I spent the last week with my mom, and I’m back with some more things to do in New York City. Since I went just before fall officially started, it was still hot and humid, but that didn’t stop me from exploring. I look forward to going back in cooler weather for some fall activities!
Do: Visit Harry Potter Store New York
Harry Potter New York recently opened, and I have been stalking them on social media since their social media preview a few months ago. I was a little intimidated by the virtual queue situation, but thankfully I went on a weekday and waited until ~1 PM when they posted on their Instagram story that the store was accepting walk-ins.
This flagship store is incredible! There are VR experiences you can pay for, many items you can customize, and a café with butterbeer on tap and the cutest Harry Potter-themed desserts. If I didn’t already have a lot of the basics (from living so close to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) and brought more than a carry-on to New York with me, I would’ve purchased so many things. I definitely want to go back and get a custom Slytherin Quidditch jersey! It was really cool to look around as all of the rooms are themed, and there are plenty of photo ops around the store.
Do: Brunch Cruise along the Hudson
My mom has not stopped talking about doing something “on the water” since I purchased my plane ticket. She’s a true island gyal… it’s her favorite place to be in the summer, lol. I was able to find a brunch cruise that had vegan and vegetarian-friendly options that didn’t break the bank, and the food was actually good. PLUS there were bottomless mimosas! The company is called City Cruises by Hornblower, and the specific cruise we took was the New York Brunch Cruise at Pier 15.
It’s the perfect cruise for celebrations, whether you’re celebrating a birthday or life itself. Tip: Look on Groupon first to see if you can save up to half off your ticket, and be sure to book in advance as it looks like the Hornblower cruises get booked quickly! I would love to try one of their Bateaux Premier cruises in the future.
Do: The Feast of San Gennaro
This street fair is something my friend Rheesa and I stumbled upon while venturing through SoHo after brunch; we didn’t realize it was a thing until we saw it all over TikTok. Since we went right after stuffing our faces at brunch, we didn’t try any of the delicious food, but I did find some cute jewelry! The Feast of San Gennaro is an annual event in Little Italy approximately from September 16th to 26th this year. I’ll definitely plan ahead next year!
Eat: La Pecora Bianca
After visiting Harry Potter New York, head down to La Pecora Bianca’s NoMad location. Italian is one of my favorite cuisines, and La Pecora Biannca did not disappoint. I had the rigatoni with vodka sauce and the lavender spritz, while my mom enjoyed their cacio e pepe. My mom is very hard to please so I was delighted to see that she loved her food. Both the rigatoni and the spritz were incredible! I didn’t make it to Parm but am happy I came across La Pecora Bianca.
Okay, okay… so I had brunch two days in a row. I went to NoMo Kitchen with Rheesa with no expectations other than getting some good pictures, because it’s been saved on my NYC Pinterest board for years. I wanted to try their lemon ricotta pancakes, but my hunger got the best of me and I ended up ordering their Eggs Your Way with turkey bacon. I give it an 8/10 only because I felt like there wasn’t enough seasoning on the eggs and potatoes, although the potatoes did taste amazing in hot sauce. I paired it with their Around the Moon cocktail which was a 10/10. I would definitely go back for round two or to try their dinner.
Tip: Walk around SoHo after brunch/taking pictures, you never know what you’ll come across!
Drink: Panorama Room
2021 was the year I became a rooftop enigma. I decided to check out Panorama Room because of its views, and it did not disappoint. What did slightly disappoint, though, was their menu. It could’ve been because I don’t eat seafood, but my only option was truffle fries ($18). I do love truffle but they weren’t the best truffle fries I’ve ever had. I ordered a dirty martini, but they ran out of my gin of choice, so I was SOL. I also had one of their signature drinks, the SunRa (also ~$18), which I enjoyed.
While I hope to see more food offerings in the future, it’s a cool spot to meet up with friends or go on a date. Street parking wasn’t terrible to find, but I recommend taking public transit (and the Roosevelt Island Tram!) just in case.
Note: At the time of this blog post, you do need to be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination plus ID for indoor dining in New York City.
As always, I’m looking forward to exploring more of the (old and new) things NYC has to offer with my friends and family in the future. Let me know your favorite spots in the comments!