Be In the Know

Be In the Know. Sign up to have DesignDestinations delivered right to your inbox, weekly.

New York Discoveries

When I dropped my dog, Izzy, off at my daughter’s for care while we were in NYC, I asked my four year old grand daughter (yes, the one I wrote about in Traveling with a two-year-old), “Would you take good care of Izzy while Nana and Papa are in NYC?”

Instead of answering, she turned to her Mother and asked, “Is that the place with the green lady?”

Her Mom, said, “Yes” referring, of course, to the statue of Lady Liberty.

Maddy, immediately said plaintively, “I want to go to NYC.”

 Ah…..I love my beautiful grand daughter who shares my  wander lust…..and I totally agree with her.

I asked myself, what is it about this adrenaline charged island called Manhattan that  I love so much?  I’ve been going there on a regular basis since the late 1960s. Never enough.

While I love  the energy, the excitement, the feeling of being in the center of the universe, I also thrive on the explorations.  This city offers so much  to discover and to explore.  This blog is about some of the places I visited on a recent  trip to the Big Apple.


Dylan’s Candy Shop

This isn’t new, but I revisited it after a long absence.  Dylan’s Candy Shop on the edge of the Upper East Side is the creation of Ralph Lauren’ daughter, Dylan.  It’s creative, fun and worth popping into for a look and a tasty treat.


Grand Central Terminal. 

And yes, not new, in fact, it is on most tourist lists.  On a recent trip I discovered the Campbell Apartment, a wonderful spot in side the Terminal for drinks.   This trip I went in search of the Oyster Bar that is in every guide book and, on the way, happened upon a Pylones.  Whoooo.  This is a small chain of stores I always visit when in Paris.  How fun that they have migrated across the big pond and set up shop here.  It’s full of creative and whimsical stuff.  Worth a peek.

The Library. 

Yes, I’ve been visiting or working in NYC for over 40 years and have never gone into this venerable institution.  Walked by it and around it, read about it, hung out in nearby Bryant park but never went inside. This time I did and saw the fabulous reading rooms.

Wow.  Amazing sight. Stunning.   Worth climbing the big stairs to see……and then for a fun contrast, walk around behind and see the “reading room” in Bryant Park. FYI: There are free tours of the library every day.



The Plaza Hotel

What could be more New York than the Plaza?  We stayed there once years ago and I have had drinks at the famous Palm Court but this time I followed a recommendation of a friend and went down stairs to the Food Hall.  Marvelous.  Delicious food.  Inviting atmosphere.  Great spot to enjoy lunch.  Makes me think of Food Hall in Galleries Lafayette in Paris.

If you go to the Food Hall in the Plaza, be sure to  check out Eloise store.  I think they are trying to be an American Girl store……not sure it will make it…..its so hidden away….but if you know the story of Eloise and the Plaza, you’ll love this spot.


I can’t help myself.  I love looking at the fashion in the stores, windows and on the street.  This year hands down the trend whether in  Zara or  Saks was hot pink and orange, often combined………. I even saw a girl meandering Central Park with hot pink wig.  I was so amazed I missed the photo op.

 Irish Hunger Memorial

I may do a stand alone blog post about this one but will mention here.  In the midst of the concrete canyons, huge construction zones, the 9/11 Memorial and within view of the Hudson River, we came upon the Irish Hunger Memorial.  Immediate reaction?   Felt just like being on the Burren in the land of the Leprechauns.  Beautiful. Poignant as well.

 Strawberry Fields. 

Yes, this is a major tourist destination as well but I hadn’t been there even though it was established in 1981. This is a small memorial area devoted to John Lennon.  His wife, Yoko Ono, negotiated and bought a small plot in Central Park to memorize this famous Beatle.  We meandered over to look with sounds of a street musician performing  “Yesterday” floating through the park, and joined oodles of tourists to have a special moment.




And this sculpture in a gallery on Madison Avenue expresses  how I feel about NYC.



Thank you to Robin and Jason Elines for their great snapshot of the Statue of Liberty.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Alyce Greeson
    May 8, 2012 Reply

    Hi Susan,

    Loved seeing these pictures!  My son lives in Manhatten and market is in August.  Can’t wait to go!

    • posted by
      May 8, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Alyce.  I am glad you enjoyed.  I’ll be doing a few more posts about New York over the next few weeks.  It is such a fabulous city. So much to see and do. 

  2. posted by
    May 9, 2012 Reply

    The overview of your many and varied NYC sites has the staccato beat of the city itself.
    I like the way that you’ve given us a glimpse of places that one might ‘walk on by’ when taken up in the energy of that fast paced place or when headed toward one’s particular destination. You make me want to ‘look harder’.

  3. posted by
    May 9, 2012 Reply

    Wonderful pictures and blog on NYC.  One of my most favorite cities, so filled with energy.

  4. posted by
    May 9, 2012 Reply

    Love this Susan.  You have introduced me to places in NYC I didn’t know about…such as the Irish Hunger Memorial and Strawberry Fields!   Must stay I stayed at The Plaza Hotel last time I was there and didnt make it to the Eloise store!

  5. posted by
    May 9, 2012 Reply

    Read your blog against my personal checklist.  Now I need
    to add the Irish Hunger Memorial and the New York Public
    Library.  I actually have a photo taken in front of it from
    1969 – complete with bright yellow tights – but also have not been inside.  Thanks for the motivation!

  6. posted by
    May 11, 2012 Reply

    Susan, once again, you have the “eye” for the details that create such wonder.   Thanks for sharing your photos and thoughts.

  7. posted by
    May 11, 2012 Reply

    Susan, I love seeing where you have been recently and your new discoveries. That is a ‘wow’ picture of the library. I had almost forgotten that people still use libraries. (I have stopped going since I bought my ipad.) Maybe I should rethink that!!

Leave a Reply