A New York state of nostalgia

New York City
Springtime three years ago, Paul and I took a final pre-baby trip to New York for a few days.

Maybe it’s because the weather’s pretty bleurgh at the moment or maybe because I’m craving a meal sans baby-rocking and an hour of toddler-free shopping but my head and my heart keep disappearing back to Manhattan.

I’m sick for a place that I’ve never called home.

We had an odd start to our trip. Firstly, we were detained in immigration because in my three months pregnant clammy state, they were unable to get any fingerprints from me. Cue lots of suspicion, raised eyebrows and questions regarding what chemicals I’d recently handled. Uh, black ink from a bic biro? And then when we finally arrived at our hotel (we were in love with Mad Men at the time and chose to stay at the Waldorf Astoria), we’d requested an non-smoking room but were given one that stank of stale smoke.

Pregnant, tired, hands covered in fingerprint ink and a smoky room. It wasn’t the greatest of starts.

But things picked up from there.

A quick call to check-in resulted in us being moved rooms. And wouldn’t you know it, the only other room available was a suite on one of the top floors. Not a bedroom but a rather large double door opening on to a hallway with a bar, bedroom, dressing room and bathroom leading off it. I won’t pretend it’s what I’m accustomed to. I’m really not.

That, and waking up the next day to glorious sunshine and a walk through Central Park led to what can only be described as a foreign affair … a Manhattan love affair … and a bit of an obsession with Gossip Girl.

Central Park
We toured the island mainly on foot, from Upper East to downtown, amazing in the change of architecture and atmosphere from block to block.

Sightseeing, eating, people watching, shopping, coffee-drinking, celebrity spotting.

Manhattan is one massive, awe-inspiring film set.

A place so iconic that you feel like you know it even when you don’t (that might also have something to do with my Home Alone 2: Lost in New York infatuation).

Should Supernanny turn up at my door today and offer me a few child-free days, I’d be hopping on the next plane to JFK airport.

Unlikely, but it’s good to have a dream.

And right now in my starving breastfeeding state, I’m dreaming of ordering the chicken in Smith & Wollensky’s and much to my surprise being served the whole bird.

Dinner in New York

37 thoughts on “A New York state of nostalgia

  1. Lovely memories! I would love to go to New York I am very jealous :-)
    Lucky you on getting given a beautiful upgraded suite! We once had to buy loads of smellies to get rid of the smell of stale smoke in a room we once stayed in, it stunk horrible x

  2. I think it was because I was pregnant. Paul explained that the smell made my morning sickness even worse so they took pity on us. It was amazing.

  3. Wow, I want to go there *right now*! Never been, and now I’m not sure when we could as New York doesn’t seem like an ideal family holiday destination. For context: I am looking longingly at your photos while bf my daughter, who keeps kicking the laptop as I type…

  4. It sounds (and looks!) amazing. New York is somewhere I would like to go one day – if I can conquer my fear of travelling!

  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE NYC. I think I left my heart there, in your words, a place I have never called home but desperately yearn for……
    Thanks for the memories x

  6. Wow! New York is one of the places on my bucket list….I’m dying to visit but my OH is not. Having read this, I’m even more keen! Lovely magic moment :)

  7. I would so so love to visit New York! i am so so jealous! i hope your feeling less stressed and tired soon …. big hugs and thanks for linking up with #magicmoments

  8. The portion sizes really are awesome. I could do with being there right now. I’m always starving.

  9. I’m going to take my boys when they’re a bit older. Lots of fun things for kids too.

  10. Love NYC. I spent some time there in my misspent youth (well pre-baby, pre-9/11). Everything you say is so true. You really do feel like you’re on a film set, and everything seems familiar. I’d love to go back, but nearest I’ll get for a (long) while will be watching my boxed set of Sex and the City.

    Strangely, I think it could be quite a child-friendly city…but suspect it is probably the “adult” me who yearns for it.

  11. Oh, what a fabulous trip….. Manhattan always reminds me of Woody Allen. By the way, I just loved this line ‘I’m sick for a place that I’ve never called home’ – now that is an opening line to a novel or film. Ps, I still love Mad Men. X.

  12. Ohhh I’m so jealous, I’ve always wanted to go to New York and wish we’d done in pre baby. Some days I am very tempted to just go with z. Central Park looks toddler friendly to me!! :)

  13. Feel free to steal the line! I’ll never be a writer; that line’s a one off. But you … you could really do something with it.

  14. I’d love to take the boys. Yes, it’s like an adult’s playground but I really think that there’s a lot of children too. Three would probably be a good age because they’re aware of everything and can be reasoned with in restaurants ;-)

  15. Yep, I want to go there. Would you mind if I dropped my three boys off at yours so we could do the child-free thing you talk about? ;) Great post, could picture everything you describe :)

  16. How about we just put all our boys in a house together, stock it with pop, crisps and toys and then jet off without them?

  17. And aren’t they even more wonderful in hindsight? Oh for cocktails til dawn and a lie in.

  18. You have. You’ll love Vegas. You can do New York with the kids … Vegas definitely not.

  19. Jealous of your suite at the Astoria… Not so much being detained in customs! Did you eat the whole chicken too?!? I love New York. It is one of the few places in the US that I would gladly move to…

  20. I could only manage half the chicken but it was seriously yummy. I love New York. Having real pangs for it at the moment.

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