Travel: New York City

I am by no means an expert on the city, but I thought I would share some of the things we did on a recent trip – touristy and off the beaten path. I am lucky enough to have a cousin who lives in Hell’s Kitchen (thanks Deborah!) so everything is Manhattan focused.

Doing the tourist thing:

Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island


She’s beautiful

Only one company does this tour, but the consolation is that it is very reasonable and efficient. Don’t bother packing snacks, because there is plenty of food on the islands and on the ferry. If you want to be able to go up into the crown or the pedestal of the statue, be prepared to book way in advance. They have very limited tickets.


At Ellis Island, for seven dollars we looked up our family members and their passenger log. It was emotional for us to stand in the same spot as our relatives.


My great-grandmother, Rosa.


The Museum of Natural History

Beautiful location, and endless. The tickets were pricy, so I would go early in the day to get my money’s worth. Afterwards, we hung out in Central Park with some ice cream and prime people-watching seats.

FAO Swartz

We visited FAO Swartz before it finally closes its doors in July. Supposedly, they will move a few blocks over but we stocked up on candy, toys and Zoltar readings just in case. The coolest toy we saw was a “create your own muppet.”

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We found Schweddy Balls


This was an exceptional museum and my favorite of the trip. Children under $12 are free. Here I got to see all of the heavy hitters: Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, but only one Frida (she is my favorite).

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We were there for the Warhol exhibit, which was great, and Yoko Ono’s exhibit, as well

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I am not an art expert, but to me Yoko Ono’s exhibit was hilarious/pretentious. The first piece was called “apple.” It was a granny smith on a pedestal with a security guard guarding it. It went downhill from there.

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An apple and a needle, respectively


It said to step on it, so we did.


Some random thoughts.


Stairs to nowhere. People walked up it, shook their heads, and walked back down.


Everything here is in half. It was the only piece by her that I liked.


Not by Yoko Ono, but on the floor. How is this not hilarious?????

One of the best parts of the museum is hanging out in the sculpture gardens out back.

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We lived off of $2.50 slices of pizza for lunch – Joe’s in Greenwich Village (  is my favorite, but got to enjoy some delicious meals at night.

For brunch, we went to tea at an Alice in Wonderland themed spot called: Alices’ Tea Cup. They have a few locations in Manhattan: It was amazing, and I plan to be back. I had a roasted chicken, goat cheese and apple sandwich with one of the house blends. Delicious.

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My favorite bar? I visit it every time I get to go to NYC – Shade Bar (Greenwich Village) They mix incredible drinks and have a crepe/sandwich menu.


Some good Thai food could be found at:Der Krung Thai (Hell’s Kitchen) – I had the Tom Yum soup, and Pad See Ew.

Mediterranean? Kashkaval Gardens (Hell’s Kitchen)-I have been there a few times, and never been disappointed. Lots of variety and an excellent bar, as well.




About vanva

I am an educator, writer and mother.
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