Hi friends, welcome back! My parents came to visit us last month, and in true Lyssy in the City fashion, the visit included the perfect mix of sights and delicious food. They got pretty lucky because it was the first weekend in seven weeks that it wasn’t predicted to rain every day. I crafted an itinerary, made some restaurant reservations, and on an early Thursday morning my parents flew into Laguardia. While they were stuck in traffic, I was running some last-minute errands including a stop at Dominique Ansel and Popup Bakery. On my way home I felt bad for everyone on the subway that hadn’t had breakfast yet because the bagels smelled heavenly!
After caffeinating and enjoying some delicious bagels, it was time to set off! I gave my parents a briefing on subway best practices and then we were on our way uptown. Our first stop was the beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
We then headed to Rockefeller where they were setting up the holiday chalets and smoothing the ice rink.
Saks Fifth Avenue had a giant zodiac clock on it for their holiday partnership with Dior. The theme this year is “Carousel of Dreams” and the light show officially opens November 20th. I was trying to find more information online and they’re currently selling VIP access to the holiday light show with a pre-show cocktail party. Tickets cost a measly $5,000 and all proceeds are donated to charity. I’m interested to see how it all comes together this year.
We continued up Fifth Avenue before heading into Central Park. We saw Gapstow Bridge, people watched at the Mall, passed Bethesda Fountain, and saw all the beautiful fall colors near Bow Bridge. It was a perfect fall day in Central Park!
On our way back to the subway I showed them some of the best Halloween decorations on the Upper East Side.
Day one concluded with some delicious pizza from Little Italy.
The following morning I picked up my parents at their hotel and we headed to Battery Park for a trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We had tickets for 10am and the line to get through security was one of the most disorganized things I’ve ever seen. There is airport style security which creates some bottlenecks. We were some of the first people to get on the ferry and got seats in the back of the boat so we’d have a good view of Manhattan as we pulled away.
Jon and I visited the Statue of Liberty in October 2020 and I miss how uncrowded it was.
On this visit we had tickets to go up to the pedestal. You can’t bring any backpacks up but there are lockers to store your belongings. You have to put a quarter in to get the key out, so make sure you have a quarter with you. I was very surprised to get my quarter back when I returned the key.
There are 215 stairs and an elevator, but the stairs are modern stairs and not at all claustrophobic. A welcome change from the domes we climbed in Italy! The pedestal is still under construction but the crown is now open for visitors. You need special tickets and they seem to sell out months in advance.
We then boarded another ferry over to Ellis Island to look through all the exhibits. My favorite part of Ellis Island is the Inspection Room.
This was from our quiet visit in 2020.
We wanted a quick exit on the way back to Manhattan so we stayed in the bottom of the ferry. If you’re visiting the Statue of Liberty, be mindful of where you buy your tickets. This is the message from the NPS website: “Statue City Cruises is the ONLY ferry service authorized by the National Park Service for ticket sales and transportation to Liberty and Ellis Islands. Numerous third-party vendors sell tickets at higher prices or for boats that do not land at the islands. We strongly recommend that tickets only be purchased at Statue City Cruises or by calling 1 877 LADYTIX (1.877.523.9849)”
We were all very hungry so we grabbed some delicious paninis from Pisillo and gave our feet a rest.
For dinner we went to Tacombi and had a delicious, casual meal.
The night was still young so we walked down Stone Street and around the Seaport District after, but it was pretty quiet apart from the pumpkin arch. My parents ended the night with a drink on Stone Street, but Jon and I were too tired and called it a day.
Stay tuned for part two!