Over the long weekend, I ventured to New York! It was my third time in the city, and it was very chilly, so I was more focused on enjoying myself and having fun and much less focused on seeing specific things (as I have been on trips before).
I am a planner to my CORE, but I am really trying to dial it back this year and not kill myself trying to see everything and wake up at 5am on my vacation. So, here are the highlights of my trip:
Enjoying a cocktail at The Rum House
I flew in Saturday afternoon and honestly… after taking the subway from the airport and getting to my hotel, all I wanted was to grab a bite and take a nap. I went to Angelina’s Bakery in Midtown and got a Caprese sandwich, a tea, and then went to bed – ha!
I had tickets to see a show but wanted to get something to eat or drink before. I’d read a little about The Rum House, which is near Broadway, so I stopped in there for a proper cocktail.
It’s a cozy place with a unique menu, but you can order off-menu, too. I’ve heard about the hot toddies but went with something cold. It was delicious and gave me enough of a buzz to get to the theatre and stand outside in the freezing cold!
Seeing ‘Company’ on Broadway
I originally got a ticket to see “Mrs. Doubtfire” but the show was paused due to a COVID outbreak. So, my backup was “Company,” starring the ONE and only Patti LuPone! Here’s the scoop on the musical:
It’s Bobbie’s 35th birthday party, and all her friends keep asking, Why isn’t she married? Why can’t she find the right man and isn’t it time to settle down and start a family? As Bobbie searches for answers, she discovers why being single, being married, and being alive in 21st-Century New York could drive a person crazy.
All during the pandemic, I’ve been thinking about Broadway and seeing this just reminded me how much joy seeing a show is. There’s so much talent on the stage, and I love the songs and dancing. “Company” had all of that, plus it was very funny! And Patti was a freakin’ QUEEN.
Spending lots of time in Bryant Park
This was my third time in the city and Bryant Park remains to be my favorite spot. I love the way the buildings look surrounding the park, and there’s always something fun going on there. When I went once in the summer (pre-COVID), I sat on a blanket and listened to a live jazz band.
This time, they still had the ice rink set up along with little shops and places to eat. I got a cranberry cocktail from the rinkside lodge, along with vegan sausage, and just had the best time people watching and walking around.
On another day, I got coffee and a croissant and watched some people play bocce ball!
Having a fabulous dinner at La Pecora Bianca
On my final night in town, I really wanted to treat myself to a fantastic, leisurely dinner. I went to my favorite pasta spot in the city: La Pecora Bianca.
I went early and got a seat by the window. I got a glass of wine and the burrata (oh my goshhhhh so delish). Then, another glass of wine, and the bucatini. I have been dreaming of this pasta since 2018 you guys! I wrapped it up with an Americano and was just so, so satisfied.
I ate every bit of that meal and thought nothing of it. Cheers!
Seeing John Mayer at Madison Square Garden x 2
The main reason for my trip to New York was to see John Mayer at Madison Square Garden two nights in a row. I saw him at MSG in 2019 and knew I wanted that experience again.
The first night was definitely entertaining — the first time hearing songs from “Sob Rock” live. But, I also had tickets for night two. In the past, he’s changed up the set a little, but he does stick to a core set of songs.
However, when he opened the show with an acoustic version of “Neon” from his debut album, I knew this was about to be a lot different than night one.
His drummer and one of the backup singers had tested + for COVID, so he said he was just going to “see where these songs take us.”
I cannot speak for every John Mayer fan, of course, but this… THIS was the show I’ve been waiting for since 2001.
I saw him for the first time ever in 2001, at a free street festival in Ohio. Since then, I’ve seen him on every tour (sometimes multiple shows on a single tour) in many different cities — from Louisville to Dallas and New Orleans to Las Vegas.
I always hope for certain songs, but I try not to get disappointed if he doesn’t play them, of course. But that second night, he sang so many of the songs I’ve been wishing for, including:
- If I Ever Get Around to Living
- In the Blood
- Stop this Train
- In Your Atmosphere
- Carry Me Away
…And more! With about 30 minutes left in the show, Questlove arrived to play drums and everyone in MSG just went NUTS. I felt like with every single song, I was just more and more shocked that this was happening.
I know John Mayer is a pretty easy person to hate, but this just solidified the joy and comfort his music has brought me over the years. I’ve followed his career, and to see him go from free street festivals to selling out two nights at MSG and pulling out a badass acoustic set in the face of COVID… honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever recover.
It was the best night of my life (this was right after my pasta meal) and it’s something I’ll never forget. I’m so thankful that I had the means to get there and the bravery to go by myself. I would have been so upset if I missed it.
Here’s to another 20 years of being a John Mayer fan… and to many more NYC adventures!