I was finally reunited with the love of my life last month… New York City. I joined my mom (and some of my family) in NY for Mother’s Day weekend, and decided to plan a staycation in the city for my mom and me. If you couldn’t tell from my Instagram feed/Reels, I had the time of my life and I’m so glad and grateful I was able to pull the weekend off. I’m sharing more details from the weekend below!
Where to Stay
I have been wanting to stay at The Ludlow Hotel for the past few years, and it looks like prices dropped for a little while as NYC has been recovering from the pandemic (although we’re still in it). I took advantage of the price drop and am so glad I did. The standard rooms are pretty compact, but the details are stunning. The hotel’s restaurant was closed, but there are plenty of options in the area. I would love to go back and explore the LES a little more.
It was pretty easy to get to the subway and commute to other parts of the city, so that was a plus. There are so many restaurants, bars, and other things to do within walking distance as well!
Where to Eat/Drink
I got to check some places on my travel bucket list off during this trip, and thankfully none of them were a disappointment.
This French bistro is located in Chelsea and is stunning inside and out. I first noticed LouLou’s wisteria decor and iconic crystal ball-looking cocktail (The World is Yours) on social media and added it to my travel bucket list with the quickness. I treated my mom to Mother’s Day brunch at LouLou and it wasn’t too hard to get a reservation. My mom is a huge fan of health-conscious food, so the menu was a big win. I was pleasantly surprised that everything was as good as it was hyped up to be; I plan on returning some other time for the poulet roti with shaved truffle.
Sticking with the French theme, my mom treated me to a belated birthday breakfast at Angelina Paris. No reservations were accepted at the time, so we decided to go early on a Monday morning; there were only about 3-4 other groups of people with us, so it almost felt like we were dining alone. I savored every moment because I don’t think it’ll ever be that empty again. Our server was great, and the hot chocolate is exactly as rich as the Paris locations. I ordered one of the breakfasts with an omelette and my mom ended up splitting some of my pastries with me in addition to ordering a crepe for herself. The omelette wasn’t my favorite, but it was definitely my fault for adding mushrooms knowing very well I’m not a fan of fungi (except truffle). lol.
PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown
You may have seen this rooftop bar all over social media because they are known for changing their flower wall tunnel seasonally. I went prior to NYC operating at a higher capacity, so I made sure to make a reservation in advance; it was the first time I went to a rooftop bar in NYC where my personal space was respected. Although it may not have the *best* views in Manhattan, PHD Terrace was a great experience and I enjoyed the cocktails and truffle mac and cheese bites. The staff were all quite helpful and patient if we happened to get in the way while taking pictures in the sunflower tunnel. There are a bunch of other rooftop bars I want to try in the future, but I would definitely return to/recommend PHD Terrace!
What to Do
I know I complain about being outside all the time, but I feel like spring in NYC is my time to shine when it comes to outdoor activities. There are some beautiful botanical gardens in Brooklyn and the Bronx, especially during cherry blossom season. I went to the New York Botanical Garden with my mom, which is currently featuring the Yayoi Kusama Cosmic Nature exhibit. The exhibit had just opened when we went so we were only able to get the garden pass, but if you’re able to see the entire thing, please do so! It’s absolutely gorgeous. The infinity room is supposed to be opening later this summer. Even without a big ticket exhibit, the NYBG is still gorgeous; it’s the perfect place to go for a walk/jog, read, or just relax when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of NYC.
Little Island over at Pier 55 recently opened, and it looks like a cool spot for tourists. I would like to go to Central Park on my next trip because I haven’t been there in a couple of years (and am eager to go canoeing), but if my heart wasn’t set on that I’d go to Little Island. As of right now, you have to make an online reservation if you plan on going after noon. It looks like there will be some live entertainment over the summer which is always a treat in NYC.
Honestly, there’s so much to do, no matter what your interests are. The best thing to do is research events going on in the area the weekend you’re planning on going, looking up NYC-focused accounts for weekend pop-ups, and being open to spontaneous plans once you’re there.