Autumn in New York {travel}

We're taking a break from our usual design-focused posts to talk about the city that never sleeps. Don't we all love to travel?! And for you fellow Houstonians, it's particularly nice to get out of town during the fall and experience... well, fall. Sometimes Houston skips right over fall - the crisp air, the turning leaves, the slow turn from summer to winter...

The Manhattan bridge as seen from Brooklyn. 

The Manhattan bridge as seen from Brooklyn. 

The Chelsea High Line was full of fall colors.  

The Chelsea High Line was full of fall colors.  

Anyways, it's Courtney here, and I recently went to New York City to celebrate a friend's upcoming wedding and visit another dear friend who calls Manhattan home. Several readers have asked us about favorite places in NYC, so here we are... 

We did a post a while back about Cathy's trips with colleagues from New York Life. Last year, she stayed at The Carlton House hotel and you can read all about it here. We stayed near our friend's apartment in the Flat Iron/Chelsea district at the Hilton Fashion District. (great location for our trip, good price, no bed bugs, friendly staff.) It was a blast and a bit less "touristy" than other trips to NYC I've made. It was nice to feel like we just lived in the city for three days. Keep reading for restaurant and to-do recommendations. 


Above, the mums on the streets at local plant shops were out of this world. Don't know that I've ever seen them quite that large! 


I definitely recommend "The Happiest Hour" for drinks in the West Village part of town. Best cocktail I've had in a looooong time. (Go for the Tom Collins.) We went to a nearby Italian restaurant that was delicious. Cathy suggests any of the restaurants in Eataly in the Flat Iron district. She also loves the restaurant at the Standard, where the floor is made of pennies. Carmine's on the Upper West Side for neighborhood feel and incredible family-style Italian food is a favorite of hers, too. 

We brunched at Spoon in the Flat Iron district - packed with locals, the biscuits and homemade jam are superb. 

On a different trip with the same friends, Caitlin and Paige, Paige made us reservations at the Boom Boom Room at the top of the Standard in Chelsea. Fabulous views of the city and really fun atmosphere.  

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge


The colors at a local farmer's market near the Brooklyn Bridge were fantastic! 

If you've never walked the Brooklyn Bridge, I suggest you add it to your list. We walked from Manhattan to the other side - great views, great history if you read about the bridge, great people watching if it's a weekend. 

Once we got to Brooklyn, we were in the area called DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and we grabbed a break at a used bookstore and then a pick-me-up at a local coffee shop. We strolled through the area near Jane's Carousel and got incredible views of the city across the river. Instead of taking the subway back, we took a $4 ferry ride, which ended up making a lot of stops, but we had more great views of Manhattan. If you're not in a hurry, we recommend the ferry. As my friend Paige said, it was ferry fun to travel by boat! 


Strollin' Like a Local


Sunday we walked along the High Line and ended at one of the newest, most buzzed about museums - The Whitney. In fact, Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) was seen lunching at their cafe just one week after us. (We are such trendsetters, ha!) The changing leaves and architecture was lovely on this hazy Sunday morning.

photo from

photo from

Check out that engagement ring! And new Kate Spade shades. 

Check out that engagement ring! And new Kate Spade shades. 

The Whitney rooftop cafe is very cool, and we sipped delicious house-made sodas. I'll confess, some of the modern art was lost on me, but the exhibit of Archibald Motley, a Jazz Age modernist, was incredible. The building itself is also worth seeing. We got there first thing Sunday morning, and when we left there was quite a line to get in - if you go, visit their website for tips to beat the line. 

We had breakfast/brunch at the nearby Gansevoort Market before the museum opened. Tons of local vendors and deliciousness! 

Afterwards, we wandered through the Village over to Bleecker Street - home to famous Magnolia Bakery and dozens of high-end well known shops. It's an easy walk from the museum if the weather is nice. 

Courtney, Caitlin, and Paige at  The Happiest Hour

Courtney, Caitlin, and Paige at The Happiest Hour

The options in New York are obviously endless - where to eat, where to shop, what to do. This was a fabulous weekend catching up with friends. 

*editor's note: though we didn't do much shopping this trip, our host Paige works for Kate Spade corporate, so of course we popped in a Kate Spade shop - or two! Shout out to the Kate. 

Thanks for reading about our trip to the Big Apple. Happy fall to you and yours! 


“Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

-Nora Ephron, You've Got Mail