Sunday, October 21, 2012

New York City with a Baby: What to Eat and See

Earlier this month we went to New York City for 4 nights, which gave us 3 and a half days to see the city and friends we have there. When I decided to have kids I told myself that I would still travel and I am. Of course, it is not the same as without a child and you have to deal with a stroller, diaper bag and feedings. And some cities are more kid-friendly than others. Here are the places we ate at and visited while in New York and found doable with a kid. Plus, few other comments on traveling with a baby in Big Apple.

What to Eat:

1. Eataly is an Italian food multi-restaurant and market place under one roof. We had dinner at Birreria - a rooftop beer garden. I also got some Italian truffles, biscotti, cookies and sliced meats. It was a crowded place on Saturday night but we had no problem pushing a stroller around, though we had to carry it up more than few stairs. As for food at Birreria - it was hit-and-miss. My halibut was overcooked, lamb and sausage dishes were great.

2. Le Pain Quotidien is an international chain of bakeries (founded in Belgium) that serves pastries, salads, soups and sandwiches. They have many locations in New York City and accommodate babies with the strollers easily. This is a good lunch spot that has calories next to every item on its menu.

3. Blue Hill was our splurge for this trip. Upscale farm-to-the table type restaurant. They did not mind us having a baby who kept dropping his toys. Food was what I expected fresh quality ingredients in well executed dishes. Some may say portions are small.

4. Lombardi's is the first America's Pizza - head over there if you want some pizza and beer. We felt like we did want to have real New York pizza. No problem with a baby there either.

What to See:

Day 1: After having dinner we headed to the Empire State Building to see the city at night. Stroller was not a problem though we had to ask security where disabled access was - it was not obvious at first.

Day 2: Starting from our hotel in Midtown we walked to the Central Park entrance in front of Plaza hotel. We decided to walk through the Central Park to Guggenheim Museum.

Day 3: This was our sightseeing day. We took a taxi to the Battery Park, walked along the waterfront, saw and took pictures of the Statue of Liberty. Then we headed down Broadway to Wall Street. We saw the famous bull and bunch of people taking pictures with it. We walked along Wall Street all the way to South Street, from where we enjoyed a beautiful view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

We then took a taxi to SoHo, had lunch in Greenwich Village and walked. Washington Square Park was full of students - NYU is nearby. Quite a college town.

After that we took a taxi to the High Line Park, an old railroad above the ground that was converted into a park few years ago. This was a highlight of the day, for sure.

Day 4: We walked from our hotel in Midtown down the 5th avenue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was not able to see one exhibit because strollers were not allowed there. But staff helped me to see a part of Modern Art gallery by taking me to the back entrance with a stroller. And then it started to rain. I caught a cab back to the hotel - but it was a struggle to get one in the rain.

I enjoyed New York even with a baby in tow. Of course I did not experience any nightlife. I also felt like 4 days was not enough - needed another 3 days. I think taking a taxi was a good idea with the baby and a stroller. Restaurants were accommodating, except one place that had a sign "We love your baby, but we don't have a room for your stroller." Made me smile. When we got back to Seattle I asked, "Where are all the people?"

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