central Station, but most importantly, in the shadow of the Chrysler Building.
The Grand is situated in the middle of the city, making it pretty easy to get uptown, downtown and across town for less than $20 a ride, and probably even less on the Subway. My rationale on this trip was that our time was limited, so I was all for springing for Lyft and Uber to save time.
With rain in the forecast on Friday evening, we knew that our Saturday would have to be spent inside avoiding the downpour. My mom and aunt, who met me in New York after my work obligations ended, voted to go to the New York Botanic Gardens, and off we went. Believe it or not, the NYBG is a great place to get out of the rain.
A large part of the botanic gardens is an enormous conservatory, sheltering visitors from the elements and housing the NYBG’s seasonal exhibits. We woke up in rainy New York and were transported to Hawaii for the opening day of the Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawaii exhibit. For Chicagoans reading this, the Haupt Conservatory reminded us a lot of the photos of the Columbian Exposition and World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893.
Admission covers the entire grounds, as well as a covered tram ride around the park, which is for sure the driest way to get to see everything. The gift shop is next level, and the gray skies brought out the beautiful colors of all the plants that we saw.
We couldn’t count it as a trip to New York without wandering through Grand Central Station and admiring the beautiful art deco architecture (see the trend here? Art deco is hands down my favorite design style). The Grand Central Market is a great spot to browse and nibble your way through into the station, a la Eataly or other European-style markets. For those on a budget, trying to picnic, or in a hurry, this is a great spot to snag some goodies that will please anyone.
Our next stop was for drinks at Bookmarks, the rooftop bar at the Library Hotel right off Bryant Park. If I could live in a Library Collection Hotel forever, I would be the happiest bookworm alive. The Library Collections hotels incorporate literary elements into their design, and the Library Way location had more than 7,000 books on the premises.
Bookmarks is the perfect spot to enjoy views of the city from above, without worrying about rain or wind. The majority of the bar is covered with a glass ceiling, full of cozy corners to have a drink and dive into a book, or meet a group of friends in a more social space. We loved our cocktails and feeling like we were outside.
We ended our rainy day at Joe’s Shanghai, a popular place in the heart of Chinatown. The narrow streets are reminiscent of China itself, and there are plenty of spots to duck in and out of the rain into. We loved Uniqulee, a beautifully curated vintage store with home items, jewelry and delicious smelling Apotheke candles.
Have you visited any of these spots? Stay tuned for more posts about my trip to New York, including my new favorite place!